Truth to power

There has been considerable discussion on the blog lately about commenters posting anonymously.

I wonder how knowing the commenter’s identity would change the discussion.

The Washington Post published this back in 2018:

… anonymous publication has been an essential feature of American democracy since its beginning. It has long allowed vulnerable voices to participate in public politics and speak truth to power. Indeed, anonymous debate was at the center of the revolutionary politics that led to American independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which enshrined the press freedoms that continue to protect anonymous speech today.

We deserve better

Brutus

20 Responses to Truth to power

  1. Ticked off taxpayer says:

    Thank you, Brutus. The problem we need to address here is not anonymity. It is understanding the concept the founders had in mind. They recognized that the best solutions come when people who are passionate about their beliefs have a robust discussion, because better solutions can be found when people who disagree logically debate their positions in search of workable solutions. If anonymity creates a forum for a free exchange of ideas it is a good thing. However, when anonymity is simply used as a tool to make it easier to hurl insults it is a bad thing. Hurling insults and signing your name is equally bad. We have both types of anonymous posters in this forum and some who sign their name and also routinely insult those who don’t. This will be a stronger blog if we focus on robust discussion of different points of view and avoid insults. Corruption has difficulty thriving when folks shine a light on it. The biggest problem in El Paso is that the media is so desperate for advertising and jobs after they leave their news career, they are complicit in not shining that light. We really have only one party in this town (it should be called the party of politicians who implement our local big donors’ agenda), which limits political debate of opposing points of view. So, blogs like this are the only way those discussions are happening. If we keep things civil and intelligently focused more people will read what is being said. If we degenerate into a bunch of folks hurling insults we drive people away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also Ticked Off says:

      Well said! If you have not seen it, get a copy of “Who Rules El Paso” from one of the local booksellers…it has tremendous detail about the “big donors agenda.”

      Like

    • I don’t really see a lot of “insult hurling” going on, except against people who post anonymously.

      How is it any of your business how others decide to speak?

      The entire concept is ridiculous, you couldn’t prove who anyone is anyway, so being upset because someone doesn’t bother typing a name in a field is silly at best.

      What people are really angry about is the inability to strike out at people who say things they don’t like. Anyone who can’t ignore something written on a page of the internet is small minded and thin-skinned.

      Like

  2. John Dungan says:

    I will agree, and try to clarify – yet again – my point. It is one thing to put forth legitimate concerns anonymously. But, it is quite another to whine about certain people, call them names, or resort to distortion and inaccurate claims against them while hiding behind the mask of anonymity.

    Like

    • In the Shadows says:

      Distortion, name calling, and inaccurate claims are not a function of anonymity. They are a function of ignorance, stupidity, and dishonesty. Look at the number of politicians who openly do all those things on a daily basis.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous says:

        “ignorance, stupidity, and dishonesty”, How is that not name calling and distortion. You are literally doing to others what you are complaining about.

        Hypocrite much? Yes, you do. Hypocrisy seems to be a liberal virtue.

        Like

  3. Lily Limon says:

    I agree John Dungan. That becomes malicious attacks done by cowards who do not identify themselves.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Post the text of one of these attacks here so we can all see what you mean, instead of just your characterization of such.

      I certainly haven’t seen anything remotely resembling a malicious attack posted here on this blog. Unless, of course, you mean people lying about the actions of others, that would be a malicious attack.

      So, please, post what you are talking about so we can all see what you are talking about.

      Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    Because keeping people ignorant has made great opportunities for the oligarchs without much opposition and real news and opinions are hard to come by, it is a comfort to be able to visit this site. Everything is a matter of perspective and it opens other worlds to be able to know what others think and what the actual facts are. I just wish people here would vote.

    Like

  5. Rico sauve says:

    ” If you say it publicly they tend to believe you mean it” …

    Like

  6. Ironically Anonymous says:

    Hard to argue against anonymity when the author of the blog itself is anonymous.
    That being said, I doubt if 99% of the vitriol that is spouted here would happen if you had to use your real name.

    Like

  7. Anonymous Again says:

    This is much ado about nothing. Only one person makes anonymity a big issue and it’s easy for him to criticize since he is retired.

    Like

  8. John Dungan says:

    I just hate people who I disagree with politically. No one has a right to their own opinion.

    I will draw a picture of the prophet Mohammed and post it here in a protest to anonymity.

    Everyone can see my name and know I am an honest, sincere and serious person.

    Like

  9. Beta O'Rourke says:

    “Robert Francis O’Rourke is not hispanic.” To John Dungan this truthful statement is a malicious attack.

    Like

  10. John Dungan says:

    And, there you have it! The very people who go on their little rants about socialism, etc., instantly create two new fake ID’s (I do not recall every posting those words attributed to me as of 6:04 yesterday evening, and that certainly wasn’t me then). I have no problem with a statement that says Beto is not hispanic, but I do have trouble with people trying to accuse him or his family of dishonesty because that is his nickname.

    Like

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon. It’ll just knock over all the pieces, shit on the board, and strut about like it’s won anyway.”

    Like

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