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Should Anonymous Internet Comments Be Allowed?

News 2012/05/24 13:00:00
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The anonymity of the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it's a valuable tool for privacy and security, and allows you to speak your mind without having to worry about it leaking into your "real life" too much. On the other hand, as we've clearly seen on sites like 4chan and YouTube, it sometimes coaxes out the worst in people, leading to hateful and disturbing content. New York lawmakers want to sheath that double-edged sword once and for all.

According to the Consumerist, legislation was drafted earlier this year that suggests, "A web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous posted 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." However, opponents worry it will turn into a "heckler's veto" and completely ruin open speech on the Internet. Do you think anonymous comments should be allowed?


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Top Opinion

  • Assassin~ Badass Buzz Guru 2012/05/24 23:49:28
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Assassin~ Badass Buzz Guru
    +37
    The day I have to start putting my actual name and address somewhere to post, is the day I stop posting.

    My safety and privacy outweighs my pleasure in posting.

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  • Stacy Turner 2012/09/06 06:26:38
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Stacy Turner
    Quit screwing with my interwebz.
  • Atlas 2012/08/08 16:25:52
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Atlas
    Of course, that is the point of the internet. I personally do both. Callsigns and handles are e-nostalgic and will always be trendy as well as provide anonimity, but credibility can be more easily traced or maintained if you use your real name in most cases.

    For some folks, expressing opinion by their real identity can lead to a lot of anxiety and or fear of ridicule or social/professional blowback. That's all we need is to have to veil our true feelings and concerns about topics that are meaningful to us.
  • Public 2012/06/25 21:54:47
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Public
    +1
    Having some stranger knowing where I live just to be able to voice an opinion sounds like censureship with prosecution/persecution attached. There used to be a town square where you could express your opinion legally but the "occupy" movement has shown that freedom of speech is an outdated concept. Anonymous posting actually can be perverted as well but at least you may get the opportunity to have some true insights when people can say what they really feel.
  • Lorin Morgan 2012/06/24 22:04:16
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Lorin Morgan
    +1
    If the website admin doesnt like the comment name or no name they should remove it. If i have to say my name and address on the internet i will not post anymore, its that simple and im sure alot of people agree with me.
  • Gia 2012/06/12 03:57:35
    No, it should be regulated
    Gia
    I had someone use MY name and write something rude to someone I like. How could that happen? Nothing but trouble makers.
  • NoName Gia 2012/06/13 22:19:23
    NoName
    The person who did it, those who think like him or her - not all people who post anonymously, right?
  • Gia NoName 2012/06/16 15:39:50
    Gia
    Can you explain that in more detail. Not sure what your saying.
  • Chris Tate 2012/06/05 18:03:07
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Chris Tate
    I think that those that are posting anonymously should have to input some information so any libelous claims can be traced if need be
  • Commander Pyle 2012/06/03 18:17:58
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Commander Pyle
    Why even debate if it should?
  • jackolantyrn356 2012/06/03 14:45:32
    Yes, it should be allowed
    jackolantyrn356
    +1
    Heck! The White House has to get their 2 cents in like everyone else as if there are no "PLANT" comments already
  • Darth Bane - Libertarian 4 ... 2012/06/02 17:17:17
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Darth Bane - Libertarian 4 Life
    +2
    As a Libertarian I get a lot of "Anonymous Bashing" posts from Republicans who are too much of pussies to show their face. They call me a Liberal and claim that I support groups and people of which I do not necessarily care for.

    I just laugh at them and wait for them to reply to my posts with actual evidence to back up the claims that they make.
  • bpf 2012/06/01 01:00:48
    Yes, it should be allowed
    bpf
    As long as you keep it clean and don't threaten anyone but it doesn't really matter the Government can find you doesn't matter how many ways you try to hide if they want to find you they will.
  • DJMzHavok 2012/05/31 21:53:44
    No, it should be regulated
    DJMzHavok
    +1
    A simple first/last name and e-mail address. I wouldn't take it as far as where you live.
  • ComeOnNow DJMzHavok 2012/05/31 22:22:11
    ComeOnNow
    With crazy leftist thy harass those that simply disagree with them, why should people have to fear being exposed to that?

