Recently I had a discussion with the folks at Patch over my concerns how anonymous individuals hide behind their made up names and say irresponsible things. My concern is what that is doing to our community as well as communities all over this country on Patch.com. Those who use anonymous names feel empowered to say almost anything they want with out fear of any real retribution. This, even within a policy of Terms of Service. But they certainly wouldn't say those things if they were face to face with someone.
Coincidently, I just came across today a news item about some Facebook and Instagram users having had their accounts pulled from them until they provide a copy of government issued identification such as a U.S. Issued Passport, State Drivers License or other recognized form of identification.
I personally believe this is a good step in making people act online like they would in person. I share this here so not only the community can be informed of this but also the management at Patch as well, if they weren't aware already. It is time we not let slide the irresponsible and in some cases slanderous ways of some people. Having a policy which does away with the concept of anonymous or fake users would, in my opinion, help us create a more inviting online community.
I have heard some people say they use fake names for safety reasons. My response is if you do not say irresponsible things you will not need to fear from people. It is when you make threats or get people really upset that some might react with violence or the treat of violence. Treat people like you would like to be treated and that problem goes away.
To document the Facebook and Instagram Terms of Service Policy change, I share the following article:
I hope Patch takes this example seriously with the new roll out of Patch 2.0 which has been talked about being released sometime in 2013.