Who said we should write things in our own names? It makes it personal. Today there was a debate at AWID Forum about a letter that was distributed criticising the exclusion of a certain discourse in the MENA region, and a point that was used to attack the letter was that it was not signed, you can't identify the authors of the letter, and no one "to take responsibility" for its content.

I have to say that the idea of being anonymous was not very familiar to me at the beginning, I didn't understand why would people do something or write something without putting their names on it, I thought it was only out of fear or security risks. The truth is, I am convinced now that it is more than this. Yes, there is a security aspect, but also it is a statement that you make when you write or act in anonymity, it is a statement to take away personal dynamics and concentrate on the idea that is being expressed. In this world, where your personal life is taken into account to "judge" your views, anonymity protects your ideas from being looked at from an angle that you didn't want: personally.

But, would you trust an anonymous? People's trust is built on one of the two things: personal knowledge, or how good the information is. If you post credible verified (and verifiable) information, or views that are worth reading, the reality is that people will tend to read for you, even if you are anonymous, your real identity becomes less important, and your new identity will be your views.

Anonymity give us more freedom to express our opinions, it sets no limits to your self-expression because it brings no personal dynamics to the table. Take away personal dynamics, be anonymous.

This post was originally written for Talkingpersonal's blog.

Responses to this post

Your post on anonymity was great to read. It sums up the decision we all have to make when voicing our opinions to decide whether to be anyonymous or not. I find that people readily decide on the legitimacy of an opinion by evaluating the writer. This can distract from the message. The trick is to apply wisdom in deciding when to be anonymous and when it is in the interest of the group or person to reveal their identity.

I am going today to talk about feminism, politics and the internet at the first academy for women politicians in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I will use a lot of our talks and learning at Feminist Tech Exchange and definitely will talk about anonymity as a necessary political space.


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