Anonymous blogging

March 28th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Whale blogs:

When I first started the Blog I did so under a pseudonym…I did it for a number of reasons. The main one though was that I knew that no matter what I said or did people would say it was my father speaking or that I was doing his bidding. Likewise I used the pseudonym so no one would hold him accountable for what I had to say or did. So when I started blogging it was under the pseudonym Whaleoil.

Eventually I registered a domain name and people then found out who I was and as I predicted the accusations started. To this day whenever there is something that I ahve said that upset the more sensitive types they suggest that my father put me up to it or that he somehow can control a 43 year old man who lives his own life with a family of his own. It actually says a great deal about their sad little life that they believe the father is the man or the man is the father.

Whale quotes from elsewhere:

There’s something freeing, to be sure, about being able to say anything you want. You can engage in unfounded name-calling, or intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, or just generally behave like a twelve year old. And no one will know it’s you. And that’s why I don’t read many blogs that are written by people who prefer to remain anonymous or who write under pseudonyms when there isn’t really any reason for them to do so. In fact, I don’t think there are any blogs I read on a daily basis whose authors are anonymous. The anonymous or pseudonymous blogs are often just filled with cruelty, name-calling, and bad arguments. Indeed, there are a great many people who choose to write under an assumed name because they want to harrass or offend others.

He concludes that if more bloggers came out, there would be a better more honest, reasoned, political discourse in the NZ .

My views are similiar, but not identical.

I do read some blogs where the author is effectively anonymous, such as No Right Turn. I don’t think for his blog it matters hugely whether he is publicly known or not, because while I disagree with much of what he says, generally he is debating policies and issues, and not denigrating people. Occasionally he does, but for that matter so do I sometimes, despite my best efforts. But overall an (pseudo) anonymous blogger such as No Right Turn I have no real issue with.

My issue is with those who cower behind  and use that to slander and abuse those they disagree with. They do it to journalists, they do it to other bloggers, they do it to anyone. And the hypocrisy is that they are prepared to have the reputations of others be pilloried for comments they make under their name, but won’t take accountability for their own words. They say things which (if someone took them at face value) can actually damage careers of other people, yet refuse to let their words affect them.

The irony is that blogging under your own name does force you to be a better blogger. Every post you make, you think “Am I comfortable with this being associated with my name”.

 

Tags: ,

78 Responses to “Anonymous blogging”

  1. Ryan Sproull (7,078 comments) says:

    When I started commenting here (and, briefly, on Ian Wishart’s blog) in 2007, I make a conscious decision to use my real name, to remind myself that I was accountable for whatever I said. It causes me to think twice before making impolite comments or play the man rather than the ball. Admittedly, that second thinking occasionally comes after I’ve posted and quickly edit my comment to be less dickish.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Grant Michael McKenna (1,157 comments) says:

    The very reason that I sign in under my name is so that I can be held accountable for what I say.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Rob Salmond (260 comments) says:

    DPF – You note an irony at the end of your piece here, but you miss a couple of other other ironies.

    First, the irony of Cameron claiming that non-anonymity leads to more honest, reasoned discourse, when in his own case Cameron has been entirely less honest and less reasonable in his discourse since his name become known. In part I think that is a byproduct of the public profile that Cameron created around himself as “Cameron” but could not as “Whaleoil.”

    Second, there is the irony of Cameron claiming he was initially anonymous out of fear for his Dad’s reputation, when it turns out he was identified after bragging online about his Dad meeting President GW Bush, but failing in his attempts to conceal his Dad’s identity.

    You, DPF, are a good example of some of the arguments in favour of named-blogging. Cameron is the opposite.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    there is also a power that comes from standing beside/behind what you believe/expound..

    ..conversely there is an inbuilt impotence in anonymity..

    (that freedom to slag..is a false-freedom..)

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Pete George (23,359 comments) says:

    My issue is with those who cower behind anonymity and use that to slander and abuse those they disagree with.

    I think that is the biggest issue. Identities daren’t critical much with fair comment and debate, but anonymous abuse relects badly on the abusers – and it also taints all anonymous comment to an extent.

    The irony is that blogging under your own name does force you to be a better blogger.

    I agree with that, but I’m sure some will disagree that it’s made me any better. Funny thing, after yesterday being group attacked as “nasty” at The Standard a comment there this morning resulted in quite a number of reasonable arguments (unusually) before Bored got bored with that and resorted to the more common personal abuse.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. SalParadise (54 comments) says:

    I know I have chosen to blog anonymously (at least initially) because I am a little bit embarrassed about my presumption that I have something to write of interest to other people. However I am trying to avoid denigrating others, with success so far I believe.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Scott Chris (5,981 comments) says:

    Slater quotes:

    There’s something freeing, to be sure, about being able to say anything you want. You can engage in unfounded name-calling, or intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, or just generally behave like a twelve year old.

