Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reconsidering Anonymity

Up to this point, I considered anonymity a form of cowardice. Why can't you write under your own name? What are you afraid of?

Return of Kings anonymous writer "runsonmagic" wrote a post that discusses why anonymity is a good thing.

Among the benefits to anonymity is it forces discussion to be about the ideas, not the personality. Many people seem to respond to ideas they find controversial with ad-hominem attacks rather than discuss the ideas. Without knowing who is behind the idea, it's harder to make an ad-hominem. It doesn't completely remove the possibility though. Most will leave something like "probably some loser living in his mom's basement" like that has any bearing on the actual idea.

I've always written under my own name. If anything, it keeps me honest. I don't say anything on this blog or on social media that I wouldn't be comfortable saying in public, or to the face of any personalities I'm writing about.

On the other hand, there is probably a lot I would say if I could write anonymously; without worry of the ideas being linked back to me.

A big problem on the Internet is anonymous trolls. Have you ever heard of the "Greater Internet F-wad theorem"? Normal person, plus anonymity, plus audience, equals total F-wad. People will say things in blog comments that I doubt they would be willing to if you were standing right in front of them.
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