Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

If You’re Going to Blog Anonymously, At Least Be Smart About It

I’m not a big fan of anonymous blogging.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it and won’t rule out ever doing it myself (it’s foolish to say “never” anyway), I just prefer it when you’re open about who you are when you’re expressing opinions.  It helps the audience understand your message in context.  That said, I understand there are situations where it may be unavoidable if you are focused on wanting to share your views online.

But if you’re going to blog anonymously, at least use enough common sense not to write in such a way that it is blatantly obvious who you are.  From today’s Boston Globe:

As Ivy League-educated pediatrician Robert P. Lindeman sat on the stand in Suffolk Superior Court this month, defending himself in a malpractice suit involving the death of a 12-year-old patient, the opposing counsel startled him with a question.

Was Lindeman Flea?

Flea, jurors in the case didn’t know, was the screen name for a blogger who had written often and at length about a trial remarkably similar to the one that was going on in the courtroom that day.

In his blog, Flea had ridiculed the plaintiff’s case and the plaintiff’s lawyer. He had revealed the defense strategy. He had accused members of the jury of dozing.

With the jury looking on in puzzlement, Lindeman admitted that he was, in fact, Flea.

The article itself then gets slightly hysterical about the risks of blogging (“The case is a startling illustration of how blogging, already implicated in destroying friendships and ruining job prospects, could interfere in other important arenas.”), but story about “Flea” is worth reading as long as you ignore the hysteria.

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