    On Friday, bloggers and conservative media outlets lit up the Internet with harrowing stories of harassment and domestic terrorism reportedly perpetrated by a man known as the Speedway bomber.

    Earlier in the week, blogger Lee Stranahan, declared Friday "Everybody blog about Brett Kimberlin Day."

    Who is Brett Kimberlin?

    According to a lengthy expose at The Blaze, Kimberlin is a "[d]rug dealer, alleged child molester, and convicted perjurer, forger and Indiana Speedway Bomber (who is also believed to have played a role in the assassination of a grandmother)."

    "Kimberlin would go on to build up a rap sheet littered with charges stemming from offenses such as forgery, perjury, drug dealing, domestic terrorism and possible murder and child molestation," the International Business Times said Friday.

    A post at Redstate notes that Kimberlin is the subject of a book called Citizen K, and "the man who claimed he sold Vice President Dan Quayle drugs."

    Brett Kimberlin, the Blaze reported, "spent 17 years in prison before his ultimate re-absorption into American society."

    Since then, he started something called “Justice Through Music (JTM)” that, according to th...



















































    With crazy leftist thy harass those that simply disagree with them, why should people have to fear being exposed to that?

    On Friday, bloggers and conservative media outlets lit up the Internet with harrowing stories of harassment and domestic terrorism reportedly perpetrated by a man known as the Speedway bomber.

    Earlier in the week, blogger Lee Stranahan, declared Friday "Everybody blog about Brett Kimberlin Day."

    Who is Brett Kimberlin?

    According to a lengthy expose at The Blaze, Kimberlin is a "[d]rug dealer, alleged child molester, and convicted perjurer, forger and Indiana Speedway Bomber (who is also believed to have played a role in the assassination of a grandmother)."

    "Kimberlin would go on to build up a rap sheet littered with charges stemming from offenses such as forgery, perjury, drug dealing, domestic terrorism and possible murder and child molestation," the International Business Times said Friday.

    A post at Redstate notes that Kimberlin is the subject of a book called Citizen K, and "the man who claimed he sold Vice President Dan Quayle drugs."

    Brett Kimberlin, the Blaze reported, "spent 17 years in prison before his ultimate re-absorption into American society."

    Since then, he started something called “Justice Through Music (JTM)” that, according to the Blaze, has been funded by George Soros’ Tides Foundation and Barbara Streisand among other leftists since 2005.  A post at United Liberty adds that the JTM has also been partnered with the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program for 3 years.

    He also started something called the "Velvet Revolution" that supports the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Not only has he filed over 100 frivolous lawsuits, he has reportedly harassed and threatened those who write about him.  Tiffany Gabbay wrote:

    "Any blogger — conservative and liberal alike — who has written the truth about Kimberlin has come under vicious attack by either Kimberlin or his minions, suffering death threats (veiled and unveiled), multiple lawsuits, loss of jobs and worse."

    Worse yet, Gabbay adds, the story has yet to be reported by the so-called mainstream media - known here as the "Democrat-media complex."

    One of those victimized by Kimberlin is conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain, who wrote on Tuesday that Kimberlin allegedly contacted his wife's employer, claiming harassment.

    "The resulting security concern required immediate relocation if I was to be able to continue writing about the case of Kimberlin, a violent felon, perjurer and admitted tax cheat who is employed as the director of a 501(c)3 non-profit that has collected $1.8 million in contributions since 2005," McCain wrote.

    The IBT added that McCain "has vacated his house after Kimberlin allegedly called his home and threatened the man's wife and family."

    According to McCain, "Kimberlin has used a strategy of legal intimidation and workplace harassment in an apparent attempt to silence his critics, including blogger Seth Allen, Virginia attorney Aaron Walker and Los Angeles deputy district attorney Patrick Frey."

    Aaron Walker (who blogged as “Aaron Worthing”), wrote that Kimberlin tried to frame him for second degree assault - a charge that could have put Walker in jail for up to ten years.

