Should you really believe anonymous info?

Published 1:36am Saturday, August 11, 2012

It seems there are lots of people with opinions they’d like to express in the county’s current municipal elections, to be decided later this month.

Trouble is, there are precious few willing to stand up and be quoted.

Already, we have begun receiving letters signed with fictitious names. This week, someone went so far as to set up a generic “Andalusia election” email address from which to send that letter.

Our policy remains that letters should be signed and we should be able to verify that signature. We also limit letters to 750 words, and on several occasions this summer, have asked writers brave enough to put their real names with their thoughts, to edit themselves.

But the realm of social media brings new questions and new problems to campaigns, and a number of locals appear to have spent lots of time creating sites on which the creators’ names do not appear, and generating art work for those sites.

While those things are disturbing for candidates, we would remind voters to ask themselves if they really trust information provided by those who aren’t willing to stand behind the information by providing their names.

If as a community, we don’t read, gossip about, or give energy to the negative information put forth by anonymous sources, they won’t gain momentum.

It is the responsibility of voters to be informed. We encourage you to ask candidates and informed sources questions yourselves. They’re not that difficult to find.



  • biscuitsandhoovergravy

    I would like to address your question Mrs.Gerlach. Anonomous information should be given the same conseration and scruitiny as any other type of information. There are several legitimate reasons one might find it necessary to remain anonomous when discussing various topics, such as rules set forth by their employer regading activity deemed detrimental to their company.Another would be fear of retribution or intimidation. When someone like a sitting mayor for example has a police department at their disposal it is very scary for anyone to come forward and publicly divulge damaging information about said official Who in their right mind would want a police department on their case with no restraints in place? I say look at the information under the same terms and rules as a signed letter and if it proves to be reliable go with it. As a “journalist”,and I use that term loosely when it comes to your paper, I consider it your duty to give a voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless. Just because you like to have a drink with someone at the country club does’nt mean you should try to discredit their detractors.I wouls so love to see a return to the days of a curious and even investigative paper like the one run by the late Joel Starling. I believe we would see a more honest and transparent government in “our town”.

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