Re: Should the _Times_ be anonymous?

John Morrow (
Wed, 24 Aug 94 09:58:15 EDT

>To me any unsigned message in the Times lacks credibility. I'd hate
>to see the anonymous stuff go away.

Since a lot of the anonymous posts are fairly short, anyway, some
enterprising "journalist" could set up a "*'s Gossip Column" where
they take material from other sources and post in for them anonymously
-- sort of like industry trade news. Yes, you need to find someone
you trust but it can be done and it would take editorial pressure off
of Rich.

Another possibility would be to have a RUMOR command:

RUMOR "...message up to 75 characters in length..."

...that would put unattributed messages in a seperate section to the
Times as a bunch of randomly ordered one-line rumors called "Overheard
in Imperial City" or something like that. That way, players could
still take one-line snipes at one another without filling up the Times
with junk. The one line limit would keep things short and sweet. It
could be issued by any unit or the player entity. Oh, and don't give
any money for rumors so they are voluntary... :-)


RUMOR "The AOO is really headed by Oleg the Peasant and Dr. Pain."

In the Times, you would see:

Overheard in Imperial City:
The AOO is really headed by Oleg the Peasant and Dr. Pain.

One of my concerns with anonymous messages is not so much in them
being unsigned but that it becomes rather easy to forge attribution to
someone else (e.g. are all those messages in the last Times from
various alliances REALLY from those alliances or are they forgeries?).
The problems is not when the claims are outrageous but when they are
either very close to the truth or believable. Yeah, you can verify
via e-mail but how long does that take? And how do you do that if the
alliance wants to remain anonymous? And do the people who pay for
Internet mail really going to want to be mail-bombed by people asking
"Was that really you?" because someone else posted something in their
name? I think that while anonymous postings have a few valid excuses,
they cause or can cause much more trouble than they save...

John Morrow

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