Poll: When is it OK to “out” anonymous bloggers?

posted at 1:14 pm on June 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

In one corner: Ed Whelan of Bench Memos.  In the other: Glenn Reynolds, James Joyner, and Rick Moran.  All four are highly respected bloggers, but they have squared off over a contentious point in the blogosphere.  Is there ever a time when one blogger should tear away another’s anonymity?  If so, what threshold should abuse meet before taking that action?

Ed Whelan got steamed over a rather personal style of criticism for his analysis of the Sotomayor nomination from Publius of Obsidian Wings, an anonymous attorney who has blogged for years under a pseudonym.  Whelan explains why he felt it necessary to expose the blogger while rebutting the criticism:

One bane of the Internet is the anonymous blogger who abuses his anonymity to engage in irresponsible attacks.  One such blogger who has been biting at my ankles in recent months is the fellow who calls himself “publius” at the Obsidian Wings blog.

In the course of a typically confused post yesterday, publius embraces the idiotic charge (made by “Anonymous Liberal”) that I’m “essentially a legal hitman” who “pores over [a nominee’s] record, finds some trivial fact that, when distorted and taken totally out of context, makes that person look like some sort of extremist.”  In other of his posts (including two which I discussed here and here), publius demonstrated such a dismal understanding of the legal matters he opined on—including, for example, not understanding what common law is—that it was apparent to me that he had never studied law.

Well, I’m amused to learn that I was wrong about publius’s lack of legal education.  I’ve been reliably informed that publius is in fact the pseudonym of [redacted].  I e-mailed [redacted] to ask him to confirm or deny that he is publius, and I copied the e-mail to the separate e-mail address, under the pseudonym “Edward Winkleman,” that publius used to respond to my initial private complaints about his reckless blogging.  In response, I received from “Edward Winkleman” an e-mail stating that he is “not commenting on [his] identity” and that he writes under a pseudonym “[f]or a variety of private, family, and professional reasons.”  I’m guessing that those reasons include that friends, family members, and his professional colleagues would be surprised by the poor quality and substance of his blogging.

Publius responded:

As I told Ed (to no avail), I have blogged under a pseudonym largely for private and professional reasons. Professionally, I’ve heard that pre-tenure blogging (particularly on politics) can cause problems. And before that, I was a lawyer with real clients. I also believe that the classroom should be as nonpolitical as possible – and I don’t want conservative students to feel uncomfortable before they take a single class based on my posts. So I don’t tell them about this blog. Also, I write and research on telecom policy – and I consider blogging and academic research separate endeavors. This, frankly, is a hobby.

Privately, I don’t write under my own name for family reasons. I’m from a conservative Southern family – and there are certain family members who I’d prefer not to know about this blog (thanks Ed). Also, I have family members who are well known in my home state who have had political jobs with Republicans, and I don’t want my posts to jeopardize anything for them (thanks again).

All of these things I would have told Ed, if he had asked. Instead, I told him that I have family and professional reasons for not publishing under my own name, and he wrote back and called me an “idiot” and a “coward.”

While Glenn gave a measured and somewhat disapproving view of Ed’s actions, James and Rick passionately denounce the outing.  James:

While I generally find the practice of revealing people’s secrets to the public distasteful, there are times when it’s appropriate.  Public officials who are abusing their power is the most obvious case.   Here, however, there is no public benefit achieved. Whelan is simply annoyed that Publius had been “biting at my ankles in recent months” and critiquing his blog posts.

Jeopardizing a man’s career and family relationships over something so petty is simply shameful.

Rick, as is his wont, writes at length about his outrage:

The point is, there are a lot of good reasons for bloggers to remain anonymous and Ed Whalen has no right to decide differently just because he got steamed about someone’s response to his analysis. Did Publius commit a crime? Was he slandering Whalen? If not, Whalen’s fit of personal pique looks low, tawdry, childish, and vengeful. The closest Publius got to getting personal with Whelan was in calling him a “know-nothing demagogue.” And this was after making the point that Whelan knew better and was simply pandering to conservative sensibilities.

