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01 February 2013
A reader's view

What's in a name?

Some correspondents on our Readers' Letters page have been discussing anonymous or user names.   There is more than one way of looking at this and we have selected a reader's letter which looks at the issue,  

"What's in a name - a rose would smell as sweet by other name. It is the smell that counts - as does the content of messages.
I am aware of at least one case where a person gave his/her name and a certain councillor (who will not be named for legal reasons) checked the source on the electoral list. The result was that the person concerned had an unwanted personal communication from the said councillor. In this case it may have been done in good faith - but this sort of thing could have unwelcome possibilities.

In short, I believe that writing with a user name (or initials) adds to security. As it is, we get far too much junk mail, unwelcome telephone calls and cold door callers.   I think it is important to preserve our privacy whenever possible.
I just hope other readers will agree with me."

The other viewpoint, presented by Cllr Peter Rees is that it can be a case of hiding behind initials.   The 'initial' writer has suggested the validity of a name.   What is to stop someone writing in under a councillor's name?   We have to say that this website has certain security safeguards that can limit unwelcome posters - but that system is not perfect.   What is?

The view of the editorial team is that it depends on: trust, integity and honesty.   We pride ourselves on being better monitored than Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites.   We have the means to delete an offensive letter - if one should slip though, and give the reason for doing so.    Above all, we think that the right to reply gives everyone the right to address an issue that may not be factually correct.   Being open and above board is something that really matters to us.   We hope all readers will agree with this viewpoint.

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