Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is Anonymous Speech Worth Protecting?

Blog Post Review:  "Outing" People with Controversial Views Means Less Speech
Author: Andy Sanders
Published: 7/21/2001

  The "Make No Law" blog had a post with a very succinct description of why anonymous speech should be ( and has been) protected.

"[People]can decide where they stand on [an] issue without knowing where others stand, and they have no more right to know who is financially backing speech about [an issue] than they have a right to know which way anyone will vote on it.  But that’s the whole point--outing people who disagree with you on the issue.  Proponents of disclosure laws want to be able to demonize those on the other side, and they can’t do that without forcing them to disclose their identities."

  It would seem like disclosure laws actually allow for the dilution of intelligent speech by enabling demonizing arguments, which by their nature are fallacious.  The rest of the article centers on a recent change in the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board's disclosure policies where non-profits who donate over $5000 to ballot campaign committees must disclose any of THEIR donors who gave more than $1000.  That's quite the chain of custody over who is responsible for ballot campaign related political speech.


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Vincent Van Gogh