The topic of anonyimity in web comment streams has risen again in these pages. The most recent instigation was the advent of a commenter who signed himself “XXXXX” that set off a stream of responses from other commenters some of whom also use a ‘nom de web’. Under ‘Hillary’s First Loyalty’ I questioned XXXXX’s need to hide behind such a bizarre moniker. Readers ‘Bill Tozer’ and ‘jon smith’ pointed out that I had a naïve understanding of how the use of real names under real sentiments can be dangerous to one’s financial health.
This issue is a real one that has arguments on both sides which should not be dismissed out of hand, and therefore deserves its own discussion area which I provide here. My thoughts on the matter go back some years, and may now be dated by the amount of water under the bridge – cf ‘Internet Conversations – Sackheads & Scattershots’ and ‘A Sackhead Saga’ that also features RL Crabb’s contribution to the matter.