Hiding one’s identity

This week Fandango asks us;

How do you feel about online anonymity? Do you believe that when people are hiding their real world identity, it encourages them to misbehave or to be offensive? Or does it allow people to reveal who they really are or possibly how they would choose to be and act all the time if they could?

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I blog under a pseudonym. I have revealed a lot of details about myself but not my real name.

When I started blogging it was an impulsive decision and I hadn’t given the matter much thought but I had heard of people getting harassed because of the opinions they share online. This made me use a version of name that’s similar to my name. And at first I kept everything about myself secret. My origin, my religion and where I live. Gradually I revealed a lot of details about myself, even shared my picture on my blog because I felt safe here.

Another reason for keeping my identity hidden was that I used to express my opinions about politics, especially Trump on my blog and I didn’t want any repercussions from that too. Being anonymous gave me the freedom to express my views openly without any fear of repercussions.

These were my reasons for keeping a part of my identity hidden. As for the first part of the question, do I think that people behave worse when their identity is hidden?

I don’t think this is the case for most of the people I’ve met here. Anyone who is going to be obnoxious will be irrespective of if they are using their real name or an alias.

Anonymity does give a sort of freedom but the true nature of the person behind the mask comes through sooner or later.

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Written in response to FPQ # 168, hosted by Fandango

#Keepitalive

#FPQ

79 thoughts on “Hiding one’s identity

  1. agreed. It’s not just politics, Anybody who disagrees with something could choose to take it further.
    Worst case I heard was a woman, blogged erotica, of all things, under her real name in the US. Somebody sent (USPS) her Google Maps images of her house. That’s too close for comfort.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think a lot of nasty behavior comes from being anonymous online. I know when I was on the board of directors of my kids swim team, people would be nice to me and then rant at me in emails. They weren’t anonymous but being not in person they felt the freedom to let loose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For the whole of the 17 years I’ve been blogging my life’s remained an open book. The person I write about is the person I am. Your comments have made you part of my everyday life, yet I know little about you. Interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally agree.. I wanted to protect myself too. And there is so much comfort in anonymity. You can be your true self when you don’t fear beijng judged by people you know. I could never share my true inner feelings if I knew the person reading this is going to meet me soon and judge me for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Our writing reveals so much about us except our name or where we reside.
    I think blogging friends may know more about us than neighbors or even relatives.
    We may follow many but eventually know who we are comfortable commenting/speaking with.

    You, Sadje are one of the friendliest and most positive people I know. And very caring too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you are right. I have had a few spammers and a couple of spammers masquerading as your random commenter. But their true nature reveals itself and you can see what kind of person they are, pseudonym or no pseudonym.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have no problem with people not using their real names when blogging. Cyberspace is wide open and it is wise to do what you can to keep safe. If that means having some anonymity it’s fine with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It seems some feel when they are behind a computer screen it’s easier to bully. I stay away from volatile discussions especially online. Blogs that are political and posts that discuss politics and/or politicians are not my cup of tea and I won’t read them. I even stopped following a few of them that got into the political arena.

    I use my middle name as my online identity. I prefer not to write about myself and my life thus my preference in writing poetry. Even my poetry doesn’t reflect much about me personally.

    I have no problem with someone not using their real name and not necessarily because they feel they can express their opinions but because it’s safer.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I prefer being anonymous here … i created this account to express freely without being judged by people who know me … and I really enjoy the company of my fellow readers here .. I cherish the friendships made 🙂 thanks for sharing your views Sadje 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for posting such a sensitive topic. It always comes to mind, especially when l started noticing some of my followers are actually people very closer to me: neighbors and colleagues at work. They take different names in disguise to be posting to my site just to hurt me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, l mean just created sites. Some create it within an hour and are able to post to my blog while l don’t follow even follow them. It’s like they know me, as Eunice in real life but l don’t know them. I’m thinking of rebranding my …

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That is something that people shouldn’t do. Online identity can be kept secret but no one should be hurt in the process. Thanks for sharing

      Like

    3. That is sad. I’ve experienced this only twice in many years of blogging: it’s not common on WordPress, I think. Luckily it was simple to delete their comments and they didn’t persist. I hope it’s not an ongoing issue for you?

      Like

  11. I blog anonymously mainly to protect others. My ex-husband who was an alcoholic and my daughter who doesn’t need to know how lost I truly get sometimes. There is definitely a security in being anonymous that give you more freedom to be honest, but not to the point of being evil.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. In your article and the comments are several wise reasons for remaining anonymous. I understand more about this now. It’s an individual choice, after all, and depends on one’s situation, and priorities, and topic. Sadje, you prove daily that anonymity doesn’t stop you coming across as a living, breathing individual, and a kind, fun virtual friend. Perhaps anonymity even enables that : no need to be wary!

    Liked by 1 person

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