Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, October 26, 2006
I respectfully disagree with Hayduke.
I have never said that I didn’t like Mary Smith. I never implied it either. I have expressed frustration with her, but even then I invited her to coffee.
I never threatened to expose any one via an IP address. That was a delusion brought up by someone else, and as you know it is impossible to do based on an ip address alone. I am not a vicious person.
I didn’t try to figure out who Mary was. People came to me and said “I think I know who Mary Smith is.” Knowing the name of the person shed a whole new light on the content of her comments. Was I convinced who Mary was? No.
Did I bait Mary. Yes. Did she bite yes. Was it fair. Yes. If I could expose the people who are spreading rumors and innuendo about Gansler and O’Malley I would gladly do that as well. I think O’Malley and Gansler would agree with me on that point.
Believe me I tried very hard to find out who was behind the anonymous Gansler web site. I am just not smart enough or knowledgable enough to crack that code.
Why expose Mary? If one is going to spread vicious conjecture then I think they should do it publicly and not hide behind anonymity. A person hiding behind anonymity so they can make defamatory comments stifles debate and is not a first amendment issue. Exposing such people does not stifle debate – it encourages honest debate.
We are not talking about organized crime here. We are talking about the personal integrity of an individual being trashed without substance or proof.
The First Amendment doesn’t allow Americans to shout “fire” in a crowded theater unless the theater really is on fire.
The accused deserves to face their accuser. a la www.therealchris.com where Ken Ulman tried to hide behind his party and only confirmed it when confronted by a reporter.
Interestingly enough a student blogger Yale Law School discussed this on his blog this past December.
I agree with the bloggers conclusion, I paraphrase a bit. “It is nearly impossible to debate with an anonymous commenter. Only when knowing your debater is it possible to discuss the merits of somone’s claim. Civil discourse, common courtesy, and basic integrity demand no less.”
Call me old fashioned.