Holy Jesus, Ed. I’ve got pretty thin skin myself but it would take a helluva lot more than that to set me off. Questioning my integrity will do the trick as will trying to tell me what to write on my own site. And if you plan on commenting on this or any other post without reading what I’ve written and instead, substitute what you think I wrote or make the same points I made in the post and try and convince me I didn’t make them, you might as well be prepared for some skin flaying because that is my number one pet peeve.

But a “know-nothing demagogue?” In the rarefied atmosphere you inhabit at NRO and other elite bastions of opinion, them’s might be fightin’ words, but in the blogosphere, that’s almost a compliment. To point out that almost any blogger has experienced much, much worse (and dished it out accordingly) would be to mention the obvious to anyone who has spent more than an hour reading blogs.

When I first began blogging, I used a semi-pseudonym, a nickname I’d had for two decades before blogging, for much the same reason as Publius.  I worked in the corporate world and not academia, but I didn’t want my firm’s customers or my staff to get uncomfortable working with me.  My family already knew about the blogging, so that wasn’t a motivation for me, but otherwise I completely understand why Publius wanted to retain his anonymity.  My success eventually outed me, and it did cause me some problems — most of which were self-inflicted — but I’m happy about how it worked out since, for obvious reasons.  Had someone else outed me instead, I would have been furious, and for good reasons.

Had Publius published Ed’s personal information, or had slandered him factually, I could understand the need to make his identity public and force him to bear responsibility for such attacks.  However, as Rick says, calling someone a “know-nothing demagogue” doesn’t qualify.  It may be annoying, and I think it reflects very poorly on Publius, but that’s the kind of ad hominem attack bloggers get from Day One.  Truman’s Axiom comes into play here — if a blogger can’t take that kind of heat, he ought to reconsider blogging.

Ed’s a great blogger, but I think he let Publius get too far under his skin, and he reacted poorly in outing someone and risking their professional career.  Outing Publius didn’t do anything to advance Ed’s argument, but made him look vindictive and petty instead.  Bloggers should worry less about the anonymity of bloggers (which isn’t a “bane” at all) and respond to the arguments instead — or ignore them.

Do you agree or disagree?  Cast your vote in the poll below, and this poll will take multiple answers:


Update: SteveMG asks me the following in the comments:

I’m curious as to whether your bloggin changed substantively once you became public? Did you say things anonymously that you wouldn’t have publicly? Even if it didn’t affect your job, friends, et cetera? In other words, did the “cover” of anoynmity give you – consciously or not – a freer hand?

I don’t think it changed my blogging at all, mainly because I always prepared to get outed, accidentally (as it happened) or otherwise. I was never inclined to hyperbolic writing, anyway.

Update II: Ed Whelan responds here. Michael Krauss agrees with Ed. And Joe Gandelman has a good roundup of thinking on this issue.


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DarkCurrent kind of hurt my feelings, but you know, I’m very ill and I’m a little vulnerable.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Hornet, I’m very sorry if I hurt any feelings. From your posts day before yesterday I assumed you just had a bad cold. I hope that’s all it is and you’ll be feeling fine soon.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

I think that if there is a conflict of interest or a false claim of authority on a subject, that then “outing” should be applied.

Otherwise I figure we ought to judge people’s words and not who they are.

Sackett on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Tornado in Aurora Colorado??? They have tornadoes in Colorado???

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Yup. I saw the funnel cloud. It trashed a shopping mall about 2 miles down the road from my house. We were on watch for the last hour or so.
Scary stuff. Snow in the high country too.
Al Gore…call your office.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Al Gore…call your office.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Al Gore has a telephone in his outhouse???

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:53 PM

There is nothing wrong today in posting without the world knowing who you are.

freeus on June 7, 2009 at 4:38 PM

I don’t see why anyone would even care to know someones real name.

Now if someone were a major politician, or such, commenting things very much at odds with his/her public pronouncements, then I could see some point to “outing” them.

MB4 on June 7, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Al Gore has a telephone in his outhouse???

