The end of anonymous Internet comments?A bill introduced in the New York Senate could have far-reaching societal implications, as it seeks to prevent anonymous Internet postings almost in their entirety.

The bill introduced by New York State Senator Thomas F. O'Mara (R—Big Flats), S6779, would require that any anonymous post online is subject to removal unless the poster agrees to post and verify his or her legal name, IP address, as well as his or her home address, according to Yahoo News.

The relevant portion of the bill is as follows:

"A web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate. All web site administrators shall have a contact number or e-mail address posted for such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted."

Those who oppose the bill's passage are swift to point out the potential dangers and overall ineffectiveness that the bill would pose if it does in fact pass.

First, IP addresses do nothing to verify a person's identity. Yet, the bill also requires a poster to  include their home address. Critics are weary that posting one's home address on a controversial Internet posting could open people up to real-life threats.

It seems unlikely that the bill will pass. Nevertheless, if it does it would provide for a drastic change in the landscape for all comment based websites because those who are interested in posting comments would be forced to consider the ramifications of each and every comment that they post, in fear of having to reveal their name home address.

Finally, as mentioned in the Yahoo News article, "the most likely result of the bill's passage would just be the full-scale elimination of all comment systems everywhere, because the system is an unworkable burden on both the poster and the 'web site administrators' who would need to respond to ludicrous take down requests at all times of the day."

What do you think?

 

 

 

Facebook
Twitter