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Hey murderers apparently need love too, so why shouldn’t Anons? *g*

KristieJ has an interesting rant about anonymous commenters, and how they should really have the courage of their convictions, and post under their real names, or at least their online personas. I started responding, but then it got waaay too long, and the only person who’s blog I feel comfortable bleeding over is Monica’s, so I brought it over here.

I’m not too fond of anons myself, mostly because I’m nosy, but I recognise the need for some anonymity in Blogland, or should I say Romanceland.

The fact is, there’s a lot of back-biting in this here Romanceland, and basically, what goes on the net, is forever cached on the net, so I can understand why an author would prefer to say what they have to say anonymously, than get tarred with the Fucktard Brush. I say that even as the person who often holds that very brush.

The reason I’ve homed in on authors is because I believe that the majority of the people who anonymously commented on my various EC posts were authors.

And I mention EC because the number of anon comments seemed to increase whenever EC was the subject, which leads me to think that the majority of anons were either, authors from EC, or people who have had dealings with EC in the past.

If this is the case, then I’m not sure I can blame them for saying what they have to say anonymously. I hear that the higher-ups at Ellora’s Cave are fond of suing people.

It’s easy for me to say what I want, about who I want, when I want, but then again I’m not a writer, aspiring or otherwise, so there can be no repercussions for me. My career is not dependent on you guys out there. I simply have nothing to lose.

The same can’t be said about authors who decide to tell it like it is. Especially those authors who are e-published.

There are disgruntled authors out there who aren’t happy about one thing or another, but are too scared to take a public stand, because the repercussions for them could be a lot more far reaching.

They could take a public stand, and say exactly how they feel, but then they’d probably become persona non gratis with their peers, readers, and their publishing company. (Read: see Authors Who Should Know Better list) Who needs the hassle?

The same goes for anon readers who come on the blog to berate me for one reason or another, or just to slag me off because they don’t like my online persona. The fact is, the majority of those people are scared too.

Of me.

And why shouldn’t they be, let’s face it, I’m not afraid of tearing a strip off people who annoy me, and they mostly know it, and want to avoid the hassle.

I’m just imagining the number of people going crazy because dammit, they aren’t scared of me. My challenge to those people is, if you truly aren’t scared of me, then post a comment, using your online persona. Tell me I’m a jumped up bitch from hell, if you dare. I promise, I wont be mad. (At the very least, I’d know which blogs to avoid in the future. *g*)

In short, even those people who come on and tell me that they think I’m wrong, have an absolute right to their anonymity. Does it annoy me? Of course it does, but then so do people who belong to the ‘If You Have Nothing Nice To Say’ brigade.

Even more annoying than those people, are the ones who claim they’re fed up of blog dramas, yet come back again and again, to watch the train wrecks, whilst trying to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony on their own blogs. The hypocrisy always makes me want to smile. You know who you are.

Anonymous commenters are cowardly by the very virtue of the fact that they daren’t openly say what they feel, but I’m not going to condemn them for that, because in my opinion, they’re just being practical.

If people don’t know who you are, then those bitchy comments that you made anonymously once upon a time, when you forgot to take your meds, probably wont come back to haunt you later.

Sounds like plain ‘ole common sense to me.

71 Comments »


  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    11:58 am

    The following e-mail was sent to me by an author who wishes to remain anonymous:

    “Using anon to flame, insult or cause trouble is cowardice.

    But there are times when using anon is the only logical choice. Staying silent isn’t always the right thing to do, particularly if you are aware of unethical issues. Many people have found themselves in a bad spot and they could have avoided it if somebody had shared information. Triskelion was mentioned and there are probably some authors out there who wished they had known ahead of time what was coming.

    But voicing these sort of concerns can have far reaching consequences. It isn’t just law suits or the threat of them. It’s the possibility of your publisher deciding you aren’t going to get another contract, or delayed edits or unavailable release dates.

    It’s not having your name considered for big projects. It’s running the risk of agents seeing your name and believing you are a troublemaker without being aware of the entire situation.

    So you have dilemma. Do you say nothing? Do you risk your career? Or do you find a way that lets you voice your concerns and hopefully protect your career?

    You might think these sort of things do not happen, but they can, they have and it will continue to happen.”

