Important to eliminate anonymous comments

by HOLLY NELSON

Hello. My name is Holly Nelson. I am a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I believe I have intelligent and relevant things to share with the public and therefore accept the responsibility of sharing my identity with the readers who deserve to know my identity. Whew! Now that wasn't so hard was it?

As expressed in John Hatcher's opinion piece in the Duluth News Tribune that discussed his concern for growing anonymity on online newspaper sites, "Let's raise our standards on anonymous postings," many people are not as willing to share. So what I have to ask is, what are you afraid of?

Could it possibly be due to your lack of editing, professionalism, or even subject knowledge? Of course not, because we've never seen incomprehensible ramblings from irate and potentially ignorant readers, right?

Or could it possibly be because you don't want to offend anyone and believe that by remaining an "anonymous entity", your hurtful words of hate will have less of an impact? No, it couldn't be that either, because hate groups have always put their names on the horribly painful messages they disperse, right?

On the other hand, it could also be because you are too close to the subject and don't want to affect your reputation? No, that's just silly. People have never sat by and watched wrong doings go on around them without speaking up for fear of self ridicule, right?

While the federalist papers may have been written in anonymity, conversely, our constitution supports the freedom of speech. Many men fought for this freedom, and now we take it for granted by not even using our own voice.

Yes, you may use the voice of an "anonymous online view" depicted as a generic gray cartoon that no one can even decipher as male or female, but this is not exercising your right to the freedom of speech. Instead, you are practicing the all important art of complaining; an art many of us have perfected through our inner need to whine whenever given the chance to without repercussions.

Therefore, I join Professor Hatcher and hopefully the rest of the journalistic community dedicated to upholding journalistic integrity, and urge you, the voice of an opinionated, intelligent person who has relevant things to say, to always share your identity with your readers.

A quote from David Owens, an American painter and artist, says, " We are excited by egalitarianism and anonymity, but we constantly fight for our identity." Luckily, Owens was brave enough to provide his name for this quote, or it may not have been re-shared and considered to be thoughtful because who cares what an anonymous indistinguishable gray cartoon thinks anyway?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jour 2101 published on November 28, 2010 2:22 PM.

Bloggers need identification to stand up for their beliefs was the previous entry in this blog.

Anonymity lacks credibility is the next entry in this blog.

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