Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloggers Anonymous

I have always been somewhat "uncomfortable" with anonymous bloggers and commentors who hide behind pseudonyms, unless I happen to know them personally. Although I respect their rights and reasons for privacy, especially in the case of whistle blowers, I have always felt that it is rather unfair to us bloggers who are very transparent and stand by what we say and write about. The very damaging proliferation of faceless "cyber troopers" who spread lies and hatred with impunity in the internet is a case in point. Baling batu, sorok tangan* as we say in Malay.

Recently however, the expoof the true identities and photographs of some very controversial local bloggers leave a very bad taste in the mouth.

There is a rich history in the United States of protecting anonymous free speech. In attempting to maintain their anonymity, bloggers there have always claimed protection under the First Amendment. However, a High Court in London has ruled that bloggers have no right to privacy under British law since blogging is essentially a "public" rather than a "private" activity. Read about it, here.

Of course, certain aspects of free speech, like libel and defamation, are not protected anywhere. So to all my venomous anonymous blogger friends and acquaintances, clear the decks and watch your step.

* (Lit.) Throw stone, hide hand.


  1. Capt Yusof - like you I believe we must take responsibility for what we say and write!

    Anon was a tradition in English poetry where lesser known poets or even the known ones would pen their thoughts and emotions in beautiful poetry. Behind these anonymous writers was humility - that perhaps they did not yet deserve to put their names to their words!

    In blogosphere Anonymous is usually a cover for the arrogance and condescension of commenters who want to spew insults and curses. Sometimes it is used to hide the writer's public/professional persona.

    I agree that our blog space is public arena for all and sundry to stroll past or stop by. Bloggers are responsible to make this space as respectable as possible for the visitors they want to attract.

    Of course in Malaysia people spit and even pee in public places, and drop litter everywhere. They don't care a damn!

    So it's up to us bloggers to censor and censure our visitors or chide them where necessary just as we welcome those with good intent and relevant comments.

  2. I hope we haven't chased our commenters away!

  3. Those who dare to speak up should not hide behind as anonymous .
    In the case i want to use profanities and 4 letter words i will go to blogs that allow profanities.
    At one point we do have to let out our frustration .
    Freedom of speech allows anyone to speak up against anything .
    Therefore anything under the sun can be discuss and be swipe at.
    Be they the royalties,religion, race relation and recently (but old and dying ) communism .
    Commentors and blog owners must be gentlemen enough to admit if they gave out the wrong facts.
    Next thereare choice of words.
    A fine example is instead of accusing the prime minister as a corrupted , i can say that i suspect the PM as a corrupted person
    .Just as i assume all cops demands "kopi-O'.
    Which PM? i didnt mentioned who.
    Most of the time it is just choice of words and how to play the game in a legal way.


Dear Reader,

This blog promotes freedom of speech and I invite fair comment. This is not a chat room and I would appreciate if you could identify yourself. However, if you prefer to remain anonymous please note that remarks that are deemed grossly inappropriate, maliciously defamatory, extremely vulgar or ad hominem attacks (against my person) will be deleted.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.

The Ancient Mariner