Nice to have your update.
Recently there was a discussion on the NYT By BOB TEDESCHI on “two sharp-tongued advertising industry blogs, posted comments blaming the sites for contributing to ad executive Paul Tilley’s suicide.”
Some of the disucssion of this is at: <a href="http://community.nytimes.com/comments/http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/business/media/03blog.html?sort=recommended” target=”_blank”>http://community.nytimes.com/comments/http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/business/media/03blog.html?sort=recommended
It started with the question, “Why should Web site operators or Web hosts bear any responsibility at all for anonymously posted comments?”, and used comparison to the Postal Service who doesn’t bear responsibility for mail fraud and other crimes when the U.S. mail isutilized. Another exampe a person argued was the the phone company not bearing responsibility for threatening calls made over its lines.
A counter point was that The 1st Amendment does NOT guarantee that speakers remain Anonymous! and that commentors on the internet should either be:
“required to verify their identities or have their comments rejected if not meeting the smell test of simple human decency. It’s like those hunting websites where a ‘hunter’ can control a robot rifle on a game preserve somewhere. A guy in his pajamas pushes a few keys in his den,and somewhere in Texas a real deer goes down. There are consequences to what we say and do on or off the Internet. Anonymity should not provide a pass on civility.”
One commenter’s idea was that:
“They should Require NAMES under certain circumstances. It is that simple: as a society we should do this to prevent harm where possible and because there is no alternative way of preventing harm.
The method could be simple (and given the risk, well worth the effort): A series of questions are applied which determine whether a name should be required. There must be a way to verify the bona fides of the name supplied. Does the message state facts, opinion, etc. about a third party? If so, is any of the message negative? If Yes, then the Web site ought to require a bona fide name (the name MUST be proven bona fide or the system does not work).”
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