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In designing a cms for politically focused blogs, I've come across a bit of an interesting situation in which I have two options for how to identify a commenter:

  1. Use OAuth as the mechanism for a commenter to identify themselves when posting a comment (say using one of Google, Facebook, Twitter), which requires hitting only two buttons, and in most situations filling in no forms. I see this as beneficial for future users in that ever commenter has own what they say, as their real name will be used. I also see that this could discourage some people.

  2. Use a form that requires a commenter to fill in their first and last names, email address, and fill out a CAPTCHA before they can comment. This allows more anonymity, as people can use fake names, but would also seem to be clunkier.

What is the best practice for this, assuming that they are mutually exclusive?

  • What are your prioritized goals for comments? Attract lots of participants? moderate? discuss? sign new users? generated crowdsourced content? etc. Don't say "all", obviously. – tohster Mar 15 '15 at 2:16
  • Focused on creating useful discussion. Limiting trolling, really for thoughtful commentary on a blog post. (Wishful thinking I know). – erikpartridge Mar 15 '15 at 2:48
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Why couldn't OAuth and a fake name coexist?
Use OAuth to set up an account for each new commenter. Keep the information acquired during the OAuth private, for your own use only. Then let the user create a fake name which they can share with the community. Best of both worlds?

Also, while you're getting the OAuth Authorization, be sure to acquire Facebook wall publishing rights so that you can post their comments on their wall. Free Advertising for your forum.

  • +1 on the post to Facebook wall, and while a fake name can certainly co-exist with OAuth, I think that it is less likely than letting someone create any user name they'd like. – erikpartridge Mar 15 '15 at 15:54

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