On Anonymity

It has been gratifying hearing all the talk about the historical and democratic importance of free speech that is anonymous.

I suppose the price for this is having to put up with the ‘peanut gallery’.


It certainly gives me an almost authoritative and semi-legitimate stance when someone like me gets to stand up next to the secret ponderings of our founding fathers and our early patriots.

I also found a wonderful and well-written piece by Joe D’Amore that was posted on the Daily News on October the 19th of last year.

I don’t know about copyright protection of opinions so you’ll have to link over to read it.      It has some real quotable quotes!

Free speech is predicated on the discovery and delivery of truth. Imposing an identity requirement on an online writer helps establish ownership and responsibility as premises for offering opinions. This, in turn, normally leads one to side with the truth, whether perceived, imagined or factual. These conditions are nonexistent when one who is intent on destroying through words can leverage anonymity as an effective tool to defame or promote false pretenses. For this reason, I commend the paper for attempting to balance the scales by instituting standards of civility and accountability.

And another:

An example would be our Revolutionary forefathers. For years before they “openly” debated the merits of the Declaration of Independence, they transacted in dangerous philosophies privately without public scrutiny. If all discourse were conducted without protection of identity, their “conspiracy” could have been discovered prematurely, and forces could have been mustered to eliminate the threat to the crown.

The free press will take a step toward a more closed society when anonymous public comment is abolished. We also will lose the advantage of evaluating what some people think, who otherwise would withhold comment if their identity is known. Clearly, there is a double-edged sword here.

I invite you to read this entire editorial.    

Nice job Joe!

-P. Preservationist

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