Should people be allowed to comment anonymously online? That question is currently making its way through the U.S. legal system. A New York couple has issued dragnet subpoenas to Google and Yahoo demanding the identities of users behind 10 email accounts, 30 blog operators, website administrators, and the identities of anyone who had ever commented on those sites. That's hundreds of people! Riding to the rescue of our privacy and freedom are our heroes -- the EFF.
Anonymous comments should be a privilege. Now here is the very hard part - this is a privilege earned not by position, reputation or political sway but by a much more rigorous criteria - content. Anonymous comments should be allowed to exist only if the content warrants its existence. Common sense, albeit scarce in these quickly evolving times, should be used to temper decisions about whether a given anonymous post should be allowed to exist or not.
If an anonymous poster's offering is denied on such grounds then that individual has three courses of action. 1.) Rewrite the posting in a manner that doesn't violate the common sense rules of valid content. 2.) Repost and own up to a possibly contrary perspective or point of view. 3. ) STFU
Contrary to the seemingly popular belief we do not have the unalienable right to say anything we want without owning up to it.
It is time for common sense to be the rule in our civilized society.