If there is one thing mainstream media has over alternative media it is accountability.
Send a letter to the editor of a major newspaper or magazine and the author has to Sign his or her name, and provide a phone number for verification.
All it takes is a read though the comments to see that discussion often disintegrates into libel and blather. It's too easy to hide behind a pen name. With the right pen name, a person can change nationalities and therefore change the perspective of the comment or article.
If your leading neighborhood paper runs a letter signed by the leading Republican in the area then you have a point of reference to the agenda of the letter.
Sure, if you stick around here long enough you can figure out who is who and who is trying to sell what but that only works for the regulars. Most people don't know that Star Boy gets his political insights from comic books and lawyers for the porn industry.
Anonymous authorship and the acceptance does damage to a lot of credible and important work being done here. An outside visitor sees authors named for constellations and cartoon characters and its easy to discount the entire effort.
In my own encounter here, a bull shit artist was simply clipping articles and attaching his own fake name in the Authors slot. Once his source was figured out it was easy to discredit all of his information, but most visitors to the site are not going to go to that much computer work to verify or qualify information. Most visitors don't have the computer skills to trace an author. They see an article by Star Boy and say this is all horseshit, therefore everything here becomes horseshit.
Lets forget this is the internet and its so dangerous to post a persons own name. That argument does not fly in ANY respectable effort at journalism. Accountability and credibility are first and foremost. What public difference is there between posting a real and verifiable name here with verification information left off the screen, than it is to have to meet the requirement to have a letter to the editor posted in the NY Times or the Podunk News.
If you see an op-ed in the New Your Times authored by Donald Rumsfeld or Bono on Africa, you have a perspective with with to judge the position. There is no way to judge the position of an essay that can run under any name that comes to mind at the time of the posting.
Having ones name attached raises the level of discussion above slop and insults often hurled by cowards who only come out when they can not be seen as who they are in their own neighborhoods... much like the Klan.
Indy media and the supporters who send their hard earned dollars needs to decide if it has important information to deliver or its only entertainment and diversion carried by authors like Fuck Rat and Star Boy.