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Silly… Al Gore doesn’t Sh*t. He’d cease to exisit.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Protect anonymity

Criticism comes with the territory

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 4:55 PM

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

God bless! Wonderful homecoming.

clorensen on June 7, 2009 at 4:56 PM

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

How wonderful!!!! Tell her thanks for me, her service is greatly appreciated.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 4:57 PM

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Almost right on cue. Suspicions dismissed? Not mine.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Thank you , thank you, I am so happy.
Breaking News: Mayor Ray Nagin quarantined in Shanghai

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 4:57 PM

katy on June 7, 2009 at 4:55 PM

I’m stealing that.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Dark current

LOL I’m confused

What am I missing?

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Scary stuff. Snow in the high country too.
Al Gore…call your office.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

The summer snow isn’t nearly as annoying as the 30-35 mph gusts, looks like I have a window, so back to the barn.

thomasaur on June 7, 2009 at 4:59 PM

The practice of law is a confrontational, stand-up profession and credentials really, really matter. Whelan’s not used to arguing with an anonymous opponent and probably thought there was something a little cowardly about a law professor who blogs anonymously. I know I do. I also think Blevin’s rationale (I’m not tenured and I don’t want Uncle Walter to find out) is bullsh*t.

Lawyers who blog aren’t bloggers (an activty that many people, curiously, seem to think is entitled to an absolute right to privacy), they’re lawyers who happen to have blogs. Blevins should man up and stop whining.

Infidoll on June 7, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Protect anonymity

Criticism comes with the territory

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Anonymity should only be protected when it is not used as a shield for despicable and reprehensible behavior.

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Imo, bloggers who use their real names are taken more seriously–having the “courage of your convictions sort of thing.” That makes them more persuasive and thus more effective. They encourage others by showing they’re not afraid to speak out. This only goes for right-wing bloggers, of course. It takes no courage to be a lefty. For them, I’d wish they all take cute nicknames like Saddam.

JiangxiDad on June 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Let her know that we are very proud of her. And congratulations.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I think blantantblue and ladyingray should join the thread now. Where are they? Why are neither of them here?
DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:34 PM

LOL I’m confused

What am I missing?

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Yeah, play dumb.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I understand doriangrry

But who will decide?

What are the boundaries

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Darkcurrent

Mere happenstance
I’ve beenat wrk

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Yeah, play dumb.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM

What makes you think he is “playing“??? ;p

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

DarkCurrent kind of hurt my feelings, but you know, I’m very ill and I’m a little vulnerable.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Hornet, I’m very sorry if I hurt any feelings. From your posts day before yesterday I assumed you just had a bad cold. I hope that’s all it is and you’ll be feeling fine soon.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

No apology needed, DarkCurrent. I’m just feeling sorry for myself…..I have a horrible case of bronchitis and a double ear infection that is making me horribly dizzy. I took a turn for the worse last night and almost drowned in the tub. Slipped off the side and fell into the tub. It would have been funny and if I was well, I would have howled at myself, but in my state, I just said a prayer that I didn’t bean myself on the vanity and drown…..
Even my husband is a little worried, I’m not my usual sarcastic self.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Good news! Gpad to hear she’s safe and sound.
drinks are on me…

http://www.beermonthclub.com/giftcard/sample.asp?border_jpg=beermc_border2.jpg&pic_jpg=beermc_pic1.jpg

katy on June 7, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM
Thank you I am very proud too. However my other daughter has orders to go to Bagram in December possibly. That worries me way more.

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 5:04 PM

I’m very ill and I’m a little vulnerable.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM
You want to lay in my lap and I’ll hold you and rock you and tell you a story?

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Thanks for the offer, but my husband is home……and I don’t want you showing up at my door looking to get your diaper changed……..lol!

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:05 PM

I think blantantblue and ladyingray should join the thread now. Where are they? Why are neither of them here?

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Yeah, loser, I have a LIFE!

LOL No really, I’ve been working…its a busy time for me right now.

What’d I miss>

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Utebell
Best wishes for your kids

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM

I understand doriangrry

But who will decide?

What are the boundaries

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:02 PM

I dont know what pornography is… But I know when I am seeing it.

