Outting Folks

Folks are talking about folks who out anonymous bloggers

I have some experience with being outted. I’ve been outted against my will a few years ago, when someone figured out who I was and posted my name and address and work information in the comments here and all over the place.  I outted myself in a news story that appeared on the front page of The Tennessean, which I thought was going to be pretty definative, but then a couple of months after that, someone got mad at me and made noises like wouldn’t it be uncomfortable for me if folks knew who I really was, and I emailed them back and pointed out the article and that was the end of that.

Still, it’s a weird phenomenon, both to find yourself going in and out of anonymity and to find that people get so riled up about what goes on here on the internet that they’d try to threaten exposing you over it.


9 thoughts on “Outting Folks

  1. Pingback: Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » Outing

  2. This is a funny topic. When I started blogging a few years ago I figured not many people would ever read it, so I just came up with a goofy blog title and a goofy screen name to match it. It was all for my own amusement, pretty much as it still is. I had no specific desire to conceal my identity. I’ve thought about just dropping the pseudonym, but who the hell would care? My political views are no secret at my job or anywhere in my personal life, and all five people who read my blog know who I am.

    I think your situation is a bit different, B. Even though you’ve been ‘outed’ on several occasions, keeping up the veil is probably still a good exercise of professional and personal discretion.

  3. Pingback: SayUncle » Nom de blog

  4. CS, you make me feel a little like the blogging equivalent of a fan dancer. But, yeah. I think I have a good balance right now, where who I am is out there, so folks can’t use the revelation of it as a credible threat, but it’s not so obvious that it hurts anyone I care about.

  5. I have actually caught myself wondering how my life would be different if I hadn’t started using my real name on the intertubes back in the day.

  6. I feel like I’m missing something. Did someone get outed locally? I can’ tell if Sarcastro’s post means he did, or is referring to someone else.

  7. W., I don’t know either. I went around to all the blogs but no one seems to have the skinny. If some other blogger outted Sarcastro, I’d hope he would tell us so that we could shun the outter.

  8. When I started my own blog earlier in the year, I thought long and hard prior to that first post about how I wanted to present myself. I had read many a blog, written by people using their real names and others written under pseudonyms.

    When I finally did get on the blog bandwagon, I realized I wanted to tie in my professional gig with my blog – to drive traffic to my online portfolio and hopefully expand my circle of contacts and hopefully gain more clients. So, considering my online portfolio is listed under a URL with my own name in it, there was no blogging anonymously.

    But, also, I’ve learned from the mistakes of others that whatever is put on the internet stays on the internet – like those silly kids who put naked photos of themselves on MySpace — it’s the opposite of the rule of the Las Vegas commercials. While I might be having a bad day and be tempted to vent on a blog, I would never do it, because that would only make me look bad or unprofessional.

    I don’t do politics or religion on my blog — the closest I’ve come was the post about the Yale artist with her miscarriage/abortion final project, where I declared myself pro-choice. I’m a pretty open book – if someone wants to know something, I’ll generally give my take on it, so I don’t need to put it in writing for the internet to see.

    As far as people who out other people, that’s just childish. It’s almost like people who out gay people. I come from a very small town in the deep south, where I’ve seen that done, and it’s so not cool. And for someone to stick their nose into someone’s business and “out” them on their blog is just an asshole thing to do.

  9. As I have the least effective secret identity since Mrs. Kent slapped a pair of glasses on her kid, it isn’t much of a secret who I am to anyone with 4th grade reading skills.

    My post was just speculation. If I did get 86’d from a job due to blogging or a antagonistic blogger, believe me, you would have heard about it.

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