Anonymous comments, gutless trolls, and why it’s time we all stop drinking this digital poison

Why is anonymity, the bane of every newspaper Letters Editor in the world, accepted as cyber-journalism – the more hateful, the more understandable?Recognise this chap? He is a “liar”, an “idiot”, a “terrorist sympathiser”, “deceitful”, a “disgrace”, an “insane liberal fool”, he is “on the payroll of the Muslim Brotherhood” and “on the payroll of euro neo-nazis”. He is “mad” (in Arabic as well as in English). But wait. This poor bloke is also “an ignorant Jew-hating worthless piece of shit” whose “hate can be seen in his eyes”. “Pigpiss be upon him in Hell”, is one of the curses directed at him.He tells “lie upon lie, all of them directly or indirectly aimed at the destruction of Israel”. And he has received the following message: “The Islamist cut-throats you sympathise with would gladly slash your pencil neck from ear to ear just because you won’t bow to their bloodthirsty pedophile [sic] prophet.” And now a clue. In this same list of website filth – sent over just two days – an anonymous writer adds: “Could Robert Fisk be next?”

Anonymity on the Net is as pathetic as the anonymous “sources” that have contaminated the gutless journalism of the New York Times or CNN or the BBC for decades. And the innocent must be able to seek redress in cyberspace as well as in print. Poison-pen letters are illegal. So are offensive electronic messages, if the Malicious Communications Act of 1988 is to be believed. So why should we be forced to drink poison on the Net?
www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/anonymous-comments-gutless-trolls-and-why-its-time-we-all-stop-drinking-this-digital-poison-8446788.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.