Never act in a public place in a manner that you would not like to have videotaped and broadcast on the nigthly news. Never let anyone take pictures of you that you would not care to share with the rest of the world. Never, and I mean never, believe that you can send an e-mail or make a comment in a newsgroup or on a website and think that what you said will not become a permanent record of what you have said that can easily be found just by typing your name into a search engine.
I really don’t think that’s news to anyone reading this but from some of the fuss over Shelley introducing Talkback on her weblog one might think that to be the case. I agree there is a problem with one person masquerading as someone else in the way comments are now implemented in weblogs but that can fairly easily be taken care of. I participate over on Flutterby quite a bit and over there one is required to set up an account in order to comment. Dan’s had it that way for a couple of years or longer now. It adds a layer of administrative headache to operating a weblog but it is a simple solution for the problem of masquerading.
Another solution to this problem is just don’t turn on comments or only use Trackback or Pingback for your commenting. Yeah, that’s going to eliminate anyone that doesn’t have a weblog from commenting on your site but there are tradeoffs for everything.
Eventually I’ll add comments to this weblog. Trackback is here right now and I’m going to work on it a bit more before turning my attention to comments. I’ll look for a way to make sure that the folks that comment are not someone else. Just remember, though, anything added to the public record is a public record and should be considered permanent.