Anonymous Commenters Lead To More 'Uncivil' Comments On Newspaper Sites, Study Finds
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January 23, 2014


Allowing commenters on newspaper websites to keep their names secret leads to significantly more hateful comments on online newspaper stories, according to a new research study.

Arthur Santana, an assistant professor at the University of Houston, studied the tone of thousands of online comments posted on sites that allow either anonymous user names or non-anonymous commenters.

His study -- titled “Virtuous or Vitriolic: The Effect of Anonymity on Civility in Online Newspaper Reader Comment Boards” — concluded 53 percent of anonymous comments included language that was vulgar, racist, profan...

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