In the Times Standard The anonymity rules
John Driscoll raises some good points.
"Unfortunately, however, anonymity rules. That means that anyone can say anything and suffer no consequence. That's why every thread quickly devolves into insults and badgering. If there are 100 comments on a story, perhaps five are salient. To find them, you must swim the polluted waters of the entire thread.
If you are easily insulted or insecure, and are the subject of these rants, you could take a bruising from these unidentified thugs. Those of us in the news business are too calloused to be offended, but our hope for an improving society suffers terrible blows."
"...Anonymity is important in some cases. Revealing important information about something wrong that puts your job or your life at risk is one such instance. Airing a particularly controversial political stance that may come with grave consequences is another...."
It's certainly not the first time it's been discussed - on our local blogs - on Daily Kos, there have even been suggestions for a Bloggers Code of Conduct. including the suggestion that you attach an "anything goes" badge for sites that want to warn possible commenters that they are entering a free-for-all zone. The text to accompany that badge might go something like this: This is an open, uncensored forum. We are not responsible for the comments of any poster, and when discussions get heated, crude language, insults and other "off color" comments may be encountered. Participate in this site at your own risk. And the follow up to that discussion
"Mr. (Tim) O’Reilly said the guidelines were not about censorship. "That is one of the mistakes a lot of people make — believing that uncensored speech is the most free, when in fact, managed civil dialogue is actually the freer speech," he said. "Free speech is enhanced by civility."
What do you think?