by JILLIAN SORCAN
On the issue of cowardly anonymity within online news articles, I couldn't agree more with John Hatcher. Gutsy comments can be found everywhere these days, not only on news articles, but websites like YouTube as well. If crediting one's name were required, would we see even a fraction of these shameful comments anymore?
Anonymous comments are getting more and more shallow. Just the other day I was on YouTube watching Willow Smith's Whip My Hair video (for those who don't know, Willow Smith is Will Smith's 9-year-old daughter), and the number of rude anonymous comments was astonishing.
You don't see people writing rude anonymous comments about 9-year-olds who performed in a local holiday concert, so what makes bashing a 9-year-old celebrity any more acceptable?
To make matters even more uncomfortable, many of the comments included racial slurs. How discriminatory anonymous comment writers get away with such acts truly flabbergasts me.
What flabbergasts me even more is the fact that websites don't appear to take any action towards those who are too cowardly to place their name next to their malicious comments. Sure, the comments can be reported, but it's unlikely that a website as vast as YouTube goes through all the hateful comments.
The strange thing about these postings is that they often stray so far away from what the original topic is. In the case of Willow Smith, a song about hair, of all things, has been transformed into something completely different through the comments. One person posts a rude, off-topic comment, and the rest of the commentary after that revolves around that, rather than commenting on the song itself.
John Hatcher couldn't have made a more convincing point when he brought up the relationship between law and ethics. As Americans, you're darn right we value our freedom of speech, but as adults, we should know the difference between what's right to say and what isn't.
I guess when it comes to ethics regarding anonymity on the Internet, we should keep in mind one of the things our mothers inevitably drilled into our heads as children: think before you speak, or in this case, type.