Pseudonymous Blogging Panel

Oct 17 2008 Published by under Blogging

Abel Phuckwit and PalMD are leading a panel discussion on "on the needs and justification for anonymity or pseudonymity in blogging" at the upcoming ScienceOnline'09 conference (16-18 Jan 2009 in RTP, NC, USA). While I understand that there could be interest in this topic, I think that in large part it is superfluous, and the very existence of such a panel is tantamount to "blaming the victim".


Whether anyone "needs to", or can "justify", blogging pseudonymously is besides the point. Whose fucking business is it whether someone else chooses to blog pseudonymously? Anyone who doesn't like it can choose not to read pseudonymous blogs.
I think all this pseudonymity/anonymity handwringing is driven by the florid neuroses of a handful of non-pseudonymous bloggers who are outraged by the fact that their real-world credentials gain them no credibility at all in the blogosphere, while numerous pseudonymous/anonymous bloggers have developed--through the demonstrable value of their actual motherfucking content--tremendous respect and credibility. It pisses these weebly doucheknockers off that people laugh derisively at their inane gibberish and fancy-ass degrees, while taking very seriously the well-developed and well-written content of numerous pseuds, all of whom could very well be labrador retrievers with Windows passwords.

37 responses so far

  • BillGatesDog says:

    "Woof!"

  • PalMD, why don't we just put this up and say, "Slide One. . .Discuss." I think our work is done here.
    btw CPP, *love* my new pseudonym.

  • PalMD says:

    Well, PP, if it's superfluous, why are you talking bout it? Why don't you come sit on the panel? I'll get a mekhitza for you to sit behind....
    ....this has gone meta meta already!

  • Nat says:

    As a non-pseudonymous blogger, I must say I'm mystified by those people who have some sort of problem with pseudonymity. If you can't understand the reasons someone would do it that way, you don't have much imagination. And if you think a real name needs to be attached to an argument to lend it credence, then you need to practice reading for comprehension.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    PalMD,
    The mekhitza already exists in PP's brain.

  • You motherfuckers are fucking meshuggah.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    PP,
    Correction, it is meshugganeh.

  • eddie says:

    Some bloggers, anonymous or otherwise, have interesting ideas and express them well; in a way that doesn't rely on rep.
    PhysioProf on the other hand, is a potty-mouth fucktard with nothing to say for herself; hanging on the coat-tails of others and generally lowering the tone.
    I think even Zuska would tell her to foad if she wasn't such a traffic cow.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sol,
    Havent you learnt from past experience???? Do not contradict PP or he will delete your comment and then close the thread.

  • Havent you learnt from past experience???? Do not contradict PP or he will delete your comment and then close the thread.

    Sol obviously learns vastly better than you.
    No on-topic comment that contradicts Comrade PhysioProf has ever been deleted, either at this blog or at Comrade PhysioProf. The only comments that have ever been deleted from either blog--and the total number is fewer than ten--were inane off-topic drivel concerning Comrade PhysioProf's use of the English language.

  • Anonymous says:

    WRONG AGAIN PP!!!!!!!!!!!
    Four of my comments were deleted not because they took issue with your language, but because they commented on your hypocrisy. I quite enjoy your profane writing. Its your hypocrisy that make me cringe. You CryptoFacist.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    Anonymous,
    The off topic mantra is just an excuse. As DM mentioned earlier, I am getting under PP's skin and when the itching becomes intolerable, she's deleting my comments. However, lately I think she had developed some liking toward me and, consequently, tolerate me better. šŸ˜‰

  • am getting under PP's skin and when the itching becomes intolerable, she's deleting my comments. However, lately I think she had developed some liking toward me and, consequently, tolerate me better. šŸ˜‰
    Um, have I missed something huge as I spent a day away from the blogosphere? PhysioProf a woman? Does PhysioWife know?

  • S. Rivlin says:

    Isis,
    Is Rudolf Guiliani a woman?

  • feed says:

    Off Topic (but can't resist)
    Just heard in a drug commercial:
    "Common sideeffects are runny nose and decrease in semen, get the picture?"

