Anonymous CBC Comments Banned: Five Things You Need To Know

Scott Hough - Author

Oct. 31 2016, Updated 3:03 p.m. ET

Anonymous CBC comments will be banned from the Canadian crown corporation’s website in the near future, the broadcaster reported yesterday evening.

The article cited above attracted over 2,000 comments in the first five hours it was online. Given the vast number of mean-spirited and malicious barbs that are flung around CBC comment sections, as well as the comments left with most online publications that allow them, it may seem somewhat surprising that it has taken the CBC this long to clamp down.

“We recognize the limits of a ‘real name’ policy,” the broadcaster’s general manager, Jennifer McGuire, wrote with regard to CBC comments. “However, in the interests of encouraging civil conversation, CBC will not allow the use of pseudonyms.”

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The move by the CBC is reported to come amid concerns raised by members of the New Brunswick Francophone community with regard to hateful comments, which are reported to have included references to the “Acadian mafia,” and calls to “banish all the French.”

1. Trolls have ruined it for everyone.

There are an almost infinite number of examples of trolls taking over such prime opportunities for those with diverging views to meet as internet chat rooms. The Young Turks hosts a YouTube channel with a live feed, featuring chat that is teeming with vitriolic comments, typical of what is found in many online forums.

The CBC describes an objective to “promote and defend free speech, particularly different points of view on controversial matters of public interest.”

That the Canadian broadcaster has held off so long in banning anonymous comments could be held up as evidence of the group holding true to their ideals, demonstrably attempting to be guided by a belief in a universal right to free speech.


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