The problem with social media anonymity

Social media anonymity has become a hotbed of debate ever since Elon Musk purchased Twitter. Many of these debates favor anonymity of social media users so that individuals can choose to express themselves freely without fear of retaliation. This reasoning is understandable, however, this particular argument does not take into consideration the consequences that often arise from social media anonymity. Using anonymity to express ideas they would otherwise hesitate or refrain from expressing in person is one thing. Using online anonymity for the sole purpose of harassing, defaming, discrediting, and threatening others for expressing themselves freely is another.

I uncovered the racial equity policy in my son’s school district. I chose to go public with this information on social media for the sake of our children. Parents had a right to know, and I chose not to be a coward about it. I went public, and I did it under my own name. I have the right to expose this evidence as a parent and I have the right to do so under my own name, without fear of retaliation.

The response was open harassment, under conditions of anonymity in all cases.

Reporting the abuse to Facebook has accomplished absolutely nothing. I've reported it to my local police department, but they can’t do anything because their hands are tied. A parent’s reputation and life are ruined long before an attorney can do anything about it.

The most troubling part about this anonymous abuse is that it’s instilled fears throughout our community. It’s prevented others from speaking out and showing support.  In the end, children suffer the most.

To all concerned parents fighting for their children and the future of this country: find the courage to stand up when so many in this country have none.  There’s definitely a way out of this nightmare, but it won’t be easy.  Keep researching, keep educating others, keep exposing, and stand your ground.  Never allow anyone to paint you as a monster because you chose to stand up for your child.

Petrina Burman (Mama Bear) is a mother, wife, and elected official. She is also the founder of ParentsforAmerica and Stop CRT in Illinois.

Image: Pixabay

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