Many times I've been tempted to turn off anonymous comments here at Mormanity, but I've kept them available because it makes it more convenient and less risky for people to participate in discussions. Sometimes, though, anonymity is used as a mask to make really unkind or idiotic statements that people probably wouldn't make if some aspect of their identity or their web presence were linked to their words. Comments like that are often deleted, but fortunately nearly all of the participants here rise above that level. One nasty anonymous comment, though, tempted me to remind the offender that anonymous comments aren't necessarily totally anonymous in this age. The temptation came in the form of thoughts of a playful prank.

So after steaming over a vile anonymous comment that needed a more vigorous response than deletion alone, I called up my friend "Lennon" (not his real name, at least not his real spelling) at Homeland Security.

"Lennon, can you help me out? I just received a vile anonymous comment on my Mormanity blog and thought it would be cool to scare that guy by coming right back with something like, 'Well, Anonymous, or should I say Frank, I see you're posting from a trailer home in Billings, Montana. Here's a tip: get rid of the plaid shirt. It makes you look fat.'"

I could heard Lennon typing for a moment, then he paused. "Jeff, dude, that would be totally wrong."

"Wrong? Wrong? Actually, I'm relieved to hear you use that word! Well, I guess I'm glad to see that you folks at Homeland Security still have moral--"

"No, dude, I mean you'd be totally wrong. His name isn't Frank, it's Cecil, and he's in a pretty sweet condo in San Mateo. I don't have a good cam feed but he wasn't in plaid last time we got a view. But you don't know that and didn't hear it from me. Oh, and thanks. I see the Paypal gift just showed up. Gotta get back to monitoring some Swedes in Manhattan."

So, recently deleted Anonymous, or shall I say Cecil, have a happy 4th of July. Enjoy your freedom, America. And keep those anonymous comments coming ... while you still can.
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