Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Maintaining Anonymity -- or, the right to control...

So, I'm a participant on a threaded, moderated, discussion board.... yes debaters/coaches THAT one...

On this board we often have lively discussions complete with cantankerous disagreements etc.. Tempers flare, people get snotty - the whole bit. I often wonder why I contribute there at all and find my contribution rate down significantly in the last year or so because, frankly, a few people there are really nasty asshats that ruin it for the rest of us and I have better things to get irritated about.

Recently we've had a discussion and are currently having a vote about a new moderator policy that would, if requested by a contributer, change the use of a full given name to just a first name. The idea behind this would be to prevent those outside the community from being able to 'google' and read messages -- some of which are negative, don't represent the author's real/current positions or what have you.

The nasty asshats think this is an unacceptable restriction on free speech. Others think this is a policy that would act to minimally protect board posters from being found by google and somehow punished for what they say. Since the board also allows anonymous accounts, what the effect would be is to give a slightly larger sphere of control over your own name and internet image.

Personally, as a just-barely-anonymous blogger, I think their demand to be allowed to essentially out people is outrageous and shows their level of both ignorance and arrogance. The fact that this has become a controversy at all outrages me and gives me yet another reason to limit my contact with this bunch of jerks.... of course, that is my own opinion :).

Frankly, I'm really glad I haven't done any complaining about BNCC on THAT board, as my Academic VP found it a while back and probably read at least the most recent posts. I don't know that he still isn't reading.. although the sheer fact that he is uber-busy and really can't be all that interested in our in-group fights makes it unlikely.

If you are a debater on THAT board and haven't voted yet -- please do so, and vote in favor of the change. It is a small thing, but it could be important to some people --

If you are a pseudononomous blogger -- I could use a little encouragement and some new arguments.

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