Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Does the right to say what we think still apply when we do it anonymously?

Oh dear. It seems I’ve let the side down.

A number of people, on this blog and elsewhere, appeared to like what I wrote about the Molesworth St protesters challenging the woke Left’s long-standing stranglehold on what these days is called public discourse.

But then they got to the footnote in which I said I neither whole-heartedly supported nor opposed the protesters, and at that point I lost them. It seems that if you’re not 100 percent behind Camp Freedom, you’re part of the conspiracy against them. How sad (and I don’t mean that ironically, as in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum).

Of course this is nothing new. It’s a familiar, if perverse, quirk of human nature.

I get along fine with old friends with whom I’m almost totally at odds politically. The people whose friendship is sometimes less dependable are those who, because we share the same opinions on most issues, develop the irrational expectation that we’ll agree all the time, and who behave as if it’s an act of betrayal when I don’t fall into line with their thinking.  To put it another way, their approval is conditional on me agreeing with them on just about everything.

The urge to pick fights with people who are basically on the same side is well documented. If reports are to be believed, it has happened – quite literally – at the Molesworth St encampment.

Countless political organisations have fallen apart because people who were passionately committed to the same causes fell out bitterly over what often seemed like relatively minor ideological sticking points. That’s the principal reason the far Left in New Zealand has historically been so ineffectual (that is, until the 2020 election, when they sneaked under the radar). They were so busy disembowelling each other that they lost sight of the common enemy. The deep schism that split New Zealand communists into pro-China and pro-Soviet camps was a case in point.

G K Chesterton called it the Irish disease. According to Chesterton, “This consists of the ability to find yourself 99 per cent in agreement with someone and then focus with ferocious, unforgiving intensity on the other one per cent.”

But of course it’s not confined to the Irish. I don’t believe the people having a whack at me all have Gaelic surnames.

The peevish tone of some comments in recent weeks (not all of them published) illustrates a wider phenomenon. The tone of public debate, as many commentators have noted, has become volatile and intolerant. The mood of the country is brittle and feverish. People are splitting into tribal camps. A woman I know who works in a local retail business told me yesterday of confrontations with aggressive men making irrational demands. This is not normal.

Some of this unpleasantness can be blamed on social tensions created, or at least brought to the surface, by Covid-19.  But it can also be attributed to government policies that are driving a wedge through what has historically been, at least by international standards, an admirably harmonious society. Some days New Zealand feels more like the Balkans.

Some of the comments rebuking me for not taking an emphatic position in support of the Molesworth St protest were polite and considered. Others were snarly and sneering. Some commenters write as if I have some sort of obligation always to faithfully reflect their views, and when I don’t I’ve somehow failed them. But if people expect me to confine myself to opinions that they happen to share, they’re reading the wrong blog. Whatever happened to the notion that a pluralistic, liberal democracy allows us to express honestly held opinions, regardless of whether others agree? When did we split into absolutist camps, intolerant of any deviation?

Now, another thing. A good friend and regular reader of this blog – one who certainly doesn’t share all my views – asked me recently why I permit anonymous opinions. I’m starting to wonder the same thing.

I admit one reason I'm having second thoughts is that it irritates me when people snipe at me from the cover of anonymity. They know who I am; my identity is out there for anyone to see. Why should they be able to have a whack at me, on my blog, without identifying themselves?

But there are other good reasons for reconsidering my tolerance of anonymity. For one thing, I’ve always believed that if a view is worth expressing, it’s worth putting your name to. There are occasions when people have valid reasons for withholding their identity (for example, when disclosing sensitive personal information), but they’re rare.

For another, it’s important that people on the conservative side of politics should have enough confidence in their convictions to declare themselves boldly. I sometimes wonder whether they’re intimidated by the overwhelming weight of left-wing opinion out there in the public arena, and particularly in the mainstream media. But the Left wins the moral battle by default when they are prepared to stand up in public and the Right isn’t.  It’s like a rugby match where the opposing side hasn’t shown up. We live in a free society and we should take full advantage of it.

Thirdly, I believe the quality of comment improves when people have to put their names to it. That was borne out when newspapers began insisting on letters to the editor being signed and accompanied by a verifiable address rather than written using a nom-de-plume. Most papers adopted that rule decades ago and it seems odd that blogs don’t do the same.

People are less likely to express extreme, petty, abusive or defamatory opinions when they have to sign them. Admittedly, I have no way of verifying that commenters are who they say they are; it would largely be on trust. Nonetheless I believe a requirement that people identify themselves would reduce the risk of the right to comment being abused.

