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Comments made anonymously should be substantiated

Posted: December 13, 2013 - 10:12am

The high level of journalism displayed by the Clarion and Ms. McChesney in their coverage of Cook Inlet’s fishery issues stands in stark and startling contrast to the public commentary offered in the Clarion’s online edition and in public comment on Internet forums.

Moreover, letters to the editor require a name while online comments, whether on the Clarion’s site or on an Internet forum, are made anonymously. One need read only a smattering of anonymous, online comments to realize that what some folks say from the safety of anonymity could be cause for punitive action if said openly.

Unsubstantiated accusations of state personnel and agencies — particularly ADF&G — are regularly made by people passing themselves off anonymously as “in the know,” and of knowing “who’s-doing-what-and-why.” What are the ethics of anonymous, online commentary? What are the legalities? Accusations and slander presented as fact when there is little to no evidence to substantiate the accusation or slander are or should be cause for legal action. On the other hand, such statements presented as opinion only are and should be protected under the 1st Amendment.

At CBS, Lara Logan and her producer, are on leave over possible inaccuracies in a 60-Minutes segment. Recently, a cheerleader won a defamation suit over Internet slander, and the website’s owner was also implicated. I’d encourage the Clarion — and Internet fora owners — to either disallow anonymity altogether or, alternatively, to require documented substantiation of any and all slanderous statements made about people and/or state agencies.

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leewaytooo
1735
Points
leewaytooo 12/16/13 - 05:25 am
0
0
"One need read only a

"One need read only a smattering of anonymous, online comments to realize that what some folks say from the safety of anonymity could be cause for punitive action if said openly."

"PUNITIVE ACTION"..............so, you want to physically assault people that have opinions other than your own?

If anyone, even "anonymous" people create libelous
statements, they could be held accountable.

no one is truly anonymous on the net.......

just ask the psychotic and the bedbug......not that the characters are "real" or anything...

tort that....

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/16/13 - 08:31 am
0
0
leewaytoo-government eyes

leewaytoo, You are correct- Agree 100%.
" no one is truly anonymous on the net"

Our government spy's on us all. And when a whistleblower comes forward to tell the truth, he must run and hide in Russia to stay safe from our own government's abusive power.

I know you feel so safe with our government watching us all and keeping the likes of Nelson Mandela on the terrorist watch list until 2008.

Raoulduke
2985
Points
Raoulduke 12/16/13 - 08:56 am
0
0
Running

Running to Russia for being a whistleblower isn't the only reason.He was guilty of violating his oath of secrecy.Which means major jail time.He is not anonymous on,or off the net.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/16/13 - 09:24 am
1
0
Only doing his job

He probably is guilty of breaking the law. However, when we face an ethical dilemma what should we do?

Ignore our conscious and follow the law. Which law is the highest in the land? The foundation of this nation is the Constitution. It is ignored by Washington and has allowed greed to take control of everything.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 12/16/13 - 09:48 am
1
0
Real Names

What I don't like is having to join with Facebook in order to comment on some sites. I really believe that Facebook is the new NSA. I resent having to join. I know I don't have to, but I am an outspoken person, so commenting is desirable to me..

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/16/13 - 10:36 am
0
1
No worry

No worry, I have nothing to hide.I tell the government everything I am doing. Taxes, guns money, they know everything. But those anonymous public commentators must be hiding something. I sure hope the government finds out what.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 12/16/13 - 10:46 am
2
0
Anon.

Point! The gov knows too much about me!

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/16/13 - 11:06 am
1
0
My point

Fear runs the nation. Our government generates fear around the world. And we fear what they may do to us if we boldly stand for our beliefs. What ever happened to land of the free and home of the brave?

I once read that courage is not the absence of fear but facing it.

Raoulduke
2985
Points
Raoulduke 12/16/13 - 02:35 pm
2
0
My Point

R.S.-You have hit the nail on the head. We have voters.Who are loyal to their Representatives.Unfortunately! The Representaives are so morally,and ethically numb.They would not recognize an ethical dilemma if it bit them on their ass.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 12/16/13 - 06:17 pm
0
0
R and R

I have plenty of guts, but no bail money, so...there's that. But, I truly am a Supervoter! Yup.

You're right about the Fear Factor. It does run our nation. The trouble is, it's not a collective fear. Everybody has their own fear. Freedom is fearsome, wouldn't you say?

I can fill a very lucrative job here in this tiny town, I have moved to; I have the skills they seek. Couldn't pass their tests. I'm 60. I know when to and when not to, ya know?

