I will be arguing the topic of anonymous commenting on the Internet. In today"s society, the Internet is very much a part of everyone"s lives even in the aspect of communicating. Not only can you research about a topic but you can also leave your opinion about it as well. Although not all of us, but many choose to become anonymous with what they choose to put out for the world to see, especially if the comment could be seen as controversial. There are many examples of situations that show how making users accountable for their words could create positive effects including more pleasant conversations instead of attacking one another. It might even allow us to learn different things, change our minds or possibly compromise a bit. It could change the way we see the Internet because we could possibly look at those comments as actual people (and their opinions) instead of just evil words on the page that we feel an incredible urge to bash and break down. If a user has and is going to share their opinion, they should own up to their words by attaching their name to it, just like you do when you talk to people face to face.
I disagree that putting a name to a comment will make people nicer or better able to compromise. It is still a "non-confrontational" way to argue since it is still over the Internet. People have a lot more nerve on the Internet than they do in person. Just because their user name is connected with their identity would not stop most people from stating their opinion because of the First amendment.
That is a great point in general, but in specific situations preventing anonymous comments actually could change the conversations being made. Cyber bullying is a great example. There are many cases all over the Internet that both teens and adults become a victim of bullying. These users that become anonymous are impossible to find making cyber bullying very easy to do. These cyber bullies attack people relentlessly without consequences causing major self-confidence/self-worth issues to their victims. The First Amendment does allow freedom of speech but there is a line between stating your opinion and just being mean. Being able to trace a name to a face would not only discourage these users but they might even face consequences for their actions (police would be able to help the victim).
What if there are things that people want to keep private? They might want to express their opinion without having everyone they know and the rest of the world know they have that stance. Sharing your opinion opens up a door to allow other people to criticize you, and that might be damaging to some people.
People who wish to conceal their identity while contributing their opinion to the world doesn"t accomplish anything but to rant. People do like sharing their opinions online, in fact people like sharing their opinions in general, but what are their intentions of posting them to the Internet? Most of the comments online don"t count for much of anything as far as making a difference, but lets say in this instance they do. Even if someone anonymously posted a comment or a stance, would it really mean anything or count for anything since no one claimed his or her words? Not really. Yes the words are there in writing, but we don"t know who wrote it and if they actually meant what they wrote. Are all of these people really just wanting to rant or are they actually trying to make a difference? My conclusion is if you are really trying to share your opinion, most likely you want to make a difference, therefore in order for your words to count, you must claim them.
What would be necessary for you to agree with me on this point? Could there be a compromise? What if the users were anonymous to each other, but not to the website? This could give people privacy but at the same time hold them accountable for their "actions".