    "He falsely accused me of essentially beating him up inside the courthouse for the Montgomery County Circuit Court, in Rockville, Maryland," he wrote. 

    "He has claimed at different times that I decked him, that I struck him three times, that I wrestled with him, that I pushed him, that courtroom staff separated us, that the sheriff’s deputies separated us, and that even after the deputies arrived that I kept coming at him repeatedly and had to be restrained," he added.

    Fortunately for Walker, a security camera captured the entire incident.

    "Thus far, the State’s Attorney, while he was encouraged to do so, has not filed charges against Kimberlin for having lied under oath about the assault," The Blaze reported.

    On Friday, the Washington Times said that Kimberlin sued Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and a staffer in 1999 for getting involved in his parole case in 1997.

    "Senator Hatch has had run ins with Brett Kimberlin before and they weren't pleasant. So it's certainly no surprise that Mr. Kimberlin has now taken to harassing and targeting conservative bloggers. Needless to say, efforts to silence and chill political speech are contrary to the values of our Constitution and First Amendment," the Senator's office said in a statement.

    Patrick Frey, who runs the conservative blog Patterico's Pontifications, wrote Friday that  someone - using a technique called "swatting" - nearly got him killed last July. 

    (Frey's account can be seen here.)

    Frey said there is "circumstantial evidence suggesting who may be responsible."

    "All of these things have happened to me and other critics of Brett Kimberlin since July 2011," he wrote.

    "The harassment has been relentless and has occurred almost every day. It would literally take a book to catalogue it all."

    According to Frey, the Dallas FBI office said that "swatting is an extreme form of harassment — and that swatters typically combine swatting with other forms of harassment, including: complaining to the victim’s workplace, defaming the victim online, 'Googlebombing' the victim, publishing the victim’s address online, filing phony reports of criminal activity by the victim, and so forth."

    Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wrote that "Ali Akbar of the National Bloggers Club has stepped up to the plate and set up a donation page to help support the bloggers targeted by Kimberlin."

    "Telling the truth on the Internet shouldn’t mean risking your job or your life, or the well-being and safety of your loved ones," Malkin added.

    This is an ongoing story that will be updated as necessary.

    More on liberal hate at Examiner.com here.

    -----------------------------...
    (more)
  • DJMzHavok ComeOnNow 2012/06/01 01:01:03
    DJMzHavok
    +1
    I didn't have enough brain power to read that.. sorry.. I'm 14 years old.. come on!
  • ComeOnNow DJMzHavok 2012/06/01 02:19:16
    ComeOnNow
    In summation: one of Obama's friends funds a radical democrat that is harassing republican bloggers by:

    1. Calling their jobs and making false complaints
    2. Filing law suits
    3. he used a web site to make it look like he was calling the police from their number, pretended to be them telling the police that they shot their wife. The police came with guns drawn and arrested them violently thinking they were armed and dangerous.

    and on and on.
  • Command... DJMzHavok 2012/06/03 18:18:57
    Commander Pyle
    I think that's all they need to know where you live.
  • Annelies 2012/05/31 19:38:03
    No, it should be regulated
    Annelies
    If people could give comments anonymously, they would be able to say anything without consequences: people would probably be a lot meaner to each other, because nobody knows who they are. If you want comment on something, you should at least have the guts to put your name on it.
  • NoName Annelies 2012/05/31 20:04:21
    NoName
    Who, really, can logically support such an absurd idea? Cowardice or lack thereof, that's superficial, a red herring - some people don't have that luxury in the states, or in countries like Korea, or China.
  • Annelies NoName 2012/06/01 04:45:14
    Annelies
    If you put it like that, it should be allowed, but honestly: it's not because you comment anomymously that nobody can find out who you are, in countries like Korea and China the government probably checks things like that, I don't think that lots of people dare to comment on the internet. But take this website: I don't think that commenting anonymously should be allowed.
  • william 2012/05/31 18:41:28
    Yes, it should be allowed
    william
    we should have the right but the govt is taking it away remember russia.
  • Dion Prince 2012/05/31 18:40:17
    Yes, it should be allowed
    Dion Prince
    +1
    As much as I hate the "internet courage" gives a person. It is a violation of constitution for the government to butt in.
    as for persons removing content on their own website, admin can do that anyway.
  • Deborah Donnison 2012/05/31 18:35:04
    No, it should be regulated
    Deborah Donnison
    There is enough anonymity as it stands now.
    If you cannot be brave enough to put your name to it, they you should not be saying it at all.
  • NoName Deborah... 2012/05/31 20:06:07
    NoName
    "There is enough anonymity as it stands now. "

