The Internet has matured. Anonymity has become counterproductive and even damaging. If you’re willing to stand up and render a public opinion, you should reveal your identity. The time has come to limit the ability of people to remain anonymous.
In the early days of the experiment called America, the right to send in an anonymous letter to the editor was considered a hallmark of the constitutional right to free speech. Opinions under pseudonyms were common. Beginning in the Cold War era, newspaper editors developed a dislike for them because individuals could spew any sort of unfounded opinion without consequences and without backing an opinion up with any hard facts.
By the 1970s, editors started insisting that people identify themselves if they wanted the privilege of stating their views in a public forum. By 2000, most newspapers refused to accept anonymous letters to the editor in all but a few special cases.
When traditional newspapers started publishing online, they bumped up against established online rules of engagement. In their zeal to embrace this new model of information dissemination, editors once again accepted anonymous comments. In many cases they naively thought it would foster a positive sense of community and encourage greater reader engagement by allowing the ability to comment on virtually any news article…………