The following is a commentary submitted by Allan Berlind.
I’ve been a regular reader of the Middletown Eye, but never before a contributor. When I access the site, I do so in the hope that pretty much all the content will be worth reading. With that aim in mind, I offer the suggestion that the blog would be very much improved if it were to ban anonymous posts and comments. If identities had to be attached, there would be a substantial improvement in the value of the information available to readers, in the interest level of the posts and commentary, and in the civility of the interactions. If contributors had to take some responsibility for their posts by revealing their identities, they would be likely to give a bit more thought to what they say and the general intelligence of the content would rise.
The kerfuffle that started last week with an identified post from a defeated candidate for Congress (Nov. 8; “Opinion: A Sad Day”) is a case in point. In terms of importance and interest, Mr. Winsley’s post was an eye-opener that provided valuable information to readers about the quality of a candidate who had otherwise been invisible and, more significantly, about the party which saw fit to put him up as a candidate.
If exactly the same sentiments had been expressed anonymously by him or by another poster they would have simply been a whiny rant with essentially no value. Of the seventeen comments that have, to date, followed the initial post, eleven are anonymous. I find the overall difference in quality between the anonymous and identified comments to be striking. The majority of those posted anonymously are simply not worth the time it takes to read them.