I’ve got a problem with anonymous

Masked2I made a mistake yesterday. I posted the email address of someone who had commented –anonymously– on an earlier post. When commenting on a Typepad blog, you’re prompted for an email address with a note that it will not be published. Since I rarely comment on my own blog, I failed to notice that assurance. So I deleted the comment and the email address.

But that’s the last time. If you’re not willing to back your opinions up with your name, shut the fuck up.

Is there ever a time and place for anonymity? Probably. Reporting child abuse. A break-in at the Watergate. Maybe a few others. But if we don’t know who you are, why should we believe anything you write or say?

In this recent incident, a man was protesting what he thought was unfair treatment by Missouri Farm Bureau. The commenter was basically saying the guy was wrong. But how do we know it wasn’t someone from Farm Bureau commenting anonymously? We don’t.

I’m a little better with “Name withheld by request.” If I know who you are and –for reasons I consider appropriate– I can make the call to withhold your name.

Step up, or step off.