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Illinois lawmaker wants to ban anonymous internet commenting

Feb 22, 2013


Oh gosh. There is a part of me that finds this incredibly, quixotically adorable in its sheer naivete. Illinois State Senator Ira Silverstein proposed a new bill this week called “The Internet Posting Removal Act“, which would somehow outlaw internet pseudonyms. Just to make sure that rapscallions like BieberFever789, GotMILF42, and LoneWolfe34 will be held accountable for their comments on the fly-fishing subreddit or what have you.

According to the bill, administrators of blogs, social media platforms, message boards, and chat rooms (if chat rooms are still a thing) would have to make sure that everyone who writes anything there is not only using their full legal name, but also that it lines up with their IP address.

I cannot fathom why or how Sen. Silverstein came up with this idea or why he even thought such a thing would be possible. Perhaps he got some unsavory comments on his attempt at a Harlem Shake video and would like to punish those responsible? That seems pretty likely. Either that or he was trying to increase the amount of community manager jobs available.

Alas, Illinois—while a lovely state that I thoroughly enjoy living in—does not so much have jurisdiction over the entire internet, so this bill probably isn’t going anywhere.

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