    ….having just written:

    It actually says a great deal about their sad little life that they believe the father is the man or the man is the father.

    Can’t see that much has changed from before to after he was outed. He still blogs with the emotional insecurity of a petulant 12 year old.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    I use a pseudonym – it’s one I’ve used on the internet for 15 years, it’s based on a real life nickname that I have (which is in turn based on my real name), and there’s a pretty good chance that anyone who knows me can work out it’s me. If you don’t know who I am then it doesn’t matter what my name is. I also used to post in my own name on my own website (ihatesocialism.org.nz), and when I did that there was a link from this one.

    It’s no different to WO – and I have had people I have stirred up ask who I am. I just try to be a bit more polite than Slater.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. adze (2,009 comments) says:

    I generally prefer to comment anonymously, because it is possible to have much of your life catalogued online if you use personal examples, yet I value privacy. My Facebook profile is visible only to friends and family due to the same concerns. As a counter to this, I try to post in a reasonable way. I think my own nature prevents me from getting into slagging matches (that and having a long experience of participating in online debates, I know how unproductive they are).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..I value privacy. My Facebook profile..”

    ..oxymoron..?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. adze (2,009 comments) says:

    Not if you set it up right Phil. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Viking2 (11,286 comments) says:

    the faulty logic of all this is there are other reasons for using Nick names etc., not necessarily because of the persons blogs but for reasons of a semblance at least of some privacy. Privacy for all manner of reasons and actually what matters is the content and writings of the blogger.
    Given the propensity of many of the left/far right and unusual bloggers to attack the person rather than what is being debated Its easy to understand why many of us do use names other than our own.

    I personally have been subject on another blog to all manner of very nasty accusations (by a blogger who frequents here) because I hold different opinions to that person. Fortunately his opinions often get pilloried on here as well. :lol:
    Never the less they were serious accusations and that person threatened me with all kinds of stuff, including finding out who I was and using that to slander me with his obnoxious material. There are nasties out there.

    My sense of preservation caused me to stop using that particular blog. Evil are out there no question.

    So if you are comfortable with using your own name, fine, its a personal choice and sometimes I do.
    Writing to your own blog it seems to me really that one has little choice and usually you are in charge of the “editorial” and in the end the content of bloggers posts. In my experience those blogs like Kiwiblog and NZCPD who run a light censorship with mechanisms in place to deal with those aggrieved seem to me to be the most successful.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Whaleoil (766 comments) says:

    @Rob Salmond….I was known long before I published the picture of Dad with GWB…your history seems a little warped.

    Interesting too that you bring that up because at the time many on the left accused me of photoshopping it and it being a fake.

    PLus Daid published it here under the title Whaleoil’s Dad and Dudya (http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2006/01/whale_oils_dad_and_dubya.html)

    Do you want to have another go at re-writing history?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    adze..don’t they ‘own’/can use/re-sell anything you put up there..?

    ..isn’t that in that agreement you have to click on..?

    if true..whoar..!

    ..and scott chris..say what you will about slater..

    ..but he is not running an over-the-top/control-freak censorship regime on his commenters..

    ..unlike say..the standard..?..(and red alert..?)

    ..i mean..aside from treating their regulars like hostages…locked into some version of a stockholm-syndrome..

    ..and terrified of being seen as criticising the (anonymous-funny that!) censoring-powers-that-be…

    ..and their abusive/screaming/totally over the top.. way of ‘disciplining’..

    ..these weirdos go along behind…deleting/censoring/sanitising..any comments they don’t like..

    ..creating their own history..as it were..

    ..how fucken both warped and basically dishonest is that..?..

    ..(an earlier version of frog at frogblog was also big on that..i don’t think they do it any more..)

    ..and as a progressive…frankly..that horrifies me…

    ..that these online ‘progressive’-voices…

    ..are such hotbeds of capricious control/censorship…

    ..what are they terrified of..?

    ..idea-infection..?

    ..and actually..i see no difference between the zealots at the standard…

    ..and that circle-jerk run by redbaiter..

    ..they are each as tolerant as the other..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Lucia Maria (2,239 comments) says:

    Ah yes, the I’m-a-better-blogger-because-I-blog-under-my-own-name debate. This comes up every once in a while.

    The worst problems I’ve had is when we used to allow anonymous posting on our blog. Now we require people to register a username (with blogger or google) and that’s removed the occasional disgusting death threats that seem to pop up. Because of such threats, I’m quite happy staying anonymous myself, because having a crazed nutjob appear on my doorstep is not something I look forward to.