Likewise with civil respectful intellectual discourse. I may not know exactly what civil discourse is, but I most assuredly know when I am witnessing a egregious breach of such behavior.

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Totally OT: Just got a phonecall from my daughter. She just arrived back from Kirkuk, Iraq and is now in Baltimore. Drinks are on me. And yes, that is my real name.

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Cheers to you and your daughter. Thank her for her service! Great news!

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:07 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

At the risk of being nosy, maybe a trip to the doctor would be in order.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 5:07 PM

But who will decide?

What are the boundaries

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:02 PM

We will decide. The boundaries are ones we set, when we set them and they are retroactive if we so choose. We can exempt those we choose and increase time in a reeducation facility for those we choose. We are the State. You will be reeducated.

DasObamaReich on June 7, 2009 at 5:08 PM

I’ve followed this a little bit, but find all of the self-righteous indignation – on both sides — a bit much to stomach. But since you asked, here’s my take: Didn’t Publius’ mama teach him that there are no “secrets” on the internet? As a grown-ass man — a law professor no less — he ought to have more sense than to believe he can jump into political blogging, take shots at well-known bloggers who have large audiences, and do so from behind his mama’s skirt. Every anonymous blogger, if he gets big (or big mouthed) enough, will eventually be “outed.” If he’s not comfortable with that, he should have chosen a different hobby. If he wants to be mad at someone, I’d suggest he direct his ire at Mr. Inevitability, cuz that’s who got him into this trouble.

Rational Thought on June 7, 2009 at 5:08 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Take care and rest. You’ll be back at 150% in no time.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Yeah, loser, I have a LIFE!

LOL No really, I’ve been working…its a busy time for me right now.

What’d I miss>

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Oh nothing, just DarkCurrent predicting you and blatantblue’s arrival in this thread with near Nostradamus precision.

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Remaining anonymous as a blogger seems more problematic than using a pseudonym while a being a commenter on a blog. On good blogs, most comments are moderated. Publius was a blogger, meaning he had fewer restrictions on what he could say and about whom he could say things, and doing what he did anonymously really does seem cowardly. As Mr. Peasea said,

If blogging could have negative consequences for you, and you do it anyway, and you do it anonymously, don’t abuse your anonymity, and don’t do things that would make others want to “out” you.

Also, Publius says he maintained his anonymity, in part, because

I don’t want conservative students to feel uncomfortable before they take a single class based on my posts.

I am not convinced, given his behavior on his blog, that he didn’t make conservative students feel uncomfortable in his class.

Constance on June 7, 2009 at 5:10 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM
At the risk of being nosy, maybe a trip to the doctor would be in order.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 5:07 PM

I went last Wednesday and after a round of antibiotics, I’m getting worse. Back to the doctor tomorrow morning. :(
You’re not nosy, Cindy.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:11 PM

I don’t want to disappoint

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:12 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM
Take care and rest. You’ll be back at 150% in no time.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Thank you, my dark friend.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:12 PM

You will be reeducated.

DasObamaReich on June 7, 2009 at 5:08 PM

I dont want to be reeducated, but I suppose it’s preferable to being redacted.

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:12 PM

But who will decide?

What are the boundaries

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:02 PM

We need to get back to the basics of governing ourselves. Once we lost the concept of shame, we began the long slow slide into the nanny state.
Whatever happen to the people shaming bad behaviour out of the mainstream?
Oh that’s right…… when the progressives decided immorality had a right to rear its ugly head all in the name of fairness.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM

LOL No really, I’ve been working…its a busy time for me right now.

What’d I miss>

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Huh. ladyingray and blantanblue show up within minutes of each other, appearing (or trying to appear) casual. I guess my imagination just ran wild…

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Rational Thought on June 7, 2009 at 5:08 PM

It’s a big boy debate about lifetime taxpayer paid appointment. Ed W. posts openly. Counterpoint “smears”. Ed W. knows the counterpoint and is required to refrain from “outing” name of counterpoint? Huh? Why?

clorensen on June 7, 2009 at 5:15 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009

First, thanks for explaining your situation. I’m sorry you’re feeling so ill and took a spill. I’m glad it wasn’t worse. Please do take good care of yourself, and your husband darn well better be nursing you.

