heartfelt pseudonymous agreement

Emptywheel over at The Next Hurrah has a nice bit on pseudonymity buried in an article from yesterday.

Someone who mistakes pseudonymity for anonymity is missing just a few critical things about blogging that go right to the core of its importance…[P]seudonymity is one of the most important aspects to retaining the vitality of the blogosphere. Pseudonymity guarantees that citizens whose jobs or other life circumstances would not permit them to speak politically, to do so, using a consistent identity, but one that does not endanger their livelihood.

Mandos chimes in with this:

…I am deeply suspicious of the sentiments underlying the opposition to anonymity and pseudonymity, because to me it can’t come other than from a place of perceived privilege.

Perceived privilege, indeed.

Long-time readers are doubtless aware of my sympathy with these sentiments. In the past, I’ve taken immature children to task for being churlish idiots on the subject of pseudonymity.

The egotists, desiring self-importance, will probably always scorn the pseudonymous, because it requires far less work to attack the messenger than the message; for one, it doesn’t require you to ever opine on anything of substance.

I know, I know, I’ve recently condemned, in a way, Xangans, MySpace Cadets, LiveJouralists, and others, as “meaningless”, so this seems a bit like hypocrisy. Note, though, that I criticize their message, not them. I don’t care if you use your real name on MySpace or not, I simply don’t care what you did at school, or how hard your homework is, or what you’re listening to, okay? stfu, ‘k? lol!!!!1 omg, social network sitez are so totally grody; bag ’em, ‘k?

Having recently been the subject of threats from a humorless and incompetent attorney, I well appreciate the benefits of pseudonymity, and the ability to write freely without self-censorship. It’s easy to overlook the benefits of the latter when you have no original thoughts in dissent from the mainstream, but the freedom to express one’s (First Amendment-protected) views on things like bad webhosts, or bad fast-food chains, or even the idiots at AfterDowningStreet, is, frankly, quite enjoyable.

Sure, a big attraction of the blogosphere is the fact that you don’t have to have anything even remotely meaningful to say to be a part of it. Those with something to say, though, shouldn’t have to be afraid to do so, or forced to do so under their own names, as much as the wannabe intelligensia might wish otherwise.

This highly self-referential rant has been brought to you by sugar, complex carbohydrates, ibuprofen, and a broken toe… not necessarily in that order.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness | on February 9th, 2007| Comments Off on heartfelt pseudonymous agreement

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.