Ban the Screen Name!!

“How will a man be able to govern other people who cannot govern himself?”

The local newspaper established a new policy the other week that really makes me wonder.  It seems that you must include your name, address and phone number if you wish to have your letter to the editor published in the newspaper.  However, if you want to add your two cents worth to any one of their umpteen blogs, you can do so under your screen name – BUT, you need to submit your real name (won’t be published) and the comment will be posted for only 24 hours.

It seems that the ability to hide behind a screen name gives some people the courage to violate the paper’s rules for taste and foul language.  Would these same rule breakers be so bold (and perhaps inconsiderate, boorish or hateful) if they had to post with their real name?  I wonder if they’d have the guts…

Then there is the model who filed a lawsuit against Google because the company would not reveal the name of the anonymous blogger who described her as a “skank,” “old hag” and a “ho” on a Google-hosted blog titled “Skanks in NYC.”  It seems the blogger believes that she can write whatever she wants without impunity simply by using her screen name – would she have written these things had she been required to post them under her real name?  Extremely doubtful.

Here’s the issue that I have – just because the Internet created the concept of screen names should not give people the ability to post whatever the heck they want using it.  And since when did we start equating the ability to create and use a screen name with the right to privacy?  That seems like a huge line to cross.

It’s a big difference to me when I read a comment from a real person using a real name than one from RahRah, Panacea or Loyaltee.  If you have something to say, do so – we still have the right to free speech.  But use your real name and own up to what you post.  Otherwise, I’ll assume you’re too chicken to own up to your opinions, which makes them worthless to me.

Anyone want to join me in calling for a ban of screen names?

~ by chuckmattina on September 14, 2009.

2 Responses to “Ban the Screen Name!!”

  1. Many of folks write about this issue but you said really true words!

  2. Thanks – it really irks me that people hide behind their screen name to say things they wouldn’t likely say (or write) if everyone knew the source. Maybe someday there will be transparency on the web, but I’m not holding my breath…

    Appreciate the comment.

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