We know where you live

Topix started putting up the location of forum posters and Rich Skrenta says it improved the tone of the conversation, particularly since this conversation is about the Danish publishing of the cartoons. I think identity almost always improves the quality of discourse, or at least how I value it.

  • The geographic location of my (onion routed) IP address is not necessarily a good indicator of “identity.”

  • Adam

    Well sure discourse is improved, but what about snark? Won’t someone please think of the snark?

  • Terry Steichen

    Why should the location of the commentor (even if it was accurate, which it often is not) bear significantly on the substance of the comment? Isn’t that a kind of profiling that detracts from the reality of what’s being said?

  • Terry:

    “detracts from the reality of what’s being said”? I think what we’re seeing is that it adds some skin in the game — finding out that there’s actually a debtae going on between a bunch of people from Denmark and Saudi Arabia and West Virginia adds to the discussion.

    “even if it was accurate, which it often is not” — if you’re looking for geo diversity or homoegeneity on a site which tracks news for every single ZIP code in the US, it’s accurate enough to see where the main clump of commenters live.

    Knowing some context about a poster provides information enabling the readers and other posters to understand who they’re reading and talking to — it humanizes the thread, and has had an effect on the quality of the site.

    Chris Tolles
    Topix.net

  • Tony

    “Knowing some context about a poster provides information enabling the readers and other posters to understand who they’re reading and talking to”

    sounds like geographical stereotyping

  • greeneyeshade

    adam:
    ‘won’t someone please think of the snark?’
    yes, but be careful, it might be a boojum.