[OT] (Meta) Let's talk about fairness.

I've wondered about this myself. I've submitted a couple of things to this sub, some have done okay, most have languished somewhat. Not gonna lie and say that don't get a bit sad to see something I spent a little bit of time on sit at 2 votes forever. Speed of response does seem to play into the voting. Hiding scores helps even the field a little bit, I think.

Hiding usernames I find to be an interesting proposition. Honestly, I don't know how much of a difference that would actually make. There's a similar debate over blind review in my academic field of study. Most journals opt for a single blind review, where the author doesn't know who's reviewing their work, but the reviewers know the authors whose work they are reviewing. The author can submit a blacklist and a whitelist if there are conflicts of interest/politics that get in the way of fair review.

The reasoning behind the single blind process is that it is really easy to guess from writing style, works cited, and arguments presented, who the authors are. Therefore anonymizing the authors doesn't actually provide all that much anonymity. Furthermore, reviewers of anonymized papers tend to do what is general human nature and guess whose paper they are reviewing anyways. In short, blanking out authors names doesn't actually anonymize, and only fuels speculation.

Most of the big name authors here have particular writing styles or genres. We could mask names, sure. I have a feeling that most people with a following wouldn't be opposed to not mentioning names/linking to their personal subs in prompt responses or replies. But I'm pretty sure that, like in the case of the academic situation I mentioned previously, most of us would be able to figure out who was who. The only possible difference would be forcing people to read at least the first couple of paragraphs of writing, thus minimizing the bandwagon effect of preventing people from voting on name recognition alone.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread