April 5, 2004


Beanie's got a bit of a problem with someone who's trying to out her. I started to comment on her blog about how I support her choice to be anonymous (duh...) but then realized it was getting way too long to be a comment. So, I'll blab on my own space instead.

Basically, there's a common set of manners (if not rules) about respecting the choices of people who choose to be anonymous on-line. I've met people who blogged anonymously in person and didn't mention a word about it until they invited me to do so. Others have extended the same courtesy to me. It's a strange and complex thing about the evolving nature of the freedom of this medium, but most of us who've been here all sort of know the social norms which sort of function as rules. The person who is outing Beanie is being rude.

It's important to realize that the freedom of expression in this medium is directly linked to the respect or manners that most people display towards our wishes to be anonymous. I've blogged about anonyminity before. It's a choice. It's difficult. It requires self-censure. But it comes with freedom to not censor other things, which is often the reason why people read.

I wouldn't post my full biography with picture as well as my thoughts and observations. It doesn't feel safe to me. So, I've chosen the level of detail that makes me comfortable and asked that people who manage to figure me out to keep their mouths shut. So far, they all have. I thank them for their excellent breeding and hope that Beanie's outer rethinks his or her approach. I'd hate to lose Beanie's perspective but I'd probably dive for cover and kill the archives if someone outed me, so I understand her response.

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