Second, it’s good to read that there’s another side to your sting.

Third, I can still change and powder myself, thanks. And I can rock and talk anybody to sleep. I’m a very good babysitter. So, anytime…

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Outing has the potential to go out of control

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Lox

Hornet sting is all buzz. No sting

Darkcurr

We um um
Um

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:17 PM

We need to get back to the basics of governing ourselves. Once we lost the concept of shame, we began the long slow slide into the nanny state.
Whatever happen to the people shaming bad behaviour out of the mainstream?
Oh that’s right…… when the progressives decided immorality had a right to rear its ugly head all in the name of fairness.

katy on June 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Exactly…

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:18 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Well, I feel better, that you are going back to the doctor’s and that I am not nosy.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Outing has the potential to go out of control

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:16 PM

And the vile reprehensible manner in which anonymous bloggers and commentator’s rip into those with which they disagree isnt already way out of control?

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Lox

Hornet sting is all buzz. No sting

Darkcurr

We um um
Um

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Yes, yes, I’m a humanitarian. I’m a big softy, all heart and no brain. I’m….I’m…..I’m going to vote for obama next election…….

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:11 PM
Well, I feel better, that you are going back to the doctor’s and that I am not nosy.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 5:18 PM

:)

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM

my other daughter has orders to go to Bagram in December possibly. That worries me way more.

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 5:04 PM

I wish I could offer some guarantee of safety for her and to ease your worry, but I do offer my hopes and prayers. You are a good parent. You have done well.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM

and that I am not nosy.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 5:18 PM

You are too nosy! And it’s a good nosy! So, keep it up.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Area code 21 ;-)

Btw, this is a non-toll phone sex line, but for hot babes only.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Just as I said…loser…

:D

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:23 PM

It’s a big boy debate about lifetime taxpayer paid appointment. Ed W. posts openly. Counterpoint “smears”. Ed W. knows the counterpoint and is required to refrain from “outing” name of counterpoint? Huh? Why?

clorensen on June 7, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Perhaps I’ve been misunderstood. I don’t believe Whelan was under any obligation to protect the anonymity of his debate partner. Yes, they are big boys. That’s my point. Big boys with fancy law degrees ought to know that anonymity on the internet is an ephemeral thing.

Rational Thought on June 7, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Upstater85 on June 7, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Google is an international company interested in aiding and abetting Communist regimes.

If we were to post information to a web page for Chinese perusal – note, I say nothing about encrypted trafficking – they’d likely be in favor of eliminating it. On the other hand, they can feel good about themselves by reporting speech that runs afoul of Chinese law to the Beijing police.

Two completely different entities.

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 5:24 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM

look at DarkCurrent…hiding behind the anonymity of the internet…to say such things…

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:25 PM

All right folks, I need to go acquire some flame charred dead bovine flesh and some rancid malted barley water. Keep up the good fight and keep your tighty whities all tidy and white…

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:25 PM

“When is it OK to “out” anonymous bloggers?”

Who would ever think of such a thing…………?

Seven Percent Solution on June 7, 2009 at 5:26 PM

utebell on June 7, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Yay! Great news.

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:27 PM

And the vile reprehensible manner in which anonymous bloggers and commentator’s rip into those with which they disagree isnt already way out of control?

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Yes it is. But I cannot support disclosing the identities of rude people who have broken no laws.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:28 PM

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:25 PM

That sounds delicious. Really!

katy on June 7, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Yes, yes, I’m a humanitarian. I’m a big softy, all heart and no brain. I’m….I’m…..I’m going to vote for obama next election…….

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM

You may be feeling dizzy and disoriented now, but you’re not a natural blonde. You shouldn’t have dyed your hair. I’m sure it will wash or grow out to it’s natural color by 2012 though.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Oh nothing, just DarkCurrent predicting you and blatantblue’s arrival in this thread with near Nostradamus precision.

doriangrey on June 7, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Good grief, man…DarkCurrent is already unbearable enough and now you give him this kinda credit?

