Saturday, August 08, 2009

Quick thoughts on Tiny Perfect Blog

I should say right from the outset that I disagree with anonymous blogging, just as I am opposed to anonymous commenting on blogs. However, people have reasons to conceal their identity that we ought to at least consider. Sometimes anonymous muckracking from someone being subversive to their employer or organization is a very health antidote to mainstream print journalism and the culture of secrecy in Alberta. In case you haven't noticed Alberta's newspapers have not hosted a Bob Woodward, a Carl Bernstein or Daniel Elsberg. Not a single one. They don't bring governments down, they prop them up. Hence, anonymous bloggers are inevitable. All voices are welcome if they shine a light where there is no light.

The Alberta Government might think they can control the message by having David Sands travel the internet telling people to shut up, but that won`t work. Not anymore.

As an aside, watching one anonymous AB Conservative after another post comments at TLP criticizing him for his anonymity gave me a much needed daily dose of humor and irony. Oh the outrage, she screamed, barely audible due to the sack over her head.

It was not that long ago that I wrote about an anonymous Calgary Herald editorial that ripped a Mount Royal student for expressing an opinion anonymously. The anonymous Herald editorialist was genuinely anonymously outraged that someone would dare to opine anonymously. That kind of unnecessary malice from a daily paper made me sick back then as it does now. Presumably they wanted the student`s identity so they could subject them to a thorough beating from their readers.

TPB's daily criticism of the Albert Liberal Party was served fairly thick, was gratuitous, and often made me think I had accidentally dialed into Rick Bell or a Journal Blog. Not along ago a Journal columnist wrote a pointless blog post because she was upset that Dr. David Swann had merely called a press conference. Same attitude as TPL I say.

TPL was at his best when he/she was ripping into the Alberta Government for the severely under-reported scandal(s) at the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

TPL's claim that Union was after him, is of course, completely unverifiable. As a reason to quit blogging it seemed rather unlikely to me. If it were me and an organization came after me I would step up my defense, not close the doors.

Anyway, look me up. I'm in the phone book. We'll do coffee. Tata. Please recommend this post

1 comment:

Michael Roberts of Rexxfield and Mile2 said...

Unhampered anonymous free discourse is a marvellous right and should be preserved at all costs. Free speech might also be ill-used for evil online defamation attacks. The public's gain through "freedom of speech" is clearly reasonable, more than ever in an example that demands clear civic awareness like habitual criminals and other unsavory characters. But the expense must not be carried by a spotless individual or business.

And yet, insincere rumors and slanderous lies are regularly published by masked bad guys. Often these anonymous miscreants have a variety of antisocial personality disorder (labeled psychopaths in past years) or similar Axis II Mental Disorder, and are motivated only through hate & spiteful, sadistic desires. Hurting or controlling others brings them strange satisfaction; they're essentially fueled by the suffering of others; a victim's desperate attempts to escape is the air they breath, clinically called "narcissistic supply". Regular citizens such as 97% of people this column can't envisage what drives these individuals.

This woeful social dilemma has taken on wildfire proportions within the past decade due to unmoderated anonymous online libel. There have been cases where judges have issued orders directing that anonymous bloggers are to be exposed in the full light of day, such orders are repeatedly followed by protests by a small but rumbustious crowd of fanatical people who reckon that freedom of expression must be absolute & the utterer is not to be held to account for his or her words, without regard to the truth or falsity of the utterances. I presume that should these same vocal people could witness the debilitating consequences that a online smear campaign has on the emotional, physical, vocational, and social health of themselves or their loved ones; they wouldn't be as loud in their opposition.

An underlying flaw of publishing anonymously is that credibility is reduced when critically considered by wise and objective individuals. Nonetheless, there is a new dynamic with the issue of vicious and anonymous internet libel. Whilst the rhetoric can appear suspect, if the target is to be considered for employment, contract awards, babysitting work or courtship, then the person carrying out the due diligence will probably look at the potential PR risks from engaging the poor dupe. Although the potential employer is probably able to see beyond the diatribe, the decision maker will need to consider what their customers and partners will imagine if less clever & objective.