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Some of you guys won't like this...

Posted Monday, March 10, 2008, at 9:25 AM

Although this story is several days old, this is the first I've seen it.

Kentucky Representative Tim Couch filed a bill this week to make anonymous posting online illegal.

The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site.

Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted.

According to the story, if the bill became law, the website operator would have to pay if someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. The fine would be five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that.

This is extremely bad legislation. If something like this ever got passed, it would kill online forums and blogging like you wouldn't believe. Considering how some people react to the opinions of others, no one would dare to post their true thoughts and feelings in fear of the reaction.

The Internet is the modern equivalent of the pamphlets that were distributed during early American history, such as the stuff from fellows like Thomas Payne, back in the days when expressing your opinion could get you a visit from the boys in red representing the Crown. A lot of these one sheets were from anonymous authors or written under false names, for fear of retribution.

So what you guys think of this?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I'm not sure that would stop people from posting anonymously, they'd just make up fake names.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 9:57 AM

Maybe everyone should post under the name of Tim Couch ...

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 10:11 AM

So, this is what we pay these legislators to do . . . come up with stupid and useless bills and laws instead of working on real issues? This is totally stupid and waste of time. The taxpayers of Kentucky should ask for their tax dollars back that has paid his salary and make him get a real job.

Its almost like the legislation Georgia is trying to pass about the Tennessee/ Georgia boundaries. There is no point!

I agree with Brian . . . if that was to pass then everyone should use his name. Who is going to enforce this ridiculous law anyway?

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 10:53 AM

All I had to read was "Kentucky Representative" and I knew there was some stupidity involved :)-

I wonder if this is the same Tim Couch, that used to be QB for the KY football team and then went bust in the NFL. Maybe his brains got scrambled.


-- Posted by HorseGentler on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 11:38 AM

Well according to the posted link it makes no mention of ever playing football, so that cannot be the explanation for his bonehead bill.

Hmmm what could it be? Eastern KY. maybe?



-- Posted by HorseGentler on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 11:41 AM

Someone folks are going to change their names to their screen nicks and do regular life with their original names as their pseudonyms.

"'plutonium_teacake' IS my real name,officer."

I wish I could expect all our leaders to not only recognize problems but find solutions that aren't worse than the original dysfunction.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 1:00 PM

Isn't that a violation of privacy? I agree with Jaxspike. Shouldn't they be dealing with more important issues? Apparently, he needs a job that keeps him busy. It sounds like he has way too much time on his hands!

-- Posted by candasons07 on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:03 AM

I think this legislation is a joke. Oh, and it's not Payne, it's Paine.

-- Posted by volfanatic on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:21 AM

-- Posted by edapaine on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:35 AM

Please, if you are a journalist check your facts. Thomas Paine did not spell his last name Payne. This is a good sign of the times. Our journalists, that we trust to present the facts, do not check their facts on everything presented in all public forums. We all make mistakes but if I do it may cost someone their life. When a journalist makes a mistake we may choose the wrong public official or elect an unfit political representitive.

-- Posted by edapaine on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:45 AM

As a side note: I do attach my real name to these postings because just as my forefather I do not fear public or personal repirsals for presenting my opinions in ANY public forum.

-- Posted by edapaine on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:53 AM

Considering this is a blog and not a news piece, I think he should be given some leeway for not using the correct spelling of Thomas Paine. I doubt any lives are in danger for it nor was it essential in a personal opinion piece in blogging. We should all aspire to always use correct spelling and recognize correct names but in this situation I don't see the problem.

I think Brian's journalistic integrity remains intact.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 1:28 PM

If pseudonyms were good enough for Publius,Candidus,Pacificus,Jack Nipps,Clarendan,Silence Dogwood et al,they should be good enough for us.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 5:58 PM

If you check some of the legislature going on, we are living in the modern equivelent of early American history. Legislatures might as well be in England again, for as much as they listen to the people.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 8:15 PM

should read "legislators" srry.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 11:46 PM

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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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