Having said that, I don’t want to deter people from commenting and I certainly don’t intend to stifle comments critical of me. The comments section is a crucial component of this blog and I greatly value readers’ contributions, which are often thoughtful, provocative and erudite. In fact I’ll stick my neck out and say that I sometimes think there’s more value in the comments than in the blog posts that trigger them. I’m very grateful to the people who take the trouble to comment and I especially thank those who write under their own names.

In the spirit of participatory democracy, since I regard readers and commenters as having a stake in this blog, I welcome input before I make any change.






Ken said...

Fair call Karl. If I put my name on the comment is that ok? I haven't worked out how to edit from Ken to Ken Maclaren.
Ken Maclaren

Karl du Fresne said...

Thank you Ken for getting the ball rolling so promptly, and I'm sorry the system isn't more user-friendly. It sometimes defeats me too.

Max Ritchie said...

The problem is that if you use your name you open yourself up to abuse. I used to post under my name on another blog but I got a highly personal shellacking. Since my address is also easy to access I’ve stopped offering anything controversial unless I can use a nom de plume. Perhaps edit posts? Don’t allow those that are not courteous?

gjsharpe57 said...

I agree with all you say about this Karl. Graham Sharpe.

Unknown said...


It is (of course), your blog and your policy decisions on how to run it. I very rarely comment, but it is a 'must read' for me whenever a new post comes up. When I do comment, I use a pseudonym; one that is consistent across the corners of the blogosphere that I frequent. I make an effort to keep my comments polite and respectful. It's not just because I'm in your house, but also because it's my nature and I also enjoy respectful conversations. I like to see things from other sides, and when people shout and abuse others, I turn off and ignore them. I.e. I try to approach things with an open mind, and I implicitly give people the opportunity to convince me of their perspective. I am, unfortunately, unsurprised that people think that being abusive and rude is an effective influencing strategy.

This goes in part to why I prefer a pseudonym. If someone feels that it is acceptable to insult and be rude in another person's house (i.e. your blog), then I will assume that they'd have no problem with taking that incivility elsewhere (eg. seeking to get those whom they disagree with fired etc, if they could uncover the employer). Yes, I'm probably being hysterical, and yes, I appreciate that if I am being civil, then I shouldn't be the target.

One suggestion (and forgive me, I don't know if Blogger supports this): Mr Farrar at Kiwiblog allows people using their real names to post comments without going through moderation. He also allows people using pseudonyms the same privilege, provided that they have demonstrated a willingness to engage politely. Of course, he also has a team of moderators helping to lesson the burden.

Ray said...

If you are not prepared to put your name under a comment then is it worth peoples time reading it?
The rather excellent ODT has long insisted on this except for a long running* weekly column by "Civis".
Consequently it seems to be written by one of the ex Labour Cabinet ministers who abound in Dunedin, it certainly is written by someone who is a strong Labour supporter who lives on high in an ivory tower.
Not your typical Otago reader.
*At least 100 years.

Phil said...

The trouble is we are in a battle where engaging with the Left where you can open yourself to being publicly labelled a racist, a nazis, or far right etc This just for asking questions about He Puapua.I read the Michael Bassett blog the other day and was surprised by the vitriol he received for pointing out a negative aspect about the protest.

pdm said...

Happy to do it either way Karl - after all you have known who I am virtually from day one.

Might uncover some old school mates previously in the pseudonym category. lol.


Owen said...

I'd agree but in the present climate people expressing their opinion may lead to them losing their job, so I'd suggest a system that allows anonymous comments subject to your agreement.

hughvane said...

I use the same internet name (= pseudonym) on a number of websites, but occasionally, if I feel confident it will not be abused, I sign off using a correct name, which is in the first four letters of my pseudonym. Since I do not post abusive material, I don't mind either way with whatever decision you arrive at, Karl.

Neil Keating said...


I hope you decide to insist on names. Then we might get more honesty / frankness.

New Zealanders are a weird mob: we want to be seen/heard as 'nice' and polite. But this often is at the expense of frankness.

Hence the ghastly overuse of 'please'; eg 'please adjust your clothing before leaving the toilet'. Or 'thank you very VERY much', ie John Campbell speaking to his reporters on TV.

Just say your piece, courteously, then sign your name.

Neil Keating.

Madame Blavatsky said...

