Anonymity is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the United States was founded, in part, thanks to Thomas Paine’s anonymously written, pro-revolution pamphlet Common Sense. On the other hand, 12-year-olds who post anonymously on the internet can be rather unpleasant and cause real problems by cyberbullying. Whether you think the good outweighs the bad, this news is troubling indeed: A far-reaching bill introduced in the New York State Senate could end the practice of posting online once and for all.
Introduced by New York State Sen. Thomas F. O’Mara (R—Big Flats), S6779 would require that any anonymous post online is subject to removal if the poster refuses to post and verify — their legal name, their IP address, and their home address.