On yesterday’s “Today Show” the regular panel of professionals tackled a question that hits home for me.
The question: “Should anonymous comments on websites and blogs be banned?”
This is something we used to debate in the newsroom, when I worked at the now-defunct Honolulu Advertiser. We had just launched the ability for readers to post comments on stories online — and we realized very quickly how bold and brazen people were when they didn’t have to attach their real names to their comments.
In many cases, the comments weren’t fair. They were just mean and malicious and they really had no business being published. And yet there they were, unedited and unfiltered, and attached to real news stories that were held to a higher standard.
At the same time, isn’t it the allure of the Internet to remain anonymous, to speak your mind without any fear or worry?
Here’s my take on this: If you’re going to say it, own it. Period.
I realize there are privacy issues. Like a woman who wants to share her experience being raped but doesn’t want to reveal her identity. I get that. But that’s an exception.
So I’m tossing it out there: Do you think anonymous comments should be banned?