Sarah Booker


links for 2011-03-25

Filed under: Links — Sarah Booker Lewis @ 6:00 pm
  • Interesting piece by Martin Belam about anonymous comments and community. A community manager knows who the majority of commenters are, or at least their email addresses anyway. Sometimes a web name frees people to say what they want with a cloak of anonymity, particularly if they're a public figure. Looking back though newspapers from the 1930s etc. anonymous web-style pseudonyms were commonplace.

1 Comment »

  1. Issue as I see it is that although pseudonyms, often used by serial letter writers, and ‘name & address supplied’ are a time honoured feature of Letters to the Editor, such letters were – and are in print medium and some on line media – subject to some form of editorial oversight.

    Media websites, however, often allow reader comments to appear automatically, with or without registration.

    In this way hate speech, obscenity, personal attacks & other abuses enter the public domain and can reach a worldwide audience unchecked until a complaint is made. By then the damage is done and, particularly if the perpetrator is in another country or clever about concealing his/her true identity, there is no legal redress except against the editors, publishers & website proprietors.

    For myself, I object to seeing an otherwise reputable and reliable media organisation used as a propaganda/hate speech vehicle by all 57-varieties of racist, anti-semitic, neo-nazi – you name your poison – crackpot. Let them set up their own websites, at their own expense, and test the limits of so-called “free speech” there. Better still, let them have the courage to mount a soapbox on Hyde Park Corner instead of lurking in ambush in the nether regions of cyber space.

    Comment by Knut Cayce — 10/04/2011 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

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