Anti-Online Anonymity: Disarming The Punks

120321030717-rude-tween-story-topI think I’d be all for this.

The bill, called the Internet Posting Removal Act, is sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Ira Silverstein. It states that a “web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless the anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.”

I don’t know how many times, mostly on YouTube and/or Twitter, have I been bitched out by some anonymous punk or even tween hiding behind an alias. While many will call this an invasion of privacy and possible squelching of free speech, I still believe if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, shut the fuck up.

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  • robsconst

    Yeah, anonymity has no place in American public discourse, despite what the Supreme Court has said. And, despite the fact that our Founding Fathers sometimes used anonymity and pseudonyms in spreading their viewpoint.

    Sure, Sam Adams sent his “Journal of the Times” updates on Massachusetts to the other colonies anonymously. And, yes, the Federalists and Anti-Federalists used pseudonyms such as, “Brutus”, “Federal Farmer”, “Publius”, and “Centinel” when publishing their papers. And, OK, the East German government required all typewriters be registered, so that they could easily track down anybody who attempts to publish incendiary material.

    But, all of that has to be put aside for the sake of not letting people be offended by rude people. Your support of this bill just goes to show that Authoritarianism isn’t a Democratic OR Republican thing.

  • aelfheld

    As administrator of your site, you are entitled to remove whatever comments you care to. If this law goes into effect (though its application would be limited to Illinois and would likely be struck down by the federal judiciary) one likely consequence is you being required, under threat of legal action, to maintain comments you would otherwise remove simply because the poster has provided the requisite information. Please don’t bother claiming this scenario is far-fetched – there are entirely too many court cases demonstrating far worse.

    The question also arises as to who will retain the required information, what guarantees of security will be provided by those retaining said information, and what remedies will be available to those whose information is disseminated. Are you willing and able to take on the expense both of providing a secured database and acquiring, at the least, sufficient liability insurance to pay recompense for any data breach? Are you willing and able to provide the same in perpetuity?

    Manners and courtesy – which I agree are exhibited with decreasing frequency – can not be mandated. That you can consider supporting this is . . . disappointing.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Bob Parks

      Well before you get all bent, I said “I think I’d be all for this.” I would like to see the full details of the proposed legislation, hear the discussions pro and con and weigh in. As someone who was raised to show respect to elders (and courtesy to people in general), I admit to being quite tired of rude adults and children who use vile and sometimes racial verbiage because they disagree with something I posted and hide behind aliases.

      • Igor

        Consider your choice carefully, Bob, because the slope is indeed slippery. The road to Hell is paved with….. crappy laws due to “good intentions”!

  • Tallyman

    Little pernicious vermin will always squeak loudly behind the safety of their holes in the wall. The problem is the slippery slope where a new power given will be corrupted elsewhere. This proposal is the same as the Communist Chinese internet proposal. “To protect unpopular individuals from retaliation– and their ideas from suppression– at the hand of an intolerant society.” from the Zero Hedge Manifesto. http://www.zerohedge.com/about

  • GoodMojo1

    “I still believe if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, shut the fuck up.” – Bob
    Let the pews say, “Amen!”