Open Mike with Mike Bedard : Time for Change – Anonymous Comments & Pseudonyms

Open Mike with Mike Bedard : Time for Change – Anonymous Comments & Pseudonyms

CFN – Pseudonyms are Useful

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Returning to the Cornwall Free News, after my summer hiatus, has me thinking about how I could start a in depth conversation amongst all the bloggers about the use of pseudonyms.

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I strongly believe that pseudonyms or those who post comments using a name other than their own can be used to help people add or contribute to discussions without the fear of retribution from family members, political parties or place of work.  Some people are afraid to speak freely and many media sites, such as the Cornwall Free News, are beginning or have always seen the advantages brought to the discussions when pseudonyms are used.

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A city worker may, for example, be free to speak about some issues that they would like to see changed without the fear of losing their job for insubordination.  The same can be said for any employee who simply may not want to offend their peers, superiors or clients who they may share a difference of opinion with and do not wish to cause personal conflict or lose their business.

The Abuse of Pseudonyms

Even though pseudonyms are useful they are currently being abused by far too many.  For example if a blogger, which is the proper term for those who leave comments that are time stamped, makes an entry or a comment that personally attacks an individual then it should not be allowed.  Even if the blogger implies or suggests something derogatory about another blogger it should be deemed as inappropriate and disallowed.

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Ultimately, comments about a story or article should be based on the topic and although they may be allowed in the spirit of blogging; if the topic is defamatory or contains comments attacking other people then it should not be allowed!

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Why would we allow bloggers to personally attack people using a pseudonym?  Is this necessary?  No it is not necessary and those web-sites that do not have the capability to monitor their sites should simply not allow blogs but should consider something similar to “a letter to the editor’’ where pseudonyms become inappropriate and full names are generally used; which is OK!

Cornwall Agree to a Common Policy

To prevent the abuse or misuse of pseudonyms a few basic rules should apply to all of us.

  1. All web-sites, that allow comments, should pre-monitor their comments and should never allow aggressive, insulting or any defamatory comments unless it is in the form of a “letter to the editor” or “thumbs down” and contains the writer’s real name.
  2. All of these “aggressive” letters should have to register with a valid e-mail along with their real name.
  3. Pseudonyms should not be allowed to harm an individual, business or organization but to allow those to provide an opinion without the fear of reprisal.

Why do we need a Policy

We need a stricter policy to protect people from being harmed due to the use of pseudonyms.   At the heart of the debate is how pseudonyms can be useful vs. how they can be destructive!  Pseudonyms were essentially created to protect people and not to harm people.  If a pseudonym is used to protect a bully then the nature of its use is being tainted!  Any web-site allowing this form of defamation should reconsider their policy and ensure they protect not only the people and organizations in our community but itself from outside scrutiny.

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Thank You,
Mike Bedard

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

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42 Responses to "Open Mike with Mike Bedard : Time for Change – Anonymous Comments & Pseudonyms"

  1. Chris Fry   August 1, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    Excellent post Mike!

  2. Ed   August 1, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Of course pseudonyms are necessary more and more these days. Our Dear Leader Harper has been perfectly clear that any civil servant brave enough to express an opinion will suffer consequences. Dear Leader is serious about eliminating free speech.

  3. bigfellow   August 1, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Mike Bedard, whoever you are, free speech is required ever so much more these days. It part of being free to be able to say your piece of mind. As the saying goes “if you do not like it,turn your radio off” or if you can’t say anything nice about someone,then don’t say anything”.
    If every web site were to action these policys, could be considered a none freedom action?
    Have a nice day.

  4. stellabystarlight   August 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Hello Mike,

    I somewhat agree to your editorial but must say pseudonyms many time are required, especially in heated debates. As far as personal attacks you are absolutely right. It happens too often and many times they are uncalled for and should not be allowed.

    Take for instance all the accusations and gossip about Dr. Youssef. It definetely was not fair. He was dragged through the mud for no reason whatsoever when in fact the charge was lifted by the courts. I can go on for days about slanderous remarks that hurt people and businesses. Of course, you don’t only find this type of attitude on open forums but also in everyday life. How can it be controlled?

    Why should bloggers state their real name? You say…..”moniter the abusers” and don’t print their post………then there would be no reason for real names. Perhaps this would stop this type of behavior…..but it would be one heck of a job.

