Anonymity and Authorship

In a recent post I criticized anonymity in the manosphere. Those who refuse to share their names online are cowards. People who take controversial stances, but don’t put their name behind it, are not leaders. They have no skin in the game. There is a group of people who do have skin in the game: published (book, magazine, etc.) authors.

If you examine the blogroll of various bloggers, like Dalrock, you see something curious. Non-anonymous persons are almost always published authors. This includes Adam Piggott, Rollo Tomassi, Robert Stacy McCain, and various published authors on Fabius Maximus. People who have things to sell are not anonymous. People who don’t are anonymous. There are very few exceptions.

In the late 90s and early aughts, I had a non-anonymous website and my resume was public. When I joined Wikipedia, I used a handle, but I didn’t hide who I was. When I started publishing my photos, I used my full name along with the licensing and copyright information. So while I’ve published under my name, I was also not anonymous prior to publishing.

What does this show?

People are pretty predictable. Those without skin in the game generally take the path of least resistance and remain anonymous.

Avoiding anonymity isn’t without its risks, but the dangers are likely overstated. This is visible in the authors publishing for profit. They don’t seem to be operating under great fear of their opinions being made known. These authors put their viewpoints in print and then stand by them by using their name. This is leadership by example.

I doubt that all of these authors are making their livings selling books. I make a tiny amount of money selling photos, but nothing worth sacrificing anonymity over.

Anonymity is a lie. The consequence of anonymity is a degradation of self because it is a lie. Lying is always a sin. Sin leads to defilement. This is one reason why the internet is so toxic and dirtyTo wit:

“…whatever the probable risk-benefit pragmatics; hiding behind anonymity while firing-off judgement is corrupting for the soul; as is made obvious on a daily basis.”

Have you ever anonymously said something critical and judgmental to someone online that you wouldn’t say to a co-worker, family member, someone at church, or a police officer? If so, you can easily see how the shield of anonymity corrupts you.

When truth was at stake, Jesus never backed down or softened his words to avoid conflict. His words were biting and cut to the heart. Sure he didn’t stick around when the crowd threatened him, but neither did he put his life before his message. He showed true leadership. Jesus’ followers stood by their names as well. Churches were built upon the teachings of those who were named.

Do you want to go online and criticize someone? Do it in your own name.

It shouldn’t take selling something to shed anonymity. It shouldn’t matter whether you are writing a book and selling it or merely running a not-for-profit blog. If you’re “merely” a blog author, anonymity should still be cast aside.

4 Comments

  1. Lexetblog

    That is easy to say if you are not in a profession where you would be fired instantly, and your career destroyed, for saying anything remotely anti-pc. And I say that as someone who works in a politically conservative environment. Leftism is everywhere, and people live in fear, and will throw their best friends under the bus to avoid 5 minutes of fake scrutiny by people who dont matter.

    1. Derek Ramsey

      Lexet,

      It is not easy. My actions online have had meatspace consequences.

      I don’t have a split self. I’m real. I’m not a lie. I say the same things online and offline. I left my United Methodist church of years because it was hostile towards fathers and supporting liberalized sexuality behind the pulpit.

      “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16 [NIV])

      My posts on authority are not really for non-Christians. Following Jesus has consequences. If there is something I would only say anonymously in defense of my faith, then I am ashamed. Sure, not all I say is a defense of Christianity and some is my sole opinion (i.e. politics). Nevertheless, I won’t hide behind anonymity. I won’t cower in shame, fearful that I might be revealed. If Christ is not living through me online, then do I not deserve the criticism I receive? If I am persecuted unfairly, then that’s the promised and expected cost of being a Christian. Does my real life pastor get the privileged of anonymity when he stands up and declares unpopular views? No. Why should I?

      Privacy of others is a (the only?) legitimate reason for anonymity, but I don’t share anything truly sensitive and private on this blog.

      Derek

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