In the Loop

In the Loop: March 11, 2008 Archive

Without nameless, faceless weirdos . . . what is left of the Internet?

Posted at 10:30 AM on March 11, 2008 by Sanden Totten (2 Comments)

A legislator in Kentucky wants to outlaw anonymous comments on the Internet. His plan? Make everyone register with a website before leaving their message. Websites or blogs that fail to comply get fined.

Whaaa?

The idea is to curtail Internet bullying. A worthy cause, but this is crazy on several levels. Representative Tim Couch, the man behind the proposed bill admits, technically this "would be a challenge". Yes. Yes, it would Tim.

But all the details aside, the anonymity of the web is one of its best features. What would chat rooms be like if everyone had their reputation to worry about? What would tell all bloggers do if a quick Google search could dredge up harmful information? What about folks on the Internet who log on to be someone else, like a different age, gender or even species (Second Life - I'm looking at you).

Every time a law like this surfaces I shudder. Yes, I want a solution to online bullying. But please don't sacrifice the best parts of this social experiment we call the Internet to find it.

And on that note:


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