Sound Journalism, Anonymous Blogging March 14, 2009Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
Blogging is a practice and process in which rationale, uses and content change over time. Because of its potential and challenges, there are many reasons to publish a blog or Website anonymously or pseudonymously.
The first is to protect oneself from retaliation by those who do not like what you write. Of course, using your real name promotes transparency and credibility since readers tend to discount material published anonymously.
It is a misconception that you can act with impunity when you post anonymously or pseudonymously. Anonymity will not prevent a lawsuit against you or someone using court procedures to obtain your identity from your Internet service provider or web host.
There are technical means to disguise your IP address. Anonymous Blogging guide with WordPress & Tor is an excellent guide by Global Voices Advocacy showing methods of protecting one’s identity to avoid retaliation. These strategies can reduce the risks that bloggers” identity will be linked to their online writings through technical means.
It’s never too late to apply journalistic standards in the content you publish. Principles like accuracy, thoroughness, fairness, transparency, and independence guide good journalistic practice. Complying with these, while not fool-proof, will help minimize exposure to legal liability.
The Knight Citizen News Network offers excellent fundamentals of the craft to equip citizen journalists in a networked age. For more on these principles and multi-media features, see Knight Citizen News Network’s Principles of Citizen Journalism.