Sunday, April 29, 2007

Anonymity: bad for bloggers, good for blogger-smearers

Atrios quotes the SF Chronicle:

But one key state Democratic strategist, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of concern for riling the netroots crowd, warns that such efforts are potentially positive and negative.

Netroots commentary can frequently be intensely personal, even "totally mean and irrational," the strategist said, with some bloggers finding power in their ability "to assassinate political characters online."

"It's amplified by the anonymity, and it can be scary that it's so irresponsible," the insider said. "And it's pulling the mainstream media in that direction."

There you have it: Anonymity supposedly amplifies the "totally mean and irrational" parts of the blogosphere. But this reporter (one Carla Marinucci) is willing to grant this "key state Democratic strategist" anonymity so that this strategist can...launch a "mean and irrational" smear against bloggers in general.

This has been a general refrain of the mainstream media and political pundits: Demanding that bloggers be held to standards that they themselves do not adhere to. We are not impressed.


Blogger Anthony said...

They must have taken a play out of the Singapore government's playbook. This was the raging issue just a year back.

And Singapore had admitted to using anonymous pro-government surfers to "balance out the views on the blogosphere" a little recently.

Hilarity ensues.

6:44 PM, April 29, 2007  
Blogger Zachary Drake said...

Thanks for that tidbit, Anthony. I didn't know about this. Authority structures everywhere don't like us bloggers, it seems.

I think in this age of communication, all "information priesthoods" are in big trouble. In this category I include pundits, real estate agents, stock brokers, and anyone else who bases their living on having access to "special" information.

10:08 PM, April 29, 2007  
Anonymous Mad Latinist said...

Academics (to a lesser extent)

11:56 PM, April 29, 2007  
Blogger Anthony said...

Actually, I think it's authoritarian structures, not necesarily authority structures.

The dichotomy between MSM and blogging is a lot worse in Singapore where the press is controlled and the equivalent of the 1st amendment being virtually non-existant.

10:32 AM, April 30, 2007  

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