Can I work at the Bank, Ray? We should give out Toasters for any Savings Account over $25.00.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/16/13 - 06:32 pm
1
0
Money

As usual it's always about the money-bail money. Understanding money creation is more important than voting. We just don't get it. Vote for whomever. But he who controls the money controls everything. Including the politicians we elect.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 12/16/13 - 06:43 pm
1
0
Never heard of the Koch

Never heard of the Koch Bros., Geo. Soros, the billionaire that wants to ruin Chuitna for coal to China, etc. These boys are sittin' at a table playing chess with our lives. been that way since that Rocker fellah and the Industrial Age.

PS: WTF do the "points" mean by our avatars? Do I win something? I don't get that.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/16/13 - 08:49 pm
0
0
Again MONEY

He who controls the money controls everything. And big fossil fuel companies started the industrial age. And 100 years later we are still using fossil fuels. Until we understand the power of money we will never understand the full picture. Only complaints, no discussion. We the people could create the credit needed to control everything or at least give them a good run for the money.

Suss
3497
Points
Suss 12/17/13 - 01:02 am
4
0
Seafarer points

The points are for/from the government to keep track of the players. There is a magic number that nobody knows what it is, but the word is Snowden might leak it for Christmas or the Koch Brothers Industries have already bought the number.

Raoulduke
2985
Points
Raoulduke 12/17/13 - 05:53 am
3
0
Fear

Question: do you know the difference between the U.S,and France?
Answer: The government of France is afraid of their CITIZEN'S.Where as the U.S. CITIZENS FEAR their Government.Fear OUR government? How have the Citizen's of this country come to accept this? A damn SHAME.

leewaytooo
1735
Points
leewaytooo 12/17/13 - 06:48 am
4
0
as to facebook..... make up a

as to facebook.....

make up a name and there you are...

creates a layer....

still...........they....if they want to do so.... they

will find you.......I hide my identity in a secure place...

and it is not the north pole..........or maybe so.

cormit
226
Points
cormit 12/17/13 - 08:19 am
3
1
Anonymity

Commenters would be a lot more thoughtful and civil if they had to sign their real name to their comment. Facebook sign in isn't much better either ..... people just create a Facebook account with a fake name.

If a comment isn't good enough to sign ....... it probably isn't good enough to post.

corinnep
280
Points
corinnep 12/18/13 - 06:49 pm
2
0
Wasn't John Nelson the

Wasn't John Nelson the anonymous poster who called himself Carver? I don't recall him using his real name in those posts.

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 12/19/13 - 07:01 pm
2
1
Anonymous... so what?

Readers know to take unsubstantiated, anonymous comments with a grain of salt. The freedom of expression is still valuable. It lets people consider the possibility of something being true, and research it further, or simply understand misconceptions people have. Automatically attaching a name to a comment doesn't make a libel suit much easier, since the burden of proof in such cases is pretty high (you have to prove them to be false, prove that they knew it was false, and in most cases prove harm was done by the comment).

There are lots of reasons to make anonymous comments. Perhaps you are sharing a political viewpoint that differs from your family's, neighbors' or boss's opinion, and you don't want the tension it would cause.

Perhaps you don't want to open yourself up to endless ad hominem attacks by posting your name. And of course there is the small chance of actual retaliation from unstable people who are emotionally invested in a topic on which you disagree...

Even Benjamin Franklin used to publish under a pseudonym!

Steven Chamberlain
324
Points
Steven Chamberlain 12/20/13 - 01:14 am
3
4
Another word for kitty?

Perhaps anonymous bloggers just don't have any stones in their bag.

cheapersmokes
873
Points
cheapersmokes 12/20/13 - 09:26 am
3
3
Leeway?

Just to inform you that when the above was referring to "stones" he wasn't talking about having a sack full of rocks to throw. It could of been stated as "marbles,nuggets, or gonads." You might know them as the things in a sack about 3 inches from your brain. Also I find it very juvenile to refer to Republicans as repukes. After-all we do not refer to you as a brain dead idiot welfare sucker now do we. I learned long as when I was a Democrat that they only want to give people free money so they will have their continual vote while the GOP wants everyone to be wealthy. I decided I would much rather have money then live off the government. But as I aged I decided that both parties are controlled by their big donors and dance to their tunes so now am a fierce independent voters.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/20/13 - 09:39 am
0
0
Big doners

cheapsmokes, "But as I aged I decided that both parties are controlled by their big donors and dance to their tunes so now am a fierce independent voters."

Voting independently will not change things until we change who controls the money. Money creation by the private Federal Reserve Banks run it all. Then they take the money created and invest in money making schemes. Our national economy continues to falter. Money created is going to the wrong thing.

Public banking would be the start of real change in Alaska.

Raoulduke
2985
Points
Raoulduke 12/21/13 - 08:01 pm
1
0
Public

R.S.- A real good start for real change has to come with a changed MIND SET of the Alaskan VOTER. Change will not happen as long as the Alaskan voter is content RE ELECTING the status quo. Don't you think?

