Archive for June 8th, 2006

Anonymity, Thy Name is… Armando?

The ever-contentuous issue of anonymity and pseudonymity returns to the limelight of the blogosphere as DailyKos’ “Armando” is – in his wordsouted by a conservative blog.

Truth be told, I don’t completely understand what the fuss is about; he had, at best, a thin veeneer of pseudonymity. It’s interesting to note, though, that Armando seems to feel having his identity be known damages his creditability and worth – or, rather, the creditability and worth of his posts online. This is contrary to the “conventional wisdom” espoused by would-be somebodies elsewhere, and – I feel – a valuable real-world example of the value of pseudonymity.

If, as the case seems to be, Armando is worried about his online activities affecting his professional life, well, there is certainly no shortage of advice for those who want to avoid that problem. It also supports something I wrote recently:

Yet it’s painfully self-serving to dismiss anonymity and pseudonymity as “irrelevant?, to deny those who would rock the boat – those who would like some degree of privacy – or merely those who would like to promote unpopular ideas – the ability to do so in a meaningful way without personal risk.

Armando definately “rocked the boat” at Daily Kos, and more than a few of the things he said were contentious. That his thin pseudonymity meant he could forego self-censorship did much more to advance dialogue and the exchange of ideas than any illusory “importance” others would have placed on his edited and abridged ideas, had he used his real name.

Pseudonymity and anonymity, I think it’s fairly clear, are good and necessary tools that help advance discourse and conversation. Those who dismiss or attack the pseudonymous are being childish and petty.

Armando, you were a huge jerk much of the time, but you’ll be missed.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General, Meta | on June 8th, 2006 | 2 Comments »