  • I posted a bizarrely long comment on the previous post, then caught up to the thread here. Yeah, I'm a little slow sometimes.

  • dragonfly says:

    Personally I am a Russian blue cat with a Mac, not windows passwords. But then I am not exactly a member of the medical blogerati. I still choose to blog anonymously though, because it adds an extra layer of privacy and confidentiality (even though any patient vignettes are changed beyond recognition). The world is too small.

  • Lab Lemming says:

    Discussing the topic lets people learn the pros and cons of pseudo blogging vs otherwise. For example, I stopped being pseudonomous when I got outed in the middle of lab by the asshole collaborator who controlled my ex-boss's grant and thought it might be useful leverage. The subset of pseudobloggers who fret about exposure might be interested in this sort of thing.

  • Lab Lemming, I'll be including in this series the special issues of pseudblogging as a scientist or, such as our hosts here, as panelists on federal grant review committees. PalMD will be covering the minefield on blogging as a physician.
    I've got one other issue for today's post but come over for the lab/grant discussion on Tuesday.
    DrJMrsH, your comment is great - I've got to update my links to all of these pseudblogging discussions.

  • For example, I stopped being pseudonomous when I got outed in the middle of lab by the asshole collaborator who controlled my ex-boss's grant and thought it might be useful leverage.

    Comrade PhysioProf nearly got outed here on ScienceBlogs by a deranged medical student who completely lost his shit when Comrade PhysioProf pointed out the paternalism inherent in the medical training system. This wackaloon nutjob went on and on in public about how Comrade PhysioProf is "not safe" in his pseudonymity, that he was not himself threatening to out Comrade PhysioProf, but that he couldn't be responsible for what his frenzied followers might do. (Of course, he was delusional in thinking that anyone else was as OUTRAGED!!!ELEVENTY!!11!!!!1!! as he was by Comrade PhysioProf's MORTAL INSULT!111!1!! opinion of the medical training system.)
    Sounds just like a coupla wackaloon deranged America-hating nutjobs polluting our political scene lately! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

  • S. Rivlin says:

    CPP,
    I promise you that despite my objections to your colorful language, I'll never out you for who you really are. This is because I know that inside, you are really a nice guy in need of an outlet for all the frustrations you experienced in your childhood šŸ˜‰

  • This is because I know that inside, you are really a nice guy in need of an outlet for all the frustrations you experienced in your childhood šŸ˜‰
    I'm gonna just sit back and wait for it.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    Isis,
    I promise not to out you, either.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    Sol, to be frank, if I were going to indulge in amateur psychoanalysis, I'd probably start by asking why so many of these threads end up going off the rails and onto your issues with the use of language.

  • Comrade PhysioProf nearly got outed here on ScienceBlogs by a deranged medical student who completely lost his shit when Comrade PhysioProf pointed out the paternalism inherent in the medical training system. This wackaloon nutjob went on and on in public about how Comrade PhysioProf is "not safe" in his pseudonymity, that he was not himself threatening to out Comrade PhysioProf, but that he couldn't be responsible for what his frenzied followers might do.

    If you don't mind, I also want to get some feedback on this incident as long as you don't feel like it's picking at an old scab. Where I was shocked was that the threats continued after you actually apologized for generalizing your comments about docs relative to the deranged act of one. I daresay I've never seen anyone on the interblogs apologize for anything, much less from our dear host, CPP. It is certainly a case study on involuntary pseudonym outing that should be addressed in The Pseudonymity Laboratory.

  • If you don't mind, I also want to get some feedback on this incident as long as you don't feel like it's picking at an old scab.

    Comrade PhysioProf sure as fuck doesn't mind. Just be careful you don't MORTALLY INSULT anyone else.

