Monday, August 01, 2011

Anonymous Postings and the Law

Whether you are a blogger who accepts comments or someone who likes to comment, the issue of "anonymous postings" is likely of interest to you. Should people be allowed to post anonymously? Even when they say things that are not true about another person?

The article in the link I provide below may help you decide what you can support. As for me, I believe that "anonymous" postings should really only be allowed in the following circumstances:

1. Where the writers of the original material invite participation anonymously. (Think of a police department asking for anonymous tips on something that happened or an agency inviting whistle blowers to give information of likely abuses in an organization.)

2. Where the comments of the anonymous writer are non-personal, but are directed towards an institution or agency or organization. (Think of saying something against an entity which may come back and penalize the person making the comments. Think of a police state dealing with those that don't like the way police go about their business. Or think of a tyrannical dictatorship that suppresses and wants to eliminate any opposition.)

I'd like to think that there are other times when anonymous postings and participation in an exchange would be acceptable but none come to mind right now.  Perhaps after reading the attached column, you'll be able to help us out here -- and yes, you can post them "anonymously".

Geist: Court grapples with legalities of anonymous online postings - thestar.com



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