Solely In Black and White: Anonymity in Blogging?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Anonymity in Blogging?


I think the idea of true anonymity in blogging is at best an oxymoron and at worst a false sense of security. “It’s a small world after all” is not just a ride and song, but a reality in our small Jewish-geography playing world.  I surmise that many newbie bloggers are lulled into the false security of having an anonymous blog, a clever pen-name, and a mysterious email address supposing (or hoping) that they can blog with impunity. Unfortunately, either right or wrong, that doesn’t seem to be the case. 


Guy Fawkes
I too used to think that blogging could be truly anonymous; especially for those capable of using technical solutions that evade rudimentary tracking, however, even those added steps don’t guarantee success. I know many a cautious blogger who were “outed” by the content of their blog alone. I also know bloggers who were “outed” for purely “technical” or “social” reasons. Rationally, it seems, in my humble opinion, that being identified has become a risk that one must be willing to accept in order to blog. Additionally, with the proliferation of tracking services and innovative methodologies, there is more information than ever before to “snoop” about unsuspecting bloggers and readers. (For a rudimentary example of the information available to most bloggers click here and scroll down.) One such example is cookie sniffing scripts, some of which can basically, and of course politely, asks one’s computer what other websites have been visited. And the list of innovative privacy-invading technologies goes on… 


But it’s not all miserable and dreary. I’d even venture to say that some people have arguably gained more than they have lost by being “outed.” I was even thinking that perhaps it can reasoned that a blog is a better indicator of personality type/interest/ and family nature than a typical shidduch resume. Personally, I’m sometime more inclined to set-up random bloggers than random resumes, but I presume I'm in the minority. 


But even that point aside, I think that the fear of being “outed” keeps one somewhat honest and tempered. For example, if one believes with any modicum of certainty that someone who they know might read a rather scathing or embarrassing post, they would presumably alter their post to reflect that possibility. Second, most of those who have been “outed” don’t have to deal with any significant real-world implications. At least in my situation, It’s not like people are walking over to me on the street and saying “hey nice post yesterday.” That might be a tad much and from what I understand, rather rare. Lastly, as a married blogger I can tell you: at some point, you’re going to have to tell your significant other about your blog. So next time you’re tempted to write something “questionable” consider the fact that someone very near and dear to you might actually read it one day... 


(Note: if you tell your soon to be significant other about your blog while you’re engaged, don't be surprised if they spend the night reading the whole thing! And that my friend is why you need those tracking services! :-) ) 


Oh, on the topic of blogging, just a reminder: deleted posts, aren’t really deleted.  

6 comments:

  1. I agree. I'm not really anonymous (meaning those that know me, know I have a blog), but I guess to the "blogsphere" I am.

    Exactly what you said, that fear of being "outed" gives you a filter, which IS needed, because everything that put out on the internet...stays in the internet.

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  2. It probably is a good thing.
    There are a few people who know me who read my blog. It filters what u write and its important i think. Not every thought needs to be written down, though it can be cathartic to get it down.

    I would venture to say that im pretty anonymous among the blogosphere..but then i again..i could be wrong.

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  3. Yeah...I think you taught me that anonymity is but an illusion.

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  4. I blog with the premise that I would stand by it even if my face was there. Of course I'm not being totally honest with myself at times, but I never really considered anonymity a good thing.

    And now one can't even have it, even if they wanted it.

    Guy Fawkes or V?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found the picture under V, but it seems to be from a Guy Fawkes related protest. Was that a trick question? :-)

      Delete
    2. V wears a Guy Fawkes mask. The question is, which was your intention?

      Delete

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