Anonymity also brings freedom
Imagine if every post, comment, tweet, blog, email or download got tagged with your name, address, phone number, mugshot and personal details. Who would ever send anything?
Everybody would be "on the record" all the time. Whether they were writing a literary masterpiece or a drunken rant at an ex-partner. We rightly guard against "big brother" in the form of the state from surveilling us - but what if we had to do it to ourselves. And not just for the information to appear in a closed and secret database, but to be displayed in public for everyone: parents, children, employers, prospective dates, to see, search and form opinions from.
We need a degree of anonymity (said "Pete 2", yes that is my real name - just ask Mr and Mrs. 2; my parents) on the internet just as we have in real life - where maybe one person in a thousand - who we encounter daily: on the train, in the traffic jam, in the shops - knows even the slightest thing about us.
So we should be able to live our digital lives with the same degree of anonymity that we enjoy in the real world. Anonymity is not the problem, however. The problem is the inhabitants of the internet who feel they have impunity when they do the electronic equivalent of running up to us, shouting obscenities in our face, and running away again - as happens daily, on almost every web-space, to a significant proportion of its users.
What the internet needs is not an end to anonymity, but a more widespread system of assessing the "people" we meet on it. Just like IRL, we should be able to recognise the psychos, idiots, bs-ers, wise people, comedians and our friends. Not just on each individual forum or platform, but across the system as a whole. The trick is to be able to do that without sacrificing too much in the way of personal information. Maybe that's where the true value of FB and its ilk lies: as a universal registration/recognition system to validate online identities, while still stopping people you annoy from coming round your house with a large stick.