Free speech is not anonymity, and vice versa
In which I comment at Butterflies & Wheels on the important moral distinction — which a large segment of the internet seems to have entirely missed — between the justification for protecting free speech and the justification for protecting anonymity.
Not that my comments at B&W are long, but here’s an even shorter version:
Freedom of speech neither includes nor implies freedom from the consequences of your speech. Nor should it!
Anonymity DOES include freedom from consequences; protection from consequences is exactly what anonymity is intended to accomplish.
That is why anonymity must logically and morally be much more limited than free speech: Protecting people from the consequences of their own actions should be limited to a very narrow scope, and it can only be justified where those consequences themselves are unjust (such as protecting a whistleblower from suffering negative consequences for advancing the public good).
People using internet anonymity to be assholes without consequences is NOT something we simply must accept in order to preserve free speech. Free speech is not anonymity, and anonymity is not free speech.