I think that’s bullshit, despite the fact that I myself have eschewed Internet anonymity (for the most personal of reasons). I think that while anonymity can breed mischief, it can also protect someone from retaliation when, for example, shining light on the inner workings of an institution.
Whistle-blowers in large institutions (especially government and large corporations) would almost certainly be silenced because of (justified) fears that they’d lose their job by so doing — even if they were exposing extreme malfeasance or negligence. That cannot be a good thing.
Of course, anonymity affords trolls and other such excrescences the ability to say awful things — such as defamation or character assassination — not to mention unacceptable utterances such as… racism?
Oh yeah, and that’s the problem. Because the minute you say “You can say this and not that”, there’s a little question of who decides the parameters of accepted speech.
We have a First Amendment that addresses that issue, I believe, and it was thoroughly covered in the Anti-Federalist by — ho! — the anonymous “Brutus”.
There is a vulnerability in that freedom, of course, just as there’s vulnerability in all our social and political freedoms. But confining ourselves to speech for a moment, we know the old adage that a lie travels round the world before the truth can get out of bed, and anonymity is the prime facilitator thereof.
Online commenter “Fred_The_Wise” can post on Xwitter that he has proof that Bill Clinton is a serial molester of underage girls, and even Clinton’s feral lawyers would have a problem stopping that “untruth” from spreading and “contaminating” Clinton’s good name. “Kim du Toit” can do no such thing, of course, unless he has the actual proof that Bill Clinton is such a pervert.
The problem, as we all know, is that “Fred_The_Wise”, even if he has actual proof of said molestation, is not going to be the next “suicide” at the hands of the Clinton “Hit Squad” because nobody knows who he is; whereas “Kim du Toit” would have to be extremely careful of slippery soap in the shower and random nooses hanging from trees, if you get my drift.
That “Fred_The_Wise” might just be indulging in a little gratuitous character assassination is just a malevolent by-product of the freedom of speech.
Which is terrible, but unfortunately for goons like Nikki Haley, they’re just going to have to live with it, as we all have to do.