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  • Nora Roberts
    July 2
    12:18 pm

    Even my grandbabies have passports! (Cuuute) We are so sofisticated.

    There have always been issues and unethical practices. Word still got out. By phone, face-to-face, snail mail. Not as fast, certainly, and not everyone got the word as clearly or as quickly as others. But you knew who was saying what, and could weigh that into the mix.

    For me, who’s relaying or commenting on information is a factor. If I don’t know, it doesn’t carry much weight for me.

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  • Jane
    July 2
    1:08 pm

    I would prefer that anonymous commenters choose a name, any name, rather than “anon” but I do see why people do it. Look at the Anne Stuart situation or the Dixieland mafia incident. Both times, the author or wanna be author got excoriated by her peers. On that basis alone, if I were an author, I would want to post anonymously.

    Anon comments, though, have less impact and are easily dismissed. They are often the bitch-iest and rudest comments. But they are sometimes the most insightful.

    As for Karen being a jumped up bitch – did I miss that anonymous comment somewhere?

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  • Jaye
    July 2
    2:02 pm

    My preference is to see a name ascribed to a post. If the poster has been active on line, the weight of history comes into play. BUT, I can understand why someone would post under an anon siggy. I also think it’s fairly easy to suss out by the phasing language used as to whether or not a anon poster has a axe to grind, is a flaming suck up, or has a legitimate contribution to an ongoing discussion. Also, some else mentioned ‘voice’, sometimes anons shouldn’t even bother posting as anon because certain words/phrasing give them away.

    On a separate (related?) topic, I can’t help but feel that there’s a big ole ‘side-eye’ going on over here. lol

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    2:27 pm

    You know what Jaye, it’s just as well that woman is as successful as she is because truly, there will be a few industry people looking at her like she done lost her mind. All that business savvy, and yet she seems so clueless about the basics.

    ReplyReply


  • mary
    July 2
    3:02 pm

    Jaye, are we suppose to pick which one we are?

    From that link you gave, Jaid Black and gang differentiate between:
    1. Spamming troll: Posts to many newsgroups with the same verbatim post.

    2. Kooks: A regular member of a forum who habitually drops comments that have no basis on the topic or even in reality.

    3. Flamer: Does not contribute to the group except by making inflammatory comments.

    4. Hit-and-runner: Stops in, make one or two posts and move on.

    5. Psycho trolls: Has a psychological need to feel good by making others feel bad.

    (giving everyone the “side eyes” :) )

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  • Anne
    July 2
    3:13 pm

    Anonymous said: I mostly post anonymously because I don’t have the inclination to log into my google account when I’ve just seen something to post on.

    You could still sign your name, you know. Hmmm.

    ReplyReply


  • Anne
    July 2
    3:24 pm

    I think I’m a flamer, LOL Since I inspired their no-flamming warning and moderating comments.

    I only spoke the truth. Pffft!

    ReplyReply


  • azteclady
    July 2
    3:26 pm

    Interestingly enough, I came here today to post the link to the original article (http://www.cio.com/article/106500/Online_Harassment_Five_Tips_to_Defeat_Blog_Trolls_and_Cyberstalkers%3Cbr%3E ) (I don’t know how to do proper links, apologies for messing up the format, Karen)

    I wonder whether JB/TE knows that posting an excerpt without citing and linking the source is a copyright violation? IANAL nor do I play one online, by the way, but some things are supposed to be common sense, no?

    ReplyReply


  • Anonymous
    July 2
    4:00 pm

    I wish people would stop stealing my name. It’s so annoying. Everyone thinks they are me. I should sue them for falsely using my name on the internet.

    Anonymous

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    4:05 pm

    Anonymous, that was hilarious, lol!

    ReplyReply


  • Jaye
    July 2
    4:05 pm

    Honestly, I saw the post and–to quote Elaine from Seinfeld– “I laughed and I laughed and I laughed”. Essentially it’s pointing fingers without pointing fingers, when really, if one wants a situation to die, well, let it die already, don’t keep poking it with a stick. The only thing slick about that is the trail that’s left behind. Either you ignore something or you ‘man up’, and be done.

    I guess, I’m a serial Hit and Runner. lol. I may only leave one or two comments, but I keep coming back. 😉

    ReplyReply


  • Nora Roberts
    July 2
    4:25 pm

    I want to be a Kook. Or maybe a Psycho. I think I want a whole new category: The Psycho Kook. The PK for short.

