Topix CEO Chris Tolles doesn’t think anonymous (unregistered) users are that much of a risk to a community. He decided to have his engineers pull some data on registered vs. unregistered comments and their resulting kill rate from their online communities.
The data shows that unregistered users accounts for more than 80% of killed messages; however, Tolles adds that these users are three times as interactive compared to registered users. That’s the kicker.
While there seems to be no limit to the number of psychos and trolls out there, they — among everyone else — are the composite audience for this site and any other sites that outsource their commenting systems to Topix. You’ve got to embrace it, and Tolls continues that the unacceptable comments from both users are equivalent to moderate (with IP Addresses), and only accounts for about 5.1% of content removed from the site.
The data Tolles provided is below, but also you can read it in his blog post about it.
Total posts: 83108 (visible: 78021)
Total by registered users: 22336
Total by non-registered: 60772
Posts killed: 5087
Posts by registered users that got killed: 992
Posts by unregistered users that got killed: 4095
% posts killed (overall): 5.1%
% posts killed (registered users): 4.4%
% posts killed (unregistered): 6.7%
What do you think about all this? Should commenting systems require registration even though they offer less engagement?