I have twice recently had to ask someone commenting on one of my posts to identify him or herself – and, over the past six years, the most trouble I have had as a blogger has come from people who have refused to divulge either who they are or their real names.
Now, I totally understand the need to blog anonymously, or, indeed, to adopt a pseudonym for safety’s sake – and I have every sympathy for those who need to do so because they have come from a background of abuse.
However, there is something insidious about those who choose to nip onto a writer’s site, leave a comment which is, in some way, personal or slighting or provides information an anonymous commentator should not have access to – but who also want to both own and eat the ‘cake’ of the mask, the security of anonymity, the tease.
It is intimidating and unnecessary.
When I respond to comments, I never know whether the name you use is truly yours or not; I have to take it on trust that you are who you claim to be – and that, if you have chosen to hide your true identity, there is a good reason for this.
If you know me well enough to provide private information, and yet refuse to divulge who you actually are, this, to me, smacks of game-playing and an unfair division of power.
I will shoot this warning across the bows – openly, because I am open, and clearly so that everyone gets it: If I ask you to identify yourself, you have already played unfairly; if you refuse to comply, I will treat your comment as Spam and send it straight to the bin.
Similarly, I have the right, as the owner of this blog, to decide – often on gut instinct – whether something feels okay (and most do) or off, and to take whatever action I deem necessary.
Frankly, if you know me, you have no business hiding behind an anonymous label anyway.
Enough said, methinks…