28 April 2008

Anonymous Blogging

This is an old topic but one that I think is worth revisiting!

I am an avid reader of Indonesia Matters and it must be noted that the webmaster is one who prefers to protect his true identity with the anonymous moniker of Patung. However, this is not about Patung or Indonesia Matters per se but rather Indonesia Matters is a place where many prefer to blog anonymously and it is where I have found a good reason why anonymity is not always a good thing!

I am also for free speech. My previous posts attest to this. I am also generally comfortable with anonymous blogging and anonymous writing. Some great literature has been penned under pseudonyms. I am against hate speech and I am against vilification...but that's just me.

I am for a person who has the courage of their convictions to identify themselves when they are advancing arguments that are on the fringes of current debate or where those arguments are outright racist or sexist or premised on distortion of evidence or merely based on anectdotal personal opinion that does not stand up to scrutiny.

I am for people entering into open and frank debate in order to seek solutions rather than merely attempting to inflame and exacerbate old and tired stereotypes! If we are to live in a world that is truly at peace and in harmony then we need to find solutions to those things that harm us!

Thus endeth the sermon!


Patung said...

If you're not talking about me then you are not talking about anonymous blogging, you're talking about people posting messages on internet forums anonymously. Boy, it happens rather a lot, on thousands upon thousands of sites all over the world, it's the internet, warts and all.

Carla said...

Which makes it (internet) interesting with all the emotions involved in the discussions. Not much of a difference from real life, isn't it? :)

Rob Baiton said...


I should have written down what I thought you would say because what you wrote was it!

But I am glad you have declared yourself to be tolerant of racism, sexism, hate speech, because after all my friend "it's the internet, warts and all."

Just because it happens a lot does not mean it is OK or that it is right. If that is the logic, then cases where men beat women/wives also happens a lot, that's life after all, so we should just ignore it, because it happens a lot and therefore must be tolerated!

I will need to read my own post again to check what I actually wrote because I thought I distinguished you on the grounds that you were not writing the material yourself.

However, you are the conduit for it and your justification is that "it happens a lot". So, perhaps I was giving you more credit than I should have!


Must beg to differ! It does not make the Internet interesting.

There is a big difference from real life when it comes to anonymous blogging. If some of these anonymous bloggers were to say what they say in a forum where they could be identified then the responses and outcomes are potentially very different...

But I guess this is the beauty of blogging in that it lets you play out your racist, sexist, elitist fantasies from the comfort of your own home without fear of being held to account!

Yet, that is the difference for me! There is nothing that I am posting that I am not prepared to defend or argue for should anyone call me on it!

As uncle Ned once said "Such is Life!"

Patung said...

Ok, well, food for thought!