By lex, on October 13th, 2010
So, persistent readers will remember that some months back your humble scribe was approached by a member of the mainstream media looking to investigate the phenomenon of pseudonymous and anonymous blogging. To report on it, like.
If that article ever got published, I never got wind of it. For I’m a little bit afraid that I could not support the theme he was wishing to frame. Being that I don’t much believe in the potential of real anonymity on the web, discerning the identity of a blogger being but a trivial thing for those with even a moderate degree of technological acumen and the proper degree of obsessive/compulsive tenacity. Not to mention that the title bar logos are as much as a bread crumb trail to them such as knows, and of a certain age.
Which anyway, your host adopted his moniker on a whim whilst still on active duty and clad his identity in only a gossamer weave of inconspicuousness. The idea being that while there wasn’t much could be done to a terminal grade captain who knew how to stay just within the buoys, there was no sense burdening his respected seniors with any class of responsibility for these his fissiparous scribblings: Plausible deniability, and so on.
But only barely.
Still: It came as something of a surprise to get an SMS text message from Son Number One, now preparing hisself for his first familiarization flight in the mighty T-34C Turbo Mentor at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. Which he was picking up a flight suit and mentioned his (our) last name, whereupon his interlocutor asked if his father was y-clept by my very own first name.
Placing this all in perspective, the younker was an ensign and an occasional reader, which means that he had not yet been commissioned when your host was already retired from active service. And yet he knew my Actual IRL Name.
So, with respect to online anonymity: Quod erat demonstrandum.
Update: To further the point –
Microsoft and Facebook are partnering on Bing, folding in information from 500 million Facebookers into Microsoft’s search engine — but claiming they’ll respect your privacy.
The companies rolled out a feature Wednesday that will search through your Facebook contacts’ Likes and fire recommendations into Bing trawled from your peeps’ Facebook posts to supplement Bing searches.
Also, Bing will slurp your friends’ profiles to help Bing users when they’re searching for specific individuals — contacts, long-lost school friends — or just Googling Binging around on a wet Friday afternoon waiting for the clock to run down. Returns in both cases are pulled into the Bing results page using a Facebook module for Bing.
All your everything will belong to everybody.