Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Monday, February 23, 2004

Anonymity is a virtue in this day and age

Let me start off by telling you my favourite cricket anecdote (and this is absolutely true).

Durham CC are in an Italian restaurant placing their orders. Ian Botham, holding court as usual, announces "and I'll have some of that cheese - dolecetti". Simon Hughes says "no, that's dolcelatti". Botham "That's what I said, dolecetti". Hughes "No Both, it's dolcelatti".

At this point Botham throws the menu onto the table, leans forward, glares at Hughes menacingly and says "Oh yeah ? And how many f**king test wickets have you got then ?"

This is an extreme example but it demonstrates the point I'm trying to make. It doesn't matter who you are, what you say either stands or falls on its own merit. On an Internet forum, it doesn't matter if someone posts under their full name, address, email, picture and details of where to find them or whether they post under Ebenezer Joe McNulty IV, Emperor of the Moon. What they say is either right or wrong, fair or unfair, valid or invalid. You only need to know who someone is if you want to suck up to them or attack them. I have been guilty of being overly sensitive about anonymous posts in the past. This was wrong. I think there's nothing wrong with posting anonymously, and a lot of the time if you're anonymous then that precludes people from attacking you rather than addressing the issues (although some still try, which can be very amusing watching them swing wild haymakers like a blind drunk in a barroom brawl).

I know people who have innumerable forum aliases, and why not. On a forum it's what you say, not who you are (and in real life it's what you do). So in an open appeal to the Hendon Mob (or their moderator), don't enforce registration - you'll kill the forum dead if you do.

PS A free licence for the first person who can place the quote "Anonymity is a virtue in this day and age" !

[9/7/04 Note : no one did. It's a lyric from "Here come the b@stards" by nerd-rockers Primus]


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