Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Online Integrity

Several bloggers (Aziz P. of Dean's World among them) have drafted a short manifesto, no doubt in response to nonsense such as this.

Go and read the whole thing -- it's only four short paragraphs. But the gist of it is this: endorsers pledge to respect the privacy of others, including the right to keep one's online identity separate (and anonymous, if desired).

I don't know how much good this will do in the long run; it seems to me that the problems will come from those who don't sign it (to say nothing of the worst offenders so far, who aren't bloggers at all). But certainly, I support it; as a blogger who writes under my first name only, I'd have a hard time justifying myself otherwise.

(For the record, my last name is no big secret; if you really want to know it, dig a little and you'll find it. I have chosen not to advertise it, however, for precisely the reasons given above -- I prefer to keep my personal life, and my professional work, separate from my online writing.)

Not that I've had many anonymous commenters, or a desire to unmask them, or irate readers pounding on my door, mind you. Adding my name to the list won't make any practical difference. But it is important sometimes to take a stand. And if you choose to comment anonymously on this site, you may rest assured that, except for extreme circumstances, I won't try to track you down. I may block you, or remove offensive comments, but I won't track you down.

(What would constitute extreme circumstances? Nothing that's likely to come up here, frankly. But if your comments give me strong reason to believe that you're involved in a felony -- particularly one in the planning stage -- then I may well get the authorities involved. After all, I used to be a cop.)

Now, having gotten that out of the way... does anybody feel like commenting??



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