Hi. For just a moment I’d like you to consider me anonymous. I have feelings just like you. I have a voice just like you. I have needs just like you. I am Anonymous.
Sometimes I need to be an individual. But there are many times when I want to feel part of the greater whole of humanity. There are situations when my own personal needs are not as important as the needs of everyone else. Call it altruism if you must, I call it being anonymous.
To some anonymity means they can do what they want when they want and no one will know it’s them. It offers them some pseudo-protection. It is a false belief that they hold. Privacy has become something we need to pay for like a first-class seat on an airplane. Privacy isn’t free. If you want to be private then you need to behave in circumspect ways. It’s foolish to claim to want privacy and yet want to use your voice to object in public. It can’t be done.
Right now there are debates about allowing posters, or readers or listeners to comment on the news or items of note featured by the media. It’s all stuff and nonsense. Private companies are not required to air anything that they don’t feel adds to their business, unless of course it is a law which rarely applies.
The debate exists because the technology that would allow a private business to effectively handle “noise” is too expensive. So a lot of media outlets are ‘policing themselves’. Sometimes it works, and alternatively sometimes it doesn’t.
That is it. Private companies are pretending to act on behalf of the regular guy or gal. That would be you and me, or us. They are telling us that they want to offer us a forum. While it’s all very kind of them, ultimately it adds to their bottom line. The question for them then becomes ‘is this a distraction for our readers, or listeners?’ and if it isn’t much of one, then it’s very likely that the practice of allowing anonymous comments will continue. No harm, no foul. But if harm does appear to be stacking up against the media outlet then guess what? They will no longer allow anonymous public commenting.
Is that really so hard to figure out?
But guess what? You can’t shut out ‘Anonymous’. You can’t ignore ‘Anonymous’. Remember, Anonymous isn’t private! Anonymous is the name we use when we believe our small voice needs to be writ large! Anonymous is all of us, or maybe only some of us, but it encompasses the voice of more than one of us.
People who read the words penned by ‘Anonymous’ will either agree or disagree, or they won’t align with either side. Anonymous allows us to express feelings without agreeing with the speakers personal life.
Try as organizations and media outlets might- they can’t block Anonymous! They can’t stifle public opinion. They can’t deny a voice to the nameless and the faceless. When an issue so disturbs the sleeping giant that connects us all then there isn’t any way to hush it’s fears, or appease it’s irritation.
Anonymous isn’t something newspapers or internet blogs or radio shows or television programs ‘offer’ us. It is not a haven for whistle-blowers. It’s the voice we all use when we rise en masse against oppression or when we are collecting ourselves prior to finding an appointed leader!
Debating the legitimacy of ‘Anonymous’ is a lot of hot air! Anonymous has quite a history! Its older than ‘memes’. It’s older than ‘folktales’. It’s older than ‘choruses’. It’s the man on the street, the citizen of the village, or the wise elders in the parish. Anonymous has always and will always exist.
Will we read what ‘Anonymous’ thinks in our local paper? That is up to the Journal Register Company. Will we hear about it on our local radio station? Well, that is up to the board that operates WHBZ.
Will we hear what ‘Anonymous’ thinks if those outlets insist individuals name themselves?