    [DPF: Lucia I went out of my way to say you can be a good blogger and be anonymous. My point is that if you are the type of blogger who denigrates people publicly, then you should be prepared to be accountable for your words]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. RRM (9,670 comments) says:

    My issue is with those who cower behind anonymity and use that to slander and abuse those they disagree with. They do it to journalists, they do it to other bloggers, they do it to anyone. And the hypocrisy is that they are prepared to have the reputations of others be pilloried for comments they make under their name, but won’t take accountability for their own words. They say things which (if someone took them at face value) can actually damage careers of other people, yet refuse to let their words affect them.

    This sounds a lot like that stoush you had with ‘Baiter the other day…?

    You know that when your blog only has about ten readers, and they’re all anonymous, unemployable lunatics just like the author, you’re highly unlikely to put anyone’s career or reputation is at much risk, right? ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i think any use of ‘better’ has been restricted to noting of perhaps a greater self-discipline with words..

    ..i haven’t seen any claims of human-superiority..

    ..have you..?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    I agree.

    Lets also make people’s voting choices in each general election publicly available too.

    After all, nobody judges somebody by the politics they keep do they.

    fools

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Lucia Maria (2,239 comments) says:

    Phil,

    No claims, but superiority is inferred.

    Could just be a macho thing, of course.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Pete George (23,359 comments) says:

    Anonymity does make a difference, to how one blogs and comments, and to how one views others who blog and comment. But that doesn’t equate to identity good, pseudonym bad.

    Knowing someone’s identity does affect how you view the validity of comments. I now know the indenty of people who have been anonymous (and some still are) and it puts more of a real person aspect on the relationship. You get to understand where they’re coming from better. A personal touch does make a difference.

    It’s also possible to value and respect anonymous blogs and comments, many are excellent, and there are many valid reasons for remaining anonymous. But it can be harder to earn respect.

    It’s no coincidence that almost all attacks and personal abuse are from anonymous commenters. Except lprent and savagemickey perhaps, but they’re semi anonymous (until you get to know who they are).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Alan Wilkinson (1,850 comments) says:

    A long time ago the Christchurch Press adopted a policy of real names only for publishing Letters to the Editor – exceptional circumstances excepted. That immediately improved the quality of correspondence considerably and having commented there for years under my real name I simply continued to use it subsequently on blogs.

    There are occasions when I cannot say something because my real name would identify others unfairly, but mostly I am happy to think a bit more carefully how I express myself since I will always be responsible for it. You do require a reasonably thick skin also.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Rob Salmond (260 comments) says:

    @Whale: It turns out that Kiwiblog post you linked to just now, which you say was when the “JS met W” thing came out, actually has a link to you earlier posting a picture of the encounter to prove how awesome JS is, and writing “so eat shit and die all you naysayers” under it. And you’ll see in the comments of that post there are people still guessing at your name at that point, showing you weren’t that well known at the time. Who’s rewriting history now? You. Again.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    Many employers in the states now ask new job applicants for their face book password, this of course is unconstitutional but still goes on. I expect many employers in kiwiland use face book to look at someones life, their assoicates, their political views, which could vary greatly from those of the employer. Why make it easy for those that may hold your views against you? Why tell the world who you are if later on in life you may be seen as a subversive, dangerous or simply guilty of not reflecting the view of those in power and those in power have become tyrants. Do you think the tosspots over at the substandard would be happy if some rightwing poster got a job working in a lefty party and they knew this person was a plant because they had to us their real name ( yeah I know bad example ). Do you think someone working in a government department and disagrees with the polices of those in power at the time would keep their job if they posted under their real name.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. adze (2,009 comments) says:

    Phil, yes they do “own” the content you put up, that’s why it’s wise to be choosey as to the content you upload. I don’t put up any creative content for that reason. But my privacy concerns, to be frank, don’t relate to FB itself.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Alan Wilkinson (1,850 comments) says:

    @cows4me, why would you want to work for an employer that asked for your private passwords? I’d be straight out the door and laying a formal complaint.

    And why would you ever want to work for the Government – almost always one of the worst possible employers and the one you can guarantee will never show its employees any loyalty whatsoever?

    When you can’t say what you think, it is beyond time to find a new country.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Pete George (23,359 comments) says:

    Do you think the tosspots over at the substandard would be happy if some rightwing poster got a job working in a lefty party

    The lovely people who contribute to The Standard weren’t happy when a centrish (with a bit of right and left) poster joined in there – simply because that poster had a history of posting here first they were immediately labelled a RWNJ and has almost always been abused and attacked because of that.

