Sunday, May 15, 2005

The (fake) power of the pseudonym

I've been debating off and on about staying pseudonymous. Pseudonyms make some people think they have more power than they really have. Critical Mass has the story of an SMU adjunct professor fired for blogging about her students and colleagues. Ms. Liner made the mistake of giving away too much information. Any one post at any one time won't carry enough information to identify you, if you're careful, but the total collection of data will sink you. That's why interrogators WANT you to lie a lot. You'll drop enough truths eventually to let them find out what you know. (It didn't help that Ms. Liner appears to be violating confidences in articles, but other people have addressed that issue.)

I've had one cardinal rule about staying pseudonymous: Assume anyone you're writing about knows who you are and will read your blog. Would you say the same thing to them in person? If not, then don't blog it. It's easy to think that the target of your rant won't read your blog, but they just might be, and even if they aren't, God is. He sees the things done in secret, and will show them in the light, either in this life or at judgement. I try to not say anything here that would make Him mad either.

Right now, anyone who put out a small amount of effort could identify who I am and where I live. Given Eric Ragle's problems with a stalker, I am hesitant to come fully "out of the pseudonym". If someone latched on to me, that would pester Milady, and I won't have that. That job is solely reserved for the Lovely Darlings and me. ;)

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