Online reputation and anonymous comments: sxore to the rescue?

I’ve been wondering lately about online reputation in a world in which anyone can comment on any blog with any credentials.

For example, I could go to Dick Hardt’s blog Blame Canada and pretend to be Guy Kawasaki, and create a very nasty comment. And who would know that Guy didn’t flip his lid? After all, it’s his name, his email address, and his blog address. Right?

I see huge negative potential for this in the blogosphere. In fact, it’s already happening. Check out Scoble’s comment on one of his own posts: some creep is trackbacking sites as if he’s Scoble, and making it look as if Scoble has commented.

Hugh Macleod had the same problem on Tara Hunt’s blog: some sleazeball posting false and inflammatory comments, putting words into Hugh’s mouth, and potentially damaging both Hugh’s relationships and his reputation.

Here’s my question: can Dick Hardt’s sxore service prevent this problem? Sounds like it could:

sxore is an identity and reputation system for blog authors, readers and commenters. By acting as an intermediary between blog posts and comments, sxore provides a framework of identity for participants in the blog dialog.

But will my fake Guy Kawasaki comment make it through?

If I recall, when I signed up for sxore I had to authenticate myself via an automated email link. That has the potential to make it more difficult. Guy may be getting an email from sxore right now wondering what on earth is going on.

I could have put his email address as … and unless there was a person checking it or an automated check that the email address is from the same domain as the blog (a potentially limiting factor for all those denizens of the blogosphere who do not have their own domain) my comment would probably still go through … because I could create that address and authenticate it. At least, however, there’d be some kind of audit trail that could be traced.

So sxore may be a solution to the problem. (In fact, there’s a WordPress plugin available right now.)

It just needs wide enough adoption to become a standard.

[tags] sxore, dick hardt, guy kawasaki, reputation, blogosphere, comments, spam, john koetsier [/tags]

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • You bring up an interesting subject that I’ve often wondered about too. I think that sxore might be a good solution for now, but surely people will find a way around it if/when it becomes more widely adopted.

  • Hey John, presently sxore does not solve the problem you are talking about since anyonce can type anything in. As we flesh out OpenID 2.0 and move features into sxore, we will be able to show you if the URL presented is owned by the commenter — with some verified and unverified indicators.

  • Sxore is going to have to address that, but it’s going to have to do it without being too burdensome on commentors … who otherwise just won’t use it.

    BTW, Dick I heard your identity talk at Vancouver Entrepreneur Forum a year ago or so … was great.