Anonymity – A BAD Idea

With very few exceptions, bloggers, writers, and commenters should post under their REAL Names.

Why?

Because:

  • It’s self-evidently untrue that you are speaking “Truth to Power” or “Ready to Lead the Revolution”, if you fear a simple test like putting your signature/name to your opinions.
  • The more anonymous the poster, the likelier he/she is to inflate his/her words with bombastic hyperbole.
  • Seeing the pile-on that follows the unnamed opinion, others fear the consequences of openly disagreeing with the Left. Your example gives the others courage.
  • It’s hard to call people names for simply – and non-aggressively – stating their opinions. And, when we know that others will be able to put our face to those opinions, we tend to tone down the hostility and aggression.
  • The anons could be anyone, or even a bot. When a name is attached, it lends credibility.

I was influenced to go on record with my real name by Francis Porretto, who wrote a post arguing for the practice (I don’t remember where I saw it). Even though, at the time, I was employed by a school system, I decided to begin digitally putting my ‘signature’ on my posts. I’ve never had reason to regret it.

7 comments

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    • billo on August 28, 2021 at 9:50 AM

    That’s a fine position to take as long as the negative consequences of speaking up are simply people judging your words harshly.  There’s a different calculation, though, when the consequences are losing your job, getting sued in a way that will financially ruin you even if you win, getting put on a government watch list, or being arrested and imprisoned.

  1. I agree.

  2. As a teacher, I risked losing my job. Today, I risk losing my license to sell insurance. Or, losing a carrier, or all of them. 
    I’ve risked losing friends, and family. There is no such thing as a risk-free life. 

  3. Linda, I took the lesson from Blaise Pascal early on. Had he not published his Provincial Papers it is likely he would not have succeeded in undermining the nefarious influence that the Jesuits of the Sorbonne (fighting the counter reformation) had on Louis XIV. The King willingly followed all they suggested. He put out an order to burn all the pamphlets that could be found. Imagine what he’d have done were he to know the author for sure. As it was, the genius died at 39 of mysterious causes.
    I am happy you find some value in being open. I appreciate your risk. One of the things we on the Right know better than our enemy — one size does not fit all. Live and let live.

    • Tracy C Coyle on August 28, 2021 at 6:35 PM

    I have used my real name for more than 30 years online.  You can find me going all the way back to 1995.  My personal information has been available for most of that time (address, phone #).  I’ve never had a problem – I’ve had my share of threats – of which I took none seriously.
    I see no reason to change.

  4. I often feel like a bad influence…but not this time.

    • Toastrider on August 30, 2021 at 2:43 PM

    Yeah, I’m gonna take up the opposition flag on this one. With no disrespect intended to our gracious host, or to Mrs. Fox.
     
    If this was seventy years ago — or even thirty — I could agree with you. But… here’s the problem. We now face people who are utterly, completely devoid of any kind of scruples when it comes to ‘dealing with’ dissent. We’re not talking nastygrams dropped in your mailbox; try coordinated social-media campaigns targeting your employer urging them to fire you. Publicizing your home address and as much PII as can be collected in the hopes of a rogue (or not so rogue) attack, or at least an attempt to steal your identity. Complaints made to any institution that does business with you (we just saw Michael Flynn get his accounts closed by Chase, though I would argue Flynn should’ve moved his assets long before now; Chase sucks).
     
    And don’t think they’ll stop at you. Your family and friends will be ‘fair game’ to use the term the Scientologists use. Are you willing to let THEM be targets as well?
     
    I take no pleasure in saying these things. I have great respect for Mr. Porretto and Mrs. Fox. But for now, I will follow in Ben Franklin’s footsteps with a nom de plume.

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