    And who are you to determine that?

    "If you cannot be brave enough to put your name to it, they you should not be saying it at all."

    Um... no.

    Not only is that not how freedom of speech works, but there are many cases where you CAN'T, or it'd be too dangerous to - that and maybe people just want to not ayttach a real name to it. If I say "have a nice day," should I not say it because Idon't want to attach a real name to it? Why? And who has the right to demand that out of people?
  • dobby123 2012/05/31 18:05:52
    Yes, it should be allowed
    dobby123
    We are entitled to our opinions and I choose to post them. The anonymous hate comments of saying "Kill yourself, stupid bitch" is some part of where I sometimes think that the Tumblr Anonymous comments should not be allowed, but that is a hard thing to stop.
  • ComeOnNow 2012/05/31 17:08:00
    Yes, it should be allowed
    ComeOnNow
    When you have evil democrat brown shirts harassing those that simply disagree with them with radical measured such as calling their work to complain and using computer systems to call from their phone numbers to have them violently arrested, it is almost essential for a respectable human being to post that way.
  • Guru_T_... ComeOnNow 2012/05/31 17:34:22
    Guru_T_Firefly
    +1
    Personally, I'm far more worried about the evil Republican brown shirts.
  • ComeOnNow Guru_T_... 2012/05/31 17:38:58
    ComeOnNow
    Then you are just a coward. I is the democrats having conservative bloggers arrested and harassing them at their jobs. Can you point to any instances of conservatives doing such?
  • Guru_T_... ComeOnNow 2012/05/31 17:54:00
    Guru_T_Firefly
    +1
    From your uneducated comment, it's easy to see that you're content to play the idiot. The only cowards I can see are those who willingly vote against their own best interests by voting for a Republican agenda.
  • ComeOnNow Guru_T_... 2012/05/31 22:10:21
    ComeOnNow
    Speaking of uneducated idiot, you are the short sided one that somehow thinks that stealing from your neighbors and children and sucking the life out of the economy is somehow in the best interest of anyone besides entitlement junkies and billionaire political donors. You are the incompetent dunce too dumb to look at Europe collapsing due to the same failed policies you idiots are pushing and think that is in the best interest of anyone. Maybe you should shower, get dressed, and get out of your grandmothers basement periodically. Maybe then you can wake up to what is so obvious to anyone with at least two functioning brain cells. If you can manage to get your two brain cells to stop playing hide and seek long enough to manage such a task.
  • Guru_T_... ComeOnNow 2012/06/01 00:55:23 (edited)
    Guru_T_Firefly
    I WAS speaking about an uneducated, "Short-SIGHTED" idiot. Only a true idiot would believe that they know what another man is thinking unless he has told you and you certainly haven't been smart enough to ask. Besides, I could never out-do your impressive incompetence. You're just too great of an idiot. You can go back to drinking from the toilet again, if you like.
  • ComeOnNow Guru_T_... 2012/06/01 02:19:48
    ComeOnNow
    Speaking of uneducated idiot, you are the short sided one that somehow thinks that stealing from your neighbors and children and sucking the life out of the economy is somehow in the best interest of anyone besides entitlement junkies and billionaire political donors. You are the incompetent dunce too dumb to look at Europe collapsing due to the same failed policies you idiots are pushing and think that is in the best interest of anyone. Maybe you should shower, get dressed, and get out of your grandmothers basement periodically. Maybe then you can wake up to what is so obvious to anyone with at least two functioning brain cells. If you can manage to get your two brain cells to stop playing hide and seek long enough to manage such a task.
  • Guru_T_... ComeOnNow 2012/06/02 04:42:21
    Guru_T_Firefly
    Yes, you are indeed the uneducated idiot of which I spoke. If your body can continue to function on only one pitiful brain cell, I'm sure I'll be just fine. By the way, having two brain cells would still give me twice as many brain cells as you. Now, go ahead... dazzle us with more of your massive ignorance.
  • ComeOnNow Guru_T_... 2012/06/02 17:23:05
    ComeOnNow
    Hilarious, so you resort to name calling and cryins as democrats always do when their idiocracy is pointed out. Keep bliss in your ignorance because you will only fool other dumb democrats.
  • Guru_T_... ComeOnNow 2012/06/03 03:34:47
    Guru_T_Firefly
    Silly hypocrite, thy name is ComeOnNow.
  • Deborah... ComeOnNow 2012/05/31 18:38:06
    Deborah Donnison
    +1
    Do you have proof or are you just repeating some crap you read?
  • ComeOnNow Deborah... 2012/05/31 22:18:12
    ComeOnNow
    On Friday, bloggers and conservative media outlets lit up the Internet with harrowing stories of harassment and domestic terrorism reportedly perpetrated by a man known as the Speedway bomber.

