Monday, March 10, 2008

Making Anonymous Posting Illegal

How backward is Kentucky?  When it comes to free speech, their state legislature will have a chance to answer the question.

Representative Tim Couch (a Republican, unfortunately) has introduced a bill to make anonymous posting of anything on the internet illegal.  According to a story from Lexington's KTVQ, couch so much wants to stop on-line bullying that he's willing to take away Kentuckians rights.  

Anonymous posting allows individuals to say what they really think, without fear of what others might think of their opinion and without fear of their own personal safety.  That safety could be threatened if Couch's measure became law - since it would also require registration of the individuals address with each host website.  How many people would retreat from public debate for fear that some lunatic who might read their comments would track them down?  Keeping one person's voice silent for fear is too many.

In the short time that this blog has been running, I've had numerous anonymous posts.  In fact, most of the feedback I've gotten on what I have published has been anonymous.  Quelling that debate is not the right answer to any question.

On-line bullying might be a problem - but anybody reading an anonymous internet post should take it for what it is . . . a statement that could be made by anybody, with or without knowledge of any specific situation.  No such comments should be taken too seriously.

Kentucky legislators have a choice, they can stand up for liberty and the First Amendment or they can vote for Representative Couch's ill-conceived bill.  


Anonymous said...

Slight problem with this law: In order to arrest them for posting anonymously, they have to know who they are, but if they know who they are, they're not posting anonymously. Hmmm.... I sense the government at work.

St. Louis Conservative said...

Excellent point. I hadn't thought of that.