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Just as I said…loser…

:D

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:23 PM

It’s toll free. What have you got to lose? Call now! Just one line is still open!

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:30 PM

OUTRAGE OF THE FIFTIES: BLACKLISTING.

OUTRAGE OF THE NAUGHTIES: BLOG LISTING.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on June 7, 2009 at 5:31 PM

I’m a big softy, all heart and no brain.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM

So, you really are a woman!

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:32 PM

End the anonymity of the internet period. So many post things they know would result in a possible broken jaw if it was a face to face encounter.

Just watch how debates change if this were to ever happen.

ClassicCon on June 7, 2009 at 5:33 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:30 PM

I don’t have a quarter for the pay phone…you think i’m gonna use my own phone and have you do a back trace on me so you can out me on the net?

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:33 PM

The poll doesn’t have my preferred answer:
Whenever you feel like it.

If someone wants to be anonymous on the internet, that’s their choice, but if someone else wants to out them that’s ok too.

Anon Y. Mous on June 7, 2009 at 5:34 PM

ClassicCon on June 7, 2009 at 5:33 PM

So you would support the regulation of the Internet by a governing body?

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 5:34 PM

I’ve beenat wrk

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

No really, I’ve been working…its a busy time for me right now.

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Enough said. No laws appear to have been broken. As far as we know (on topic: internet anonymity) bb is 18 or older.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:39 PM

I don’t have a quarter for the pay phone…you think i’m gonna use my own phone and have you do a back trace on me so you can out me on the net?

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Just get an intl phone card.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Um um um

Um

e.e

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:44 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:39 PM

That’d be a nice trick considering I’m in Tennessee and he’s not.

Just get an intl phone card.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Well you can forget that now.

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:44 PM

I don’t want to know who any of you are. We discuss ideas, not persona.

csdeven on June 7, 2009 at 5:45 PM

I’m a big softy, all heart and no brain.

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM
So, you really are a woman!

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:32 PM

You’re crusin’ for a bruisin’…..when I get better, Lox, it’s on like Donkey Kong!
I’m going to bed. Happy Sunday and I hope all have a great day!

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:46 PM

HornetSting on June 7, 2009 at 5:46 PM

I hope you feel better!

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:47 PM

That’d be a nice trick considering I’m in Tennessee and he’s not.

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:44 PM

As I said, no laws appear to have been broken. We have no further reason to poke at your flimsy alibis. Carry on.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:48 PM

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 5:48 PM

You’re an ass, just want you to know that…

…but I won’t hold it against ya.

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:50 PM

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:44 PM

East or West TN?

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 5:51 PM

I blog anonymously (under another pseudonym). I do it anonymously for professional reasons. If the folks that I work for were to find out, life would become difficult for me, but I don’t think it would be career ending. At least, not without a messy legal battle. Most of the people who post at my blog disagree with me. Que sera, sera. My philosophy: If I don’t like negative attention, I shouldn’t invite attention in the first place. If Ed Whelan doesn’t like readers nipping at his heels, he should consider using a more traditional website site where he can post what he wants without contradiction. Pesky posters, potty mouths and haters can be dealt with by banishment. Outing people is a particularly hostile over-reaction.

Kalifornia Kafir on June 7, 2009 at 5:53 PM

We um um
Um

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Um um um

Um

e.e

blatantblue on June 7, 2009 at 5:44 PM

From the sounds you’re making, I’m beginning to think it’s not Allahpundit, but you who need changing. Do you have a big smile on your face too? That’s often a dead give away, just before you get hit by the stinkies.

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 5:53 PM

I have a question about the facts of this situation that are murky to me. Did Publius post disagreements on Mr. Whelan’s blog as a commenter or was Publius’s dissent on his own blog? The answer doesn’t change my opinion, I am just wondering how much energy Mr. Whelan had to put into uncovering the identity of Publius. Also it would seem that the two had an exchange about why Publius chose to post anonymously. Mr. Whelan seems to have all the cards and making all the rules.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 5:51 PM

What happened to Middle?