As I discussed the other day with Mister Blavatsky, it is the content of the comment that matters, much more so than the identity of commenter (absent defamation and the like). If the aim is truly seeing what people really think in a largely unconstrained forum, and assessing what is said independent of its source, then anonymity is the best approach (if the commenter wishes to remain anonymous). While we like to pretend we live in an open pluralist society, we live in an age when challenging the liberal orthodoxy can have material consequences: the ideas are what matter, and "problematic" alternative views would certainly be less likely to be promulgated where open displays of disloyalty to The Party view could see one sentenced to a spell in Social Siberia.

On the theme of content being king, imagine, for instance if Jacinda Ardern was assessed solely on her policy content, totally absent any ancilliary distractions and personality or identity considerations: she certainly wouldn't be Prime Minister, I'd imagine.

Brendan McNeill said...


After being in business for many years, long before the Internet was a ‘thing’ it was clear to me that people, often customers, felt free to say things to you over the phone they would never have said face to face. There is something about anonymity, perceived or real that lowers the threshold of civility and decency in many people.

I have always put my name to blog posts and/or comments because convictions that you are not prepared to own personally, are no convictions at all. Perhaps being self employed for most of my working life made owning my convictions easier. I imagine some employers might be shocked or offended if they discovered one of their staff expressing views that were not congruent with their own. That said, they must live a very sheltered life if they believed everyone thought like them.

My instinct would be to insist on full names, but it it is pretty easy to set up a fake blogger profile, and disguise your identity that way. Of course we are only anonymous to each other. Big tech, and big Government knows exactly who we are, our political predispositions, our habits and our hobbies, our friends and our acquaintances.

You are one of the few people in New Zealand whose insights and reflections are worth reading. I’m pleased you continue to publish. All the very best.

Anna Mouse said...

If I comment it is always to agree.

If I disagree I will not comment.

In agreement I see it as a sign of respect and to add to the discourse.

If I disagree I am usually not going to change my mind (or others) so I stay closed mouthed and carry on.

In other blogs of course there are huge disgreements, which require massive moderation.

I see your blog Karl, as the adults room where I can agree or not but not to show disrepect to your thinking that may be different to mine in some probably minor way.

Russell Parkinson said...

To be honest I thought the words "this blog does not allow anonymous comments" written in fairly large type below the comments box applied and I wondered how some got through without their name being displayed.

And you are quite correct its very important that we have friends and colleagues with differing views or how else are we going understand others views and perhaps even change our own minds.

Orinoco Jones said...

I can understand the irritation but wanting to be anonymous is understandable too. There is sophisticated software that can scour the internet and put together a full profile of someone based on a name or an email address and sell it to the highest bidder. Public comments are also used by employers and educational institutions to screen employees. For example people applying for work in the civil service or local government, or hoping to pass teachers college, have to hide any heretical political opinions. If you have any kind of public profile the media will also uncover comments and vilify you for any conservative views. And, of course, we have "cancel culture" where the usual lefties take comments out of context and claim that anyone who disagrees with them is a right-wing extremist and should be cast out of society. It's important to have places where anonymous discussion is possible.

Doug Longmire said...

Very pertinent comment Karl.
Personally, I am puzzled as to why the majority of bloggers either use pseudonyms or are anonymous in some other way.
My opinion is that if it's good enough to comment, it's good enough to be identified.
The reasoning behind my opinion is that hiding behind a false name is simply a coward's action. Why are they so scared ?
My comments are clear and I am identifiable. If anyone disagrees with my opinions - fair enough. But why should I hide?
Nuff said.

David McLoughlin said...

It's long troubled me that my name only comes up as "David" when I post here. My actual Google account has my name and even my photo, David McLoughlin.

I just checked my Google account and it is as I describe. So I have signed out, and will sign back in, and see if I come up as the full me with this comment.

Kia kaha everyone.

Odysseus said...

We live in a small country with few degrees of separation under an increasingly divisive and vindictive government. Those who may have worked in government in the past and who are known to many people from that role may be more inhibited in their comments on government policies and performance if they cannot use a pseudonym.

alloy said...

In a perfect world putting my real name to my comments would not in result in stalking from disturbed individuals, potential doxing and attempted cancelled. Yes it has happened.

On the other hand there is also the value of long used pseudonym, the sort that after two decades develop a reputation in and of themselves, which is worth protecting and defending and has a voice which is hard to imagine not using.

There is a long history of well known people corresponding and publishing under well known (perhaps even better known) alias's.

