Due to an increasing number of anonymous comments, The Linc has modified its comments policy. Anyone wishing to post a comment will have to sign up to our website (a simple procedure which only takes two minutes).

Anonymity is something that gives Internet users ease of mind that they can say whatever they want, about anyone they want. But many of the anonymous commentors on our website forget the UK’s defamation and libel laws.

Over the past weeks, due to our increased coverage of the Students’ Union, many have decided to post anonymous comments making various accusations, which were not entirely based on fact (or which we cannot possibly check before approving).

Although we edited some of these comments and then approved them on our website, some have forced our hand. Starting today we have introduced a quick and easy sign up process to our website, where users will have to register with their real name and email address in order to comment.

It is very quick and only required once. Whenever you comment, your real name will appear, along with a link to your blog or website. Your email will not be shown, but it will be visible to our website administrators.

Trying to cheat this system with fake names and email addresses will also be spotted, as we can see every user’s IP address. Please rest assured that no sensitive or personal data will be publicly available. Our privacy policy is still in place, and covers these matters.

If you have been commenting with your real name, then you have nothing to worry about. You simply have to go through the sign up process once, and then our website will recognise you the next time you visit (so there’s no need to enter your details over and over again). This will actually make it easier for you to comment.

Your name and your blog will be more visible due to this change (if you put your blog/website address in the required field) as our website will display the number of comments you have made previously here (and on which posts) and also display the latest entries of your blog (if you are using WordPress). You can check this feature out by hovering over a commentator’s name with your cursor.

The new comments policy is directly targeted at those who post anonymous comments and use it as a cover to make libellous accusations. As in real life, one would have to attribute their words to their name, and take responsibility for what they are saying.

Lastly, this decision is final and irrevocable. If you want to share your thoughts on this decision, feel free to comment or send me an email.