Disqus has some new data throwing a wrench in the whole real-names-commenting movement.
This study does back up that people making completely anonymous comments leave the worst comments, it doesn’t support that forcing commenters to use real names leads to the best comments. Comments left under pseudonyms were rated the highest and these commenters were the most active community members.
Some more from this study:
- The average commenter using a pseudonym contributed 6.5 times more than anonymous commenters and 4.7 times more than commenters using Facebook.
- Comments left under pseudonyms were rated the highest with a breakdown of 61 percent positive, 28 percent neutral and 11 percent negative.
- Real identity comments were 51 percent positive, 40 percent neutral and 9 percent negative.
- Anonymous comments were 34 percent positive, 55 percent neutral and 11 percent negative.
- 61 percent of comments came from those using pseudonyms.
What this points to is that forcing people to use real names may get rid of some of the worst of online comments, but it will also get rid of some of the best of online comments. If you’re goal is to create a great online community, active community management and a good commenting system are needed. But forcing all of your users to use Facebook to comment will not create a great online community.