Anonymity, Pseudonymity, and Deliberation: Why Not Everything Should Be Connected


Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, 124 Mt Auburn St, Suite 200 North

Kicking off our Making Democracy Work Seminar series, this talk explores anonymity, online institutional designs, and their effects on deliberation. University of Cambridge Postdoctoral Research Fellow Alfred Moore and colleagues built a data set of some 42 million comments made on the Huffington Post website between January 2013 and February 2015, as the site moved from a regime of easy anonymity, to registered pseudonyms, and finally to outsourcing their comments to Facebook. It turns out that real name environments may be worse for talking about politics online than many people expect.


  • Alfred Moore, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • Ethan Zuckerman Director, MIT Center for Civic Media, and Associate Professor of Practice, MIT Media Lab
  • Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and HKS Academic Dean, Moderator