Anonymous bloggers should not be forced to reveal names
Free speech has been in the U.S. Constitution since its inception. Unfortunately, our forefathers had not anticipated anonymous bloggers.
Most recently, the trend came into the public spotlight when a blogger with the alias PittGirl revealed herself to be Virginia Montanez, only to face the direct consequence of losing her job.
PittGirl’s blog, The Burgh Blog, criticized her hometown of Pittsburgh, and most notably and without reserve, the actions of the mayor. Montanez had begrudgingly revealed her identity herself out of fear that it would quickly be uncovered without her knowledge by the media.
The fact that Montanez lost her job is just a little bit ridiculous. Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and cast members of Saturday Night Live criticize the actions of public officials and personalities all the way from Julia Roberts to the President of the United States on a daily basis, and make a living out of it. Their messages have been fueled by the same fire — criticism of what these people do, how they act, and why they are the way they are.
Anonymous bloggers are not the first to go on record without revealing their identities. For centuries, writers have published novels, articles, and other pieces under carefully crafted pen names. And what is a blog if not an online piece of literature?
PittGirl is not the first case by far to cause big media controversy. Some cases of anonymous bloggers have even gone as far as the Supreme Court demanding the blogger unveil his identity.
The world has so many more problems right now that a Supreme Court case over a blog and a woman losing her job after revealing her identity as a critic of the Pittsburgh mayor just seem ridiculous.
Whatever people are saying about a person or an issue, it means that they care — and in the majority of cases, this should be taken as a compliment.The public needs to learn to appreciate these anonymous bloggers for caring so much about the world to criticize it, and the people talked about need to learn to take the compliment that they are just that important in some people’s lives to be constantly blogged about. Anonymous bloggers are not going away, and the public needs to come to terms with it.