Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Commenters, bloggers, hacks, and authors

Commenters are men and women in real life, presumably, but on the Internet they are disembodied pixels of pure judgment that trade little more than an e-mail address for the privilege of hearing themselves speak in the virtual pages of publications otherwise inaccessible to the voice of the layman, in this case, the venerable Gray Lady. Many do so anonymously or with a user name, believing that though their words may be read, they are in no danger of facing the consequences of their free speech, least of all the very real consequence that working writers must face when they put fingers to keyboard: a libel suit. Some brave (or stupid) folks use their actual names, perhaps emboldened by the carnival-like spectacle that welcomes the performance of every comer willing to step right up.
Journalist Miriam Markowitz riffs on the blogosphere.

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