These questions were asked by Polly Toynbee, by some reckonings the most influential political commentator in the UK media, back in 2006, in the early days of the Guardian’s pioneering Comment is Free.
According to the HuffPo’s Arianna Huffington: “As the rules of the road are changing and the Internet is growing up, the trend is away from anonymity.”
Unvarnished implies coarseness and more often than not, negativity. As a public relations professional, it’s hard to control reputation when a site like Unvarnished provides a resource for people who have an axe to grind.
Unvarnished is regulated in so much as on-site activity is tied to Facebook profiles, but given much of the all-too-human behaviour that finds expression on social networks this seems a less-than-convincing safeguard. The mainstream media might be moving toward cleansing their online presence of undesirables, but the Internet growing up?
There, truly, is a vain hope.