Attorneys for the Shelby County Commission have filed a subpoena in federal court asking for the identities of all online commenters in The Commercial Appeal’s stories about suburban plans to create their own school districts.
The county wants first and last names, postal addresses and telephone numbers of all account users who posted comments, including comments the newspaper’s digital media staff removed because they were racially charged or otherwise inappropriate.
Feel free to comment on the subpoena request, but I’m more interested in the larger issue: The ethics of anonymous online commenting.
Where should we draw the line between rights and responsibilities, between First Amendment free speech and responsible behavior? Is there a line?
Here’s a link to the story about the county attorneys.