It's Time for Quora to Ban Anonymous Questions

It's Time for Quora to Ban Anonymous Questions

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Josh Korn started this petition to Quora

Since its inception, Quora has allowed people to post questions anonymously, on the rationale that they could use this anonymity to ask questions that they would otherwise be uncomfortable asking.

However, over the past few years, more and more people have abused this anonymity to post virulent hate speech masquerading as questions. Like this one:

"Why are the Jews always so hated by everybody? What's the reason? Is it because they blackmail all nations to extort their money?"

 And this one:

"Why is Israel such a rogue bandit state that always oppress Palestine and Palestinians? Why do they always want Palestine’s land? Do the Jews have no morals?"

And this one:

"Why have Jews never apologised for their involvement in creating communism?"

And last but not least, this one:

"Can the Jewish problem be solved with poison gas?"

These are just four examples of dozens of such questions submitted to Quora each week. Beside the virulent hatred they exhibit, Quora's own question logs show that they all have two other things in common:

  • every one of them was submitted anonymously;
  • every one of them passed Quora Content Review without even a peep of protest from Quora.

In 2017, Quora announced that "All anonymous content will be reviewed for spam and harassment before receiving distribution".

But in the four years since then, the massive increase in anonymously-posted hateful "questions" leads to just two possible conclusions:

  • either Quora does not, in fact, review anonymous questions; 
  • or worse, it does review them, and tacitly approves of them.

Quora maintains that a complaint process exists to handle this content. Yet virtually every person who has complained about these "questions" has never even received an acknowledgement of their complaint, let alone evidence that Quora has taken action on it. And that's not even considering that complaining to Quora requires energy and persistence that distract from contributors' main reason for being on Quora in the first place: not to complain, but to contribute.

People who exploit anonymity to pose those "questions" do so because anonymity allows them to evade accountability for their words, not because they're exercising their right to freedom of speech. Even the UN Declaration of Human Rights makes no provision for anonymity.

This madness must stop. Quora's credibility as a civilized discussion platform is at stake, and if nothing changes, it won't take long before it loses all credibility.

In the names of the undersigned, I hereby call on Quora to immediately ban questions submitted anonymously.

Josh Korn
Ottawa, Canada

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