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Blog Anonymity

I’m just putting this up so there’s a thread for people’s comments about pseudonymous and anonymous blog comments.  I’d love to see the Alexander Cockburn thread return to a discussion of Alexander Cockburn.

Oscar Wilde: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

  1. Plain Jane
    July 22, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Thanks Mitch. You have my permission to move my rant from the Cockburn thread and put it here, if you have the time or inclination.

  2. Anonymous
    July 22, 2012 at 10:21 am

    WHo was known by the pseudonyms Silence Dogwood, Martha Careful, Poor Richard, Richard Saunders among many others while writing extensively on the matters of the day? (come on google it)

    Certainly he didn’t have any right to his opinion either.

  3. Guest
    July 22, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Can we have another new thread to discuss Rose’s tea party blog, and their latest discussion about the political leanings of the Colorado shooter?

    http://www.thecoffeeshopblog.net/2012/07/murder-in-colorado.html

  4. Anonymous
    July 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Why is it that Tea Partiers see a conspiracy theory every time news is announced that runs counter to their belief system, or when they don’t get their way?

  5. Joel Mielke
    July 22, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Rose’s blog appears to be a form of mental comfort food, where she can post her lunatic opinions and luxuriate in responses from fellow travelers.

  6. Plain Jane
    July 22, 2012 at 10:51 am

    The Coffee Shop is of, by and for those ill equipped to deal with a multicolored (in every sense of the word) world.

  7. Mitch
    July 22, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Guest,

    I’ll leave Rose’s blog to you. It’s unquestionably an interesting read.

  8. Joel Mielke
    July 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The subject of Anonymity could certainly be a page on the Herald, rather than a post. What annoys me is anonymous commenters with scant evidence positing opinions on the identity of some other anonymous persona. HiFi, for instance, has a right to his anonymity. Why would anyone want to reveal his identity, even if one were to know it?

  9. Plain Jane
    July 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Oscar Wilde: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.“

    Most people can’t, or don’t believe they can, afford the consequences of saying what they really think. Some just keep their thoughts to themselves or only voice them to those they trust, and some even lie about what they believe to curry favor. Some voice their honest opinions anonymously because they feel they can’t afford to do so with their real names but can’t stand silently by. Readers are always free to disregard anonymous or pseudonymous opinions as well as those with names attached. Are Fred’s posts more credible than Tra’s because he uses his real name?

  10. Plain Jane
    July 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I believe it was an anonymous who revealed who he thought HiFi is and it was also a anonymous who claimed repeatedly and falsely that I am Phillis Seawright and many times HiFi has accused pseudonymous posters of being named individuals.

  11. Eric Kirk
    July 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I am anonymous!

  12. Mitch
    July 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Poser.

  13. Anonymous
    July 22, 2012 at 11:22 am

    who claimed repeatedly and falsely that I am Phillis Seawright

    That’s exactly the type of thing I’d expect Phillis Seawright to say!

    BTW, who is Phillis Seawright?

  14. tra
    July 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Over the last couple of years various commenters have “identified” me as Mitch, Charlie Custer, Erik Kirk, Estelle Fennell, Richard Salzman, Tom Grover, and some others I can’t remember at the moment. Or maybe a better way of putting it is that all of those individuals have been accused of being “tra.” Oh, yeah, and supposedly I’m Heraldo, too!

    I can understand people being curious about the identity of anonymous bloggers and commenters — but for a few people it seems to go beyond mere curiosity, to the point where it’s more like an obsession. And ironically, those are exactly the kind of creepy stalker types whose existence leads many people to prefer some level of anonymity on the internet.

  15. jr
    July 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

    As Bud Collier would have said, “Will the real Phillis Seawright please stand up.” Johnny Carson would have said, “Who do you trust?”

    Sorry to mix game show metaphors.

  16. mresquan
    July 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Sadly,I have been banned from Rose’s coffeeshop blog,as dissenting opinion isn’t tolerated there.Funny,because I remember her up in arms over censorship on this blog,prompting Rose to start a “Censored by Heraldo” link on her watchpaul site.I haven’t even read her latest posting on the coffeeshop,but I’ll assure you that the post about political leanings of the shooter comes from a guy who posts as Guy In Ohio,who regularly invokes racism in many of his posts.

  17. Gil Yule
    July 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Has using a pseudonym or using “anonymous” become a way of drawing attention to oneself? It’s certainly easier to be outrageous or take provocative stands when you don’t have to personally suffer the consequences of your remarks.

    I wrestled with the decision to become myself after posting online for some time under different names and finally decided to take responsibility for my remarks (and ultimately found them to be quite a bit more civil, rational and middle-of-the-road) when using my own name. I find this fits better with my world view and feels good. I totally understand the arguments for remaining “anonymous” and still am not sure I’m correct with my decision. It’s a personal thing.

  18. Amy Breighton
    July 23, 2012 at 12:33 am

    What better contemporary example of why American’s fear their “freedom of speech” than the Janitors at Penn State who said they’d be fired if they dared report the child molestations perpetrated by campus Bigs.

    If the U.S. had a sound social safety net and universal healthcare coverage, there would be far less to fear.

  19. Anonymous
    July 23, 2012 at 7:28 am

    I like to say terrible things about other people and still be able to smile and say ‘hi’ in the grocery store so I post as an “anonymous”.

  20. Senior
    July 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

    On Rose’s blog, they attack the media for apparently suggesting that the Colorado shooter is a Tea Party guy, all the while assuming him of being a liberal

  21. rs@5500.ca
    July 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    (From PBS)

    During the eighteenth century, it was common for writers and journalists to use pseudonyms, or false names, when they created newspaper articles and letters to the editor. Franklin used this convention extensively throughout his life, sometimes to express an idea that might have been considered slanderous or even illegal by the authorities; other times to present two sides of an issue, much like the point-counterpoint style of journalism used today.

    When Franklin used a pseudonym, he often created an entire persona for the “writer.” Sometimes he wrote as a woman, other times as a man, but always with a specific point of view. While all of his writings were focused and logical, many were also humorous, filled with wit and irony. Silence Dogood, Harry Meanwell, Alice Addertongue, Richard Saunders, and Timothy Turnstone were a few of the many pseudonyms Franklin used throughout his career.

    more: During the eighteenth century, it was common for writers and journalists to use pseudonyms, or false names, when they created newspaper articles and letters to the editor. Franklin used this convention extensively throughout his life, sometimes to express an idea that might have been considered slanderous or even illegal by the authorities; other times to present two sides of an issue, much like the point-counterpoint style of journalism used today.

    When Franklin used a pseudonym, he often created an entire persona for the “writer.” Sometimes he wrote as a woman, other times as a man, but always with a specific point of view. While all of his writings were focused and logical, many were also humorous, filled with wit and irony. Silence Dogood, Harry Meanwell, Alice Addertongue, Richard Saunders, and Timothy Turnstone were a few of the many pseudonyms Franklin used throughout his career.

    more: http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/l3_wit_name.html

  22. July 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    ‘A rose by any other name still smells as sweet”– Really.it’s what you say!!!

  23. July 23, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Man, you guys must be REALLY bored. Why’d ya invite me over here for this? Hilarious.

  24. Anonymous
    July 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Blog anonymity? You mean one of the writers of this blog, Larry Glass?

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