Anonymity Online

Posted by Raychel Celeste

Bloggers are buzzing about the recent news of Vogue model Liskula Cohen, who recently sued Google for the right to know the identity of an anonymous blogger who was slandering her. Reports today are saying that Cohen won the case, and Google will have to reveal the identity of her slanderer. (To see the comments from the blogger, check the story to the right.)

I personally think this story has been blown out of proportion. If Cohen, a successful model who has done work for Armani and Versace, is so bothered by what people say about her on the internet.. then she's probably in the wrong business. She should be able to face criticism from all sources. On the other hand, I happen to have a big problem with anonymity online. There are certain sites that serve as a trusted place for people to anonymously tell their stories without having to worry about it being linked back to them. I have no problem with this. I fully support these sites, because they serve a good purpose.

But I don't feel people should surf blogs and comment anonymously. I've had some rude anonymous blog commenters in the past. I've thought about removing the option for people to comment anonymously on my blog, but quite frankly, I enjoy confronting the cowards. Yes, cowards. When you comment on people's blogs, you should state who you are and say what you have to say. There is no real reason that you should want to be anonymous. In my experience, the only reason you do this is so you can say something rude or untruthful and not have it directed back at you. That is being a coward. If you're saying something so offensive that you don't even want people to know who's saying it.. then DON'T SAY IT. Seems pretty simple to me. If you have something rude or offensive you want to say to me, or about me or other bloggers.. please, say it outright and with your identity, so we can confront you. I personally will probably get some enjoyment from it.

The same goes for Twitter. Fellow blogger/twitterer Jen Hinton recently made a vlog (you can check it out here) discussing a new site where you can tweet anonymously. As several other people have expressed, I can't think of any positive use for this site. Why should you want to tweet to people anonymously, if not to be sneaky or rude. You have no business on the internet if you are so worried about people finding out who you are. It's just creepy.

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ann marie said...

I thought about commenting anonymously, haha. But as usual, I agree with you. I went back and read the stories about this Vogue model and her suit. She did take it a bit too personally. But I do agree with the whole online anonymity thing. (That is a hard word to type.)

Raychel Celeste said...

Haha, I'm glad you decided against it. I'm sure someone will do it though. But yeah, that story might not be the best to base this argument on.. but it kind of just gave me an excuse to rant about something I'd been wanting to bring up anyway.

Shannon said...

Ditto Raychel Ditto. That's All I Have To Say. lol

Anonymous said...

I will play devil's advocate and comment anonymously. I like having the right to choose to hide my identity or not. But I'm not one of these people that says offensive or sketchy things on blogs. If I had something like that to say, I would probably privately email the person. So, I get your point. But I still like having the option to be Anonymous.

Draft Queen said...

Maybe I'm a bit confused. When I post comments (such as right now) my comment will bear my "blog identity" which is obviously not my actual name so I guess I'm anonymous, but not. After all I'm giving you access to my email this way, as well as my blog.

Nowhere on my blog or Twitter account will you find my full name. I have a job I like to keep, kids I feel the need to protect and there are people I don't want having instant access to my blog just by googling my name. (This includes my mother. I love her, but my blog is not for the faint of heart. This also includes my deceased best friend's psychotic "baby mama". She is who I really hide from.)

I don't post blogs about my job very often, but I still don't want my employer being able to easily google my name and come up with my twitter account or blog and read about my personal life. And even when I mention something that happened at work I've never ever given out company information. Just like I don't give out anyone's real identities to save them from any kind of judgement. (With the exception of Brett Favre. And if he'd like to sue me he can leave a comment and I'll email him my full name as well as the name of my attorney.)

Raychel Celeste said...

No no, that's all understandable. It's really when people leave no way of contacting them back. If you wanted to say you're name was "Anonymous" but still had an email or blog attached with it, that would be fine. But it's just creepy and cowardly to leave no way for someone to respond to you.

Anonymous said...

Like Draft Queen has said, I never use my full name anywhere on my blog or Twitter. Only my first name. My last name is nowhere to be seen. I like to keep these hidden from the people I know, because sometimes I talk about stuff I would not want them to read about. This, for me, is kind of anonymity because I'm hiding my real identity.

Loukia said...

I do not usually like to publish anonymous comments on my blog... I just don't know why a person cannot leave their name? Regardless of what their thoughts or opinions are on a topic, you know?
I think the idea of having an anonymous blog, however, is kind of cool. Like, I could start up an anon blog and bitch about my mother-in-law or cousin or friend - things I can't do on my real blog, because, well, just in case they read it, you know? ;)
Great blog, by the way! Just found you!

Raychel Celeste said...

Thanks Loukia. And I see your point Renee and Draft Queen. Sometimes I wish my family wasn't online so I could say what I really think!