We question the Herald's policy to entertain anonymous commentary in the online Comments section. How is it The Herald rightly identifies the writers of letters published in the paper, but allows anyone to respond anonymously online? Why the double standard? Shouldn't commentators be held accountable for their words and influence?
Transparency should always accompany the privilege of public speaking. Anonymous speakers are accountable to nobody. How much bolder they are under cover of darkness! Can they be justified or effectively judged for credibility?
We have encountered several persons with pseudonyms like "Grin and Bear It," "Boris," "Kyle," and "Devil's Advocate" who irresponsibly spew silly opinions, insults and misinformation without having to accept responsibility. There's little doubt in reasonable minds that if anonymous persons were compelled to show themselves, they'd think twice before they spoke - like thieves without masks reluctant to rob a business with surveillance cameras. Loose tongues are bound to firm up under scrutiny.
It's fine to be anonymous to avoid credit for good deeds, but to avoid culpability for slander and evil is another matter altogether. Isn't that what we would call injustice? Cowardly critics should be required to give account for their secretive, and at times criminal, behavior.
Twice this year we had it out in the comments section with "Grin and Bear It," an anonymous aggressive defender of water fluoridation, one of the most egregious acts of pollution masquerading as health North Americans have ever suffered. How do we know he doesn't stand to gain from supplying this toxic substance? He could be a shill for a company that supplies it. For all we know, he lives in a fluoride-free city and wouldn't dare touch this horridly toxic pollutant, yet secretly promotes water fluoridation for profit.
He could be a dentist too proud to admit the travesty of fluoridation, exposed by the scrutiny of true science and applied ethics. We aren't allowed to know or to examine motives. Is that wise? Is that fair? Isn't this allowing a wolf the freedom of clandestine movement in a herd of sheep?
If we're to encourage an open, responsible society, The Herald needs to re-evaluate its policy. I only hope this paper isn't encouraging back-stabbing, fly-by-night, drive-by-shooting cowards in public discussion for its own publicity at the consternation and detriment of the public it presumes to serve.
Let the sun shine and justice prevail.