Attacks on Anonymity

in FreeSpeech3 months ago (edited)


"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."

Thomas Sowell

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Whenever political tensions rise and crises emerge today, there are renewed calls for social media to be tied to your government ID and an elimination of anonymity.

...[E]very person on social media should be verified, by their name. That’s, first of all, it’s a national security threat. When you do that, all of a sudden, people have to stand by what they say. And it gets rid of the Russian bots, the Iranian bots and the Chinese bots. And then you’re going to get some civility when people know their name is next to what they say, and they know their pastor and their family members are going to see it.
— Nikki Haley

Don't worry, these politicians certainly won't use what you write or say against you. It's just conspiracy theory kooks warning about social credit scores and an all-pervading surveillance state! This is just to promote civility.

Bullshit. Appeal to security is one of the favorite political excuses for violating liberty. The result is neither liberty nor security, every single time. This goes back to the 18th century when printers and writers faced punishment for heresy or treason if they shared unapproved ideas. Even here on HIVE, people who challenge the actions of big accounts through a sock puppet are accused of malfeasance merely because of anonymity by people who refuse to engage with the accusations. This kind of deflection is cowardly, and suggests there may be some truth to the accusation when the claims themselves are avoided so blatantly.

Anonymity should allow honest people to discuss issues without personality conflicts instead. Dissent is dangerous to authoritarians, not to free people. Anonymity is the shield for those expressing an unpopular minority view or speaking out against abuse and illegitimate authority. It undermines power, and that is exactly why it is essential. Reformers, revolutionaries, and rebels cannot speak openly when there is a threat of punishment for divergence from the index card of allowable opinion, and that is exactly why people like Haley hate anonymity. Only those who already feel a sense of social security have the privilege of speaking openly.

Just look what happened to COVID dissenters who questioned the WHO, CDC, and other alphabet soup agencies. Consider how quickly people are doxxed and targeted for destruction should they anger the wrong activist groups. Remember also that the loudest voices against slavery or empire have often needed to write under pseudonyms. "You should stand behind what you say," insist the people who want to hurt others for saying things they dislike.

Do you really feel comfortable in the growing police state panopticon? Have you ever wanted to question the status quo in any respect whatsoever, but felt shamed into silence? Next time someone demands to know the individual behind the avatar, ask why they can't address the argument itself directly. Even when there is no desire to coerce and control, complaints about anonymity are usually just an ad hominem or a red herring. Don't fall for these fallacies, and don't commit them.

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Image by TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay

See also: Free Speech Absolutism

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You can always predict a censorious shit-heel by how much they crow about "civility" or even more ironically "integrity." I was always told that "integrity" is a synonym for "honesty," but that is clearly not the case. No-one, and I do mean no-one who uses that word uses it to mean "honesty," though they act as if we all believe it anyway.

If you can get fired from your job for having an opinion, you must have a really fucked-up opinion. I don't need to worry about consequences because I speak with integrity and I'm not a talking scumbag. - Scott Heil (what a fitting surname for the skinhead who got me kicked off LinkedIn!)

Always remember: there is no polite way to point out that someone is a liar. Regardless of how cordial you are in your delivery, your interlocutor will always act as if you had just made an expletive about their mother. I am indeed speaking from experience.

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

Maybe not, but we can certainly tell if you have fleas.


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I sent 1.0 HUG on behalf of @zakludick.


$PIZZA slices delivered:
@zakludick(2/5) tipped @jacobtothe

Well, I feel some people with the loudest voices may sometimes get implicated
Well, it is good to always voice out. We cannot be silent forever