by LUKE WIENEKE
Professor John Hatcher has it all correct. His article about anonymous postings on news web sites was a perfect synopsis as to what is really happening amongst the comments sections that follow stories on these news web sites.
He argued that due to hateful comments being posted anonymously on news web sites, that people should have to use some sort of identification to show that this is who they are, and that they will be held accountable for their comments. I know this is a step in the right direction because many people can say whatever they want online, without any sort of accountability for what they say, whether it be hateful or not.
Professor Hatcher states that these comments are most found among controversial topics and news stories on the internet, such as when the Iraqi students attended St. Scholastica, or when the trainer at University of Minnesota Duluth was under allegations of sexual harassment. These comments of hate can be very hurtful to many parties that read them, regardless of if the persons hurt are directly associated with the story or not.
In my opinion, I feel like there needs to be a registration process in order to be able to comment on stories. There may be a username involved, but let this username be linked to the person's name so that they may be held accountable for their actions.
You don't see newspapers print anonymous letters to the editor in actual print, do you? So why do people get this free right to say whatever they want on these forums without consequences? We all understand the First Amendment rights to free speech, but as I learned when I was a young boy, with every action, there is a consequence.
Let's keep it that way.