Keeping It Anonymous

POTUS-wannabe Nikki Haley and some others have come right out and said that Internet anonymity should be banned.

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.


  1. She’s a woman, and like most (not all, but most), she has difficulty understanding that freedom and rights also convey responsibility and dangers. Our right to keep and bear arms also means that we must be responsible for safe handling of those arms, and that of course there’s going be some asshole who uses their firearm to commit evil. That’s the price of our freedom.

    I use my name most of the time, but there’s several sites where I stay (somewhat) anonymous simply because I’d like to keep my job and sometimes I say shit that could get me cancelled. But otherwise I’d never be able to truly voice my opinion in today’s world. Nikki has probably never had a contrary thought in her life. Not getting my vote.

  2. The overwhelming majority of people who are in public life are there because they want to be. If we were in some other sort of society – like the Romans, say, where public leaders essentially had been drafted and then run through a series of training assignments – some disapproval of lese majeste might be appropriate. But in this circus, you’re in for the rotten tomatoes as well as the showers of coin. Like it or lump it.

  3. Don’t tell Niki or any of the other Luddites, on the surface it may look like you are being anonymous, but,in actuality, there is no such thing as anonymity on the Internet. Anybody who knows how to look under the covers and in the tubes knows that with enough work and persistence everything can be traced back to it’s source. It was baked into the original DARPA design 50 years ago.

    Same thing with the notion that there is an internet “Shut – Off” switch. One of the primary original design specs was a specific requirement that it could NOT be shut off, even with Nukes. That was the whole point of the original design.

    Yes…. it’s getting easier to make it much more difficult and complex to do the tracing and tracking but in the end you can get back to the source computer.

    1. This.

      Nikki (name spelled with an “I” on the end) is a fucking idiot (maybe that’s what the “I” is for)….like virtually all politicians.

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