Monday, April 03, 2006

Anonymous Foolishness

By now, our readers are starting to understand why so many national newspapers require signed letters to the editor. The signature is required to force the writer to justify his or her statements. It's easy to make an anonymous statement, but signing a name makes the writer much more careful about what is said.

The concept behind anonymous letters and blog posts is that some people will be afraid to speak their minds if they must speak publicly. But that does not give writers and bloggers free rein to make untruthful or inappropriate statements. Indeed, writers and bloggers have an obligation to present supporting facts for their arguments to give credence to their anonymous statements.

While you may not agree with what we post on this blog, you have the opportunity to present your side of the argument. Sadly, as we've all seen in recent weeks, some of our anonymous commentors make ridiculous or childish statements

One way to limit this foolishness is to limit the opportunity for comments. That would mean our readers would be forced to read our postings without any way to respond.

Requiring commentors to sign in to this blog is another option, but one that we have hesitated to use in the interest of free speech.

So how about it, readers? Are you adult enough to post a serious comment that furthers the discussion? Or do we have to make you wear name tags when you stand in front of the class?

I challenge our readers to show their intelligence with thought-provoking commentary, whether signed or anonymous.

Nathan Tsukroff