Anonymous online comments are made by verbal terrorists hurling incendiary rhetoric and hiding behind the moniker of free speech. Their goal is to inflict maximum damage to either the people in the news or to another online comment supporting the topic. While their exercise is little more than mental masturbation for their atrophied intellectual beliefs, they expose themselves as cowards just like the terrorists that throw real bombs.
Verbal Terrorists like anonymity
Terrorists hide in the shadows and strike in the dark of public knowledge. Unlike those anonymous people who hide behind cartoon avatars and foreboding handles, terrorists at least accept responsibility for their actions. The anonymous contributors attacking any rational reply or article are in constant fear of being exposed as the frauds that they are. Often times the anonymous posters hold radical right wing social and political views that have been deemed to be as unacceptable as racial and sexual jokes in public.
Politicians are visible
Regardless of what you think about hyper partisan politicians making gratuitous statements to appeal to their base, they are not hiding behind anonymity. Quite the contrary, they are seeking maximum exposure for their beliefs to further their political agenda.
Marginalized in society for hatred
People that make anonymous comments undoubtedly feel marginalized in a society that is progressing beyond primogeniture and stereotypes about race, gender or ethnicity. Their antediluvian and misogynistic ideas are no longer tolerated so they must spew the ashes of their discredited beliefs all over those who wish to engage in civil online discourse.
They still want their jobs
As stunted and regressive as these anonymous commenters may be, they are still smart enough to know where their bread is buttered. They understand the ostracism they would face if their friends, family and employer knew the true nature of their twisted mentality. These anonymous “exhibitionists” know their behavior would never be condoned or accepted in normal society so they must retreat to the shadows anonymity to satisfy their prurient political activity.
Irony of government employment
Consequently, the only time they can play with twisted political cards of their mentality in public is when they can hide behind a mask. Since we find out little about these verbal terrorists I just wonder how many have government jobs. In the Sacramento area federal, state, county, city, special districts and military employers collectively employ a sizable chunk of the population. I am sure several of these “government hating” anonymous posters derive if not all, a substantial part of their income from either direct government employment or selling goods and services to the government.
First Amendment free speech
Gregory Favre, Vice President of news for the McClatchy Co., points out in an opinion piece for the Sacramento Bee that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech but it also comes with responsibilities.
Everyone has the right to express himself or herself, just as professor Carey explained in eloquent terms for his students. And that right needs to be constantly and strongly defended. But shouldn’t you have the courage to put a name next to the words? If you really believe what you are saying, why hide behind an unrecognizable handle?
Mr. Favre’s opinion piece struck a nerve with me. I routinely post my comments on news stories in the online comment section of the Sacramento Bee. My opinions, which are identified by my real picture and name, are targeted by right wing anonymous terrorists usually attempting to coat my comments with napalm and set them on fire. They have taken what could have been an excellent forum for public discussion and thought and turned it filthy “adult store” of rude comments.
The replies to my comment on Favre’s opinion piece were actually pretty tame to what most people experience. This is my initial comment to “People should own up to their online comments” by Gregory Favre and some of the anonymous online folks that take exception to my opinion.
It was nice to see a fellow commenter, who happens to be conservative support my view.
Luvmolly took less kindly to my remarks about anonymity hiding the ugliness of one’s soul.
DarthUsurpus is paranoid about having his identity stolen. I wonder if he saw how Gap accidentally sent the private employment files of twenty former employees to a customer that ordered a wedding present.
Then there was mccauley444 with the avatar of a stick figure holding a gun accusing me of favoritism and bias.
When challenged to show their face in public they plead that they would be persecuted for their political beliefs. Yet, they have no problem researching my background and dropping accusations about my intentions. These anonymous hate-mongers leverage the very public information they fear to try and smear me and my motivations. They wouldn’t jeopardize the harmony of their families and jobs by making their identities public. They want the best of both worlds of free speech and no responsibility for their comments. They are cowards.
Protecting friends and family
Some of the comments, by anonymous people, said that their friends, family or employers suffered when their comments were attributed to their real identities. First, these people need to grow a spine and act like adults. Second, guilt by association is not tolerated. If you want to change the world you have to show your face just like so many did in marches for a woman’s right to vote or civil rights.
Several have pointed out, even on my website, that being a liberal is not good for business. I left the negative comment by an anonymous person because their reckless and paranoid vision of America is the problem, not my honesty. Again, I’m no coward. I don’t expect businesses to wear their politics on their sleeve, that’s a personal decision. But I do object to the disingenuous nature of some businesses that fail to disclose their true agenda. Let the consumer decide if they want their money supporting the cause of the company. Health insurance companies are notorious for this. They claim to support health care reform while setting up separate websites calling for the repeal of the law.
Anonymity furthers no cause
No anonymous group has ever brought change in society. No anonymous group has ever started a rebellion or civil war and won. Anonymity is the fool’s mask to overcome the impotence of their own lives and ideals. Anonymous comments, regardless of how salient and insightful, are ever considered truly valid. Anonymous comments furthers no cause and only acts as cerebral Viagra for those with intellectual dysfunction.