AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

Anonymity on the Web is a Privilege, Not a Right

I’ve touched on this subject a couple times the last few days (HERE and HERE) and have yet to be able to sit down and get my full thoughts on this matter down into a well thought-out and articulated post. In the meantime, I have been reading other’s posts on the subject and came across this one by Dan Riehl: Whelan Apology Critics Are Off The Mark

I have to say that this comment left by “Jimmie” expresses my viewpoint on the subject quite well:

It seems to me that you’ve entirely missed the point of what the critics of the apology are saying. They are not saying that anonymity or pseudonymity on the internet is wrong or bad.

What they’re saying, and I’m pretty sure that Jules said so explicitly, is that the person hiding behind the anonymity has an obligation to behave well and not to use anonymity as cover from which to launch scurrilous attacks without having to face the consequence of those attacks. “Publius” acted much differently from Ace or Allah and I’m reasonably sure that you can discern that. Anonymity on the web, though a convention, is a privilege, not a right. When someone abuses that privilege, I consider myself under no obligation to help enable them.

In other words, if you use anonymity to act like a jerk without having to face the consequences of your jerkish behavior, don’t be surprised when someone names you and shames you.

Posted by: Jimmie | Tuesday, June 09, 2009 at 04:59 PM

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time now to expand on this (softball game beckons…). But, for now, I agree very strongly with the parts I emboldened in Jimmie’s comment. More later.

One last thing. Maybe I won’t need to write my thoughts on this and can just say, with regards to Jules Crittenden’s post, “what he said”: Nation of 7th Graders

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June 9, 2009 , 4:36PM - Posted by | Political Bloggers

1 Comment

  1. […] Meanwhile, re AmeriCAN-DO Attitude’s post, ditto on the “what he said.” […]

    Pingback by Jules Crittenden » Nation Of Seventh Graders | June 9, 2009 , 5:30PM


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