It’s widely said that anonymity on the internet helps to promote aggressive, low quality or trolling comments. On this view, the anonymous commenter, knowing they can’t be held accountable, is free to do things that they would be ashamed to do under their real name.
But now German researchers Katja Rost and colleagues challenge this view, in a new study published in PLOS ONE. Rost et al. say that real names can actually be associated with more aggression than anonymous posts, based on