Sunday, June 11, 2006

Anonymous Blog Owners and Anonymous Blog Comments should be ignored!

I read with great interest the following article from Charley Foster’s Blog . Since my wife is a 3L at the University of Utah Law School we both find his blog informative and more importantly fact based. As many of you know who read the papers, I have been involved in some legal issues that hopefully will be settled this coming week. Unfortunately the other party involved felt it necessary to involve the media in this matter and that has drawn the interest of several blog sites who have chosen to post articles and allowed anonymous comments that have been totally false or pure speculation.

From Charley Fosters Blog
Friday, June 02, 2006

"bloggers not liable for anonymous comments on their blogs least in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Some time ago I wrote that the pre-emption clause of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act ought to block such claims, and here the U.S. District Court held exactly that, saying the act overrides the traditional treatment of publishers under statutory and common law". - Dimeo v. Max (pdf)

Two local blogs in particular and have chosen to post false information or pure speculation and allow anonymous comments full of lies and innuendo that have been hurtful to both myself and my family to be posted on their sites.

In my opinion no Blog owner should be anonymous. Why should someone who posts articles about other persons or public policy hide behind a cloak of secrecy? In the case of Ethan Millard’s slcspin the pure garbage that is posted on this site should be taken to the dump and buried.

A recent post from The Fly on the slcspin site has caused a real firestorm within the GOP leadership.

I find it interesting that Steve Devore has finally come clean and admitted his involvement with this site. I really think the owner of Utah Conservative should do the same.

What I find most interesting with Steve Devore’s The Fly Blog is one of his most recent posts.

"No More Anonymous CommentsThe Fly has allowed anonymous comments on his blog. As he has read the comments, many of the comments have been somewhat scurrilous in nature and some have been downright untrue. Effective immediately, the Fly will require people who want to make comments to identify themselves with their full names and e-mail addresses. We’ll follow the same letter-to-the-editor principles of the major newspapers that require the writers to identify themselves.
If you want to provide anonymous tips for investigation, you can still do so. These tips are the lifeblood of the Fly. These tips will not be published but will be investigated and then reported if there is something there. The tipsters will never be identified."

This is the exact reason why my Blog site does not allow anonymous comments. If you are not brave enough to use you real name when you post a comment or own a Blog site, of what real value are your postings?

I would say worthless

Mark E. Towner
Proud Owner and Identified Poster always of the Political Spyglass

1 comment:

Neal Tobia said...

I am the webmaster for My website theme is "Ideas for the 21st Century". I do my best to observe copyright law and I also allow anonymous submissions. I am the sole proprietor of my website and have no employees, which leaves me in a positoion which I feel is advantageous over the "free" presses which have employees: I always take sole responsibility for my anonymous posts unless the actual author(s) want to declare their copyrights independently. I do this by asserting my 5th Amendment Right rahter than my 1st Amendment right when I am asked to reveal my "sources". I don't even understand how "free speech" or the responsibility to "petition" offers any protection to bought-and-sold corporate interests. Usually the "Free Press Corporation" forsakes their reporters to jail in order to hide their false accusations against the rich, the poor and the global society in general. I simply take responsibility for waht I post personally if my "source" wants to remain anonymous. If they want to claim their copyright and can prove they have the right to the post, then I have no choice but to let them come forward and take full liability for what they have submitted to Greenspeech.

Also using email addresses, names or other aliases (even if "verified") provides no legal shield for slander, libel or copright violators.

Ross Tobia
Copyright 01/19/2008 19:22 EST