Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Danger of Being Eponymous

Warren's comment in response to my posting on his lack of permalinks (a privilege I offer that he, apparently, thinks will get him sued for some reason) is yet another variation on the idea that potential threats to lefties don't warrent some caution.

Well, first, that goes against decades of online praxis, but other than that, I turn to the guy I called a "better blogger", Digby:

It really takes a lot of gall for the NY Post to obnoxiously ridicule Keith Olberman for calling the police when some asshole sent some white powder to his house with a note that said it was in response to his commentary against the president. The NY Post was one of the places that the original anthrax killer hit in 2001 --- and their own employees got sick.

What in the hell is wrong with these people? Jesus.
Remember when I mentioned psychotic freepers doing what freepers do best? Yeah, it was this sort of thing I'm talking about. It's already a problem in North America- in other contries, like Japan, people have had their homes burned down for saying the wrong thing in public.

And the sad part is that, as this Digby post shows, you aren't necessarily guaranteed the sympathy or support of others if this sort of thing happens.

Do I expect that anything of the sort would happen had I decided to go eponymous? No, I doubt it. Maybe back in 2002-2003 when I blogged more often and had that ongoing debate with Steven Den Beste, but not nowadays. There would certainly be more money in it.

No, the POINT, as I mentioned back in the first posting, is that I have always believed that being able to communicate, debate, and discuss pseudonymously or anonymously is as important to democracy as being able to vote anonymously. It can be annoying, especially for the eponymous who are trading on their offline "name" to gain online credibility, but it is absolutely necessary and is the very lifeblood of this new medium. It's what attracted me to blogging in the first place; why the hell would I abandon my belief in this principle just because someone like Warren, who would be completely ignored were he not Warren Kinsella, yells "coward"?

It doesn't change the fact that despite Warren using his real name, and Atrios not using his (until recently), Atrios was and is still a better read.

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