    I know we’ve all encountered the Kooky Psycho Trolling Flamer who hits and runs.

    ReplyReply


  • Lauren Dane
    July 2
    6:29 pm

    If it’s worth saying in public, I’ll put my name on it.

    HOWEVER, I have answered a public question via email because I wanted to say something but not on a blog. Still, it could easily be passed on.

    Yes, there are things I wish I could respond to in public but I don’t because yes, this is a business and what we do gets noted. I may be subtle in my response to something I find ridiculous – my last thursday 13 for instance. And sometimes I just say it because silence in the face of stupidity is a stance I can’t take in some cases.

    There is whistleblowing and I understand why someone would be anonymous over that. But what happens, more often than not when we don’t have to sign a name is we become less careful with the truth becase we aren’t responsible for what we say.

    ReplyReply


  • Anonymous
    July 2
    7:52 pm

    Anne said…

    Anonymous said: I mostly post anonymously because I don’t have the inclination to log into my google account when I’ve just seen something to post on.

    You could still sign your name, you know. Hmmm.

    My mistake. I usually post on message boards where signing your name with your posts is downright frowned upon because your name is at the left hand side anyway. I’m not in the habit of signing my name to everything I post. The last time I checked the other box on blogger they wanted me to sign into some open id thing and I don’t have that. Have they changed it? I admit I don’t normally check.
    Stacey.

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  • Tawny Taylor
    July 2
    9:41 pm

    I’m a published author and yet I sign all my comments because:

    I am not going to slam my publishers, editors, agent or fellow authors on a blog.

    I’m willing to stand behind whatever I post.

    I rarely comment, but if I do, I try to stick with facts, rather than opinion.

    ReplyReply


  • Ann Bruce
    July 3
    12:15 am

    Definitely kook.

    Maybe semi-psycho. I don’t need to make other people feel bad; they make themselves feel bad by not thinking before they type. And I don’t feel good about it; I just find it funny as hell.

    ReplyReply


  • Lynne Simpson
    July 3
    12:44 am

    You said it, Arin. There’s a big difference between trolls and people who are posting anonymously due to real-life reprisals that would result if their names were known. We’ve all seen nasty cyber-bullying in Romancelandia, so it’s not hard to understand that some people might not want to make themselves a target.

    If a blogger wants to ban anonymous comments on her blog, that’s absolutely her right. Blogger, WordPress, and LiveJournal give blog owners plenty of options for that. But I think a lot of the complaints in these situations come not from the blog owners where the anon comments occur but from other visitors. I admit to being curious about how these comments look from the server side — oh, what I could do with a peek at those log files — but it’s not enough to make me angry about anon posts. :-)

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  • shiloh walker
    July 3
    1:08 am

    We’ve all seen nasty cyber-bullying in Romancelandia, so it’s not hard to understand that some people might not want to make themselves a target.

    You know what, bullying is one thing I hadnt’ thought of, but it’s definitely going to be a reason for some. One reader, in particular that I know. She voiced her opinion about a book~she didn’t flame it, didn’t insult, just stated it wasn’t her cup of tea and she had readers ganging up on her over it. It got to the point that she didn’t even like visiting the site anymore.

    I can’t remember if it was a group or a blog, but I remember her telling me about it and thinking how ridiculous.

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  • Anonymous
    July 6
    9:46 pm

    NO time…3 teens & a home business = no time to attempt figuring out how to log into some sites. If they don’t require sign-in, I comment under my initials. Complicate sign-ins are just too time consuming (and often don’t work anyway), so I comment under anonymous…and sign it.

    I also don’t flame, so maybe I’m not the type under discussion.

    -dl

    ReplyReply


  • Angelia Sparrow
    July 11
    5:29 am

    I was about to apologize for posting anonymously since I don’t have a blogspot account.

    But Blogspot lets us sign in as “other.”

    Many years ago, I learned to stand tall and take it when someone didn’t like my opinion. The net has a long memory and nothing is ever truly gone.

    And yeah, I’m still paying for crap I said 16 years ago. But I said it. I meant it then.

    I came in because of the EC discussion (I’m valarltd on LJ). I write for EC. I also write for Phaze, Torquere and Circle Dark.

    ReplyReply

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