    Earlier in the week, blogger Lee Stranahan, declared Friday "Everybody blog about Brett Kimberlin Day."

    Who is Brett Kimberlin?

    According to a lengthy expose at The Blaze, Kimberlin is a "[d]rug dealer, alleged child molester, and convicted perjurer, forger and Indiana Speedway Bomber (who is also believed to have played a role in the assassination of a grandmother)."

    "Kimberlin would go on to build up a rap sheet littered with charges stemming from offenses such as forgery, perjury, drug dealing, domestic terrorism and possible murder and child molestation," the International Business Times said Friday.

    A post at Redstate notes that Kimberlin is the subject of a book called Citizen K, and "the man who claimed he sold Vice President Dan Quayle drugs."

    Brett Kimberlin, the Blaze reported, "spent 17 years in prison before his ultimate re-absorption into American society."

    Since then, he started something called “Justice Through Music (JTM)” that, according to the Blaze, has been funded by George Soros’ Tides Foundation and Barbara Streisand among other leftists since 2005.  A post a...















































    On Friday, bloggers and conservative media outlets lit up the Internet with harrowing stories of harassment and domestic terrorism reportedly perpetrated by a man known as the Speedway bomber.

    Earlier in the week, blogger Lee Stranahan, declared Friday "Everybody blog about Brett Kimberlin Day."

    Who is Brett Kimberlin?

    According to a lengthy expose at The Blaze, Kimberlin is a "[d]rug dealer, alleged child molester, and convicted perjurer, forger and Indiana Speedway Bomber (who is also believed to have played a role in the assassination of a grandmother)."

    "Kimberlin would go on to build up a rap sheet littered with charges stemming from offenses such as forgery, perjury, drug dealing, domestic terrorism and possible murder and child molestation," the International Business Times said Friday.

    A post at Redstate notes that Kimberlin is the subject of a book called Citizen K, and "the man who claimed he sold Vice President Dan Quayle drugs."

    Brett Kimberlin, the Blaze reported, "spent 17 years in prison before his ultimate re-absorption into American society."

    Since then, he started something called “Justice Through Music (JTM)” that, according to the Blaze, has been funded by George Soros’ Tides Foundation and Barbara Streisand among other leftists since 2005.  A post at United Liberty adds that the JTM has also been partnered with the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program for 3 years.

    He also started something called the "Velvet Revolution" that supports the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Not only has he filed over 100 frivolous lawsuits, he has reportedly harassed and threatened those who write about him.  Tiffany Gabbay wrote:

    "Any blogger — conservative and liberal alike — who has written the truth about Kimberlin has come under vicious attack by either Kimberlin or his minions, suffering death threats (veiled and unveiled), multiple lawsuits, loss of jobs and worse."

