Katie Couric's Notebook: Anonymity Online

When it comes to investigative reporting, anonymous sources have their place - just ask Woodward and Bernstein.

But most media outlets, including CBS, have strict standards for when and how they are used. Usually it's only as a last resort... and even then it's frowned upon.

Yet there are no comparable standards for anonymous comments on the web, where nastiness abounds. Last month, I described the tasteless vitriol directed at Marie Osmond following her son's suicide.

Fortunately, comments like that may soon be relegated to the sidelines. The Washington Post and Huffington Post are both considering plans to rank online feedback, prioritizing posts from trusted sources over those from faceless snipers.

Other sites, like Amazon and Wikipedia, have already done it...and more will no doubt follow.

It's about time. If you really stand behind your comments, you shouldn't be afraid to include your name.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.