On the Condition of Anonymity

Anonymity is the one of the greatest things about the web.  With it we feel we can do things we would never do otherwise; people report more crimes,  tell great stories, and create wonderful things.  Without anonymity the internet would be much more bland and a less creative place.  Like any good thing, many people are taking there anonymity for granted, and using it in destructive ways.

Using the ability to be anonymous in destructive ways, has often been common place for commentors of blogs and news articles.  These people feel empowered by their ability  to remain unknown and make snide or derogatory comments, about the writer or other commentors.  They often feel hurt if the writer responds harshly or gives them the boot.  I think that any person who over sees comments must take it upon themselves to ban and/or humiliate their commentors who take things to far.  The people who perform these acts do so because, they are allowed too.  It has often been the premise that sensoring commentors is bad, don't fall into this trap.  This argument is nonsense, produced by people that would like to say whatever they would like without repercussions.

We all know that the US is a nation of free speech, but that is freedom from government oppression.   Corporations, bloggers, and anyone with a website has the right to oppress any one using their blog, that they feel like.  As a community we must police ourselves in order to keep our freedoms.  There have already been too many examples of commentors out of control.  People that have encouraged or caused suicides, various crimes, and acts that are generally bad for all of society.  We need to start treating commenting like any other form of communication.  If some one wrote a letter to there local paper full of expletives, racial slurs, or defammatory remarks, it would never make it into the actual paper.  Why are these kinds of things making it onto web pages ?

Seriously, I am tired of people ruining things that are good for all of society.  The internet is an awesome tool and combining that with anonymity empowers many people to improve their lives.  This combination of tools has helped battered women become rescued, gave scared teens information about their pregnancies, and let many people share their innermost feelings.  If people keep screwing around, laws will go into place that make it practically impossible to remain anonymous.  Imagine having your on line tracking number so the authorities can track every move you make and every comment you make, can be traced back to you.  It will be the end of an era, a very special era were the internet was full of possibilities.

If we don't get a handle all by our selves on this wild wild west of any thing goes, we will slowly began losing the freedoms that are valuable to many, but being ruined by the few.  If we don't protect ourselves and eachother from the mobs of trolls, the government will try to protect us.  So, pull out your ban hammers and your eternal ax of shaming, and kill some trolls.

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