But now, I've changed my mind. This is a comment someone made on this blog just a little while ago:
*****, I'm warning you that if you start posting on a blog, I will reveal who you are to the world. You and I both know who you are, I will do it. Stay in the comments, not in the blogs.What?! This is disgusting, despicable behavior. I don't care who this person is or what their motives are, there is almost no reason to ever "out" a blogger who wishes to remain anonymous. In addition, nobody has the right to try and censor someone from speaking the truth through terrible threats.
There are a few reasons a blogger might wish to remain anonymous:
1) They feel like it.The practice of threatening bloggers, more common than one might think, is sickening. It is also somewhat ineffective: After all, the threats are worthless once they're carried out. Once the names are published, the blogger has little to lose by continuing to do whatever they were doing (except certain instances). It's only the threat itself that carries weight: If the blogger wishes to preserve their anonymity, the outer has the threat to hang over their heads.
2) They want to keep their blogging and personal lives seperate. While a blogger may enjoy interacting with strangers online through a blog, or people they know offline as they live their real day-to-day life, they may not want to interact with strangers offline as they live their real day-to-day life.
3) Some bloggers' jobs may be affected by the content of their blogs. While an unfair practice, perhaps, the bloggers' need for privacy should be respected. One of the members of the Volokh Conspiracy blogs anonymously for this reason.
4) Many bloggers are perfectly willing to discuss anything, on or off their blog: But their spouses or families might not want them to; they may not want people bothering their family members about what they write; or they may have some other reason for choosing to remain anonymous. No matter the reason, it should be respected.
5) They feel like it!
Sadly, some bloggers are unable to take the gamble and continue blogging despite the threat. The possibility of being outed is a risk they are unwilling to take - and they should be respected for it. Those bloggers that are willing and able to take the risk and call the outers on their bluffs should try and do so, so as to show them that bloggers cannot be bullied or censored by these terrible tactics. There are also ways of tracking the jerks online, and perhaps there are ways to "fight back" against them.
I have this particular jerk's IP address. If I see any more threats from him (or her), I will work with others to figure out a way to stop the threats.
I'd also like to point out the Godol Hador's response to the idiots threatening to out him, which was excellent, and the reason I wrote this post originally:
Well, my opinion is that it doesn't make much difference who I am. The important thing is that my views are my own, and are based on my search for the truth. No one has ever coerced me into posting anything I don't personally believe to be true, and all my posts represent my own personal opinions on Life, the Universe and Everything, not anyone else's opinions. The idea for this blog was mine, and remains mine.Thankfully, his gambit paid off, and the threat never materialized. Hopefully, that is how all these inane threats turn out.
And if you don't like my blog ...
THEN DON'T READ MY BLOG!
Now can we please stop the identity guessing game and get on with the serious discussions?
UPDATE: Gil just wrote a post on this exact issue from a Halachic (Jewish law) standpoint. Short, succint, forceful, and wise. Read the whole thing, but here's the end:
Bottom line: "הולך רכיל, מגלה-סוד - A gossip goes about telling secrets" (Proverbs 11:13)Technorati tags: Outing, Bloggers.