Yesterday I received a very aggressive and deliberately hateful comment on my most recent blog entry. The comment also included strong profanity. Because of its aggressive tone and use of inappropriate language I have deleted it, as I will not tolerate such things on this blog as I do not tolerate them in my offline life. This is actually the first time in the three years I've been blogging that I have deleted a non-spam comment. I am very open to differing opinions and hard comments about my own views and actions. Just go back through some of the comments on big topics over the years and you'll see that I'm very tolerant of contrary comments and do not believe in censorship. But I will not accept profanity (and do not use it in my own life) and will not accept a comment that is nothing but hate-filled rhetoric with nothing constructive to add.
Over the years I've been very open with this blog and have allowed open commenting, including as an anonymous poster. At times I've thought that this made it too easy for people to speak strongly since there was no way to tell who had commented so they didn't have to worry about it getting back to them. People tend to be bolder, especially on the internet, when nobody knows who they really are. It has also made it a little confusing at times when several people would comment on an entry as "Anonymous". The hateful poster yesterday commented in this way, not identifying themselves, and this has helped make a decision that I was considering anyway.
I have changed the commenting section so that you must be a registered Google or OpenID user in order to post a comment. From this point on there will no longer be any anonymous commenting. I hope that this does not discourage people from commenting (most people doing so are already registered anyway), and that some of my regular Anonymous posters (yes, I've gotten to know some of the writing styles) will consider registering (since it's free) and commenting more openly.