    Ok, I might occasionally point out discrepancies in their logic and their uneven moderation and provoke an occasional reaction, but even benign posts seem to invite personal attacks far more often than being ignored or getting reasonable responses.

    Actually same thing at Dim-Post, but there’s a few commenters in common between TS (more union dominated) and Dim (academic snobby chappies).

    I’ve also commented a bit at Whaleoil over the last few months and for all the flak the blubber blog gets I don’t think I’ve ever had personal attacks or abuse there, disagreements for sure but reasonable ones.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Kimble (4,417 comments) says:

    I use a pseudonym, its a thin one like gazzmaniacs, and I started using it for a few reasons.

    Firstly I was naturally suspicious of giving out details over the internet. Then I was concerned with how my employer at the time would react. I also didnt have any credibility; no position of authority, no grand life experience. So my identity wouldnt add anything to what I said. I found that without that crutch, I was forced out of my comfort zone and was made to think about the things I was saying, what it really meant, and its implications.

    It was also play. Much as a lion cub learns to hunt by romping with its fellows, I learned my own opinion and how to justify it while messing around online. Back then I may have flirted with trolling, said things I knew were wrong just for fun, been a bit of a flame-thrower. I like to think I am better at writing, debating, and insulting now than I was back then.

    I am one person at work, another person with my wife, another with my kids, another with my buddies, and a different one with you twunts.

    I will stay anonymous now for slightly different reasons. I want my opinions, arguments, and opinions to stand or fall on their own merit.

    I still dont appeal to my own authority despite, I am sure, coming across as a pompous arse (see lion cub reference above). I cant merely assume authority on something, I have to show it. I prefer failing at that, to succeeding at the other thing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Kimble (4,417 comments) says:

    You get to understand where they’re coming from better.

    Pete George, I think this has more negatives than positives. Put another way, “You get to pigeon-hole them based on the little you do know about them, and dismiss their arguments out of hand.”

    My version happens WAY more often than yours.

    This part of the internet is not about meeting and engaging with human beings. It is about a mutual exchange and violent rejection of IDEAS.

    It’s no coincidence that almost all attacks and personal abuse are from anonymous commenters.

    But attacks and personal abuse from anonymous sources means much less than it would from a real person. The insults and ideas from an anonymous source have to survive the anonymity. Insults rarely can, ideas on the other hand, if conveyed strongly and competently, have a much greater chance.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Kimble (4,417 comments) says:

    Oh, and one more thing.

    You guys are all using pseudonyms, as far as it matters to me.

    Phule is a person in real life, but not here.
    Scott Chris is a person, but not here.
    David Farrar is a person, but not here.

    You are all just names on the screen. DiM is Danyl, they both have the same meaning to me. Pete George and cows4me are just pixels. I only know you from what you have said here. The ID, whether a legal name or a gamer handle, is just an ID.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. tvb (4,263 comments) says:

    I agree with your sentiments about anonymous blogging. Placing your name on something does act as a deterrant to post extreme and possibly defamatory blog comments. I am glad you recognised that every now and then we can all get personal though hopefully I stop those kinds of comments when I can but not always. I have no time for Michelle Boag for instance and simply cannot stop being derogatory about her largely because of her extremely aggressive personality and the damage she causes the National Party and is continuing to do so. But even there I resist saying what I would really like to say. At time I feel you have been far too petulant with your demerit point system but I do have strong views on excess drinking, welfare abuse, drugs and smoking.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. graham (2,295 comments) says:

    “Do you think the tosspots over at the substandard would be happy if some rightwing poster got a job working in a lefty party…”

    I suspect the contributers at The Standard are quite capable of twisting any situation to their own advantage, or using any fact in whatever way suits them.

    For example: lprent once worked at Postec. This company basically provides POS equipment, control systems and software to the Oil Industry. Now at this point, if lprent was someone that The Standard commentators didn’t like, they would be ripping him to shreds over this. “He dared to work for a company that supports the evil Oil Industry!!! He developed a payment terminal so that more people can pour their life savings into their fuel-guzzling cars!!! Oh the hypocrisy!!!” And on and on … I seem to recall a vague rumour that his partner is into ecology or saving the planet from global warming or something … The Standard would wring their hands, asking “How can she live with this hypocrite?!”

    But I suspect nobody has ever queried lprent over this, or taken him to task. And of course, most normal people realise that there’s no reason to do so. But if this was a rightie, you can bet someone at The Standard would find some way to castigate him.

