I've noted before that fewer and fewer sites allow wide-open commenting. More and more, would-be commenters have to log in via Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress. Or Disqus. A number of times, sites I've commented at have required that I re-register via one of the above means in order to leave a comment.
This is just one more way of guaranteeing that every opinion we express online will be tied to a real-life individual, not to an 'Anonymous' or 'Guest' or to a nom-de-guerre. Now, some would argue (and do argue) that this is acceptable because no one should mind providing their name and information if they are above-board and making civil comments. Likewise some say that these requirements may help deter abusive or threatening comments. But they also deter honest people, who may have a controversial (by PC standards) view. These new rules also deter more liberty-minded people who do not like the idea of everything they say, do, or think being saved in a dossier somewhere. (Granted, this probably is happening anyway by other means.)
But now, even clicking on a 'like' or 'dislike' button on someone else's comment must be done via logging in under one of the above-mentioned services. On certain blogs, hovering your cursor over the 'likes' or 'dislikes' button shows you which 'users' have agreed or disagreed with a comment. Even the passive expression of a like or dislike must be tied to your identity.
Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with this? There have been a number of articles written about the loss of online anonymity, and just about everyone with a brain says they object to having a universal online ID, under which all their internet activities will be collected, but this is just what we are moving towards with this tracking of every 'like' or 'dislike' as well as every comment we write or blog piece we write.
Libertarians, where are you?