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/21/13 - 10:36 pm
0
0
New political party

OK, Alaskans recognize the two party system has failed and reject all Democrats and Republicans. We elect an Independent governor. A new party is formed called the “Good Guys/Gals Party.” The Good Gals/Guys party sweep into both houses of State government. Perfect. Now how are we going to get things done? Where will we get the resource of money to develop a successful economy?

Two scenarios come to mind when a nation or State does not have the money to develop a productive economy. We either look for foreign help or Corporate help. Today, the Ukraine has no money. They have a choice, follow the EU and allow their PRIVATE Central Bank (EU) to dictate the terms of borrowing money. Or align with China and Russia with agreements of cooperation and access to billions of dollars. The leadership in the Ukraine chose the latter.

Another nation needed to develop their resources back in the 60’s. Ecuador made the choice to allow Texaco (now Chevron) to develop their oil resources. Government needed money and only Texaco could develop Ecuador’s resources. Money was made and economic development occurred. The end result was environmental damage to the rain forest and expanding illnesses suffered by the people.

One other historical note. In the 1910’s North Dakota changed all their politicians. They wanted to create a public bank to help their local economy. They had no money. They went to the big banks to sell bonds thereby receiving the money needed. It failed. It took years before North Dakota was able to get the dollars to establish their public bank.

Alaska is in a unique situation. We have an untouched resource called dollars. We should establish a public Bank of Alaska and create credit and use it to find the best technologies and safely extract our resources. Note, I said best technologies. In many cases our technologies have not advanced to the point of extracting all our resources safely yet.

Raoulduke
2985
Points
Raoulduke 12/22/13 - 07:13 am
1
0
Party

Do any of these Independents have a Republican,or Democrat history? If so REJECT them as a candidate.I do not see any change in just voting for the same MIND SET. I have observed. Alaskans who say they are Independent.The great majority vote REPUBLICAN.No big surprise. Who chooses the NEW mind set candidates for this change?This is the most important step.There has to be a COMPLETE severing of ties to any established political party I will agree a small percentage of Alaskan's DO realize.The two party system is a sham,But the Alaskan still stubbornly stays with the status quo. So! Prior to changing our banking system.Which I do agree needs to happen .We truly need to EDUCATE the voter.But you can only lead a horse to water.Getting the horse to Drink the water is an all together different scenario.I am convinced.The level of Alaskan voter stubbornness will rule once again,and change will NOT happen.To many trees to see the forest.

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/22/13 - 08:56 am
0
0
spin your wheels

He who controls the money controls everything. I again post the history of the Bank of North Dakota. The people understood and changed their politicians but they had no money. Educate the voter on politicians? Many are educated and given up on voting. If the people do not understand money and economics we fail.

One other thing. The entire globe is changing politicians. In every case it's about a failed economic system. Look at the unemployment rate in these nations. Economics is the linchpin of Liberty and Freedom.

Listen to the history-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L75oinBuY1g

Raoulduke
2985
Points
Raoulduke 12/23/13 - 03:39 am
0
0
money control

R.S.-As I see the money control situation.The money control is in the hands of the CORRUPT .So! How do you change the corruption that is in bedded in our political system?This corrupt system has been recognized since President Lincoln.The state of Alaska is no different in the level of corruption in the political arena. So! What is the first step to take to instigate a positive change?

RaySouthwell
953
Points
RaySouthwell 12/23/13 - 10:26 am
0
0
Take control of money creation

Corrupt politicians will always be with us. However allowing private banks control over our money supply does not have to be with us. I believe politicians follow the money. Our Constitution placed money creation in the hands of Congress. But today, where does the money come from and who determines how is it to be used?

Raoulduke
2985
Points
Raoulduke 12/24/13 - 05:04 am
0
0
Exactly

R.S.-Agreed CORRUPT politician's can ALWAYS be with us through the RE ELECTION process,but can be stopped.When said politicians are discovered.First! Corrupt politician's have already circumvented some areas of the Constitution.How will that get corrected? The rules governing the private bank play.Were made by these same CORRUPT politician's.How is this to be corrected?Our CORRUPT politician's have given up some of their power.Just to aid the BIG CORPORATE.How is this to be corrected?Do you dare to ask a CORRUPT politician to give back his ill gotten gains,and change his ways? When the politician's are ethically numb.Our political system will not be corrected. Neither will the rules governing our private banking system.The CORRUPT powers that be will never vote to change from a private Alaska bank to a private bank.Why should they?When the VOTERS have allowed their behavior to continue.

Raoulduke
2985
Points
Raoulduke 12/24/13 - 05:08 am
0
0
correction

(SORRY) Final two words inSecond to last sentence in last comment should read PUBLIC BANK.

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