Trolls and Bullies

Where did we get the idea that Internet communications should be anonymous? The Internet registration authority, ICANN, requires that all websites and IP addresses have real contacts, but once you get into a system like Twitter or Facebook, accountability disappears.

It is not enough that when an anonymous person bullies someone, disparages someone, or publishes lies that the person attacked gets to complain to the manager of the system who may or may not punish the offender. A bully’s penalty is have their Twitter account closed? In the world outside Twitter or Facebook, a bully is shamed for their actions. Someone must consider consequences when on stands up in a public forum and tells lies or disparage someone. In Facebook, the bully or propagandist is protected, but the bullied has little recourse.

I think we have to require that Internet services know who their users truly are and those identities should be public. These services are not small anonymous chat rooms anymore. That was the model in the infancy of the Internet, but the Internet has to grow up and foster responsible communications.

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