    I feel it should be an individual choice. As you said “Pseudonyms are needed to protect people” and when it gets to hot and heavy debates….protection is needed.

    Just an observation here, if ever CFN announced that no blogs would be posted unless one gave their real names……the comment section would be almost empty. There is some comfort in knowing that the bashing will only occur on these blogs. Being harassed by phone or however else would be a little much to take.

    On that note……have a nice day!!

    stellabystarlight (yep my pseudonym) **s**

  5. Wow!   August 1, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    That was your most self-serving and stupid article yet. You don’t have the backbone for criticism of your business practices or your column writing skills, and blame others for a poor showing in the election. You should just give up man!

  6. jules   August 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    If one does not have free speach then it is a form of tyranny. If you fear your government then you have tyranny. If the government fears you then you have freedom.

  7. bedfordst   August 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    If I were you, Mr Bedard, I’d quit writing for this paper until it changed it’s policy. As me, I just wish you’d quit writing.

  8. PseudonymsSuck   August 1, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Hello Everyone,

    This article was written with one goal in mind! To prove a point look at the comments written by Wow! and Bedfordst! They obviously use the mask of a pseudonym to be able to personally attack individuals and so far have not contributed to this conversation accept for to attack me personally. Why are they being allowed ………to maintain free speach!

    They do not mention any specific parts of the article accept for the fact that they obviously dislike me.

    I am a promoter, advertiser and some may say an associate of the Cornwall Free News! Yet, I am not being protected from those who have no other agenda but to try and ruin my reputation!

    What did I say that deserved such comments?

    Their is no and I MEAN ABSOLUTELY NO BENEFIT TO POSTING THEIR COMMENTS accept to harm myself!

    Can one person, just one, professionally explain how their comments relate to the article?

    Please change my mind and show me the benefit of such posts!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  9. Mike Bedard   August 1, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Anyone can make up an e-mail address and post a comment! Heck it can even be done several times before it is caught! Wow! and Bedfordst! Can be the same person!

    Just as I have proven that PseudonymsSuck and Mike Bedard can be the same person! Which they aren’t by the way…..PseudonyemsSuck is my wife Natalie and I use my name!

    This experent proves hands down that public opinion can be bent to believe what you will if you simply have the energy or will to do so!

    Stupid yes but so is the posts by Wow! and Bedfordst!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  10. Simon   August 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Are those delusions of power and relevance turning people off?
    Is persecutorial paranoia keeping you awake at night?
    And sometimes you just want to lash out at detractors with nonsensical spoutings?
    …Any of these could be the warning signs of Narcissistic Hurt.

    Well now there’s something you can do about it!

    It’s new Skin-So-Thin… the miracle salve that masks and protects skin rubbed raw by exposure to ridicule and harsh words; that sore spot that erupts when grandiose assertions and displays of illusionary importance trigger unwanted attention.

    It works by reining in a psyche’s out of control defense mechanisms:
    – Acting out
    – Fantasy
    – Idealization
    – Passive aggression
    – Projection
    – Rationalization (making excuses)
    – Reaction formation
    … and much, much, more.

    Ask a big person about it to-day!

    Warning:
    – Objects in mirror are smaller than they appear.
    – If symptoms continue or condition worsen seek medical advice.

  11. Mister Giggles   August 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Free speech is for people that can’t handle fascism.

  12. Ed   August 2, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    And Fascism is what we have.
    Read this.
    http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/08/02/michael-harris-policing-the-police-state/

  13. Wow!   August 2, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Simon understands the irony of my post. My post proves again that Bedard is thin-skinned and self-minded. Do you understand what I am trying to say Mike. My straw man advertises here too! Look it up.

  14. Ed   August 2, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Wow!, what is “self-minded”? Does it mean that a person is using their own mind rather than somebody else’s? Are you saying that people should trade in their minds for a different one every few years?

  15. Mike Bedard   August 2, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Simon you only prove that you are unprofessional and not me! You hide behind a mask and call me names like child!

    You claim that I don’t have a backbone! And then claim that I am thin skinned for defending my business, employees and family!

    You reminder of one of competitors who have their daughter stupidly use their real e-mail to post a comment about me………..in the same tone as yours…………all while using a pseudonym!