East…Northeast, in fact…

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:56 PM

We discuss ideas, not persona.

csdeven on June 7, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Most of the time!!

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 5:57 PM

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:56 PM

There is no middle . . . it disappeared in a giant earthquake yesterday. You didn’t know? :P

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Most of the time!!

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 5:57 PM

We do have a way to get off track…

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Ha! No I didn’t know that…but at least the state government is gone now…we can start a new one.

Which part are you in? I’m east of Knoxville…most people think the state ends in Knoxville…I think it’s because the traffic sucks on I-40.

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 6:00 PM

You’re an ass, just want you to know that…

…but I won’t hold it against ya.

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Won’t hold it against an ass, huh? Maybe this case needs a deeper investigation.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 6:00 PM

There is nothing wrong today in posting without the world knowing who you are. We saw what ACORN did when they found out the names of the AIG executives, what happened to Van Gogh as mentioned above, and we know what has happened with the Chrysler share holders who were threatened to be outed, and in addition it would be seen to they also received the AIG treatment or worse.

Not only are there Obama thugs out there, his minions at DHS, but there are some real sickos like Guy Cimbalo out there, and quite frankly NOT having one’s identity revealed is a comforting thing in this era we are now living through. ….

freeus on June 7, 2009 at 4:38 PM

+1 I strongly agree. Anoniminity is a valid way to protect political free speech when the powers-that-be are unwilling or unable to do so. Everyone on all sides of the debate have a shared interest in that protection. If you feel that signing your name to what you write gives it more impact, then , great, go for it. But it seems like whatever reason one might give for ‘outing’ an anonymous blogger or commentor, the real reason is to shut them up and stifle the debate. Yes, there will be people that use that cover to say nasty, obscene, or annoying things, but you have to take the good with the bad.

bitsy on June 7, 2009 at 6:00 PM

I don’t want to know who any of you are. We discuss ideas, not persona.

csdeven on June 7, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Yeah, but commenters aren’t bloggers. The blogs have become more important than newspapers to people like we are. Imagine if the NY Times or WaPo was produced by anonymous individuals who couldn’t be held accountable for what they wrote. Similarly, imo, with the maturing of the blogosphere, I think it’s in the best interest of everyone concerned that people blog openly. I suspect it won’t be too long before that happens naturally anyway. I mean if Coulter and Hannity and Drudge and Ed and Michelle and the Powerline guys, and Pam Geller etc. etc. can take the heat, why shouldn’t/can’t others.

Commenters though, who cares really. Although I do think there are some pretty famous people “commenting” using aliases and trying to influence events nefariously. Some of the trolls at HA for ex. are too well prepared and coached with talking points to be innocents.

JiangxiDad on June 7, 2009 at 6:01 PM

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 6:00 PM

I’m in Knoxville.

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 6:01 PM

We do have a way to get off track…

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:58 PM

We made too many wrong mistakes.

– Yogi Berra

Loxodonta on June 7, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Won’t hold it against an ass, huh? Maybe this case needs a deeper investigation.

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Maybe I will hold it against you…

…only not in a way that you would want me to…

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 6:02 PM

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 5:58 PM

I don’t mind about getting off track, that’s the way a normal conversation would take place. I like that we know a bit about each other (hard to keep track though). I was referring more to people who are ugly to each other when they disagree. Totally unnecessary.

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Ryan Gandy on June 7, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Ahhh then you understand my comment about the traffic? Flew out of the airport last fall…they need to mark that stupid detour better for getting to the airport!!! When are they supposed to be finished with that anyway?

I’m wayyyy up in the NE tip – I can be in VA in about 20 minutes, NC in about 30.

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Cindy Munford on June 7, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Yeah, I get what you mean.

Say, did you get that information I sent to you this past week about the Limbaugh letter?

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Maybe I will hold it against you…

…only not in a way that you would want me to…

ladyingray on June 7, 2009 at 6:02 PM

I like it just about every way!

BB? BB are you there? Help!

DarkCurrent on June 7, 2009 at 6:06 PM

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