The Associated Press reports another story involving online anonymity and outing critics. In this case, a Wisconsin newspaper turned over the identity of a critic without any subpoena or court order…. and subsequently regretted it. The incident generated discussion, yet again, about whether anonymous critics are entitled to protection of their anonymity.
Getting named the local paper’s Person of the Year was supposed to be an honor for small-town politician Dean Zuleger. But the award only enraged many townspeople.
Readers anonymously flooded the Wausau Daily Herald’s Web site with comments bashing Zuleger’s salary, his management style, his weight.
“I have just two words for Dean Zuleger, and they are … A) anger management. B) salad bar. C) Rod Blagojevich. D) all of the above. The correct answer is D.,” one posting read.
Zuleger, administrator of the Wausau suburb of Weston, demanded to know who was saying all those nasty things about him, and the paper did something unusual: It handed over one critic’s e-mail address.
Read more from The Associated Press.