As any long-time reader of CMR can tell you, Matt and I have always preferred to have as open a comment policy as possible with one basic rule–anonymous + nasty = deleted.
This has worked for us for 5 1/2 years. Of course, I had to delete a comment here and there, but it was generally manageable.
But recently we have seen a great influx of the most filthy, vitriolic, and cowardly anonymous comments that I decided to turn anonymous commenting off while I was on vacation. I left it off for a few weeks afterwards.
After receiving a few complaints by genuine commenters about the policy, I turned it back on this week. Since then, I have deleted hundreds of comments. I have deleted more comments in the past days than I have since the creation of this site.
Since I have many better things to do than to clean up poop after dogs, I have decided that I am indefinitely suspending anonymous comments on this site.
I know this is an inconvenience for some and I apologize, but it is necessary.