  • River Tam says:

    Comrade PhysioProf nearly got outed here
    I stopped being pseudonomous when I got outed
    These statements make me curious. Were these people who you had told about your alter egos or were these people who had figured it out on their own? I have only told one person in "meat space" about my secret identity....and I figure if he outed me it was his was of saying he wanted a divorce! But I have also figured it was just a matter of time before either someone would put 2 and 2 together or a slipped and someone who didn't know me could figure out who I was....but in my naivety, never thought about blogging blackmail!

  • briefly says:

    This is the equivalent of pulling on one's pigtails. Sol is doing to CPP what schoolboys do to girls they like*. If Sol were indeed truly offended, he would probably stop coming to this site and CPP's personal blog! The fact that CPP actually tries to put a stop to the derailing of the topic at hand makes it all the more hilarious.
    *Not to say CPP is a girl, although that did seem to come up in earlier comments (#12-14).

  • Mike says:

    River Tam, since you are a blogger I am sure you realize that the host has IP address information that makes identifying a commenter very easy. I think that this part of the blogging culture, ie host responsibility, could stand more discussion. I tend to assume that pseudonymous bloghosts are most likely to respect anonymous commenters.

  • cashmoney says:

    PP could be a "girl" and still have a "wife" you know. Are you people from Palin's real America or what?

  • Stephanie Z says:

    Mike, IP information can but usually doesn't allow a commenter to be identified without the blogger having a pretty good guess on identity to start with. It can provide information on location, and it can allow a blogger to identify sock puppetry with some degree of accuracy (as CPP just did on his blog). You can use anonymizing services to get around this, though.
    The only bloggers I've seen try to use the information, aside from saying, "Hey, y'all might be amused to know that X is just Y posting some more," were pseudonymous themselves. Bunch of libertarian idiots, ironically.

  • S. Rivlin says:

    Stephanie,
    Why do you ask me about the threads going off the rail? Whatever my issues are, for the thread to go off the rail other commenters, including the host, help derailing it.
    briefly,
    I actually like the analogy of me pulling CPP's pigtails, though DM simply called what I'm doing "getting under his skin." Either way, you are correct by saying that I'm not offended by CPP's language, only a bit embarrassed that a successful scientist has the need to resort to that type of extravaganza to be recognized. One does not control the crowd that reads one's blog and for a scientist who announces that "PhysioProf is an NIH-funded basic science faculty member at a private medical school" and also brags that this medical school is one of the top-ten in the country, he surely leaves a certain impression on some of the readers, which reflects on other scientists. I am sure you agree that Sarah Palin leaves a certain impression on her listners, which reflects on other republicans, whether they are like her or not.

  • briefly says:

    PP could be a "girl" and still have a "wife" you know. Are you people from Palin's real America or what?
    Unlikely, if you look at the recipe photos from CPP's blog. Those are manly forearms, no? Nice gratutous tie-in to Sarah Palin.

  • briefly says:

    And another thing, is there spellcheck on this thing?

  • River Tam says:

    I second Stephanie Z's statements. Identifying IP addresses with individual commenters is not exactly trivial - especially as one's traffic increases. Even if someone is not using an anonymizer I think you have to really want that info to figure out who someone is that way. Which is why I was curious if PP and AbelPharmboy had outting issues with someone they had told or someone who had put in the effort to figure out who they were.

  • Becca says:

    +1 to what cashmonkey said
    On topic:
    I'm perfectly content with psudeononymous bloggers. That said, the fact that one can even talk about being "outed" as a blogger seems to imply that it might sometimes be something to hide. Aside from creepy-internet-stalkers, what exactly are the concerns with being out as a blogger? If you are secure in your "respectability", can you enhance the respectability of blogging by being known in meatspace as a blogger?
    What are the risks and benefits of compartmentalizing your identity?

  • PalMD says:

    Excellent questions that we intend to explore.
    Creepy internet stalkers are non-trivial, as are folks who might cause you grief with your work life.
    I think there are some very interesting risks to compartmentalization, one of which is assuming your identity will shield subjects of your writing. For example, if I write about medical cases, and I think that my own anonymity will help mask the case, when I am inevitably outed so will my patient be. One of the reasons I outed myself was to make sure I would never "count" that layer of privacy.

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