After all, such responses will raise a Website’s hits and hits translate to higher placement in search engines and so forth and so on, blah, blah, blah.
For evidence, one has only to go online, find a site with news articles and read the comments posted by readers. Many opinions are perverse if not utterly depraved. If Grossman is correct and the anonymity of a site makes normal folks post messages that are amazingly abhorrent, then there is a darkness lurking inside folks that these sites unleashes.Printing letters that are anonymous are still avoided by good newspapers unless shielding the writer’s identity is a security issue and the letter is important enough to print. Sadly, those same papers have website comments sites where any muttonhead with a keyboard can rant and rave until frothing at the mouth.
In truth, these anonymous news give power to cowards who suddenly believe they have license to say whatever malicious and, often, utterly asinine drivel pops into their little minds. Concealing in an office or at home or at an internet café, safe from any reprisal, they covertly blather on, hurling invectives and harshness without identifying them as a miscreant and worrying about a friend, acquaintance or coworker. These anonymous posts create the ideal storm; the gutless have a forum to present their gutlessness.
Real people who have real thoughts, reasoned and sensible, are never afraid to own their opinions. They write what they consider and submit it knowing full well that some, perhaps many, will disagree. If the opinion is fair, good-conceived and nicely delineated, then having one’s name attached to it shouldn’t make anyone fearful.
The Colorado Higher Ed News, on my Website, I don’t have to stand anonymous rants composed by cringing cowards too fearful of the world to put their name on their thoughts – And, really, how much more cowardly can many people get? Refusing to possess their views is like attempting to distance themselves from their face. Not having a forum where readers can comment is preferable to having an anonymous post where HarryNads, Dickman10 or any Tomcat99 can post whatever dumb thought pops into what’s laughingly known as a mind.
Doug Hawk, editor and writer of the Colorado Higher Ed News, is a retired public relations director and novelist. His novel, The Devouring, was named one of the 10 Greatest Horror Novels of the Year by Science Fiction Chronicles and his short story, “Plane Scared,” appearing the the Horror Writers Association anthology Under the Tarmac, gained a Top Hand Award from the Colorado Authors League for Best Adult Short Fiction.