ReadWriteWeb posted fascinating results about the use of third-party logins earlier this week revealing  that Facebook dominates all others. What that means is people are opting to login to other websites using their Facebook credentials more so than others. But, when it comes to news sites, Facebook falls way behind.

It seems that when using a third-party login to post on a news site, Twitter is the clear winner, with only 25% using Facebook.  Now, keep in mind that this is only the people who use a third-party login. I’m sure a great deal have separate logins for their favorite news sites that are independent of their social networks. That’s important to note.

This news isn’t surprising to me at all, thanks to my behind the scenes view of some of the outrageous comments people post on news sites.  I have what I believe are unique insights into why this is occurring, based on my previous position as Managing Editor of User-Generated Content at WRAL.com and my days as Multimedia Editor at the Sun-Sentinel where I was involved with the website Sun-Sentinel.com. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know about my love/hate relationship with comments and some of my crazy experiences related to managing an online community.

(Feel free to read through some of the archives of this blog to learn more about this love/hate relationship in posts like: “Why did you post that comments?” “It’s never too late to start moderating comments” or “Giving up comments is the wrong thing to do” or The Cleveland Plain Dealer finally acknowledges user comments)

Because of my experiences I believe the results presented on ReadWriteWeb via Gigya are absolutely true, but I also have assumptions about the results that I’d like to share:

Here they are:

  1. The 25% logging in with Facebook credentials are probably doing that largely to “share” a link, as opposed to cross-posting their personal comments.
  2. People live double lives in the comments sections in news stories. They wouldn’t dare want to tarnish their real life image.
  3. Facebook is just too close to home and they fear being stalked by the trolls.
  4. People do not want their real identities closely connected with their opinions on news topics.
  5. The comment bullies don’t want people to find out they’re actually the opposite sex and their entire profile on the news site is a lie.
  6. They are posting really embarrassing comments or maybe even talking about people in their real lives who are also their friends on Facebook and they’d find out about it.
  7. News sites are the only place they can display the racist views they typically keep hidden without repercussions.
  8. They like to use expletives and start fights.

I could go on and on, but I stopped at 8 because I didn’t want to write a top 10 list. In an effort to allow communities to express their opinions, news organizations often open themselves up to a lot of craziness, and given the topics that make the news, that will always be the case. I personally believe that moderating comments is the answer, but I’ll spare you all that I can say about that.

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