20 Aug 2014
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Halloran Rails To Fox News Against Anonymous Comment Ban

Legislators propose outlawing posts by unidentified commenters on NY-based sites.

Halloran Rails To Fox News Against Anonymous Comment Ban

Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, is breaking rank with GOP members in the State Legislature, to blast a Republican sponsored bill banning anonymous online comments.

The bill, known as the Internet Protection Act, would require New York-based web administrators to remove comments made by anonymous posters, unless the poster agreed to attach their real names, according to the Huffington Post.

“This is an unconstitutional attempt by New York State to play Big Brother on the Internet,” Halloran told Fox News. “Will it soon be illegal to publish an anonymous novel or distribute an anonymous work of art?”

The bill defines an anonymous poster as:

"… any individual who posts a message on a web site including social networks, blogs forums, message boards or any other discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages."

It's long been a sore point for Internet users. While anonymity grants security to those with unpopular viewpoints, it also holds the door open for harrassment, online bullying, and derailing civil discussion through "trolling."

Patch's policy of allowing anonymous comments has given some readers the freedom to discuss sensitive subject, but it has caused some issues among posters .

State Senator Thomas O’Mara, a sponsor of the bill, was quoted in Wired as saying it would bring accountability to the Internet, but Fox reported that last week, he said he had not considered that the bill could be a violation of First Amendment Rights.

said he would ask local business owners, who of course are subject to anonymous online reviews, ratings and comments, whether or not they support the bill.

What do you think, Bayside? Do you think a fair hike is reasonable?

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