Home > Uncategorized > On the Internet, someone knows you’re a dog…

On the Internet, someone knows you’re a dog…

The Internet is a wonderful forum, a great place to go if you want to get something off of you’re chest. And one of the most common things to see on the internet, especially on news sites, is people posting their (very) opinionated thoughts on stories, thoughts so opinionated that the poster will sometimes choose to protect their identity. But the fact of the matter is that no one is ever completely anonymous on the internet, whether you are exposed by your name, e-mail, even your IP address. Knowing this, most of us are wary of what we post and say in public forums.

But to what extent should people be allowed to post anonymously? Is it the case that everyone should be required to post their real name? Writers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer would definitely say yes, in light of their recent struggle with Judge Saffold.

I am of the belief that if you have something legitimate and of worth to say, there should be no reason that you should need to post anonymously (besides, it is often the case that when you do something anonymously, you are usually doing something “wrong”).

But the fact of the matter is that some people take their anonymity very seriously and work very hard to maintain it. Should these people be shunned from the Internet community? I say no. I think there should simply be a forum for these anonymous people to congregate and share their thoughts, a place where it is understood that everything here is 100% anonymous, with a disclaimer for readers to ‘take it as you will’.

If newspapers are going to have a problem with what anonymous posters are going to say about a subject, then take away the option. Don’t back people like Saffold into a corner when she believed that she was safe. Whether she was wrong in her postings is besides the point; the fact of the matter is that she was misled to believe that her identity was guaranteed to be anonymous, and in any other case I’m sure she would have kept her mouth shut, so to speak.

I believe that the Saffold case is simply a step in the evolution of online posting. It should be realized that certain people need to be able to post in certain environments depending on the nature of their comments. Let all those that wish to post intelligent and well spoken comments with their names post freely, a privilege acquired by divulging your name. But for those who wish to remain anonymous, which many people have a legitimate reason to do so, allow them a space where they can be guaranteed to be shielded behind a silicon screen.

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