    Maybe that’s one reason that some bloggers prefer to remain anonymous. As soon as you know somebody’s identity, odds are you can find something about them on the Internet that you can twist to your own uses.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Lucia Maria (2,239 comments) says:

    David,

    [DPF: Lucia I went out of my way to say you can be a good blogger and be anonymous. My point is that if you are the type of blogger who denigrates people publicly, then you should be prepared to be accountable for your words]

    Yeah, I noticed that. My comment wasn’t aimed at you. I probably needed to be clearer.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    a funny aspect of the anonymous-or-not issue manifested at a couple of blogger social things i went to..

    ..anonymous commenters there..poor luvvies..biting their tongues/lips..

    ..just dying to burst out and tell everyone which commenter they were…

    ..and when i asked…they would/could whinny nervously…

    ..and then..disappointed in a way that they are still anonymous..

    ..they slink off back to their little box..

    ..to once again vent thru the keyboard…

    ..i felt for them/felt their pain…

    ..(and some of the (anonymous) rightwingers faced with me…were overcome with/by a physical reaction..

    ..as they battled within themselves….

    ..and they were just reduced to impotent gurning..

    …it was fun/amusing to watch…

    phil@whoar.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Alan Wilkinson (1,850 comments) says:

    I can’t understand all the angst about the Standard. Just as I can’t sympathise with anyone who wants to work for the Government I can’t sympathise with anyone who wants to read or post at the Standard.

    Improve your life: ignore idiots.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Alan Wilkinson, I have a MBA from the Harvard business school and also a masters in geology and also 18th century French literature from the Sorbonne. I have worked as a consultant for the SAS and I believe myself to be one of the top practitioners in my current field. I usually prove this by needlessly using complicated jargon associated with my work but I am not sure you would get it.

    All round I think you would agree I am truly remarkable (strangely I have never found any woman who want to have my kids though have managed to score myself an ugly old desperate hippy of late) and my superiority allows me to insult you as I see fit.

    It is you therefore that is the idiot and the Standard (I mean the collection of annonymous authors who provide thier opion there) are not. Our ranking in the blog stats show how much more important we are than Whaleoil and Farrar…oh hang on

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Daigotsu (451 comments) says:

    No Right Turn is a horrid blogger who constantly slanders hardworking New Zealanders with his leftist screeds. I think he is a good argument for why anonymity is terrible.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so..cheese…how do you justify the hysterical/strident/capricious level of censorship at yr standard..?

    ..how is that ‘progressive’ in any way shape or form..?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. graham (2,295 comments) says:

    Alan: Yeah, you’re right. I used to read the Standard, but I found the viciousness, the nastiness, and the whole atmosphere to be so toxic that I stopped before I ended up becoming as bitter and depressed as the rest of them.

    Maybe I left it a bit late, as I still have nightmares about it …

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. laworder (278 comments) says:

    I have a blog which is neglected to the point of cyber rigor mortis, at which I am not anonymous, and when posting comments on other blogs I always put my name on at the bottom – its just the way I operate I guess. I do have some sympathy for those that have legitimate reasons to blog or comment anonymously, especially if they operating in a “whistleblowing” capacity. What I dont have time for is people who spout abuse and denigrate people unnecessarily, anonymous or otherwise. And I see that from people on both the left and right.

    I actually prefer to play the ball and argue ideas and use reason and facts, for some reason I find that far more pleasurable, but I understand that not everyone is like that. Whaleoil can be a bit abrasive for my tastes at times, but essentially I also find myself in agreement with him , and he does at least put his real identity behind what he says, I respect that. I also find myself in agreement with much of what Phil Ure has said on this thread, hard as it is to digest

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. KevinH (1,160 comments) says:

    As a commentator on blogs I abbreviate my name to avoid confusion between myself and a kiwi sportsman although in letters to editors I use my full name. Interestingly enough over the years I have received unflattering feedback, insulting emails and abusive letters that really make you wonder about the IQ of some New Zealanders. However having a thick skin is all that is needed because feedback is instant these days and is part of the dynamism of public opinion.
    Personally I’m old school and don’t use offensive language or abuse other contributors because essentially that is negative and not conducive to good discourse.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. EverlastingFire (291 comments) says:

    philu wouldn’t have any issues using his real name. It’s not like he’s ever going to look for a job anyway :D

    Usually I always take the more private route in anything if it’s available to me. Ironically I use my real name on blogs that are considered more ‘extreme’.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. elscorcho (153 comments) says:

    I’ve been using the internet since 1996, and BBSes a little before that. Handles (which became nicknames/usernames) were the expectation.

    Using real names gives people power. People who want to google etc and spend a little bit of time researching can construct a pretty good facsimile of you.

    I use my real name on FB, on some sites where I deliberately control the content I provide (Twitter etc.), but not on message boards. Message boards (to me) are somehow more private than those other sites – they are like chatting at home – and I’d rather be able to be honest on them rather than constantly self-censor when my views might be unpopular.

