Paxtonvic’s Blog

Just another weblog

Should bloggers be anonymous?

Interesting article again in the Times June 18th about whether bloggers should be allowed to be anonymous, I had never really thought about that – assuming bloggers tended to let the world know who they are. But of course thats not always the  case.

The Times reported the case of a police officer, Mr Horton, who had operated behind a ” cloak of anonymity” with his” Night-Jack “blog, giving  a behind-the-scenes insight into front line policing along with strong views on political issues. He was attracting  half a million readers a week. ( I’m not in that league yet and wouldnt want to be!!)

In the first case dealing with the privacy of internet bloggers, the judge ruled that Mr Horton had ” no reasonable expectation” to anonymity because “blogging is  essentially a public rather than a private activity”.

The officer had argued that his identity should not be exposed because if it were, it could put him at risk of disciplinary action – but the judge criticised that argument. Seems that there was information going on the blog which was  about real life prosecutions of a very sensitive nature…

Mr Horton writes in the Times ” My blog is gone now, deleted, slowly melting away post by post as it drops off the edge of the Google cache. My family life has changed in ways that they did not want, and that is down to me”

So, an issue about whether bloggers should be allowed to remain private  (would that apply to tweeters as well?)  and also how use of the internet can be used for the good – or ill- of society. Its been fascinating to read and hear how  Iranian dissenters  have been using Twitter to  communicate and co-ordinate their actions.

Day off – so time to get the garden even more ready for its showing on Sunday…

June 19, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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