Says here that in the wake of the Madoff scandal, many sites are seeing a rise in anti-Semitic comments. One way to put a lid on a great deal of this hate–while still preserving the vital First Amendment right to say even the most offensive things–is to end anonymity in Internet postings. Voluntarily, websites should require and post a confirmed name and town (or address) for every post. It’s no more than most newspapers do for letters to the editor, and responsible webmasters will demand the same accountability from their readers and themselves.
The right to express oneself about anything in pretty much any way must be preserved and defended. Ending anonymity does nothing to hurt that, and it attaches proper consequences–mainly, being associated with anti-social views–to a casual libel. If you wanna be a conservative about it, it attaches the power of market forces (in this case, a kind of pricing feedback mechanism) to the exchange of ideas and information.
From a purely (and purely personally biased on my part) PR point of view, this appeals to the market-love of those of us on the Right; while the appeal to the left is they can imagine this is a speech code (when it actually limits nothing, but only demands that speakers either have the courage of their convictions, or hold back from libelous statements they wouldn’t be caught dead saying in front of real people).
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