Huffington Post to ban anonymous comments: 'people need to stand up for what they say'

The Huffington Post is planning to ban anonymous comments from next month, founder Arianna Huffington has revealed.

The move will be a major departure for the site which is currently said to attract some 25,000 comments an hour, most of which are anonymous.

The website Gigaom has reported comments made by Huffington in Boston yesterday.

She said: “Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier and I just came from London where there are rape and death threats.

“I feel that freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they say and not hiding behind anonymity, we need to evolve a platform to meet the needs of the grown-up internet.”

The Huffington Post has told US website Poynter that it plans to use the move to free up its 40 comment moderators "to engage more with the community, facilitating the kinds of productive conversations our community members want to be having”.

The site has yet to reveal how it will verify the identity of those making comments. In the UK, Trinity Mirror does this by requiring all those commenting on its network of newspaper websites to log-in via Facebook.

Paywalled sites such as The Times find it easier to control comments. It only allows subscribers to comment and insists that they use their own names (unless there are exceptional circumstances).

Other major UK news websites such as The Guardian and the Telegraph allow anonymous comments.

According to web analysis company Alexa, The Huffington Post is the third most popular news website in the world.

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