    These comments where made to discredit me because their actual service is infamous! I loved losing some staff members to a competitor because honestly they make my business look great!

    Just like I enjoy Wow! and Simon because they contradict themselves as mention!

    ———-Mike, you an $%$%$! ………….I call you out ………..you coward…………….then you call me thin skinned………..then you say I have no backbone!!!!!

    You are ghost! I am not going to fight someone without face but I would love to see how you react face to face!!!!!

  16. jules   August 2, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Yes we are in fascism and that is when the government and the corporations are in bed together. It is the “banksters” and the big “corporations” who now own Canada, the US and the entire world. This is why our world is upside down and people no longer have any freedom. These banksters, corporations and governments are granting only favors and no longer a person’s right or privilige. There is so much for people to learn about what is going on today. This has been in the works for thousands of years and it is all in the Bible. This is all being planned out by the Rothschilds, Rockefellers and all the other top evil people of this world. It is time for people to wake up.

    Mike Bedard you are a dictator type of person and if I were in Cornwall I would not vote for you at all nor would I go to Cornwall if you were mayor or even a councellor. After what I read which is very little that you write I am completely turned off on what you say. We don’t have to have our real names published and my e-mail address is real and authentic. I told you exactly what I think and everyone has a right to express their opinion whether they use their real names or sudonims it is their business and their privilege and not any of your business.

  17. Wow!   August 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Aw c’mon Admin. My comment wasn’t that bad. Mike should learn not to throw a boomerang if he can’t catch it. I’ll play nice.

    He never got as bad as that political dude Cruug from Toronto and his anti-everything encyclopedic rants with his thesaurus strapped to his forehead.

  18. simon   August 3, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    “A straw man is a type of argument.. based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.”

    The column’s author has an annoying propensity to use this style of argument and its various devices — too many to list — but one may expect the columnist’s response to this comment will contain more than a few.

  19. Mike Bedard   August 3, 2012 at 5:53 AM

    Jules,

    I did not say pseudonyms should not be used. You must read what I wrote more so than the comments.

    What I wrote was that pseudonyms are good and very useful but also can be bad.

    Pseudonyms should not be allowed to personally attack an individual. It is called defamation and is illegal. The fact that you can not properly police this if people aren’t using their real names and e-mails means that any comments of this nature should not be allowed or arguably admin would/could be liable.

    I am advocating the use of pseudonyms and believe that Cornwall’s ban on advertising with those who allow comments by pseudonyms is wrong. However, there is a need to protect people from others starting rumours and untruths it because this is wrong and completely unnecessary to spark conversation.

    I am not saying we can not disagee we just need to do it respectfully.

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  20. Stan   August 3, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    Mike Bedard just understand that Pseudonymssuck, Wow!, simon and bedfordst are just trying to deny your right to free speech. They don’t have a brain between them!

  21. simon   August 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    On the contrary… it is the original article written by Mike Bedard that advocates limiting “speech”.

    But thank you for demonstrating this “false assertion” that makes up so much of the curriculum in his school of thought.

  22. jules   August 3, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Mike Bedard I have been attacked by a few people (2 to be exact) on both the SF paper and CFN by two people using pseudonims and I don’t know either one of these two personally. It was really bad the words used by two people who don’t know me at all and I don’t know them nor do I deserve such treatment. I like coming here and giving my opnions but the internet is somewhere that everyone speaks and reads things and you wouldn’t know them from a hole in the ground.

    Yes I didn’t read everything you put here which is true. I believe in people having their say. Some people go all out and make horrible insults even not knowing the person. I apologize.

    I personally think that new people should be mayor and council. I very much appreciate André Rivette and he is a man who has worked very hard for Cornwall and still does. I know André and he is a very good man to have on ones side.

    We need people with good vision. We don’t need people to wreck Cornwall for their own pockets. If you have good vision for Cornwall then I would say continue on with those good ideas and bring them forth and let people decide. Condos do not belong in parks and you don’t see that here in Ottawa either. There are places for those things.

    We can all agree to disagree but we sure don’t need to hurl horrible insults at people we do not know.

  23. Ed   August 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Mike just wrote an innocuous fluff piece about about the value of anonymous posting. For that, he’s being attacked by anonymous posters.
    Pretty funny.

  24. jules   August 3, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Mike Bedard is in the public eye and is a businessman as well. People in the public eye are always attacked.