    There’s also the fact that some of my employers likely disagree with my opinions

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Falafulu Fisi (2,177 comments) says:

    La Grand Fromage said…
    MBA from the Harvard business school and also a masters in geology?

    It’s not the name Harvard that counts, it is the type of qualification one gets from there that’s important. MBA is nothing more than a glorified bullshit qualification. See David Cunliffe has got some qualification from Harvard more like public administration or something like that. That qualification is also bullshit. I bet that Phil U’s is more qualified than David Cunliffe. But you say that it is Harvard. Yep, I thought I read somewhere on the net that Harvard is teaching courses for psychics, homeopathy, astrology, and all that bullshit mysticism. So, someone who went to Harvard (such as yourself & David Cunliffe) and come back to boast about their study, shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone. Unless of course that person’s study was in Medicine, Any branch of Hard Science (physics, chemistry, biology), Any branch of engineering & applied science (including math/computing), then he/she should be proud. WHY? Because that’s what Harvard is known to be best at. Any qualification from Harvard other than list above doesn’t count.

    La Grand Fromage said…
    … also a masters in geology?

    Sorry, that’s not hard science. Geology is not Geophysics. BTW, do you know what governs earthquakes? You need to ask a geophysicist.

    La Grand Fromage said…
    It is you therefore that is the idiot and the Standard are not.

    La Grand, you’re insulting someone who has a PhD in chemistry, which is far superior and more difficult than your bullshit MBA (including your other soft science geology qualification). Alan had also lectured in computer science at university level courses despite his background in chemistry.

    Before you come here to insult someone who you thought was inferior to you (which obviously you know nothing about Alan), then you pick someone like Willie Jackson and insult him. The reason is that Willie Jackson perhaps have art qualification as yours. So, insult someone who’s in par with your intellectual level, like Mr Jackson or Matt McCarten. Finally, Alan sold his local software company about 7 or 8 years ago to an US corporation for about $40 millions, so obviously the man is not idiot as you think. You La Grand should take a lesson from US hip-hop rapper named 50 Cent with his inspiring song called Get Rich or (fucking) Die Trying. Whatever consultant work you’ve done in the past such as to the SAS, NZ Toilet Cleaners Association, Homeopathy Association, …, you won’t make enough to reach that financial level that Alan is enjoying at the moment. As 50 Cent said, La Grand you’ll die at some stage still poor (compared to Alan).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Alan Wilkinson (1,850 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi, I didn’t take the Big Cheese seriously – don’t you think it was a leg pull?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    It was a pastiche of the kind of response Lyn Prentise would provide.

    An attempt to demonstrate that having to tell people how smart and amazing you are is a sure sign that you are not.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. Alan Wilkinson (1,850 comments) says:

    LGF, yes, along with appeals to authority and claims of consensus – sure signs people don’t know what they are talking about and can’t debate knowledgeably. I think FF missed your last line.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Falafulu Fisi (2,177 comments) says:

    La Grand Fromage, I’m sorry I’ve mistaken you with someone from RedAlert that he/she frequently had a go at me (when I was still allowed to make comment over there)? He/she used a few pseudonyms like Viper, LeGrange, and another one. I’m now banned from there at Red Alert?

    Anyway, I agree with you, that Lyn Prentise thinks that he’s somehow brainy because he’s a computer programmer, when all he does is cutting & pasting HTML codes. Phil U does that HTML stuff on a daily basis.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Colville (2,200 comments) says:

    Fromage got it spot on. The man with a girls name, lprent.
    I thought Whales comments were aimed squarely at the Strandard which is 50% personal attacks and very little real debate.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. RRM (9,670 comments) says:

    Christ, just when you think you’ve seen it all, BOOM the conceit and the vain intellectual snobbery that only Fulla Full of Faeces can provide.

    It never ceases to amaze me, how a man of such learning can lower himself to such petty, infantile point scoring…

    Now what was this thread about, again?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    It was funny though, wasn’t it RRM?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Falafulu Fisi (2,177 comments) says:

    RRM, I have said sorry to Fromage since I’ve mistaken him/her for someone else. BTW, did you proudly tell one of the posters here the other week that you’re an engineer and you know what you’re modeling in your kind of work? You implied that you knew more than him/her. Isn’t that being snobbery towards that other commentator?

