A Washington state coalition of newspaper editors and reporters will host a forum to discuss the current and future impact of anonymous on-line commenting on news media websites. The forum will be made up of notable media experts from the Kitsap Sun, The Peninsula Daily News, the West Seattle Blog and the Port Orchard Independent. The discussion will focus on how the evolving impact of anonymous speech and commentary in the blog-o-sphere and media news sites will impact how the news is perceived by the public. A discussion on social discourse and what should and should not be allowed, as far as comments go, will be a highlight of the session.
The outcome of this event will be interesting to follow. It’s difficult to know if this is an attempt to accept anonymous speech as an inherent part of the way society interacts or if this is the beginnings of “anonymity management”.
Anonymous comments often offend other readers, while riling up others. If you haven’t experienced the flowery commentary of an impassioned anonymous blog follower- you probably don’t own a computer or smart phone. Most of us have seen the spew of emotional and reactive discourse that flows effortlessly from the mouths of emboldened bloggers and commenters. It is important that this element of our digital society not be squelched.
Anonymous messaging and anonymous email along with the ability to speak freely without being impaired by those who would not want fair and open discourse would strip the away the relevance of good reporting and the purpose of the media.
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