ADvindicate has required commenters to use their first and last name since its conception, but starting now, this policy is no more. After much reflection and research, we no longer believe this policy is enforceable or contributes to our vision for comments:
ADvindicate seeks to engage readers with the content and elicit thoughtful responses. Our aim is to ensure an inclusive and safe experience where you will always find lively and intelligent discussion. (Comments)
The reality is there is no way for moderators to control what name a user displays. A commenter could make up a name and the moderator wouldn't know the difference, so there is no sense in having a rule that cannot be enforced.
Research indicates websites that allow commenters to use pseudonyms receive higher quantity and better quality comments. While ADvindicate does not use Disqus because it doesn't fit our needs, it is the largest comment platform, and thus its research merits our attention.
Disqus found that 61 percent of commenters used pseudonyms, 35 percent were anonymous, and only 4 percent real. Also, commenters using pseudonyms commented 6.5 times more than anonymous and 4.7 times more than those who use a real name. Disqus' conclusion?
"The most important contributors to online communities are those using pseudonyms" (Disqus).
Those who feel comfortable using their first and last name on the Internet are free to continue doing so, but for those with privacy concerns, we want you to know your comments are welcome too.