Registration now required to post comments on The Brothers Brick [News]

Anonymity on the Internet has costs as well as important benefits. One cost we’ve seen here on The Brothers Brick is a commenter’s ability to hide behind complete anonymity when stating an opinion or giving feedback they think may be unpopular or controversial. Another cost is that commenters can switch between multiple identities or even “spoof” the identify of someone else.

To help resolve these and related issues, I’m announcing that you will now need to be registered to leave a comment on The Brothers Brick. We’ve updated our Privacy Policy to reflect the new ways in which we use information you share with us. That said, you still only need a name and e-mail address to register — just like leaving a comment today.

Starting with our new Terms of Service, this is part of a series of changes we’ll be making to improve the interactive experience here on The Brothers Brick — both for readers and contributors. For more information and discussion about the Terms of Service, read the announcement post.

If you feel uncomfortable registering and leaving a comment about this change, please use the Contact Us page to send us a private e-mail.

45 comments on “Registration now required to post comments on The Brothers Brick [News]

  1. Luke Chapman

    I don’t know if I’m just being really stupid, but I how do you change the given password to a more personal/rememberable one?

  2. Will Will

    Done and done! I agree with BJR — totally solved the majority of your headaches in one foul swoop! Cheers, guys!

  3. Andrew (from a test account)

    @Luke: Sorry I missed your excellent question. Yes, you can give yourself a new password from your personal Profile page. I’ll add that to the welcome message.

  4. Tananavalley

    I did it because everyone else was doing it, just like parachute pants. For those of you who remember them, quit your laughing because you thought they were cool too. I am so old. (my son lets me know everyday)

  5. Josh

    @Rocko – I fixed your email address in your other account. Let me know if you want to use it. I’ll delete which ever one you don’t want.

  6. Melfice

    I approve of this measure.
    I was actually surprised TBB didn’t have sign ups for comments before, but then again, I suppose this website wasn’t very big to begin with and only recently people started commenting more. (or so I believe I read, I too am relatively new)

  7. Melfice

    @ Joshington:
    There is a little part at the end of the urls that says ” ‘ rel=’external nofollow”.

    I don’t know why that’s there, but it seems to cause the trouble, as removing it makes me go to any website linked to.

  8. Josh

    @Melfice – You are correct. We did have registration before, but we didn’t require it. It wasn’t an issue until recently and I think its a product of our growth over the last year. And a big Thank You to our readers for that!

  9. RichardAM

    Melfice, i’m getting the same problems- none of the links behind the usernames seem to be working at all.

    Also, yes, I have just registered. This was obvious since I just replied and whatnot though, wasn’t it? :D

  10. duckingham

    I’m in total agreement. I think a big plus will be to make a little more obvious the community here on TBB, since there will be a consistency in the names that appear with those that comment regularly.

  11. lucakabe’s my first I start to say that i’m very happy to a part of this community..the registration is a right price to have this privilege..

  12. Curtis

    I’m having the same problem with it adding the ” ‘ rel=’external nofollow” to the end of peoples websites (mine included). I don’t know why it’s there, it isn’t on my profile page, the correct link is only there.

  13. Melfice

    Maybe it’s some sort of setting on TBB’s admin end.
    What I think that’s saying is “This is a website not affiliated with TBB or WordPress, so you can only go to the masterpage of that website.”

    Or something…

  14. Andrew Post author

    Thanks for the registration confirmation and bug reports so far, everyone!

    The rel=’external nofollow’ issue doesn’t happen for me on Safari (my primary browser), but I’ve reproduced it in Firefox, so I should now be able to track down the cause and fix it. (I suspect a single quote vs. double quote issue in the code; nothing to do with TBB directly, but fixable by customizing it.)

  15. Andrew Post author

    Took a couple hours to find the fix, but comment author links should now work as intended. Turns out it was unrelated to the new registration feature, but instead a conflict between the new version of WordPress and one of our plugins.

    Thanks to everyone who reported this, and please let us know if you encounter any other issues.

  16. Moctagon Jones

    Sorry for the double post (bad form!) but I thought I could maybe edit my comment.

    So 2 suggestions instead of one:

    1. Place the login/logout buttons on the top of the page?
    2. Possible allow users toedit their comments?

    Suggestion one is I think most important.


  17. A Most Serious AFOL

    Might I suggest putting the registration and login links somewhere a bit easier to find. Traditionally, they’re usually found at or near the top of the page.

  18. Andrew Post author

    @ Moctagon Jones: 1. I’ll mess around and see if I can make that work. 2. There are WordPress plugins that enable this, and now that all commenters are required to register, some of my concerns about allowing this have been alleviated. I’ll look into it. ;-)

    @AMSAFOL: Registration is intended for people (like you) who want to leave a comment, not necessarily for the general public. The registration link is pretty prominent above the comment form when you’re not logged in, so I think that works. But as I said to Moctagon Jones, I’ll try to figure out a way to making signing in easier.

  19. DARKspawn

    Heck no, Andrew. Leave it as it is. Think of it as an IQ test, if a user can work out how to log in then they are that much more likely to leave a thoughtful comment ;)

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