You know how zealously I guard my identity, living as I do in the Bay Area, where conservatives are not welcome. Here’s an example of just how loony these things get.
Let’s start with “The Wall,” a moderated internet site set up to be a bulletin board for San Franciscans who wish to comment about the City (” The Wall is a place where you can discuss what is wrong (or right) with San Francisco Politics, society, and civic culture.”). It’s small place, boasting only 479 members. Apparently some (or maybe all) of the people who registered comment from a conservative perspective. And as is so often the case with any of these bulletin board sites, they’ve used nom de cybers, rather than their real names. Apparently that’s a bad thing.
How do I know it’s a bad thing? Because I read this:
Fog City Journal columnist h Brown today sent out a missive exposing members of the secret society of anonymous posters at the right leaning SFWALL.net.
Posters SFSweetie, Marcel Deste and Chuck Revisited are among the exposed.
San Francisco’s Court Jester [another name for h Brown] will be interviewed by Arthur Bruzzone – a recipient of Brown’s blasts – on this very subject and may include anonymous poster exposure by name.
Look for Bruzzone and Brown to generate high viewership ratings, especially if Brown takes off the gloves on Matt Gonzalez.
So, an ordinary bulletin board with posts from people who engage in the ordinary practice of using cybernames is suddenly transformed into a “secret society” of anonymous posters. I can’t wait until we start outing the people blogging at the Democratic Underground or at the Daily Kos’ various diaries. The Wall’s “residents” are sanguine about the snarky nastiness of this whole thing. Here’s a sampling of responses to the news:
If I’m not on his list, I’m going to feel my self-esteem drop and no one in SF wants to see that.
This is science fiction. The big liberal monster is out the stamp out the last remaining morsels of “the right wing” or what? This is hillarious.
I just went to the link thing and see that Im mentioned frankly IM amazed that I apparently am considered a writer or poster who strikes fear into somebody that I need to be singled out.
Secret society of right wing posters??? How did the guy ever find out that I ran Opus Dei for 20 years and was the consultant for The Davinci Code? And I hope he doesnt EVER reveal what the secret society does at the autumn equinox with its crisco and baseball cards and home recorded at live events Anne Coulter tapes. Or the secret handshake.
Is SF really so small that someone like H Brown can get media attention by outing some people on a single anonymous political chat board (Right leaning!) ?
I mean, I dont even know anyone else who knows about this board. What are the chances that the average San Franciscan would know – or even care.
I guess I’m missing the significance of this, so feel free to fill me in. He’s outing people because…..
Aside from the sheer meanness in exposing people who are not holding themselves out to the public as anything more than private citizens using an anonymous cyber bulletin board, I find it disturbing that this kind of thing is apparently being considered a new weapon in political wars. I should point out that, in America, there is an old an honored tradition of anonymous political writer, with such stellar practioners as Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. While their intimates may have known who they were, their point was to let their writing stand on its own, without interference from their public identities.