Yes, Gawker Is Conflicted—But Anonymity Is Still Valuable

Photograph by Hannes Hepp/Corbis

As promised—if somewhat delayed—Gawker Media has launched its new commenting system, the one that founder Nick Denton told me he hoped would turn the online media world upside down and put conversation at the heart of the site instead of just the story. Whether it will actually do that in any real way remains to be seen, but there is one interesting aspect of the new system that’s unlike almost any other: Gawker’s commitment to anonymity. At a time when everyone is talking about how important it is to have real identities, Denton is going in the opposite direction. And while that may benefit Gawker for all kinds of selfish reasons, it’s still a goal worth supporting—and an experiment worth watching.

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