On Blogging Pseudonymously

There has been much discussion on other blogs in the past few days about yet another jerk outing a pseudonymous blogger in a fit of pique. Of the posts and comments I’ve read so far, I like this one best:

I find the objections to pseudonymous blogging from flagrant pseuds hilarious, and will only address them by pointing and laughing.

I have encountered a number of people who use only RL names online and are uncomfortable with people who use pseuds, but this attitude is baffling to me. Pseuds have an extremely long history for fiction writers and political writers, and I see no reason the “nom de net” shouldn’t be accepted seemlessly in those fields.

More generally, objecting to pseuds puts you on the losing side of a generation gap. As my children grew up and started going online, I carefully instructed them in the construction of suitable pseuds and in basic techniques of internet compartmentization. For young people in general and women in particular, pseudonymity online is a matter of basic security. Objecting to it marks you as a clueless fogey, or at least as highly privileged.

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