Anonymous Advice

Anyone who has been blogging for any length of time knows the challenges of interacting with anonymous commenters. Here is a clip from a recent anon comment on my Daily Prayer blog:
So what do we do when those challenges come? More than anything, we need to remember this: God is in control!

Are you, or is someone close to you, facing great difficulties? Are you struggling financially? Do you have marriage problems? Are you suffering a spiritual crisis of doubt? One of the first things we do as human beings when these challenges collide with our lives is to wonder why. But let me tell you something important. It is more important to trust the plans of God for your life than it is to try to make sense of a crisis.

So, my friend, you and I need to be prepared for times of testing. The next time you feel like someone has thrown you into a big old pit, don’t despair. Don’t panic or try to run away. God is in control even in the darkest situations! Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” John 16:33b.
I thought of a few responses to their simplistic spin on pain, struggle and suffering.. and also considered how inappropriate their comment might be for someone who was really hurting.. but I had no way to dialog with them.. so I deleted their comment.

Consequently I began to wonder why I allow anonymous commenting and could not think of why I did.. so I decided to change the settings on all of my blogs to require a user identification of some sort (Blogger makes it easy to comment by allowing Open IDs). If you don't like this and you are an anon commenter please send me an email and let me know what you think.. of course then you possibly may not be anon to me as I will know your email address :)

I am also interested in what the rest of you think about anonymous commenters. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think and what you do on your blog.
I think I need some anonymous advice :)


  1. You've been at it much longer than I have so have a different perspective. I haven't had much of a problem with anonymous commenters so far, although I've had a couple of rather nasty emails attacking Jesus and the church with language that was foul. I had fortunately enabled comment moderation and will continue to do so.

    Basically, I rarely reject a comment. I don't mind disagreement. I DO mind profanity or personal attacks. Those I don't - and won't - approve.

  2. Annonimity is like a KKK hood.

    I think you have a right to require your commenters to identify themselves. We tend to be more careful about our words and actions when our identity is attached to them.

  3. On the one hand - I know some people who aren't computer savy and get frustrated having to create an ID for blogger. One woman at my church tried a few times to get a blogger ID and she had trouble, so she just gave up. So from that perspective anon comments have a place.

    On the other hand, most anon commenters on my blog leave a comment or two once and never come back. So trying to engage with them hasn't worked for me, so I didn't see the anon option as "worth it". I've also found that most of the time anon commenters are simply cowards who don't want you to find "their" space. They want control.

    All that to say - I'm all for moderation... anon or not.

  4. Hi Bob,

    While most of the anonymous comments are nonsense and should be deleted, ocassionally I receive some that are constructive. Their opinions differ from mine. I suspect that I may know some of them.

    Being Asians, many do not wish to disagree or confront so anonymity allows for these people to express their opinions.

  5. I applaud your deletion of that comment, and I'll stand behind your decision to turn off anon. I leave it on, but I hardly get any anon commenters. You travel much more widely out here than I do, so it makes sense for you to need to do more about it.

  6. I understand why you would delete that comment, but another idea (which I attempt when I have time) is to write a response as if they were returning. Whether or not that specific person returns, any other reader who shares that view will know your thoughts on the subject.


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