Anonymity And Racial Profiling

Decent Essays
When a perceived victim calls the police to report an incident, they have the option to do so anonymously. On the other end of the phone call, the 911 response operator must be wondering in her or his mind, “Why is this person hiding their identity… is it because their truth is too risky to tell? Or is it because the report is fabricated in some way?” The police can make an arrest on probable cause, of course, but with extra caution in the case of anonymity- all the while, questioning the victim’s motive for keeping her or his name protected. Ultimately if a suspect is charged and found guilty of a crime based on an anonymous tip, the arrest would withstand in court according to Navarette v. California.

Here’s the issue: Anonymity straddles the edge of credibility and full truth. We must decide what is more important- taking the chance that someone could be
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It scares me to think about what we could be missing out on by eliminating the chance to speak namelessly. Unfortunately, I think the latter is exactly what our government wants. It would be much easier to throw regulations on speech and online content, as China does with their country. Then the higher-ups wouldn’t have to be held accountable or act with integrity. If no one was given the chance to ‘tattle’, the government would have nothing to fear.

All this is to say; yes, there are problems with anonymous speech. It leaves the door open for lies and malevolent intentions. But also, shutting that door completely inhibits people to have courage to speak up against injustice or malpractice. Americans need to recognize that freedom to speak openly is under fire… we need to defend all kinds of speech. In the words of Justice Brandies, “The remedy is more speech,” be it anonymous or
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