NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Anna’s outing by The Union

The Union’s blog coverage by David Mirhadi resulted in "Anna" at NCFocus finding her full name appearing in the article. Her comments (here) and (here).

The only anonymous blogs I visit on a regular basis are the local blogs. Just because they are local, no other reason. I checked my most visited blog list, and found the blogs I read the most are those willing to stand behind their postings, such as Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, Roger L.Simon, Lorie Byrd at Polipundit, John, Scott and Paul at Powerline, Jay Rosen at Press Think, and Dan Gillmore at Bayosphere. Oh! I visit other blogs, but find those with a name behind them are more useful than those shouting from behind an electronic fence. With a signature your can check out the blogger on Google, or on an other search engine. I could not do that when NCFocus was just “Anna.”

People who critique people, organizations and issues, should be willing to put their name on the document or blog. You write a letter to the editor, the newpapers expects a name. So should you!

UPDATE: The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a legal FAQ guide for bloggers (here).
Do I have a right to blog anonymously?

Yes. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the First Amendment right to speak anonymously: "author is generally free to decide whether or not to disclose his or her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one's privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be...the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry. Accordingly, an author's decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment." (McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm)

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