    Worse yet, Gabbay adds, the story has yet to be reported by the so-called mainstream media - known here as the "Democrat-media complex."

    One of those victimized by Kimberlin is conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain, who wrote on Tuesday that Kimberlin allegedly contacted his wife's employer, claiming harassment.

    "The resulting security concern required immediate relocation if I was to be able to continue writing about the case of Kimberlin, a violent felon, perjurer and admitted tax cheat who is employed as the director of a 501(c)3 non-profit that has collected $1.8 million in contributions since 2005," McCain wrote.

    The IBT added that McCain "has vacated his house after Kimberlin allegedly called his home and threatened the man's wife and family."

    According to McCain, "Kimberlin has used a strategy of legal intimidation and workplace harassment in an apparent attempt to silence his critics, including blogger Seth Allen, Virginia attorney Aaron Walker and Los Angeles deputy district attorney Patrick Frey."

    Aaron Walker (who blogged as “Aaron Worthing”), wrote that Kimberlin tried to frame him for second degree assault - a charge that could have put Walker in jail for up to ten years.

    "He falsely accused me of essentially beating him up inside the courthouse for the Montgomery County Circuit Court, in Rockville, Maryland," he wrote. 

    "He has claimed at different times that I decked him, that I struck him three times, that I wrestled with him, that I pushed him, that courtroom staff separated us, that the sheriff’s deputies separated us, and that even after the deputies arrived that I kept coming at him repeatedly and had to be restrained," he added.

    Fortunately for Walker, a security camera captured the entire incident.

    "Thus far, the State’s Attorney, while he was encouraged to do so, has not filed charges against Kimberlin for having lied under oath about the assault," The Blaze reported.

    On Friday, the Washington Times said that Kimberlin sued Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and a staffer in 1999 for getting involved in his parole case in 1997.

    "Senator Hatch has had run ins with Brett Kimberlin before and they weren't pleasant. So it's certainly no surprise that Mr. Kimberlin has now taken to harassing and targeting conservative bloggers. Needless to say, efforts to silence and chill political speech are contrary to the values of our Constitution and First Amendment," the Senator's office said in a statement.

    Patrick Frey, who runs the conservative blog Patterico's Pontifications, wrote Friday that  someone - using a technique called "swatting" - nearly got him killed last July. 

    (Frey's account can be seen here.)

    Frey said there is "circumstantial evidence suggesting who may be responsible."

    "All of these things have happened to me and other critics of Brett Kimberlin since July 2011," he wrote.

    "The harassment has been relentless and has occurred almost every day. It would literally take a book to catalogue it all."

    According to Frey, the Dallas FBI office said that "swatting is an extreme form of harassment — and that swatters typically combine swatting with other forms of harassment, including: complaining to the victim’s workplace, defaming the victim online, 'Googlebombing' the victim, publishing the victim’s address online, filing phony reports of criminal activity by the victim, and so forth."

    Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wrote that "Ali Akbar of the National Bloggers Club has stepped up to the plate and set up a donation page to help support the bloggers targeted by Kimberlin."

    "Telling the truth on the Internet shouldn’t mean risking your job or your life, or the well-being and safety of your loved ones," Malkin added.

    This is an ongoing story that will be updated as necessary.
    (more)
  • Guru_T_... ComeOnNow 2012/06/01 00:57:37
    Guru_T_Firefly
    Oh, here we go again. More George Soros bullsh*t. Don't you guys ever have anything productive to do?
  • ComeOnNow Guru_T_... 2012/06/01 02:20:26
    ComeOnNow
    In summation: one of Obama's friends (Soros)funds a radical democrat that is harassing republican bloggers by:

    1. Calling their jobs and making false complaints
    2. Filing law suits
    3. he used a web site to make it look like he was calling the police from their number, pretended to be them telling the police that they shot their wife. The police came with guns drawn and arrested them violently thinking they were armed and dangerous.

    and on and on.
  • Guru_T_... Deborah... 2012/06/01 00:56:08
    Guru_T_Firefly
    He's just parroting the same tired BS that every RWNJ regurgitates.
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