    Mike a lot of times it is best not to know who is attacking you and that is how I feel. I wouldn’t want to know the kinds of people who have posted horrible things about me that had no truths at all. I am married and have two adult children and don’t come from their “milieu” thank God for that. There are many who are mighty ignorant that is for sure. I can say that I have never ever been attacked on line by anyone until I was on SF and CFN by a minute few who only had the intention of hurting innocent people. It is best to ignore them.

    You are in the public eye and you cannot satisfy everyone no matter what you do. The only thing you can do is your best and be honest unlike a lot of politicians. I know that you want to run but you have to be up front. We are dealing with so many crooks anymore that most of us don’t trust anyone. I thought that I would give you my thoughts. All the best to you.

  25. Mike Bedard   August 3, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Ed,

    I agree it is pretty funny and enjoy your weekend good sir as I will enjoy mine. Thank You for your comment.

    Jules,

    Thank You so much. I write and try to get involved so that I may converse with people like yourself. Anyone who speaks respectfully and discusses an opinion or thought in depth rates extremely high on my list and I will do anything to listen and honour these people respecetfully; as they diserve.

    However, those who try to insult me from behind a mask only fuel my fire and desire to keep going! They have no idea that a real man enjoys conflict and is bored without a true conflict to fight for everyday!

    Thank You All! (Including Wow! and Simon),
    We all I believe and share many similar believes but need will never be happy unless we can share more common ground!!

    Mike Bedard

  26. Mike Bedard   August 3, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Excuse my comments on here! They are sent via cell phone and sometimes letters and words get missed as I respond via phone!

    I am not illeterate or uneducated! I just don’t proof read as I should!

    And do to my name being French (Bedard) some may think that I am a francophone but I am truely anglophone and I am learning french more and more as My wife and I only speak french to our daughter. (My wife is more french than english…not I)!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  27. jules   August 3, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Mike I type very fast and rarely ever proofread what I type. I used to be a word processor and a clerk in the federal government and very used to going very fast on the keyboard and make a lot of mistakes. You are doing very well.

    A francophone name and doesn’t speak French. My father was anglophone and my mother a francophone and I learned French being thrown into a French school since kindergarden and that was a really big struggle. I know how hard the French language is to learn and I speak both languages fluently.

    It is good that you have the fight in you and you have to in order to go into the political field. It is a lonely area to be in because everybody is at you for what they want out of you. Living here in a political town I see so much of it and don’t like it.

    Have a good weekend.

  28. stellabystarlight   August 4, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    Jamie…….or whoever took the initiative………thank-you!!!

    It’s nice to know that you also found it to be unacceptable.

    Much appreciated!!!

  29. Wow!   August 4, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    And he continues to write about himself again. Wow.

  30. Mike Bedard   August 5, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    To all of you without cause…mainly Simon and Wow!,

    Great Minds discuss Ideas;

    Average Minds discuss Events;

    Small Minds discuss People!

    Great minds agree that we all discuss all three while small minds focus more on people and are uncomfortable discussing ideas and events!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  31. Ferris   August 6, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    I would like to make an apology to Mr. Bedard. I infact did attack him under the shroud of anonimity. It has been weighing heavy on my mind. Mike continue with the CFN please. Your articles are well thought out..I can’t come close.

  32. stellabystarlight   August 6, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    WOW Ferris…….that speaks volumes of the type of man you are!!!! You are a real gentleman!!!! Wish there were more like you around!!! *smile*

  33. Simon   August 6, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Agreed, only a small mind would identify the individuals to whom a quote is addressed, the gist of which is to focus on ideas rather than people.

    A misapplied quote indeed — and without acknowledgement to the source — just bad form.

  34. Mike Bedard   August 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Most of the bloggers on the Cornwall Free News are extremely intelligent and most are very professional.

    This site serves a great purpose.

    I enjoy being a part of the Cornwall Free News and if I had any complaints it would just be one……….people should not be allowed to publicly attack others (true or not)!

    There should be no place in an intellectual forum for such actions! I like the Cornwall Free News and want to ensure it Does Not become another form of Tabloid Journalism or Gossip News site rather than Cornwall’s ONLY site for Analytical Journalism.

