Golden requires the use of real identity in user profiles. This document outlines some of the reasoning behind this policy and why we believe that real names are a good policy specifically for the Golden community.
Benefits of real identity
- Content discovery. Follow the interests of peers in the community and discover content.
- More transparency. Real identity increases the chances that a contributor's relationship to a topic is transparent.
- No sockpuppets. Avoid manipulation through one person pretending to be many.
- Recognition for your work. Give credit where credit is due.
- More accountability. Contributors may hold themselves to higher standards.
- Harder to troll/abuse. More civil conversations and thoughtful discussions.
Disadvantages of real identity
- Consequences for dissenting views. The ability to remain anonymous is important in some censored political arenas. However, at the moment we don't see Golden being focused in those areas or that purpose.
- Judgement of content based on the writer rather than evidence and merits. We encourage readers and contributors to be aware of this potential issue (see evidence based approach).
Each registered user at Golden has a biography which they are free to edit.
User biographies must be truthful and make no false claims. In particular, you cannot claim the following without an explicit agreement with Golden:
- claim to be associated with Golden
- claim to be a Golden administrator or moderator
Many of the benefits of real identity ultimately revolve around what we strive for as the core ideals and culture of the Golden community.
We hope for a community that is transparent and open, supportive and thoughtful in discourse, and inclined towards neutral tone and factual information. While real names are no guarantee of these ideals, we think they increase the odds.
Ideally, everything on Golden would be directly cited (with our highlighted cites) from a third-party source with an inscrutable reputation for fact verification that is unbiased and unincentivized. There would be no editorializing or framing of the claim extracted from the highest quality sources.
In reality, we know that in order to create the complex and nuanced information on Golden pages that contributor perspective and understanding factor in. Sometimes the contributor will even be an AI!
Thus transparency and consensus around a neutral point of view is crucial both for the readers and contributors.
For example, someone with a direct relationship with a topic (say an employee) might be an extremely valuable resource of information on: who is in a company, where it's located, what is it's history, what does it do, etc. They may not be as well positioned to describe in an unbiased manner it's relative standing to a competitor.
This is why a combination of transparent contributors coming to a consensus on the information and neutral point of view is so powerful.
Open the discussion
Do you have thoughts on this policy? Start the conversation with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.