    I would have dome the same thing if it was Len Prentice, making that comment. No retreat there for me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Not like you to make a mistake FF considering that you’re so fucking smart that you have to keep reminding anyone who’ll listen that you’re fucking smart.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Falafulu Fisi (2,177 comments) says:

    RRM – 4,347 posts
    mikenmild – 3,327 posts

    Haven’t you guys got something important to do instead of living & breathing on Kiwiblog? Umm, that’s vain, ladies? I have posted comments on Kiwiblog for 6 years for a total of 1,684. It means that I’m not vain like both of you to hang around here all day everyday to waste time. You 2 must be bored to death that you need to hang around here all day everyday to make comments.

    Cha, I’m fucking smart. That’s fact! Not everyone knows, since I don’t hang around here all day every day. And you are what, exactly?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Nice comeback Falafulu. You are obviously much smarter than me coz you comment less! Ha ha, if you were much smarter you wouldn’t comment at all.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Kimble (4,417 comments) says:

    Ha ha, if you were much smarter you wouldn’t comment at all.

    Wow MnM,, that is profound.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Thank you for pointing that out, Kimble. I’m grateful for your insight.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. JamesP (76 comments) says:

    Sounds more like a problem with the weight people give to anon posts and comments. Without some draconian censorship scheme these comments will always exist on the internet. So you just have to deal with them.

    Even if people use “real names” so what? What gaurantee do I have that this post was actually written by David Farrar and not a ghostwriter? What gaurantee do you have that I’m actually called James?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    I use a pseudonym, kind of because of the same reason as Lucia. Not that anyone would know who I was anyway, but in real life I don’t tend to knock people over the head with my opinion – at least not all of the time. I wouldn’t want people to form an impression of me based solely on what I’ve written.

    I think a psuedonym helps get past the problem of political correctness as well that is often something that can hold people back from really speaking their mind.

    Maybe it’s also kind of like the mask of a superhero that lets you jump into battle, but be mind mannered in real life.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    My pseudonym is a nickname given to me at school and is derived from my surname. I use it to sign artwork and cartoons as well as comments on some blogs. I also comment using my real name sometimes but usually on more serious blogs where my name could get picked up by the media – and it did once. The BBC read out a comment of mine on one of their feedback specials – I can’t remember what year it was – and that clearly needed a real name.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    As I recall it, it was Jordan Carter (at the time regarded as one of 2 top labour blogs) who “outed” Slater, though I did know his name myself at the time having looked up the domain myself. Given the information was public, it was only a matter of time.

    Slater later outed Idiot/Savant, but I note that many bloggers even now would not know his actual name. The interesting thing is that at the time you could google the real name and get the blog name from a page years old. Of course you couldn’t do it the other way around because you’d get hundreds of blog entries first.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. Kimble (4,417 comments) says:

    My pseudonym is a nickname given to me at school and is derived from my surname.

    Who else thought it was a sexual reference?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. TimG_Oz (924 comments) says:

    I’ve always said, I don’t hide behind a false or pseudonym. I obfuscate a little after incidents with crank callers, as I have seemed to attract.

    I wonder if this means Whale wouldn’t read my blog. I guess he would.

    But the best form of anonymity is having a life and a job. I just don’t get the time I’d like to write opinions.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. Mark Unsworth (40 comments) says:

    Heres the challenge then David.What about requiring all those who comment on your site to do so under their own names rather than hide.
    Often the quality of the debate slips very quickly as the discussion goes on and i am sure that it would be more of an informed and less abusive discussion if everyone said who they were
    Thoughts ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. Kimble (4,417 comments) says:

    My real name is Stephen Moore.

    No its Brian Hudson.

    No its Duke Ellington.

    No its Mark Unsworth.

    But honestly it is Heartfelt Panda.

    Actually, I think I may have found a teeny tiny flaw in your challenge.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. Griff (7,017 comments) says:

    Kimble
    you are right
    even if I posted under my own name would that mean any thing
    not unless you believe I am a obscure civil war general I dont come up in google face book or anywhere else that you can access
    I chose to abuse people that A abuse me B post absolute rubbish.
    Would that change if I used my real name NO why should it.
    DPF has my real name and an email address where I can be contacted.
    I evaluate persons by their posts and have stuck up for others even those I disagree with we all have a right to an opinion even penny and philu
    It would be different if I was bloging as DPF does. He has a real impact and a political identity the fact that he uses his real name adds weight to his opinions on here As it does other political persons like Peter George

    As to those that evaluate others by their university degrees
    Its all about learning more and more about less and less in till you know absolutely all about nothing
    I are not “educated” yet have run intellectual rings around two masters of business back when I was a shop steward negotiating the collective contract for 50 odd workers.
    I have also had to teach a master of engineering to run a basic production plant he was the dumbest pupil I ever had on that plant most picked it up in a few weeks he still could not run it competently after six months.

    my real name is
    Tarquin lam bam bam bustop fatang fatang olay biscuit barrel

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. Cactus Kate (549 comments) says:

    I used to share the whole anonymous blogger vibe but then I met Fran O’Sullivan for the first time and she convinced me that if bloggers are going to be a part of the media and especially political debate they should be identified. I couldn’t argue against her reasoning. If we know who they are and their qualifications and background for their opinions then they deserve the same courtesy.

