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Acne Law Belch

Oh, this again.

Salon is poo-pooing anonymous bloggers. Meanwhile, I don’t see them slamming anonymous editorial tripe in major media outlets. What gives? Hell, the stupid Salon article isn’t signed. I assume Karen Croft wrote it, as she is credited to the one above it. But who knows? Lame.

Even Insty (a guy with tenure) says:

I understand anonymous blogging — and pseudonymous blogging — and I don’t think that they’re necessarily illegitimate. But it’s certainly true that I tend to take stuff from named bloggers more seriously. With a sufficient track record, that can change, of course. It does seem, though, that anonymity often affects the tone of a blog. Posting under your real name probably does encourage a certain additional degree of civility, in most people at least.

Bill says:

An anonymous blogger might tell you he can’t blog because his employer might not like it, or his customers – so just trust him that he is who he says he is. Hogwash. He just wants the freedom to behave badly, slander with impunity, and spread lies.

I rarely link to blogs by anonymous bloggers. In the future, I’ll do so even less.

Bill also addresses the credibility of us anonymous types. How much credibility do bloggers have anyway? Seriously. Is Atrios more or less believable than Bill? I doubt it. And I am one more inclined to agree with Bill than Atrios.

Bill also says:

My experience with anonymous bloggers is exactly that – and they often allow cretinous behavior in their comments sections.

I run a rather clean show here. And so do other anonymous types.

I have no more nor less credibility being anonymous. What leads to a bloggers credibility is their political and social predisposition; their agenda and positions on issues; and the clarity and intellectual ability with which they express themselves. Not their name. My name is unimportant. I’d tell it to you and you’d respond with a hardy Never heard of him. That doesn’t discredit my opinion on an issue.

Blogging for most of us is the equivalent of one big chatroom where people discuss stuff. Why does one need to use their real name to do that? I send anonymous gifts to charities too. Is my donation less credible?

I haven’t said who I am. So, I am who I say I am. I’m nobody special. Just some guy, ya know.

Update: To support my contention that identity doesn’t matter, it does occur to me that in the one year and five months that I’ve had a blog and my 130,000ish hits that no one has ever asked me who I am. I’ve even been interviewed in local media and haven’t been asked.

Update2: Via email, Glenn informs me:

It’s by Christopher Farah. It says so right there.

Not on the version I am looking at. I even did a Find and got nothing. Maybe it’s because I am not a subscriber and got one of those day passes to read the article.

I stand sort of corrected.

Last Update: Insty emailed me the entire text. I suppose there is a difference between what subscribers see and what us daily pass folks see. No scandal. No hypocrisy. Keep it moving, nothing to see here.

Really the last update and I mean it this time: Insty says he has a day pass too. I don’t know what gives but I see no name attributed to the article. So much for anonymous blogger’s credibility. For those who may doubt, here’s what I looked at.

9 Responses to “Acne Law Belch”

  1. tgirsch Says:

    For what it’s worth, I don’t see author credit on the Salon piece, either.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    Cool! I am not alone.

  3. Brian A. Says:

    Say Uncle, who are you? First!

    As far as the article confusion goes, I’m not sure if this explains it, but Salon had to revise the article because the original text stupidly contended that one of Atrios’ posts was an assertion against Bush, when it was obviously parody.

  4. Manish Says:

    Other than bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit, Talkleft who are actually somewhat public figures, anybody claiming to blog under their real name could well be a pseudonym, Brian. If that is your real name.

  5. Publicola Says:

    Way I see things (& I admit I’m a bit biased) being an anonymous blogger lets you have a certain amount of freedom. Not necessarily the freedom to slander someone or spread BS (as non-anonymous bloggers have been doing that as well)but to be judged not by your person, but by the nature of your words. When people read my blog they tend to judge me strictly on what I write, not on my occupation or my surname or any other qualities that cause a pre-judgement in people.
    For example if I was an attorney some people would view what I say as more legitimate than if I were a busboy in a resteraunt, even though the argument could be just as valid or flawed as the real opinion of a lawyer or a busboy. By remainign anonymous you sidestep the “he’s just a (insert occupation here) so what does he know?” as well as the “he’s a (insert occupation here)so he most know more than I do” things.

    Here’s an example – if a busboy told you that Helen Keller spent most of her adult life as an avid & active socialist you’d be skeptical, but if a history professor told you the exact same thing you’d be more inclined to believe it. This despite the fact that the statement is no more true coming form the history professor than the busboy.

    Now most people who read my blog probably wouldn’t be influenced by knowing my identity. They’d judge the arguments I make on their own merits. But the ones I am trying to influence the most might be swayed by occupational or some other prejudice.

    & I have rarely seen anonymous bloggers do anything that seems inappropriate because of their anonymity. Granted, I don’t read every blog out there, but odds are Kim du Toit & Acidman are more blunt with their opinions than any anonymous bloggers I know of. Not that there’s anything wrong with bluntness, but in my experience (which is strictly anecdotal)I just haven’t seen the problems attributed to anonymous bloggers abusing their anonymity.

    who you are doesn’t matter Uncle. It’s what you write that I’ll respect or disregard you for, not your identity.

    One question though – are you really, honestly, legitimately an uncle? 🙂

  6. SayUncle Says:

    Publicola: Yes, I am an uncle. Four nieces and nephews.

    Brian: I’m just some guy.

  7. Les Jones Says:

    SayUncle (assuming that is your real pseudonym): I have a subscription to Salon, and I don’t see Christopher Farah’s name on the page or in the source code.

  8. Voluntarily in China Says:

    Photo from the other MTV Super Bowl scandal
    This one was more difficult to find. While Janet is everywhere on the internet, I asked my fellow bloggers at the The Rocky Top Brigade. Les Jones from Les Jones Blog came through for me. Thanks Les. Since I don’t…

  9. Who Tends the Fires Says:

    It’s time for the Little Bit of News Guy:

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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