Anonymity and Responsibility

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound? If an anonymous writer makes a statement of questionable account, and they are called out on it, is that a call to limit free speech or a call for responsible speech? If your actions reflect on others, is there a duty to consider the others?

The tree falls, the sound waves go out but without a receptor they have no auditory effect. An incendiary post sends out waves of response but with no one really there to bear the result, anonymity being the filter, the writer just keeps on writing. Meantime, others cry foul, not about the ability to be anonymous, but about the morality and ethics of making dubious public claims while hiding behind a veil of secrecy.  Hmmmm. 

I accuse you of a bad deed, paint it on the side of a building, my friend owns the building. I’ve put other stuff on there before, sort of my own personal message board. I sign it with some clever little name that gives no clue as to who I really am, but everyone who reads it knows who you are! My friend just happens to also run a business out of the building I use for my missives. Is he complicit in my deeds? What if there are serious questions as to the validity of my statements? What if they are all true, every word!  What if you are allowed to respond, does that minimize my obligation?

Having read all the back and forth, this site and EP and being an anonymous poster, I hope I never have to give my “real” name or I will stop posting. Some may find that a good thing. There are reasons I use a pen name, one of which is the neutrality it brings to my words in the mind of the reader. They may begin to develop a connotation to my writings in time but “I” will not influence that process. Another is the personal repercussions to my positions should they be in disagreement with others, others with whom I may associate or do business. Keep it on the boards. But, I believe there is a price I pay for my personal comfort. Part of that price is to be very sure what I write is true, honest, and without malice. The other is to be very cognizant of the moderator/owner of the site. My words become his words even if he does not see them prior to posting or agree in any form. This site brings a valuable voice to many topics of conservative concern. It cannot become the side of a building used by someone, or some group, holding a spray paint can and an ax to grind under the cover of anonymity or it will degenerate into a distorted aberration of a previously appreciated form.

Just my anonymous opinion.


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