Anon should stop

An anonymous blog and Twitter account called Queen’s Elections has popped up to cover the ongoing AMS elections. The content of the blog has caused some small controversies as it’s gossipy in nature and sometimes focuses on the personal motivations of those running for student politics.

In general, this type of news coverage is something to be concerned about, because whoever is behind it is unaccountable and is adding little to campus political life. Anonymous blogs that spread rumours might actually increase student apathy as they make campus politics seem petty and negative.

To a degree, the author of the blog is concerned about the credibility of what he writes as he or she retracted content that was refuted. While this responsiveness is better than nothing, the fact that the author would publish something and then delete it soon after shows that his or her standards for reporting information are probably low.

In addition to lacking adequate reporting standards, the blogs adds little in the way of analysis. Some of it is simply sarcastic rumour and personal caricature. Surely this is the type of discourse that should be dismissed in favour of more incisive and constructive analysis.

Even if an organization or blog exists to smear or discredit, the people behind it should step forward and take responsibility for their actions. Those behind the NOPIRG campaign proved that this is entirely possible and they even managed to rally a modicum of student opinion to their cause. Unlike Queen’s Elections, NOPIRG is accountable because its members identified themselves.

While everyone engages in gossip from time to time, putting content on the internet gives it a life of its own. There’s effectively no way to regulate this type of behaviour but it should be condemned as regressive. Those apologizing for this type of content should raise their standards and acknowledge that with few exceptions, political participation should only be respected if there is someone willing to stand behind it.

— Journal Editorial Board

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