Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Internet was supposed to be the prolix paradise where there would be no more gatekeepers and everyone would finally have their say. We would express ourselves freely at any level, high or low, with no inhibitions.
Yet in this infinite realm of truth-telling, many want to hide. Who are these people prepared to tell you what they think, but not who they are? What is the mentality that lets them get in our face while wearing a mask? Shredding somebody’s character before the entire world and not being held accountable seems like the perfect sting.
Pseudonyms have a noble history. Revolutionaries in France, founding fathers and Soviet dissidents used them. The great poet Fernando Pessoa used heteronyms to write in different styles and even to review the work composed under his other names.
As Hugo Black wrote in 1960, “It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.”
But on the Internet, it’s often less about being constructive and more about being cowardly.
Maureen Dowd New York Times August 25, 2009
I think what Ms. Dowd is saying is that anonymous writers are liars and that is why they choose to be anonymous.
If you live in a country which guarantees freedom of expression, there is no legitimate reason to write anonymously. No reputable newspaper has anonymous articles. Even when people sign their names they may still lie, however if they refuse to sign they are guaranteed to be lying.
Some people may claim that they must remain anonymous because if they would sign their articles, their family or neighbors would be angry with them. My opinion is that if what you are saying is something you would not tell your wife or your next door neighbor, then it is not worth sharing it with the rest of the world.
Click here for a story about a recently exposed blogger.
In my humble opinion, if you don't have the courage to sign your name to it, you shouldn't publish it
Posted by jewish philosopher at 10:05 AM