Should Patch Commenters Have Anonymity?

Everyone has opinions. Patch is the place to share them.

From news organizations to social media sites and blogs, forums and comments on the Internet are everywhere. Anyone with access to the world wide web can say what they want about whatever they like (or dislike) whenever the mood strikes.

Recently, the Daily Record newspaper's online platform switched over to a Facebook-style of comments, trying to "improve the environment for conversation" and reduce anonymity, the company said.

So, Long Valley Patch wants to know what you think about the situation, and if you feel Patch should follow suit. Or, is it the ability to be anonymous that draws you to Patch's sites?

Be sure to vote in our poll, and express your opinion in the comments section below–anonymously or not.

Chuck Ruff December 23, 2011 at 09:59 PM
I would not support removing a post simply because it is an "unpopular idea". I think all opinions, even those in the minority, are relevant, as long as they are pesented in an objective way. The ones that should be removed are the ones that break the forum policies, which are in part; "defamatory, abusive, obscene, or profane; is threatening, harassing, promotes racism, bigotry or hatred; is inaccurate, false or misleading; is illegal or promotes an illegal activity; etc."
cecile marie December 25, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Nasty or not, comments should never be censored and people should be able to hide their identity. Fear of reprisal from the government and disagreeing residents is real. (I have had fights with people on my own property who took down my political signs because they did not represent their candidate) Although I personally have been attacked by some of the anonymous posters, I will fight for their right to say what they choose. I expect them to do the same for me. Sometimes, as painful as it is, there can be a kernel of truth in the negative, outright nasty things - if you are able to get past the BS. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are basic rights and fundamental to the US. Our freedoms are being taken from us every day, bit by bit, and people do not notice. One day, when people wake up, the fight to set things right will be far greater than they imagined and perhaps too late.
Thomas Paine December 30, 2011 at 03:17 AM
Anonymity can certainly be abused, but it can also defeat abuse. These forums are frequented by cowardly individuals who anonymously attack real people rather than addressing the content of that real person's post. The recipient of such an attack then feels compelled to defend his/her reputation and the conversation goes downhill from there. The attacker thereby puts the poster on the defensive. If the original poster is using a pseudonym, however, then there really is no need to defending against the personal attack, therefore the topic remains in play. The attacker ends up looking foolish by trying to attack "Thomas Paine". I'm also reminded that the founders publishing under pseudonyms such as "Phocion" (Hamilton), "A Citizen of America" (Webster), "Publius" (Madison), "Senex" (Henry) etc. etc. And who can forget "deep throat" in the 1970's?
Chuck Ruff December 30, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Furthermore, the most vicious and mean-spirited attack I’ve read in recent days is from a poster who uses his actual name, so requiring anonymity is not going to necessarily stop the personal attacks anyway.
Thomas Paine January 01, 2012 at 07:12 PM
It's really up to the forum moderator to remove the troublemaker posts. It's AOL's site so we are all guests here and subject to whatever standard they want to impose.


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