Anonymous Communications – Commentary by
Frank Gillispie 10/22/09
Remember CB radio? That became the method of choice for personal communication a couple of decades ago. If
you wanted to talk to your buddy, where ever he might be, you just pick up your microphone and call for
him. It was an interesting thing, people wanted to talk to the world, but they did not necessarily want
the world to know who was talking. So everybody had a "handle," an on the air name and identity they used
to hide their true selves behind. Revealing your "handle" to someone was an act of trust and friendship.
Well, that desire to express your opinion is still with us. And the desire to avoid criticism by hiding
behind a "cyber name" is as strong as ever. But now we use the internet as the way to spread our messages.
There are two common ways of doing this. Most news and opinion web sites have a "comments" feature where
readers can respond to news and opinion immediately after the article. Even the Madison County Journal's
electronic edition has this feature. It can be entertaining and informative to read some of the comments
that follow my articles.
The other way this underground communication system works is based on one word at the top of your e-mail
account. With one click on the word "forward" you can send any e-mail message you receive on to friends
and acquaintances. If you have a list of e-mail contacts, you just click "forward all" and every one on
your list will receive the communication.
Now, all of my regular readers know that I often speak my mind on various topics. Some of my readers will
copy a column they found to be of interest on to their e-mail and send it out to friends they feel will
also find it of interest. If they do, they are likely to "forward" it to their mail list, and those may
send it along. Occasionally, I will hit a nerve with one group or another and the column gets wide
distribution in this manner. As a result, I sometimes get responses from strange places. Even a few
Yankees have responded to my efforts.
I also often receive such e-mail telling me of nefarious plans by this government agency, or that
politician. Some of them are actually true. Many are rumors that someone started. I am sure that those
of you with e-mail accounts get a lot of those as well.
I have a policy of not "forwarding" these e-mails. I read them, then I do my best to check their sources,
if they list any, and if there is something there that I think deserves comment, then I will make it a part
of a column or include it in a "comments" page that I am establishing on my web domain.
With the effort by big government to control everything in our lives, including the press, (the current
attacks on the Fox News Cable is an example,) it is important that we have an underground communications
system such as these. Just keep in mind that you should not believe everything you read, not even my
writings, without checking the information for yourself.
If you find something I have written to be of value and want to send it along to your friends, please
feel free to do so. I enjoy the responses.
Copyright © 2009 by Frank Gillispie
firstname.lastname@example.org, Hull, GA
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