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Kentucky Legislator Wants to Ban Anonymous Internet Posting

Good Idea or Bad Idea? Banning Anonymous Internet Posting

File this under "Oh, really?!" It seems a Kentucky State Representative, Tim Couch, wants to make anonymous Internet posting illegal. Couch is trying to pass a bill that would require you to register with your full name and address every time you posted anything on the Internet, in order to cut down on online bullying. Um, one word, Mr. Crouch: Hmmm. How exactly are you going to do this? Does this apply to blogs (because I know that Joe Blogger is not going to be pleased with that $500 fine)? And who's to say that everyone posting anonymously is a bully? What about forums in which you would reveal more because you're anonymous?

Of course, I can think of lots of awful Internet bullying situations, but I somehow doubt this could fix that. As I scratch my head, I'll leave it up to you guys to discuss.


Join The Conversation
bluecanary bluecanary 9 years
Dumb idea. Anyone with malicious intent could find away around it anyway, pointlessly inconveniencing everyone. *amen, hotstuff.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
Is he saying that all your personal information would be complete public knowledge- or could you still stand behind your online nickname as long as the webhost had all of your info? I would think that would be different than the anonymous posting you can do on certain websites. Komler is correct in that anything you do online can be tracked to you with enough work (the chances that you do something that bad would have to be extremely slim though). Even when an IP address is dynamically assigned there is a log of when and where it was assigned.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
sadly, this is a typical example of how things are going these days. this is really interesting, though: what is the relationship of this (banning anyonymous internet posting) to censorship in China (which it seems everyone in North America is so quick to judge, perhaps rightly so), as well as the subject of so many CitizenSugar posts about things like people in Saudi Arabia going to jail or worse for celebrating certain holidays (like Valentine's Day), and the notion of "freedom" generally? Let's look at the bigger picture here. What do you think?
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
Bad idea. I don't think it will do any good.
JessiShaye JessiShaye 9 years
I agree that government has no business in this but unfortunately until people can govern themselves, I don't think it's a bad idea. I think this stretches way beyond the function of government. It's not there to be a parent and protect our feelings but like it or not the internet has become a tool that makes it easier to target people physically. Sites like or any other blog are mean spirited and it makes me sad that even adults still maintain a high school mentality. There is no reason to put anything out into this world that you wouldn't want your name on. People need to learn how to take responsibility for their actions and until society learns how to be civil this might be necessary. Perhaps though maybe the policy needs to be demanded and implemented not by government but by websites who want to maintain the integrity of the behavior of their members and integrity of their information.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Politicians should just stick to their day jobs....whatever that is!
KHast KHast 9 years
That's a dumb idea. My personal information, such as my address, is rarely given out to people that I meet in real life situations, so there's no way on Earth that I would make it known to random strangers on the Internet.
Knight-Who-Says-Ni Knight-Who-Says-Ni 9 years
Horrible idea. We have identity theft to think about as well.
komler komler 9 years
As long as the forums/hosts/telecom companies have logs of IP numbers, anybody wanting to follow a trail of a poster for whatever reason can do it. You're not nearly as anonymous as you think you are. Debating under nicknames does give a certain freedom, with both good and bad results.
jdots24 jdots24 9 years
I agree this is a bad idea. While I hate people who abuse being anonymous by attacking others, I think it is valuable in some situations to remain anonymous. As a thought, how would you verify that people register with their real name anyways? @SillyRuleMan - LOL my thoughts exactly!
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 9 years
Same effect to perjury. It's against the law to lie in court, but really how many of you really think everything out there is "the whole truth, and nothing but". It would be insanely hard to track everyone, what with dynamic IP addressing and portability. I mean heck my phone company can't even get my service address right! It's just everyone trying to get us a step even farther away from net neutrality.
Lindira Lindira 9 years
Kids are going to bully each other, whether it's online or not. The government can't prevent that, and it would be fruitless to try. Parents need to step up the challenge and teach their children how to deal with bullying of all kinds, so that the kids will grow up to be well-adjusted adults. And anyway, I would think that knowing right off the bat who's saying all those crappy things about you online would be far more hurtful.
SillyRuleMan SillyRuleMan 9 years
Hi everyone, representative Tim Couch here*. I just wanted to thank you all for you overwhelming support of my excellent idea. Oh, wait a minute, you all think it's a bad idea. Hey, wait a minute, this isn't even me. But I signed in and registered and everything. Who am I? Who are you? Seriously, though, if you live in Kentucky, maybe you should write to Mr. Couch at his office and let him know how you feel: or via US post (remember that :-) Representative Tim Couch 702 Capitol Ave Annex Room 432B Frankfort KY 40601 * Just to be painfully clear, this is not Mr. Couch, but someone grateful to TeamSugar for not being too tight with their registration policy.
steen steen 9 years
I think anonymity on the Internet is necessary. Sure, there are downsides and a lot of hot issues about pedophilia and bullying, but it's cathartic for A LOT of people --- look at PostSecret. We shouldn't need this kind of government interference on an issue like this; people need to be smarter about the Internet and protect themselves.
melanie-RN melanie-RN 9 years
I totally know that guy. He owns a gas station in our extremely small town!
skilledatlife4 skilledatlife4 9 years
What about children who are told never to give out their name or any other personal information on the internet? It could get really dangerous for them! This is just not a good idea. I value anonymity online. Although people can see what you look like in real life, even they don't know your real name and address! the same standard should apply...
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