Papers, please

This is an interesting question:

It’s a tricky one, right? Netizens have fiercly argued for the right to anonymity online for decades.

In my opinion, for what it’s worth, people should be accountable for what they say – whether that’s on the street, or on Twitter. It’s a trivial thing for me to say. I post here under my real name, use social media sparingly and I’m a middle-aged white guy, living in a safe country. It would make no difference to me. Some people need to be anonymous, for their safety and not because they want to be a dick to people without consequences. I’d argue that social media isn’t the best choice for them anyway.

Deep down in the thread, someone suggests a two-tiered system where anonymous handles are allowed but with restrictions, i.e. limited posts per day, or can’t post to the public timeline. Someone else says that all this talk of ending anonymity is a distraction because it is platforms that must be more accountable, and ending anonymity hurts the vulnerable most. Both good, and equally valid.

Facebook has had a real name policy since 2014 but is still.. not great? So maybe the argument is moot anyway. Even so, I’m more sympathetic to the view that real names are better.

Whichever side you come down on, I’m sure that we would agree that there’s much more that can be done to improve discourse on social media.