The Case for Anonymous Blogging
Coincidentally I came across two posts today making the case for anonymous blogging. The first is from About.com discussing the possible reasons why a blogger might choose to blog anonymously. They are:
1) When blogging about sensitive issues and controversial topics, some bloggers wish to be anonymous to avoid personal and/or professional repercussions.
2) If a blogger resides in a country where free speech is limited or prohibited, blogging anonymously may be the only way to communicate to the public and avoid the possibility of imprisonment or paying heavy fines.
3) Anonymous blogging is also useful when bloggers wish to expose workplaces and organizations without being traced as the originator of the information and to avoid being fired from work and/or sued.
4) When a blogger wishes to write about highly personal matters, blogging anonymously may be the best way to go about expressing one’s true feelings, thoughts and experiences without trying to censor oneself too much.
The first is probably the closest to my own reasons for blogging as Blog Bloke. Having been in politics and the legal profession I admit that I was concerned about the repercussions. But I have a fifth reason that I would also like to offer.
5) Security and Privacy:
This is arguably the most important reason of all. Because of my involvement in politics and law I have had the good fortune of meeting a lot of nice people. Unfortunately I have also come across some unsavory characters that have threatened me, attempted to extort money from me, etc. I was therefore forced to become more security conscious (or paranoid) and it’s never quite left me.
When I was considering coming out of the closet so to speak I got involved in the terrorist beheading stories, and I believe that my blog was visited and commented on by terrorists, or at least terrorist sympathizers. Hence, my concern for privacy became all the more reinforced.
The second post discusses the stories behind (former) anonymous bloggers David Lat and Jonathan Adler. It makes for an interesting read and explains why they started out as anonymous bloggers and eventually went public.
Hence, the reason why I allow anonymous commenters on my blog and don’t require anyone to register (unlike others who often misuse it to boast an alleged readership, but that’s another story). I believe in my right to privacy and I believe in yours as well.