Letters | July 1, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - July 1, 2011


Online anonymity

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Posted by Paul Berry
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Regarding anonymous comments: I strongly agree with Jonathan Angel. I thank him for expressing so clearly what's wrong with permitting irresponsible anonymous on-line postings.

I have on occasion read thoughtful and useful discussions that were contributed on-line. But, sad to say, not often. Far too many comments seem to have been written by dyspeptic grouches or smart-ass juveniles.

If I were a realtor, I would hope that no one thinking of moving to Palo Alto would --while exploring the area and its resources-- come across the vacuous, mean-spirited, empty-headed remarks that all too often are posted as comments on your (no-- our!) on-line pages.

You wouldn't include such trash in the printed paper-- please don't continue to let a handful of trolls befoul the on-line version.

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Posted by No
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:56 am

The problem is that, though there are trashy comments, there are also very vicious people in this commmunity who blackball and punish anyone who disagrees with the far left view of politics or economics. I learned that the very hard way from my kids being bullied at school because other parents talked about their highly ignorant views about me to their kids, who took it out on mine... to purposeful scratching my car from not liking my bumper sticker to blackballing me in volunteer work i was trying to do.

No, there are vicious and scary folks here, who punish strongly for different views. I suppose in any group-think area, from strong right wing to strong left wing, there is probably strong group pressure to conform. But, I gotta say, I lived in the deep south during the race wars, and the pressure here to conform is akin to the pressure then..dangerous.

So, then, as now, there is a value to allowing anonymous posts that can express a view you would never hear otherwise. (Then, it was anonymous "graffitti" that said such horrid things as "all of us are created equal" and "God sees no color" and "We all have the same color blood").

Keep an open mind. Most adults know that most of the ridiculously childish or insane comments that are anonymous are, indeed, from the childish or deranged, and we are above that. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater by forbidding all anonymous posts, please. I think for most Palo Altans, sometimes the few of us who are libertarian and/or conservative and who post are the only times PA has a chance to see "the other side" of the strong group think mentality.