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megimoo
04-30-2009, 03:38 PM
Where the Blogs Have No Names

The Internet has become a great soapbox for ordinary citizens," but there is increasing Liberal/Progressive hack controversy around the trend of anonymous political blogging. "

In the 1995 case McIntyre v. Ohio Clean Elections Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court stated, "Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views.…Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority."

" Reporters shouldn't be payed to write drivel like this .Only reporters should be able to blurt out their opinions in print ,It's Obvious to the this most casual observer !"


In 2006, it was estimated that 55 percent of Americanbloggers post under a pseudonym.
But along with the explosion of anonymous blogs has come a whole host of problems. Some bloggers have used their anonymity to spread false information without ramifications. Others have used it to launch personal attacks against friend and foe alike.

This has led to appeals from all over the political spectrum for regulation.
Some blogging platform providers such as Tumblr are taking action on their own and shutting down anonymous blogs. The European Union entertained a proposal last fall to prohibit anonymous blogs. In the U.S., some have asked that the FCC categorize anonymous political blogs under campaign finance laws subject to regulation, but so far the FCC has declined.

In today's era where we live transparent lives,
thanks to Facebook, friends and organizations recording our every move online, anonymous speech has become more valuable. It is too easy now to Google a writer's name and attack them personally on the internet for everyone to see, sidetracking a real discussion over politics into a discussion of the writer. And with a few strokes of the keyboard, someone’s reputation can be decimated. Many writers would not provide valuable information if they could not do so anonymously.

On the other hand, it is useful for readers to know background information on a writer;
not only does it provide context but it exposes their biases. Anonymity permits writers to perhaps falsely persuade people they wouldn’t otherwise. If someone is writing about abolishing gun laws, it would be relevant to know if they have a history of violence as a gangster.

Anonymous bloggers have provided worthy contributions to political dialogue.
One of the most famous anonymous political bloggers, Allah Pundit, is widely cited as a reputable political writer. The blog existed from 2003-04, and then shut down, reemerging as a contributor in 2006 to Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air website. Allah Pundit's blogging is credited with helping discredit a 60 Minutes show attacking President George W. Bush’s National Guard record.

Our country began with notable anonymous political speech.
The Founding Fathers used anonymous political writing to generate support for passage of the U.S. Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay authored the Federalist Papers anonymously using the pseudonym "Publius." Hamilton, a lawyer, also used the pseudonym Publius in three letters attacking Samuel Chase, an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Today in some states like Arizona, attorneys are prohibited by the state bar from criticizing judges. Anonymous sites like azjudgesreview.blogspot.com have popped up containing information about Arizona judges.

Without sites like that, meaningful criticism of judges would be impossible,
since few in Arizona know anything about the judges except the lawyers who practice in front of them. Common Sense, a pamphlet written anonymously by Thomas Paine that became a bestseller in the U.S. and England, is credited with igniting the American Revolution. If Paine’s identity had been exposed, he could have been arrested.

So far the courts have diligently protected the right of anonymous political speech.
In the 1995 case McIntyre v. Ohio Clean Elections Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court stated, "Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views.…Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority." Attempts to discover the identity behind anonymous blogs haven’t gotten very far in the courts.
http://spectator.org/archives/2009/04/30/where-the-blogs-have-no-names