In an effort to improve discourse amongst commenters, the self-proclaimed newspaper of the internet Huffington Post is now requiring users to link their HuffPo account to their Facebook account. The thinking is that because other users can see who you are, you will be more likely to be polite. My thinking is that there are numerous reasons to cancel my account because of this change.
1. There is an unlimited number of trolls/weirdos/creeps on the internet and I'd rather not let them know who I am.
2. It would, in fact, make me less likely to post what I really think. Friends and family from all walks of life are Facebook friends of mine. And regardless of what I write, I'm likely to piss off some of them. Particularly with my family, I tend to remain apolitical because it makes the holidays so much better.
3. I worry that the new policy will lead to an increase in spam/sales/scams. It gives them a way to link my personal information to my clicking activity and commenting history.
4. Privacy concerns - I know that it's possible to set one's privacy settings to reduce the risk. But Facebook, HuffPo and other social media frequently change their rules and your settings and I'm not willing to take the risk.
5. Huffington Post is not worth the trouble. The website has become more of a celebrity gossip site with a left-leaning ideology. They routinely delete innocuous comments and do not have well defined rules for posting (unlike DailyKos).
To remove your Huffington Post account, click on "Edit Social News Preferences" and then "Preferences." Scroll down to "Cancel Account" and click "Remove My Account."
Poof... It's gone.
Here is the new policy.
Here's how to get started under this new system. When you log in to your account and go to make a comment, you will be prompted to link your commenting account to your verified Facebook account. Then, choose how you'd like your name to be displayed. You can either display your first and last names, or your first name and last initial. This is the only information that will be viewable to the community at large, and you will have control over your private information via Facebook's privacy settings.
If you do not want to link your Huffington Post account to Facebook, you can still log in to your account and fan and fave other users and their comments. And if, for whatever reason, you fear posting a comment under your name -- if you are a whistleblower, or fear harassment, or any other reason -- you can apply for the right to comment anonymously by filling out this form.