Sunday, July 22, 2007

In Other News, Hell Gets Chilly

... and I find myself in some agreement with Red Tory.

In his post here, RT discusses the nature of free speech in the blogosphere and in particular the concept of pseudonymity (as distinct from anonymity). This is actually a thoughtfull and well written take on the issues and (partisan tidbits aside) I'm inclined to agree with most of it.

I chose to begin blogging under my real first name, but with the intent of remaining unidentified as far as possible; like RT there are good personal and professional reasons. However, as things unfurled, particularly on the local Montague township front, many people identified me anyway (how many households in Eastern Ontario have three corgis?) and the world didn't end.

So now, I still use the same name, but my true identity is only as hard to find as a DNS lookup. I trust in the general civility of society and the law and its enforcers to ensure there are no negative consequences; I try to keep things civil here and I avoid anything to do with my professional life - similar to RT, really.

Canadian Cynic on the other hand prefers to remain pseudonymous, by his own confession, not out of any of the considerations that RT mentions, but out of a wish to avoid 'harassment' for his more extreme writings. This is arguably just cowardice. However, I wouldn't want to see CC prevented from spewing his odious crap; we're all free to put him in his place and that's really the nature of the whole free speech thing. As to whether he'd be ashamed of what he wrote if friends, family, fellow students or co-workers knew it was him, that's a matter for his own conscience, whatever form that might take.