    Well I gues I have my next article!!!!
    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  35. jules   August 6, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Ferris you are mighty good at attacks aren’t you? If you ever came out with the dirt that you said about me on SF you would be in for a mighty big lawsuit. I never saw a person so mighty low of the words you put down on SF. If Mike thinks that he is being attacked on here he hasn’t read what was written about me on SF and I am not of that category nor do I belong in your “milieu”. I have names for you but I can’t post them here in a decent enough paper. The names that I have for you belong on the walls of an outhouse.

  36. Simon   August 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    On these forums there has been no instance of libel nor has there been a loss or injury suffered by anyone as a result of commentary.

    The proposal to enforce censorship and limit the free speech of those commenting on this site, is motivated by nothing more than a battered ego.

    This column’s content is subjectively written, not in the least analytical and — as the columnist’s own invectives on this page and others will attest — is indefensibly hypocritical.

  37. Mike Bedard   August 6, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Simon,

    People like yourself have claimed that my previous company stole, frauded, etc. from them under pseudonyms……none of which are true nor did any of the claims come from REAL people rather than from pseudonyms!!!!

    I have also been accused of infadelity and much more…why becasue I had a company that closed due to financial hardship! Am I to blame for its closure? Of course, but not entirely and not for every action that every employee ever made……..know thats unfare and just plain ignorant to hard truths and simple facts!

    I have outed a competitors employees’ daughter for such which would be cause for libel action; if I were that type of person. However, the person who committed the act has no money and all that it would do is publicly shame their family!

    I am better than that and wish no harm on anyone but I will defend my own family and employees to the tooth and nail…everytime!

    Blood makes you related but Loyalty makes you family!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  38. Mike Bedard   August 6, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    When I speak of Analytical Journalism, I speak of investigative journalism and explanatory reporting which is what I see when I read most of Jamie Gilcig or Admins articles.

    I believe him and Greg Kielec of Le Journal are the only investigative reports left in Cornwall or the only ones allowed to practice this form journalism.

    I do not refer to myself as for my articles are purely my opinion in which I clearly use my name and headshot!

    The only censorship is for those people who are clearly up to no good by attacking character rather than content.

    “On these forums there has been no instance of libel nor has there been a loss or injury suffered by anyone as a result of commentary.” – Completely untrue just because you don’t sue someone doesn’t mean you couldn’t or shouldn’t ……hence the Andre Rivette and Claude McIntosh recent fiasco…..Andre should sue and has a case but probably won’t!!! This has happened here and apolgies posted because posts were accidently missed and information posted that was inaccurate once even by me for mentioning something about Paul Fitzpatrick and Donna Derouchie that was pure speculation but is now widely discussed!

    P.S. – I enjoy your comments and even though I react that does not mean I am afraid because that is my biggest weakness is that I can not let people talk about me and sit idle I do not want to be seen as weak or a coward! You can call me stupid but a coward would be impossible to prove!!!!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  39. Ferris   August 7, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    ..still feel the same about you jules..why don’t you recite your feelings of Cornwall and its citizens again? ..or should I direct you to your quotes on the Standard? ..go ahead tell these people what you said about them..then we will revisit the Standard..see if they’re the same opinion. What do ya say? All your blogs are still up, so are mine.

  40. Ferris   August 7, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    jules..did you not call all Cornwall citizens welfare recipients? did you not call us losers? did you not call our mayor a criminal? did you not say that we are all illiterate? did you not call Mike Bedard a dictator? did you not say Cornwall was full of poor, stupid, drug dealers? did you not say Cornwall was a dump? Please deny this Jules..I will be more than happy to direct these readers to those quotes..this is why I confronted you. remember? How soon we forget.

  41. Ferris   August 7, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    ..as for Mike..well, I shot my mouth off because of how he called out Chris Cameron..looking back, I realise that its not my battle..who am I to be the third man in? none of my business.. I should have kept my mouth shut.why does anyone post negative comments about another? bad day? kids driving you crazy? Bills? no sex? wife can’t stand you? human nature? ..the offer still stands..I would be more than happy to meet Mike..he can tell me what he thinks of me to my face..and I will take it like a man.

  42. Wow!   August 7, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    This guy just can’t get over himself. Now he’s giving us general details of his business problems. Next week’s article: “Does Mike wear boxers or briefs while he sits paranoid in a corner wondering what people think about him.”

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