The cowardice of anonymity

15 11 2009

anonymous2

It comes as no surprise to read the blatant hypocrisy and “who, me?” stance taken by Amsterdam blogger Flippin’ Amsterdam as he was responding to this piece written by Recorder columnist Michael Lazarou.
The columnist has a legitmate beef since there’s a poster on Flippin’s site who posts under a name that’s eerily close but not quite spelled like the columnist he’s obviously spoofing. Unfortunately, it’s led some people to believe that the poster on this blog is acutally the person who writes a bi-weekly column for the Recorder.
And while it’s not surprising to see that Flippin’ will try to explain away allowing the poster the make comments under the fake name, it does, once again, raise the issue about anonymous blogging versus people actually identifying themselves.
A major negative about blogging and posting comments is that the Internet allows people to remain relatively anonymous, which in turn gives them license to post whatever they want, and about whoever they want, without having to put their names behind their statements.
I’ve always held the belief that anyone who truly believes in what they say, and has the courage to be held accountable for what they say, will be willing to put their name behind their posts.
Contrary to some beliefs, who is saying something is nearly as important as what they say, because nearly every pronogsticator has a specific reason, or “agenda,” behind what they are saying. Those who hide behind screen names and Net handles are little more than snipers or people who jump into bar fights, punch someone in the back and then run away.
I will agree with Flippin’ on this level: I do believe the same standard should be applied across the board. Callers to radio talk shows should be identified, along with those who post on blogs (and host blogs, for that matter).
But to criticize people who aren’t afraid to identify themselves for criticizing people who use fake identities, especially when hiding behind a false identity, is hypocrisy at its worst.

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2 responses

15 11 2009
kmatt

c-
without anonymity, i believe fewer people would use this medium to express their opinions.
more opinions foster a more lively debate.
i agree, however, that anonymity used in a mean-spirited fashion does nothing to move us forward.
anonymous hypocrites are cowards.
their words are nothing more than reading practice.
– kevin mattison

16 11 2009
Jerry Skrocki

It is not an opinion without a name behind it, just a cat call from the crowd.

Welcome back Charlie.

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