It is interesting to me that the day after I gently lectured a fellow blogger about watching what he said that this story broke.
I’ve always heard that there was no such thing as anonymity on the web. Yesterday, I was talking with a local blogger who attempts to remain anonymous. He believes this gives him some cover to say some things he wouldn’t otherwise be able to say. I made sure to point out that there was no guarantee that folks wouldn’t find out who he was and to watch what he wrote. (I also pointed out that a whole lot of people already knew who he was, but that’s another story altogether!)
The rule that I have followed when talking about people on my blog is pretty much the same one my Momma told me years ago about talking behind someone’s back. If you can’t say something to their face, you shouldn’t be saying it. My Momma is a smart cookie.
I’ve made sure that any comments I’ve made on Crunchy would be something I’d feel comfortable saying to the person I’m talking about. I am also closely guarded in what I say because I have a livelihood to protect and a reputation to consider. I’ll always speak my mind about the stories I post, but I temper myself by only posting on things that I think won’t get me in hot water with clients or my family. Its been pretty easy so far since there is always a whole lot of news to choose from on any given day.
I got my first taste of exactly how complex blogging could be when one of my clients called me and asked, “What’s this little website you’ve got going?” I knew then it would be hard to blog, but its something I enjoy and I hope to be able to continue for a good long while. I always had a diary as a kid and, to me, this is kind of like an extention of that. My brother always read my thoughts in that one, so you guys might as well read my thoughts on this!
Long story short, let today’s news be a lesson to us all. We are not anonymous regardless of what we may think. I’d prefer people stand by their comments anyway, and if there was a way I could prevent anonymous posting or posting under false names, I’d enable it. I’m sure that whether you have a local server or use a proxy server there are ways to track you down. Hide behind a pseydonym if you want, but know that whatever you say could potentially be traced back to you.
In conclusion, as they used to say on Hill Street Blues, “Lets be careful out there.”