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January 17, 2006

On anonymous and pseudonymous blogging and commenting

With the recent bill signed by President Bush concerning anonymous internet posts and the growing debate here in Virginia, including here and here.

There are some complaints about bloggers who use pseudonyms (obviously, this caught my attention). While a pseudonym provides a layer of protection towards the person posting (which is, in itself, not a bad thing), it may still allow for a set identity, just as a real name does. Under this pseudo, a blogger or commenter can establish a reputation and earn (or not, depending on the comments) respect. While most trolls and flamers in the blogosphere use pseudos, the converse is not necessarily true.

Meanwhile, some people post anonymously or cycling through pseudonyms, in an attempt to evade exclusion from commenting. Many seem to be unaware that the IP address stays the same, but these posters are not as common. They do not add anything to the conversation but only serve to irritate the blogger and/or the commenters. Integrity, as it is in most cases of honor, is not served, and nothing is acheived.

Chad Dotson, as John Behan, established himself under a fake name to be the most trusted conservative blogger in the Commonwealth and influencing many others to join, myself included. The Jaded JD generally is highly regarded by many Virginia bloggers (even though he has been on something of a sabbatical). And Sic Semper Tyrannis and Too Conservative both utilize the skills and abilities of multiple pseudonymous bloggers. Courage and integrity does not necessarily require a birth name, just consistency. I hope that we continue to add to the blogosphere in Virginia and can establish a community based on trust, not on deceit.