Do you want bloggers to be outed?

The mystery woman who writes the blog, Belle De Jour, about her former life as a prostitute has revealed her true identity. Dr Brooke Magnanti now works as a scientist at a university. She said Belle, her character on the blog, will always be part of her and it was time to end her double life. But it’s been hinted that someone who knew her was about to reveal her real identity or that she was about to be exposed by the media.

Girl with a one track mind (real name Zoe Margolis) who also blogs about her sex life, was outed by the media a couple of years ago. She says she wasn’t ashamed but wrote under a false name to protect people she talked about. Here she describes what it was like when the press got hold of her.

Arial writes about depression anonymously because she doesn’t want her family to find out she suffers from it. But Robert McCrum thinks blogging anonymously is dishonest. Lisa is a blogger who’s been abused for being black but she still thinks it’s better to share personal information.

Over half of people in this poll think it’s ok to ‘out’ a criminal blogger but are there times when bloggers have a right to be unknown? The blogger who was forced to reveal her identity after describing a model as a ‘ skank’ said her right to privacy was violated and her lawyer argued her opinions should be protected as free speech. What about people living in countries that put bloggers in prison for expressing their views?

Do you think bloggers have the right to anonymity or should they be outed if they don’t put their name to their words? (ps – this blog was written by Claudia Bradshaw).

13 Responses to “Do you want bloggers to be outed?”

  1. 1 Tan Boon Tee
    November 17, 2009 at 04:07

    Bloggers are only human, charged with emotional intricacy and behavioral complexity.

    Why should anyone bother to know their true identities?

  2. 2 scmehta
    November 17, 2009 at 07:00

    Once you have decided to be courageous enough to spill the beans (about yourself and/or the others), then you also need to have the guts to show and own up. Anonymous bloggers must be outed; they can go for other options to lighten their heart of the ‘burden’ or guilt/remorse and/or to expose their wrong-doers.

  3. 3 claudine
    November 17, 2009 at 11:40

    People asked me if I would write a book about my sex change, about how to do Hormone Therapy properly. I said: I dont want to.
    I didnt even write anything about it on a blog.

    If people like to reveal their true identity (or not), let them. Its their business, their life, personal choice.
    If third parties want to reveal certain people’s identity….its none of their business unless a crime has been committed.

  4. 4 claudine
    November 17, 2009 at 11:43

    addendum to my previous message:

    some people like to talk about their problems without revealing themselves. So let them stay anonymous if just talking or writing helps them. Maybe they are shy and dont know who else to talk to except to the blog.

  5. November 17, 2009 at 12:13

    Yes. Bloggers should show their true identity, unless for security and safety reasons they are prevented from doing so. To respond to a blogger who is anonymous is to relate with a person seeing only that person’s feet, not also his face.

  6. 6 Saut
    November 17, 2009 at 12:33

    Yes, only those with secret and fun lives. Bloggers with mundane and nondescript lives: I don’t care and dont want to know.

  7. 7 patti in cape coral
    November 17, 2009 at 14:01

    I don’t care to know the real identities of bloggers who don’t wish to share them, just like you only choose to share what you wish when you meet someone face to face. Of course, using anonymity to commit crimes is different.

  8. 8 Ronald Almeida
    November 17, 2009 at 14:05

    Anonymous writing is as old as the word itself. I don’t see why that freedom should be curtailed now for those who prefer for whatever reason to be so?

  9. 9 Jennifer
    November 17, 2009 at 15:31

    Re: Do you think bloggers have the right to anonymity or should they be outed if they don’t put their name to their words?

    Yes; bloggers should be allowed to retain anonymity unless such a time that they do something illegal. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech.

    In the case of the Belle de Jour blog; for her dignity; I don’t WANT to know. What right do people have to know who this woman is? If she is sharing these types of experiences; she has the right to set the conditions of the blog.

    • 10 claudiabradshaw
      November 17, 2009 at 16:25

      Fair point Jennifer. But Belle de Jour made a lot of money from books and TV based on her blog, so there’s been a lot of interest in who she really is. Does it make a difference if bloggers are making money from what they write?

  10. 11 T
    November 17, 2009 at 16:01

    Bloggers have every right to protect themselves. In the States, if you have PTSD and your health coverage company finds out, you can lose your coverage. Because of something that’s not your fault.

    Now, tell me that bloggers have no right to anonymity.

  11. 12 Josiah Soap
    November 17, 2009 at 16:53

    I think in order to have any meaningful conversations these days that anonymity is a must. There are too many lawsuits against people who often say things and are then accused of all sorts of crimes. People post things on facebook and then end up losing their jobs. Its no wonder people want to set up blogs and protect their true identity. Take WHYS posts, how many of us are using our real name. I am certainly not!

  12. 13 Tom K in Mpls
    November 17, 2009 at 17:37

    Blogging is a personal act. It is as valid, important and binding as the spoken word. In other words, some of it is very useful, more is entertaining for different reasons, and most is meaningless nonsense. If you love gossip, blogging is awesome. If you are looking for functionality, there is a lot of nonsense to weed through and it can be hard to keep idiots out of the conversation.

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