Whether or not to blog anonymously has been debated for the internet-equivalent of forever.
The Publius “outing” incident last spring certainly stirred the debate again, when a newly-minted law professor blogging under a pseudonym for fear of academic retribution had his identity disclosed by another blogger who had become annoyed at the professor’s “ankle-biting.”
Blogging under one’s own name is a choice, but it carries risks for those who have a real job and blog as a pastime. One of those risks is attempts to disrupt the blogger’s employment by contacting other people at the employer, particularly the boss. It’s happened to me, and I’m sure it has happened to many people on both sides of the political aisle.
Until today, I had never heard of the attempted disruption of a blogger’s employment being done by another blogger as payback for criticism.
But Donald Douglas at American Power blog has a post today about an incident where E.D. Kain, a blogger whom Donald has criticized pretty vociferously, contacted the Chair of Donald’s academic department. It’s not clear what the exact content of that communication was, but clearly the message was not positive.
I wasn’t going to post on this since the nature of Kain’s communication was uncertain, but Kain now has confirmed, in a comment to Donald’s post, that the incident took place. Kain’s comment was an apology and a request for a truce, and he acknowledged the following as to what happened:
So yes, I did contact your department chair – not to shut you down but to express my frustration, since I had no reason to believe that you would respond to me with anything but more of the same jeering. I was not and am not trying to “shut you down” and honestly only contacted the chair because I was upset over your last post which again called me numerous names over something that had nothing at all to do with you. It was an act of frustration and I was reaching out to someone who I thought might be able to help.
And you know what? I shouldn’t have done that. You’re right. That was me acting out of frustration and anger and it was not the right move. I apologize.
Putting up with criticism can be tough, particularly when it is unrelenting. Being called names also is not fun, but one gets used to it.
We don’t all just have to get along. But there are certain lines which should not be crossed, and trying to disrupt another blogger’s employment crosses that line. Can we at least agree on that?
A Pox On Annonyblogging-Gate’s House