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Should Anonymous Commenting Be Allowed?

Anonymity allows commenters to be candid — but they can also be mean-spirited and say things they would never speak in polite company.

Given anonymity and an audience, some people seem to just say anything on the Internet, no matter how inappropriate, offensive and void of the facts it may be. Other anonymous commenters use the privilege to stretch their legs and be candid, while still being as respectful to people as if they were face to face.

Anonymous commenting had its pros and cons.

Pro: When no one knows who you are, you can speak your mind without fear of repercussions.

Con: Some people pretend to be outside observers — while they are really insiders.

Pro: Letting people speak candidly brings out honesty.

Con: Some people use their anonymity to strike at people they disagree with, with accusations and statements that are false or misleading.

The pros and cons list could go on and on. How do you feel about anonymous commenting on news articles? Should news websites allow it? Is it beneficial to the conversation, or detrimental? Let us know your thoughts, by leaving a comment below.

JIM MARQUARDT November 04, 2011 at 01:20 PM
Anonymous comments should absolutely not be permitted. If you don't have the courage to put your name on it, then don't say it.
Southold town resident November 04, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Yes, and don't forget that in a free society you are required by law to state who you are voting for because voting anonymously is not allowed in the voting booth.

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