I'm certainly not adverse to suppling my other name to my host when publishing under a nom de plume. All he need do is ask.

hughvane said...

I've said my piece about this particular topic earlier, but having read what others have to say, I feel compelled to ask why - abusive, disparaging and vitriolic material aside - you tend not to publish opinions or comments that are in opposition to what you have to say, Karl. it would serve to identify those with whom we are, by-and-large, at odds.

Karl du Fresne said...

It's rare for me not to publish a submitted comment and rarer still for me not to publish one simply because the commenter disagreed with me. It says something for commenters on this blog that abusive and vitriolic comments are almost unheard of.

oneblokesview said...

One of the things that I have noticed with people using their own names is that often(not always) comments make assumptions about you.

On a leftie blog/Group. I use a very European name. I get the pale stale old man retorts.
These dont occur when I use a common Maori Name.

The reverse is true when dealing with the "right""

A middle ground would be someone "registering"" a Pen name after having confirmed a real identity with the blog owner.

Odysseus said...

Picking up on alloy's suggestion, I would be happy to provide my full details to you as host of this excellent blog. And I have to admit I am attached to my pseudonym; Odysseus has been my hero and my mentor since I first read a young adults' version of the Odyssey of Homer more than sixty years ago and thereafter studied Ancient Greek language and literature at university.

Karl du Fresne said...

To clarify what I said a few moments ago, what you see in the published comments is pretty much what I get.

R Singers said...

“Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.”
John Stuart Mill

Turn off anonymous commenting. It's the provenance for cowards and frauds.

Andy Espersen said...

Why not get the best of both worlds - if you can(??). Couldn't you and Google somehow design your blog so that you, owner and moderator, are able to keep author's name confidential to yourself if he/she shows you good reason why - and if it is stated clearly along with the published comment??

Wasn't that how newspaper editors eventually solved the situation as regards readers' letters?

If Google cannot accommodate you here, perhaps some other outfit can.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Karl, because of my name I'm often accused of hiding behind a pseudonym and when I challenge
those who attempt to denigrate me from behind their veil of anonymity, I'm scoffed at. Damned if I do and .........!

Several years ago I attempted to get a FaceBook account and was informed they already had a Mark Wahlberg and it wasn't me. They suggested I adopt another name. I tried that and consequently I was often accused of being someone hiding behind a "pseudonym." Generally speaking, I only use my sobriquet when I'm commenting on local council issues and because they know who it is, I'm usually ignored.

Doug Longmire said...

I just ask again - what are Kiwi citizens expressing their views, frightened of ?
Why hide under a false name ?
I honestly just do not get it.

Hilary Taylor said...

Sorry you've had unpleasant replies...and you're right, the times is febrile. I admit It suits me to support this occupation largely on the basis of it's about time there was some pushback from Kiwis to this government. I hate the sycophantic fandom of the PM and the facebook-level politics that goes with it.
YOur blog, as others have said, is a lifeline.

Geoff Bye said...

One of the best blogs around Karl.
Agree with everything you've said....however some comments may on occasion be career ending...however honest/truthful the content.
Not always straight forward.

Geoff Bye

Jacqueline said...

Mr Longmire, sometimes for reasons - which is a pity all the same, I agree.

Dear Karl,
I view this as the gentleman's blog! It's lovely.

I assumed you would have my full name via my email address going through the system?
My identity needs at least a little buffer, as I have a difficult testimony (and now different ideas) Church wise, and church people don't like that. On another blog, as a rookie a few years ago, I was attacked mercilessly, and censored too while abusers were permitted full rein.

It's unfair that you suffered for your personal neutral stance regarding the protest. I thought it was good.

My suggestion regarding unsavoury comments would be to consider letting such run unhindered. It seems you have enough gentle people handy for peer moderation, and this could be a blessing to those who are struggling (that is, allow angry (hurt) people to mouth off in a safe environment). I think this would be a great service to New Zealand - helping people through to their own healthy expression. Illegal comments could be alerted to you by commenters? If you wanted to take a break from a free for all, you could simply close off comments and let your post stand alone or with just a few comments. When people rant or get repetitive, it's easily ignored by the majority and there may be some soul in there who has a helpful timely word. The best regulars will always get read. By clear heads' examples, newcomers would learn to stay on track with your topic.

When I was on the other blog, I perceived that there were actors in there for getting Kiwis angry with each other. Some may mock me for that suggestion, but it's an idea which stuck. Clearly, there are a few potential dangers for you to consider for the future of yours.

