G. Jeffrey MacDonald, correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, included quotes by SLIS faculty member Alice Robbin in his article "The Danger of Speaking from the Shadows" (The Christian Science Monitor, 10/31/05).
The article addressed the issue of anonymity in the context of the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. MacDonald asked the people he interviewed "whether the anonymity offered to Mr. Libby by reporters serves the public good? Or did it merely create a vehicle for political foul play?" Robbin commented that it was not possible to have a general principle that anonymity was always good or bad because each case has to be decided in its context and according to the particular situation. People had to weigh what constituted the public and private interest, and these can vary from one setting to another.
Her remarks about anonymity were stimulated by recent anonymous
attacks on Dean Cronin, who wrote two op ed articles on the lack of
civility in personal blogs. She noted that he was attacked
anonymously for his point of view by people from near and far.
Alice Robbin is the Director of the Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics at Indiana University, Bloomington. MacDonald notes that the Center "has tracked anonymous communications on the Internet since the late 1990s."
Dr. Robbin's research interests include information policy, resource management, and technology; social and organizational informatics, including communication and information behavior in complex organization; and qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Read more about Alice Robbin's research and the courses she teaches at the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science:
Posted November 03, 2005