I read the Takeaway sentence and eagerly continued down to the article, expecting a discussion of the pros and cons of anonymity. What I found was an argument against anonymity, but no arguments for. I agree that comments on websites, especially for large news organizations like Gannett, are better if they are not anonymous. And I find it interesting that Gannett is piloting Facebook Comments, as one of our local news stations has started doing that also, with great results, in my opinion.
But, aside from comments (and perhaps even for comments in some situations), I believe there is a case to be made for anonymity on the internet. Not that I don't want to be held responsible for what I say. I agree with Palmetto that my moniker on this website is my personal brand, and I stand behind any comments I've made here. But do millions of people need to know my full name, address and other personal details to have me function as a part of the internet community. In many cases, I think not!
Facebook was somewhat unique when it started, because it insisted that you use your real name, when many other websites didn't care what name you used. I think Facebook may become the universal login that entities like Microsoft Passport tried to be years ago. But I personally hope it doesn't become universally required to participate in most internet communities, especially because of the privacy mistakes Facebook has made in the past, but also because there are some sites, especially gaming sites, where I enjoy my anonymity and nobody really needs to know who I am for me to participate responsibly.
I guess I was just disappointed that the article didn't match up to the Takeaway. It seemed like the discussion was just getting started, and I missed the rest of the discussion.
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