For me the Huffington Post addiction ended long ago. It was the place that I went to find some liberal-minded discourse, the kind of would get you in trouble in real life. Anonymity served this purpose, not having to worry if I posted my opinion on healthcare issues, the business side, that I may suffer retaliation from business contacts. Anonymity made it easy for me to get to know individuals in the Huffington Post community – yes, that also meant dealing with people on the other side of the spectrum.
Of course on such a mega-forum one is bound to encounter the dreaded Internet troll. We all have a similar definition for trolls although often the term is applied to people who come to a blog to fill a need and disturb everyone. Ultimately the reason I left, I use the term loosely, the Huffington Post was not because of political trolls or individuals whose friendship went sour and became far worse than the stereotypical troll.
I left because increasingly Huffington Post sought to stymie mature discourse. This was even before AOL purchasing HP, from day one I noticed that simple words would send one’s comment into pending or worse yet purgatory. After flame war started by a few deranged minds, Huffington took an aggressive stance to prevent idiots like FUNKY (the idiot with the Colin Farrell avatar) from continuously spamming their post on all threads (this is not make-believe it is the reason why a comment cannot be reposted)
Now there is the new policy against poster anonymity. We saw how after Arianna Huffington made a “RED LINE” comment stating that anonymity would end at the Huffington Post it was muddled, skewed and in time we got a series of conflicting reports of what it meant.
So why should I care? I’m hardly there as it is and when I am- I can’t take the place seriously. The reason I care is the same reason I cared when people left HP in droves over the AOL purchase – It’s the community there that matters, and his new policy just like before threatened them.
But it gets worse, it’s one thing for them to have a shitty business model it’s another when they are trying to influence the way discourse is done across the Internet. I think we need to fight this as we would SOPA or any other bills proposed to in fact control what we say and do online.