August 12, 2002

STEVEN DEN BESTE is rather critical of anonymous bloggers. Personally, I’m not opposed to anonymous blogging, but I admit that I am quicker to accept representations by real people, with preexisting reputations. Sure, anonymity can play an important role in protecting people’s ability to speak out. But it comes with a price, as Den Beste points out: “He is standing up to be counted, but he’s wearing a bag over his head.”

Anonybloggers have their role, and they can be quite good. And it’s fun to speculate about who they are: Is Atrios really Bob Shrum? Is Robert Musil really Alan Greenspan? (Almost certainly not, in both cases, but the fun doesn’t end there. Which anonybloggers are sock puppets for the opposition, designed to discredit the very positions they propound? I have my suspicions. . . . But I digress.)

If you want to blog anonymously, fine. That’s your privilege. Responding to your anonymity differently than they would respond to your True Name is other people’s privilege. You pays your money, and you takes your choice.

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