People using pseudonyms post the highest-quality comments, Disqus says

Disqus Product Blog | Infographic
One of the most popular commenting services for news websites and blogs says its data shows that commenters using pseudonyms are “the most important contributors to online communities.”

The service gives each user the option of commenting with a Disqus account, a social media identity or anonymously. It says 61 percent of commenters use pseudonyms, 35 percent choose to be anonymous and 4 percent use their “real identity” verified by Facebook. It also says those with pseudonyms post the best comments, while anonymous comments are lower quality. One theory: People don’t mind being accountable online, but they don’t want it to blow back on their work or personal lives by using a real identity. A pseudonym protects them while providing a measure of accountability.

Disqus says commenters using pseudonyms are most likely to post “positive” quality comments that get likes and replies. “Negative” comments are those that get marked as spam, flagged or deleted.

Disqus releases these results as it faces competitive pressure from Facebook’s own comments plugin that many news sites have been using to verify identity, drive social referrals and raise the level of discourse.

Earlier: News sites using Facebook Comments see higher quality discussion, more referrals5 lessons from how Philly.com handled comments on Conlin sex abuse stories | New York Times overhauls comment system

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  • http://www.recordrecorder.com/ Record Recorder

    i do not agree with this article

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    Disqus has becoming one of the premiere sites today.U have made the best points on it to show the importance of the Disqus in future with regard to the social web.

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    Disqus is an online discussion and commenting service for websites and online communities that uses a networked platform. The company’s platform includes various features, such as social integration, social networking, user profiles, spam and moderation tools, analytics, email notifications, and mobile commenting. It was founded in 2007 by Daniel Ha and Jason Yan as a Y Combinator startup.

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     I think they based it on the avatars, if they don’t used actual photos, then they consider it as pseudonymous. Also, if they are to comment to so many blogs with different niches, that is another thing they consider. This is purely an opinion of mine only..

  • Mark Gisleson

    I am absolutely flabbergasted by this article. Poynter is an alleged institute for journalistic excellence, yet you view correlation as an index for quality? ARE YOU NUTS?

    Pseudonymous commenters are much more likely to voice extremist views, and on the internet extremist views are frequently applauded, especially given the propensity of like-minded extremists to gather at the same commenting holes.

    The previous commenter was right to call this article a press release from Disqus but he shouldn’t have stopped there. This is EXACTLY the kind of braindead Politifact-think that has turned Poynter into such a wasteland for genuine critical thinking. 

  • fjpoblam

    I saw that TechCrunch is proud to have adopted the requirement that commenters sign in with Facebook ids. This assures “real names” and thus greater accountability, they say. I say no: all it requires is that only *users of Facebook* may comment. That is quite different from assuring “real names”.

    At best, it requires two character strings instead of one for a userid, and these character strings are subject to some sort of human interpretation as “names”. There are different interpreters at each software joint, so what passes at a name at the Facebook joint may *not* pass at the *Google* joint or the Twitter joint or the WordPress joint or the Disqus joint or…

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    “Quality Signals By Identity” 

    Whether graph numbers are true or false I simply don’t care. The only thing I know; disqus provide  useful platform to bloggers and its users. The most significant advantage of disqus is, you can easily  edit your comments after publication, which is not possible with simple blog commenting platform.

    In addition, if you leave a comment in a blog using Disqus and that you subscribe to receive responses via email, you would be notified only for answers to your own review and not like the other commenting option where you receive notification each time when there is a new comment.

    Paul Lopez

  • Anonymous

    Best thing about this article. I can use my Disqus pseudonym to comment.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the set of laws that control how employers have to treat their employees. It might be called something different where you’re from.

  • Anonymous

    forgive my ignorance, but what is a “labor code”? a labor contract?

  • Anonymous

    Since I’m in the job market, I most definitely would not comment if a real name was required. Incidentally, it’s actually against most labor codes for employers to look at candidates’ Facebook pages, but there’s no way to stop them from doing it. Those labor codes were made in the first place because employers DO, in fact, like to make hiring decisions based on things like age, marital status etc.

  • Anonymous

    the responses here explain exactly why it is largely ludicrous to criticize anonymous comments, since SOMEBODY said whatever has been said. so what if you don’t know their name. does that really matter in these cases? i don’t think so. the candid, knowledgable, educated comments are what matter, not who made them.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt it. But just making people go through some sort of registration I think weeds out a lot of bombthrowers.

  • Pilot Online

    Does Disqus truly verify the identifies of pseudonym users? If not, how is a pseudonym user really different than an anonymous user? And who says a Facebook identity is truly a “real” identify?

  • Anonymous

    The trend toward turning to Facebook and other real identities for comments will just cause comments to dwindle at sites that go that way. It’s a sad fact that employers and bosses might punish people for having certain political opinions–and I don’t mean wacko ones that violate policy or something. Look at this site. It still doesn’t get many comments, but back when it would identify you by name and workplace, it had almost zero comments.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a very interesting finding. I have two questions. How does Disqus define pseudonymity? For example, if I login to Disqus using my Twitter account, does that count as a pseudonym? It appears “real name” refers to commenters who sign in through Facebook, but what if my Twitter account name is my real name?
    That chart seems off – the bars for 51 percent and 61 percent have the same lenght. That is all ;)

  • dw

    I would never post anything even remotely controversial under my real name.  It could come back to bite me if in future some potential employer, say, searched for my name online and found some comment that he/she disagreed with.

  • Anonymous

    I was surprised to see what amounts to a press release from Disqus on Media Wire, especially since it’s the service you use for comments.