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« Once more on Sotomayor and judicial temperament (Joe) | Main | Green Revolution? (Sujatha) »

June 11, 2009


Sorry Joe that you lost one of your favorite blogger identities. As I explained here once, I am with Leiter on this one.

He apologized to Publius. Seems to me looking the episode over that he got really angry, acted hastily and behaved badly. It's the flip-side of anonyblogging - you might misuse your invisibility ring, but the people you're interacting with also to find it easier to forget there's a real person behind the screen ID.

Yeah, I think the apology definitely makes clear that he was acting out of anger/annoyance/irritation/etc.

Ruchira, I'm all for pseudonymous blogging. I might put up a full post about it at some point, but basically: (1) I don't think that public identity adds anything, (2) I do think that pseudonymity gives us bloggers worth reading who we otherwise wouldn't have (e.g., Publius, Digby, Dadahead), and (3) pseudonymity allows people to blog who otherwise would not blog (in the good for them sense [e.g., myself and D -- not to suggest that we're not worth reading!]).


You and D are certainly worth reading (why else are you here?).

In my post (and to a lesser extent in Leiter's) I point out circumstances where pseudonymous blogging is acceptable and even understandable. I think both you and D fall in one or more of those categories. I also make clear where pseudonymous blogging raises questions. In my own post I had specifically pointed to the case of Lee Siegel who had used the cover of anonymity to praise himself (as if a third person) and belittle his critics. A somewhat similar incident actually happened on A.B. in response to a post in which an author's work was criticized and the author came in under a pseudonym and defended himself. Sujatha and I have ample reason to believe that it happened. Incidentally, the author's work which was the target of the criticism was posted under his real name. He just chose to defend it under an assumed name.

In the case of Publius though, the point is not whether he has the right to blog pseudonymously. He surely does. But whether someone else, who is the target of his criticism or ridicule also has a right to expose his identity whether out of frustration, anger or petulance. After all, pseudonymity is not a legal right and whether others will respect one's wish to remain anonymous is often a matter of mutual good will.

A case of questionable pseudonymous blogging with an agenda. There are too many of them, I am afraid.

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