Thursday, April 01, 2010

On Anonymity on the 'Net: It's not worth the paper it's not written on

As any student of Sociology 101 can tell you, when people don't have to account for what they say or do, they will often say and do things that would shock their better selves.

That's the story of the mousy, mosque-going school teacher swept up in the window-breaking mob during the big blackout. It's the story of the milquetoast accountant who insults the quarterback's mother from the safety of the crowd. And it is the story of newspaper message boards, which have inadvertently licensed and tacitly approved the worst of human nature under the guise of free speech.

Enough. Make them leave their names. Stop giving people a way to throw rocks and hide their hands. Any dropoff in the quantity of message board postings will surely be made up in the quality thereof.

That's my opinion. If you don't like it, well, at least you know who to blame.

Read more:

Pulitizer Prize-winning Leonard Pitts, Jr. says "Small-minded people shouldn't have shield of anonymity," as the headline read in my newspaper where his syndicated column was carried this morning. What he writes about newspaper message boards goes for blogs, too. If it's written anonymously, it's not worth the paper it's not written on.

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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