    At the moment there’s a ridiculous situation where people can post their points of view attacking others from an identity they make up that no one knows. One day they can pretend they are a 42 yo public servant with expertise in IT, tomorrow a 18 yo pol studies student, the next day an accountant. When all the time I suspect they are a 40 yo still living at home with their mother.

    Many women blog behind pseudonyms for personal safety reasons such as the The Hand Mirror however they are generally more careful not to start fights from faux personalities as men do therefore there is no issue with the level playing field.

    I like my pseudonym solely because no one can spell my actual surname correctly.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. Pete George (23,359 comments) says:

    I like my pseudonym solely because no one can spell my actual surname correctly.

    Excellent idea Cactus Kaet.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. Psycho Milt (2,369 comments) says:

    The reason is that Willie Jackson perhaps have art qualification as yours.

    If only Falafulu Fisi had done a few arts papers he might have learned how to recognise obvious sarcasm when he’s reading it, and maybe even learned to write a legible sentence. Or not.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. Falafulu Fisi (2,177 comments) says:

    PM, I would have done arts papers if I wanted to be a librarian and perhaps work with you after I gained my qualification at Massey library, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to be in a job where I get bored all day long.I realized it was sarcasm after I wrote my reply, so I think its no big deal. Anyway, I would have still have a go at people who think that their MBA qualification is somehow makes them omnipotent in business. I suggest you should read the following:

    M.B.A. = Master of Bullshit Administration

    I know a bit about this nonsense, since I was involved as an outside contractor (end of 2006 to early 2007) with the core analytics team that re-developed the BPM (business process management) software platform for BEA System when they acquired Fuego Software. This was before Oracle acquired BEA. There were 2 MBA qualified people that were part of the core team. My job (including another developer – 2 of us) was to develop the OR engine, while others were working on statistical algorithms.

    We were given some books on BPM to read because it help us understood the business requirements of the project. Some of those books are textbooks from MBA courses. I didn’t read thru in any of those books although I did check out some chapters regarding the topics of where optimization & OR of how they’re being used in business decision making. Before my contract was signed, I recommended that it was cheaper if I ported the open source Sedumi software library into Java, rather than developing it from ground up, because it would have taken longer (& cost more), so they agreed to port Sedumi instead.

    I can list you companies that went under in the last 8 years (even with BPM software being deployed in the organization), that they weren’t saved by MBA best standards of practice (as the article I linked to above said are all myths).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Well, in my opinion Master’s programmes are much stronger when they flow from established undergraduate disciplines. MBAs, MPPs, etc are much weaker intellectually than traditional arts or science postgraduate programmes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. Psycho Milt (2,369 comments) says:

    Gosh, you mean having an MBA doesn’t necessarily prevent your business from going under? Those guys should sue the universities involved under the consumer guarantees act. Hint: yes, this is more sarcasm.

    Also: you “know a bit about this nonsense” as you were given some books on business process management to read but only bothered to read the odd chapter? Really?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. muggins (3,316 comments) says:

    I don’t have any problem with people using pseudonyms,so long as they don’t slag off at other posters by calling them stupid drunken liars,pedo apologists,and even worse,just because that poster disagrees with them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    FF:Sorry, that’s not hard science. Geology is not Geophysics.

    Since when is geology not a hard science?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    Kimble:Who else thought it was a sexual reference?

    Is this sarcasm or is there some sort of sexual connotation to my pseudonym that escaped me?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. Falafulu Fisi (2,177 comments) says:

    Chiz, thanks for the correction. I realized that anything these days can be called hard science, even statisticians, economists, marketing, anthropology can be lumped into science.

    Where do you draw the line between hard & soft science? Have any idea? I have no clue.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    I’m not sure if there is a firm line seperating hard and soft science. Geophysics, geochemistry, and mineralogy are all hard sciences. Geomorphology and paleontology are hard science but perhaps not as hard as geophysics or geochemistry. Anthropology is a science, more so at, say, the forensic end, and less so at the sociological end. I wouldn’t classify Marketing as a science unless you want to include it as a wobbly science.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I think there might be something about being able to do controlled experiments. So physics is generally scientific and economics is generally not.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    Yes, but astronomers and astrophysicists can’t generally do experiments yet they are hard sciences.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.