Privacy Shmivacy

My questions on privacy policy and practices remain unanswered in light of the shadycat episode. In fact, the political damage inflicted by the disclosure seems to justify the cost/return of outing anonymous posters  and further generates local media coverage by the Recorder and local radio to amplify the political damage. For WCSS, a ‘win-win’ all around.

Let me pose the question a different way: I know the identity of an anonymous public official who made insulting and offensive comments; am I justified releasing their name? (not that I will) If said person was on the opposite side of your political party — you choose– would you support WCSS and the Recorder in running the story? What standard do you use to ‘draw the line’ of disclosing identities? For local media covering this story, what level of commentary rises to the level of compelling public interest to disclose? And on  and on….

Here my questions sit, cold, alone and unanswered still:

– Was shadycat’s identity revealed by the blog administrator or host? If so, to whom was that information revealed?

-Does shadycat’s characterization of South Side residents justify a public disclosure of comments made anonymously? If so, must we then disclose the identity of anonymous blog posters whose comments we find insulting or distasteful?

-Will public disclosure of anonymous commenters only apply to the Web or does the same standard apply to radio callers?

-Will WCSS adopt similar tools for their anonymous callers such as caller ID to  discover their identity ? Does WCSS employ caller ID  for their radio shows? Does WCSS keep a record of such calls and callers? How about WVTL as well?

-What privacy policies do local radio stations adopt for their anonymous callers? And other blogs?

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