My take: by Geoffrey Agombar

The format of a My Take is 150 words – no more, no less – to express an opinion on a different topic each week. This week’s topic was internet comments

My first job in journalism was at a weekly back home in Nova Scotia. That paper’s dead now.
I remember complaining to my boss’s boss when corporate stripped comment sections from all affiliate websites. Two-way communication is a hallmark of modern media, I railed!
A democratised internet is the future, the future is now, I sermonized!
My boss’s boss never answered.
In retrospect, he had zero influence over that decision anyway. I was just another righteous voice in his inbox.
There is a power in access to audience. There is a freedom in anonymity. Online comment threads are often a quagmire where those freedoms roil and fester.
At Bishop’s this week, students have used the protection and power of anonymity to gather and amplify, building influence and positive inertia toward change.
Privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity are ethically neutral. How we ab/use them is the question.

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