Today in class we talked a lot about comments lefts on news stories and blog posts. In many places on the Internet, you can post a comment online anonymously. From my own personal observations, I feel like most people don’t sign their name. I don’t understand this fear of truly representing yourself on the Internet. A lot of my friends know that this is a huge pet peeve of mine. I’m a columnist for The Huntington News, and week after week, there’s a long list of nasty comments left on the message boards. It’s gotten so bad, that out of pure principle, I don’t check them anymore.
I truly believe that if you have something to say, and you feel passionately enough about it that you need to leave a comment on the web, it is your responsibility to sign your name. Personally, I can’t take anonymous comments too seriously. They lose legitimacy when it’s signed by a pseudonym.
Anonymity is just the way things are done. It’s an accepted part of the Internet, but there’s no question that people hide behind anonymity to make vile or controversial comments,” said Arianna Huffington, a founder of The Huffington Post. “I feel that this is almost like an education process. As the rules of the road are changing and the Internet is growing up, the trend is away from anonymity.
With that said, I feel like people will always find a way signing their real name. Let’s be honest, it’s not too difficult to make up a name and a fake e-mail address. Who would go through all the trouble to do that, though, is an entirely different conversation I’ll leave for another time.
So, I ask of you, if you decide to leave a comment (and I encourage you to do so), please sign your name. Do it for me. Merci.