Your blog could become a demanding baby for a time, but I think it would be a pity to curb your fine journalistic skills. The whole thing might get used in journalism schools, or even high school English and History classes further down the track! (The most difficult infants often grow up to be wonderful productive adults.)

Wouldn't it be nice if this headlong fall into societal deep unhappiness and fear and division were soon to be history?

Some Kiwis are fighting peaceably hard, and it's precarious. This is no time for individuals to be easily offended or discouraged or 'triggered', or (dare I say it?) -- self righteous. As a society, we need to move on from passive aggressiveness. CP (Covid19 Politics) has undeniably shown us up for what we are - terribly vulnerable.

I would appreciate your blog continuing however you think best; I would keep reading if you continued in the status quo with or without full identities and even if I were excluded. I like commenters who correct spelling and grammar too! Pseudonyms can be fun, although easily ill used.

I suggest that your blog could attract a bigger and more diverse audience and that would be good - possibly extremely helpful.

Sure, I am stating the obvious --- for the sake of the children.

Mr Longmire, if I were single I would by now have little problem with fully identifying myself and sharing my whereabouts, then you could come for a cuppa. It's just that mothers tend to have great responsibilities and an almost unbelievable multiplicity of considerations. If not for that, I'd be fighting fit for socking it to them full frontal. My husband would be delighted too. Not frightened - just harassed that's all - that group of abusers has stamina! The only antidote is cheekiness, and yes I would not be quite so cheeky if my full name was showing. I understand the protesters. If they must behave out of character, then at least they can step up their sense of humour. Long may it last, against evil provocations, which I wish were ended already.

So, long story short, in my opinion Karl could allow everybody to comment on his excellent posts. The Karl du Fresne blog could become a legend.

Scott said...

I'm keen not to use full names. People get cancelled, people can lose their jobs for wrong opinions. Think about Israel Falau.
So I'm in favour of anonymous opinions with light moderation.

rouppe said...

Something I've noticed over time is exactly that "either /or" notion developing.

If you imagine "supporting the protestors" as a point at one end of a line and "hating the supporters" a point at the opposite end, then people seem to think you can only be at one end or the other.

They forget all the possible positions along that line and can't understand someone who holds such a view.

It's intolerance, at the end of the day

Gary Peters said...

Thanks for the considerable time and effort you obviously put into this blog and I certainly welcome your insight tempered by experience and intelligence. Those two attributes have long since departed our MSM unfortunately.

I seldom comment but have always done so on your blog in the assumtion that my name and email were known to you.

Like you, I support most aspects of the protest and even the tinfoil nutters don't bother me much as all sectors of society have extremes, including among the 120 on the other side of the protest fence.

Your blog, your decision.



Simon Cohen said...

I believe if you can't comment under your own name why comment. I stopped reading or commenting on Bowalley Road because three very regular commentators always used pseudonyms.
Simon Cohen.

Unknown said...

The right to have a different point of view is critical in an open democracy. The Woke Left have worked fervently to undermine this principle and at this point are largely successful.
Your article on "Camp Freedom" was superbly written and I agreed with what you wrote.
I am in support of Camp Freedom but I also strongly support your right to have an alternate view.
Alan Dickson

Eamon Sloan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tinman said...

Karl, I'm late to the party.

When I first started with the internet chat-rooms were the thing and I created MT_Tinman for them (About 1997, I lived in Queenstown and have always been a fan of stories about the loud, little man getting his comeuppance).

I have used it for commenting around the blogs since, not always to hide behind although my work and businesses have always been with the public.

I continue to use it now, simply because when I do thinking people will recognise it, realise that a comment labelled from MT_Tinman is always unenlightening, unreadable rubbish and move on.

If I sign the comments Phil Blackwell they might be fooled into wasting their time.

Like the rest of my comments I doubt you'll take this into consideration when making your decision but I feel better having made them.

As an aside I value your blog and will continue reading it (and occasionally commenting) no matter which way you go.

Phil Blackwell (aka MT_Tinman)

Karl du Fresne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Cowards use pseudonyms or hide behind anonymity. There's nothing more to say about it ... except that I'm hoping you can shame Madame Blavatsky into revealing her or his true identity. I'm picking his.
- Bill Moore

Jacqueline said...

