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Quora is cracking down on users’ ability to hide behind a veil of anonymity. The vast majority of actions will no longer be available to anonymous users, and everything else will be reviewed before publishing. The reason? The usual spammers and harassers, of course.
For the uninitiated, Quora is a website where some people ask questions, and other people answer them. Yes, it is a little like Yahoo Answers, but the quality of the questions and answers published on Quora is a little higher than those published on Yahoo Answers. Just.
Quora has always allowed people to post anonymously. This proved useful for people when “there were personal or sensitive experiences involved, or they were seeking or sharing knowledge in controversial topics”. However, the company now admits anonymity is “not without its faults”.
These faults are “spam and abuse”. Users have been hiding behind anonymous accounts to spread spam or engage in harassment. Quora is therefore making some changes to how anonymity works on the site.
Right to Review Anonymous Content
All anonymous content will be reviewed before it’s published. Quora is especially on the lookout for spam and the harassment of others, but users will still be able to report questions or answers if they spot other violations.
Anonymous users will only be able to submit questions or answers. Anonymous users will no longer be able to “upvote, comment, merge questions, suggest edits, send thanks, edit answer wikis, revert edit log operations, or send answer requests”.
Anonymity will now extend into Quora’s internal system. Previously, Quora would associate anonymous actions with the accounts of the users responsible. While this was never publicly revealed, Quora is disassociating anonymous content from user accounts altogether.
Ensuring Anonymity Isn’t Abused
Granting users anonymity is a tricky issue. It gives more people the confidence to use sites such as Quora, but it can also be used to do harm or wreak havoc. Which is why Quora has acted to ensure the right to anonymity is not being abused.
Do you regularly frequent Quora? Have you ever posted anonymously? If so, why? Do you understand the need to change the way anonymity works on Quora? Or do you think Quora is being a little heavy handed on this issue? Please let us know in the comments below!