Brian Leiter on anonymous communication.

Brian Leiter offers some thoughts on anonymity and the internet, which includes a defense of outing. “That someone chooses to blog anonymously creates no moral or legal obligation for anyone else to honor that choice.”



2 Responses to “Brian Leiter on anonymous communication.”

  1. Jeff Albert Says:

    There are two basic reasons to be anonymous online. If your anonymity is meant to highlight the idea, i.e. I don’t want my writing to be believed or dismissed out of hand based solely on who I am, that can be positive. It forces us to subject ideas to scrutiny based on their merit alone. Of course, if you are just being anonymous so that you can act like an ass and not have to pay the social cost, then you should be outed post-haste.

    I once started an anonymous blog so that I could point out and bitch about much of the stupidity in my industry in my hometown. Ultimately I decided it would do more good if I did it as myself, which made me be less rude, if not less accusing.

  2. Aaron Says:

    I’d have thought the obvious point to make is that while it isn’t immoral or illegal, it’s just sort of ‘un-cool’ to out someone who isn’t harming anyone. But once they’re abusing their anonymity, they’ve lost the right to you respect.

    It’s sort of like how standing and shaking someone’s hand isn’t a moral or legal issue, but it’s just something a decent person does upon first meeting someone.

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