Saturday, September 10, 2016


While The Hamiltonian continues to encourage our readers to use their real names when they submit their comments, we continue to respect the fact that some people may not be comfortable doing so, for a variety of reasons. Thus, we continue to allow for anonymous comments, providing such comments abide by the The Hamiltonian's policies.

However, many anonymous posters are  using the handle anonymous  to sign their posts. As you can imagine, when many people are using the same signature - anonymous- it becomes impossible to discern which comment belongs to which anonymous poster. This frustrates the reader's ability to follow the thread, and also results in confusion for those trying to get their views across.

The Hamiltonian cannot rely on a technology solution to force people to type in a handle (if they are not prepared to use their real names). This is because the technology platform we use, does not allow for this. As many of you know, from time to time, we plead with our readers to use a unique handle. This results in some short term success, but the trend reverts back. 

At our last team meeting , we discussed some non tech solutions to this problem. One suggestion was that we allow a grace period, but at a point in time, we do not publish any comments that are solely signed anonymous. This will force submissions to include a handle.

  Your thoughts? Any other ideas?

Please note: we are not looking for opinions as to whether to allow anonymous posting, because we have thoroughly considered that topic in the past. We are asking for ideas on how to manage the abundance os posters who use anonymous as their handle.


  1. Thought 1: The above entry is an anonymous post, in that no name is credited as author. There is no unique handle, yet this does not appear to be an impediment. You might argue that this is because it's the Voice of the Blog, and yet "Views expressed by commentators or in articles that appear here, cannot be assumed to be espoused by The Hamiltonian staff or its publisher." This quickly becomes a shell game.

    Thought 2: You can ban "Anonymous" as a handle, but Anonymous posters are just inventing handles so it's debatable how much clarity you're ultimately providing. (And what if they choose "Anynonamous" or "Anna Nonymous" or any similar but not identical handles?)

    Thought 3: Registered accounts that appear to be names operate on the honour system and are ultimately not much better than Anonymous.

    - Smithee

  2. Captain HamiltonSeptember 11, 2016

    I will choose the handle Captain Hamilton and will be using it from now on. A few things I want to say

    1. I think the idea of not posting anonymous, is a good one. i would suggest that you write a note at the end of each of each thread saying that people must either type their names, or choose a handle. And that if you use the anonymous selection only, the comment will not appear. i think people will catch on quickly.

    2. It is very clear to me that teresa DiFalco is the Publisher of The Hamiltonian and thus heads it. It is clearly printed on the top of each page and Teresa is a well known and well respected lady in Hamilton.

    3. The Hamiltonian owes us nothing. For about six years now I have been following this site rather religiously. I've seen some great conversations here. I've seen some great interviews. And being something of a city hall insider. I know that the discussions here often times change the way people think. I also know there is a grudging respect amongst politicians. I would argue that a good media site cannot be cozy with politicians or lobby groups. It must be the voice of truth. And I find that this site has always strived for balance. So teresa et el. You owe use nothing. It s us that owe you and your c=volunteers a huge debt of gratitude. Keep doing it with class as you have always done!

    Captain Hamilton

    1. Captain HamiltonSeptember 11, 2016

      I meant to say-You owe us nothing. It is us that owe you and your volunteers a huge debt of gratitude. Keep doing it with class as you have always done!

      And to add one more thing. I have never seen The Hamiltonian ask for money. There is not even a donatioomn button on this site.

      So Thank-You for all that you do!

      Captain Hamilton

  3. WEST HARBOUR RESIDENTSeptember 11, 2016

    Thank you SO much for addressing this! As I have said many times before, using an alpha / numeric system would work! Thank you so much for all that you do for us, Hamiltonian staff!

    1. Hamiltonian AdminSeptember 11, 2016

      Thank-you for the reminder WHR

  4. Teresa et el. Continue on as you have been. Don't change a thing. Some might think of The Spec as the main paper and so they continue to use it because of its distribution. Fair enough. But The Hamiltonian is the taste-maker of Hamilton, imho. I agree with the suggestion about requiring people to pick a handle.

  5. anonymity can have immense spiritual implications. Demonstrating kindness or generosity while expecting and accepting nothing in return. The concept of placing principles ahead of personalities. Purity personified.

    Yet that rarely occurs online. A phenomena known in Psychology as the "online disinhibition effect" often takes root, emboldening cowardice through a perceived lack of accountability.

    Privacy and anonymity are competing concepts. You want privacy? Remain private.

    The truth is you are behind the curve in this respect, most mainstream news outlets have already banned the practice of anonymous commentary, and for good reasons. Far too often it is clear that the anonymous crew have an agenda which includes undermining reasonable discourse. For some, it is their sole reason for participating. Subversives.

    I have confidence you will sort this out to the benefit of the majority. Stay the course.

  6. Thanx, it's clear that in addition to being impossible to follow anonymous posts tend to be trollish in nature and I suspect nothing will change until this site requires registration to post. I understand that by doing that you run the risk of restricting comment but really have no issue with that. The sad truth is that anonymous post both sides of an issue with disrespect in order to fan the fire in posters solely for entertainment

    1. Into the MysticSeptember 12, 2016

      Sure..require registration to post. So, let's say I register as Brad Pitt, or Fred Eisenberger. Who's to say it's really who i say I am? There is no foolproof way of handling this. In fact, i am registered to post on The Spec with a totally fictitious name.

      So keep doing it the way you are doing it. There are a lot of people who work at the city or who are even elected people who would come after those who don't agree with their views. So, you can't post safely. So I thanks Teresa for allowing people to have discussion without having to worry if they will be hunted down or fired from their jobs.


      Into the Mystic

    2. Hamiltonian AdminSeptember 12, 2016

      Please understand. This topic is not about whether we will allow anonymous posting. that decision has been made some time ago and remains unchanged.

      Thanks for your input on the subject of discerning anonymous posters. I think we have arrived at a solution.

      We will be closing this thread to further comments, as the issue in question has been resolved.

      If you have any other comments related to the topic on whether to allow for anonymous posting, please email your thoughts to admin@thehamiltonian.info