With few exceptions, the 500 million-plus people with Facebook accounts are just that, people. The post their real names, hoping to connect with real relatives, close friends and old friends and perhaps find some new friends.
These same folks may use false monikers when leaving comments on other websites, authoring blogs or hiding within cyberspace’s many tangled layers. They have their reasons for going incognito, and I hope the ease of ducking into virtual anonymity never goes away. But I also hope Facebook’s openness spreads to other parts of the Web.
I like reading comments on news stories and always use my real name when I add to the discussion. I wish other people would do the same. I don’t like the senseless drivel and mean-spirited comments left by the cowards who abuse the cloak of anonymity. As a David Spade character on “Saturday Night Live” used to say, "Take it outside. Take it outside."
Amber MacArthur of the Globe and Mail offers more on the transparency of Facebook and reasons anonymous voices are important in her blog post today:
The pros and cons of the anonymous Web
Share your thoughts about this. Use your real name. Or don’t. All I ask is that you don’t drag down this conversation — or any conversation — with hatred, off-topic vitriol or inappropriate language.