For Chapter 14: "Nobody is Safe from Everybody"

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The last post discussed how the internet's "ffee market of discourse" is free also of conscience. Let's look for a moment at the website called Dumponyou.com ("Who do you hate and want to bash today?"), which encourages users to "share your anonymous stories with the world."

You can "anonymously" post a story about a neighbor, co-worker, politician, or anyone else. Then you can send an "anonymous" email to other neighbors, etc., and tell them the story is there so they can come and read it. They can post "anonymously" any comments they have about your story. If it's a problem you'd like to discuss with the group, you can "anonymously" invite them into an "anonymous" chat room, where nobody can be identified.

Anonymity, needless to say, does not stimulate an excess of caution, or responsibility or, you know, evidence. Here's an example from the website:

I've sent anonymous emails to everyone in our sales group to give you a warning about Todd, our new VP of Sales. You all know he's Mr. Breslins nephew and that's probably the only reason he was hired. I'm sure you all could tell as soon as he was introduced to us that he is gay. Personally, I don't have a problem with that as long as he keeps his preferences to himself. Todd was in some real trouble for sexual discrimination and harassment in his last job. If you Google him you'll find out what I mean. Just put his first and last name in and Seattle, Washington, and all the headlines come up. He fired several people for no apparent reason and replaced them with gay friends. The whole mess ended up in suit with the company settling out of court and having to pay each of the people that got fired. Maybe Todd has changed his ways and will be different working for his uncle, but I felt I had to give all of you fair warning so you'd be a little more careful. I've also sent emails to Mr. Breslin and to Todd so they could read this and he'd know we are aware of his problem and we are watching.

The dumponyou.com logo, fittingly enough, is a jackass sitting on a toilet.
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