Been mulling this some more, surprise surprise. 
Hello Unknown - "cowards"? It's not difficult to figure why our brave and resilient (and/or seriously harmed) protesters might need anonymity, for example. In this context, easily, Kiwis can come to loggerheads - as she whom I have ceased naming 'cleverly' divided us. Which is what I was contemplating regarding Mr Sloan's experience of having a comment rejected once.
Even one rejection can hurt to the point of feeling like one's suffering cancellation and those feelings generally don't go away. Something lingers in the way of heightened emotions despite a person's best foot forward character wise. Nobody understands like the commenter all that goes into his contribution. 
Being cancelled could hurt immensely in this environment of strife and confusion. If it doesn't, then maybe some anonymous commenters can be guessed out as robots, or Freemasons, or (gulp) churchies, or even just confused mean people who would do well to write a letter of resignation to the church of their Sunday School days (or the church of their grandparents' Sunday School days). Seriously, try it - the fog may lift.
Contributing to a blog is both an honour and a risk. I'd love to be a blog housekeeper but that activity is not for me at this time. If it were though, my goal would be to help us walk away from self righteousness. God knows, (I think!) that tomorrow's children, and today's precious youth, deserve this in their elders.
Rejections by nature cause at least a little confusion and it all adds up in society. We need national healing.
"You in your small corner, and I in mine."
Considering this quite long thread, I think it was excellent that Karl expressed a neutral stance about the camp, at that time. It showed a willingness to consider contributors' views. It's like a benevolent big arm coming in to sort out the police pile of 'rubbish', dusting it down and returning people's belongings to them with a hug and a kind word to keep being themselves emotionally and practically.
On that other blog I suffered through, like a sucker for punishment, the mod came down hard on me when I got so triggered once that I tried to guess the identity of a fellow commenter who was harassing me. (It seemed to me he had jumped on solely for that purpose and it was hurting like crazy, with nowhere to run - again.)
What is fun for one sometimes is no game for another.
Mallard's evil won through again. We all need him to go.
My comments might seem a jumble to some, but it's helpful to me.

(very Scottish,but no one can tell if I can help it)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I'm probably one of the pseudonymous people that Simon Cohen left Bowalley Road for. No great loss IMO. We've exchanged a word or two about it. I've been commenting under the same pseudonym on numerous websites for years now and I'm not changing. It started out because I had an extreme right wing boss who would have made things difficult if he found out what my political opinions were. Now that I'm retired I just kept going. If you want to "cancel" me on this blog – which I've just discovered by the way – feel free. It's not the only blog in the world, and there are plenty that are willing to accept people with nyms. But if you do, please don't carry on like the normal right-wing bloggers and blag on about how the left has a monopoly on cancel culture.

Doug Longmire said...

I don't want to go on about this topic too much, but it seems simple to me:-
If it's good enough for Karl du Fresne, Muriel Newman, Peter Williams, Derek Mackie, Don Brash, etc, etc to post blogs and be clearly identified, then it's good enough for Doug Longmire and all other bloggers to follow suit.
Are anonymous bloggers really THAT scared ?
We are not yet North Korea!

Simon Cohen said...

Typical Guerilla Surgeon comment. If a blog decides it won't accept comments from anonymous posters he says its cancel culture.

Johno said...

The problem is Doug, these comments last for ever, yet what constitutes acceptable comments and behaviour changes. People now days get cancelled for things they said in the past, that were perfectly acceptable at the time.

So your comments today, which are entirely fine, may see you in hot water in a few years. It could even cost you your job or the prospects of one.

So I always avoid self identification and recommend this to all.

Yes, it does lead to immature behaviour and silly disinhibited comments. I'm prepared to put up with those if I have to.

Doug Longmire said...

Thanks Johno.
I do take your point and I respect you concerns.
Luckily, I am retired. :-) No job loss here !

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Further to that Doug, if you want a specific example – I used to write letters to the paper. Then the Dominion Post decided that everyone would have to sign their full name, and they'd print that and your suburb. So one day the phone goes in my seven or eight year old answers it and gets an earful of abuse from some prick who taken the trouble to ring up everyone in the locality with my last name because I'd written something they disagreed with. I then stopped writing to the papers because I thought I'm not going to put my family through that ever again. He is in his mid-20s now obviously and doesn't live with us, but I'm not changing. Can't be bothered.

Chris Nisbet said...

+1 for the registered pen name suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the American POWs asked to sign a declaration stating that they would not try and escape.
Reputedly, the Japanese commandant asked the American general why so many Americans had the name "Donald Duck"