Sticks and Stones Break Bones~ Defamation hurts tooAnonymous freedom of expression must be maintained at all costs. Nevertheless, as in all good institutions, anonymous free discourse is subject to misuse. Nevertheless the expense must not be borne by an innocent victim or business.

Nevertheless, untrue allegations and demeaning smear campaigns are over and over again posted by anonymous bloggers. Time and again these cloaked miscreants demonstrate a form of antisocial (called sociopaths in past times) or another character disorder, & obsessed by hatred & driven by spite and cruelty. They derive great pleasure from hurting people; they are in fact fueled by the pain they inflict; a victim's torment is their sick trophy, or "narcissistic supply". Most individuals, such as 95% of those reading this article, can't begin to imagine what drives these people.

This lamentable social quandary has exploded in the last decade and manifested itself primarily through anonymous cyber defamation. In cases where courts have ordered that anonymous blog authors are to be unmasked in the full light of day, such orders are repeatedly followed by protests by a small yet boisterous band of fanatical activists who think that free speech should be unconditional and that the talker or author should not be held accountable for his or her speech, irrespective as to accuracy or deceptiveness of the allegations. I assume that if these same noisy pundits were to witness the devastating effects of a cyber bully attack and the physical, vocational, emotional, and social health of their targets and their families; they might think twice before being as vocal in their protests.

An inherent flaw of anonymous cyber libel is that credibility is reduced if critically considered by sharp and open-minded readers. Nonetheless, there is a new dynamic that accompanies the dilemma of vicious & anonymous Internet defamation. Whilst the statements may lack credibility, if the victim is being assessed for a job, consulting applications, Boy-Scout leadership (or a prom partner), the individual conducting the background check needs to look at the potential exposure to PR risks if associating with the victim. Although the prospective employer may see through the diatribe, the decision maker will need to be cautious about what their customers and partners will think if they are not as sophisticated and objective.

We would do well to consider what John F. Kennedy said in 1963: "The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society", this applies as much to secret and destructive cyber defamers as it does to the secret societies to which he referred.

Respectfully submitted, Michael of Rexxfield.