HumCo Anons – A New DHF! (aka Liberal Humboldt) Policy

When does one person’s right to know supplant another person’s right to privacy?  I think in the blogosphere, as in campaign finance, as we are dealing with public policy, I tend to err on the side of public accountability – both in finances and in speech.  We have the right to free speech, but we should be accountable for that.

The main problem I’ve found though my first year active in the local blogosphere that there is a whole bunch taken as fact or fact (ish) that inevitably seem to come from the anons.

Recent Anon’s from Rose Welsh’s blog. Anon after anon after anon. How is a reader to make sense of comment zones like this?

Having said that, there are also good people not involved in smear that for their own reasons would like to disassociate their public opinions from themselves.

I do personally have a problem with this as so many of the people I disagree with online quite obviously have financial issues at stake which are not discussed for more general or philosophical discussions, which if their financial involvement was known, might seem disingenuous and hurt their credibility.

So, the baby-step I’m taking is a) when and if I have time and b) when it makes sense in context, I will associate anons with a number.   This only applies to the blue/grey Gravitar anons.  WordPress’ randomly generated avatars which they call Gravitars are a great compromise between the reader’s right to know and the writer’s right to privacy.  This in essence is what I am continuing for those for whatever reason do not even want to be associated with a unique avatar.  Instead of the fancy colorful avatar, you will be stuck with a number.

Regarding fairness:  A big part of the narrative I’m trying to get across with this blog is we are all biased.  That includes me.  I’ll add or check numbers when I’m interested and/or have time and try to respond if any reader is interested in seeing  how this or that anon comment relates to another anon comment.  I think the fairness issue is covered as I will endeavor to respond to other readers who my disagree with my bias.  Again, caveat, incase this blog gets bombarded with many more than 4 readers any time soon, I may not be able to respond in a timely fashion to all requests.

Also, this policy starts now, I will not go back in time to out IP addresses so everyone has been warned (ish).

In review…WordPress blogs allow the moderators to see the IP address of all comments.  I have not and I will not post these.  However, when necessary or convenient for readers and myself, I will start numbering returning IP addresses for frequent or notable GREY-BLUE (ONLY) anons.  Not sure how it will look, but it may be as simple as me adding a (anon001) to the end of an interesting or notable comment based on that commenter’s IP address.   That number will then be linked to that IP address and the result will be instead of having a unique avatar or gravitar or name, readers and myself will be able to associate your opinions over time with a consistent number.  Huzzah for accountability!

Of course I’m sure there are random IP generators out there so if you are really serious about your privacy AND commenting on this blog I know there is a technological get-around out there somewhere.


7 thoughts on “HumCo Anons – A New DHF! (aka Liberal Humboldt) Policy

  1. Banksy? says:

    I for one like anons. Why isn’t your last name in your blog title? Has anyone ever posted on a blog or written to a paper, and gotten unsolicited personal contact from the persons whose ideas one discussed? Perhaps! Now, you are becoming a media personality, so you might not mind fame. But howsabout some “whistleblower protections” for the rest of us. Even if the only whistles we blow are our own.

    1. Banksy?

      No last name is fine. I have no idea who you are right? I’m good with that. What I ask is if you like to post online and do so on an ongoing basis, please do so as one name. This way we can kinda get a feel for how many people believe what (I don’t put it past anons to post as different anons – I mean why not?) And we can understand if you are totally against government this and that, then say argue to keep your Social Security, we get a feel for your consistency.

      The arguments I”m interested in are the long term ones. Not ones won with a one liner here or there. What is going to count are the voices that are here over time and over different issues, not one time persuasive arguments that make no sense taken outside a particular context.

      And btw, your gravatar means you are not an anon for which this post is meant.

      latest news on Banksy…

  2. Monte says:

    Nothing irritates me more than reading a blog and watching it turn into a food fight.
    It is obvious that most of the responders that go for the low blows are not willing to give their full name.
    When the owner of a Blog posts his or her full name, I will do likewise.

  3. suzy blah blah says:

    “Banksy works have fetched as much as $1.8 million at auction”

    – Jon, i mean like how’s a poor unknown suzy gonna capitalize on anonymoniniminiity, like Banksy did, when nosy socialists like you are willing to publish three numbers of innocent anonymous’ IP addresses before the time is ripe for auction? Where’s the love?

  4. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    I agree that whistleblowers need protection, but just in perusing blogs, most Anons are insinuating things without any evidence or reiterating talking points from their political allies. They talk in code and are unwilling to discuss the meaning. This doesn’t promote discussion and is really boring to read.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As if there were nothing else of interest taking place on this Earth, we must concern ourselves with other’s identity on a rural blog site??


    With an 8th grade reading skill at one’s command posts are easily judged by their content, not their moniker. If someone with 3 monikers has good points they each might merit response. If that’s enough to rattle your chain then your chain’s links must be weak.

    If it’s irrelevant (like this non-issue) just skip it!

    If you want more out of life take responsibility, create something and share it here.

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