Anonymity



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  • I have to seriously question the 1) intelligence, 2) awareness, and 3) motivations of anyone still banging the "Anonymity is bad!" drum at this point. It's "if you have nothing to hide..."-tier stupidity and anyone who rails against anonymity/pseudonymity is either clueless, so stupid as to be a walking liability, or trying to goad people into exposing themselves and their families to attack needlessly.

    There are endless good reasons to write under a pseudonym, ranging from separating concerns---I'm a software developer and a fiction writer; why would I want those unrelated ventures mashed together under my one real name?---to putting stumbling blocks in the way of out-of-control nutcases who don't have the ability to track down your real identity before they find a new target when an outrage mob focuses a couple days of hate on you.

    On the other hand, there is usually no upside to going by your real name even if there aren't several far-more-famous people who share your name already online, as is quite common. There are in fact endless downsides, which are balanced against what, exactly? Headpats from halfwits who think writing pseudonymously makes you a coward? It's not a hard calculation.



  • For what it's worth - skin in the game. It does indeed make it more likely you're right or being more careful to hold to the truth when it's easier to suffer bad consequences. That said - in a world surrounded by psychopaths, bad consequences may be unjustly directed your way. See also the point I made the following day that there are plenty of narcissists who'll spout shit just to get attention, they absolutely want to have their drama associated with their real name.

    In the end I view it as no more than armor. It's a layer of defense. It does make you a little less accountable, but in an unjust society, that improves your chances of getting the truth out there in the first place. As even the argument against anonymity points out, you're just putting yourself at less risk - you still have skin in the game.

    In the end, it boils down to - are we speaking truth.


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