There are very good reasons to use a pseudonym on a blog. Perhaps you have opinions that are contrary to the majority in your region, and you face serious consequences if your identity gets out; Lord knows, many atheists have that particular problem. Or perhaps you just want to use the internet to have a conversation, and would rather it not lead to greater and more intrusive involvement; I know women who’d rather not see an escalation of an interaction from people who don’t know how to graciously accept a “no.” Sometimes people sensibly try to limit their commitment to the internet and the often too agressive efforts by the internet to commit to them. All things in moderation and all that.
But there are also bad reasons to use a pseudonym on a blog. The very worst? Some people use anonymity to empower their ability to be a shithead. They snipe and sneer, they hide behind fake names, they use multiple sock puppets to generate the illusion that more people support their hatred, and also to prevent people from blocking them — they want to force you to read their venom.
I do not support shitheads.
I ban them. I am announcing now that if you persist in being a shithead on my blog, I won’t hesitate to expose your IP address and email. There have just been too many of you lately, and I’m spending too much time cleaning up the smears of shit you leave everywhere you go. I am aware that you’ll spend more effort now trying to cover your tracks, because that’s what you do: you’re a shithead and a coward. But I don’t care, and if I find you are using an anonymizer, or a fake email address, or are using multiple identities, that will be sufficient grounds to ban you.
On a related note, I’ve noticed that prominent shitheads tend to have absolutist opinions about their “rights”. They have a right to free speech, they declare; they can say any damn thing they want, and it is their privilege. They also shriek in outrage about “dropping dox” — how dare anyone reveal their identities to the world? I have seen enough of this black and white nonsense about an unqualified support for free speech and an unqualified opposition to “dropping dox”, and I’m here to tell you…you don’t get to hold both positions. They’re incompatible. If you want to be free to say anything, I expect you to have the courage of your convictions and be willing to stand up for what you believe.
I have absolutely no respect for someone who insists on the privilege of simultaneously being a shithead and being free of any responsibility for what they say.
So post anonymously if you want, but realize that I expect responsible and reasonable behavior if you do so.