The most popular point of view in the online world is: Anonymous commenters are cowards.
But as with others we dismiss as cowards—suicides, terrorists, playground bullies—it's more complicated than that.
Because not all anonymous comments are hateful, spiteful potshots. Some of them represent thoughtful, painstaking expression.
And just because we can't always fathom the commenter's need for anonymity, doesn't mean the need isn't there.
Some of these anonymous commenters, we heroic for-attribution types ought to acknowledge, are actually pretty sincere in their communication intent.
Because remember, anonymity isn't only an escape from blame; it means you don't get credit, either.
And some of these people want so badly to get their ideas across that they'll do it even if they don't get the credit.
And that's a purer communication motive than I usually have.
What about you?