The bad aspect of anonymous postings is that it allows people to say ugly things without being accountable. The story titled "Danville man among slain Oakland officers" that ran online last Sunday is a good example of this. No sooner was the story put online than a few people commented with racial slurs that we promptly removed.
Town Square was designed as a friendly place for the community to connect, commenting on stories we run or anything in the community or the world that they want. When anonymous people - or even some who sign their names - post racist comments, shrill and extreme ideas they drive others away, which is one reason we remove them.
Other times we remove comments because people bash others who have posted their opinions. Not everyone will agree with where we choose to draw the line, but we do so in the interest of preserving a forum where everyone feels comfortable participating without being exposed to disrespectful treatment.
Now a good thing about anonymity is that it might give insight as to how people will act in that other great anonymous forum: the voting booth. On Town Square you can read people's concerns about money in the schools, such as that the district is wasting energy and money with field lights and air conditioning, and whether the Teacher's Union is part of the budget problem. Other posters have stepped forward to address those concerns online, but these anonymous comments regarding school funding provide an insight as to why people might be inclined to vote against continuing a parcel tax. They could be helpful to those campaigning to pass Measure C.