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A case for anonymity

Original post made by civility is missing on Nov 20, 2012

Having lived in Menlo Park while raising our family, I have observed that there are a number of fellow residents who don't know the difference between attacking ideas and attacking individuals who speak them. I believe this has become worse over the years.

That's why I choose to post anonymously. My ideas then have a chance to be discussed on their merits, neither praised or dissed because of who posted them. I hope The Almanac continues to allow that possibility.

Comments (23)

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Yep, I'm right there w/you. Those who choose to post under their own names are the ones who criticize those who don't. Everyone has a good reason for choosing a handle or using their real name & those reasons should be respected by others.

I've had very real concerns related to potential harassment & when I began posting re our scurrilous pass landlords, our group's attorney encouraged me to use a handle vs. my real name. I took his advice & am glad that I did.

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful we don't have to use our real names here.


Posted by MIchael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I have always posted under my real name, on at least one occasion someone has posted as me using my name. I understand why some people don't want to use there name. I know for a fact that an Atherton woman is alive and well today because of several posts that were done anonymously ....I am grateful for those posts.


Posted by Courage, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

As predicted, only anonymous posters are willing to defend this constant flow of garbage. If you care about your children, you should block the Almanac at your firewall.


Posted by Courage, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Dear Hmmm, If your attorney advised you to post baseless threats and accusations, you really need a new attorney.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Courage:

if you really have any, why aren't you posting under your real name? Is it because you have to live in this community and realize what a bunch of small minds live here? And if you express your true opinions it could have detrimental effect on your livelyhood? Seriously, if you want to question the validity of other people posting under pseudonims, your post might be taken seriously if you didn't do the same.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Exactly, MV. Not sure what "baseless threats and accusations" I post, but I'm not losing any sleep over them. Oh, yeah, change lawyer - don't need to, we won our case.

Happy Thanksgiving, Menlo Voter. I hope you & yours have a lovely holiday.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

You too Hmmm. Keep your head down over there in belle haven. Kinda scary right now!


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Thanks, MV! We're in EPA, on the west side, so not bad here. But yes, it's scary in Belle Haven now - it's awful how the gangs terrify the innocents in the area w/their violence. Our dogs keep us pretty safe & we keep our wit about us.

We have a lot to be grateful for this year & are happy to have family to celebrate Thanksgiving with.


Posted by Gadfly, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I'm a pretty average involved MP resident, and I almost always post anonymously here. There are people in this city who are borderline fanatics, and a few times I've been excoriated in public postings by one of them.I am not a council member (or candidate for any public office) or a city commissioner. Why give anyone ammunition to attack me?

Some forums do require you to assume an alias that you are supposed to use consistently. But I don't know of any forums that demand real names. If TownSquare required this, I would go along with it. But real names? Nope, outta here.


Posted by gibberish, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

When you have ideas to discuss, try visiting a coffee shop with your friends. Even if your friends are complete scoundrels, at least there is a vetting process. I would never ask my children to take advise from strangers, and I hope none of the Almanac readers would do so.

There are plenty of heated discussions on Facebook. You can always send a direct private message to anyone that makes a comment. On town square, there is no way to take the discussion offline, or even respond directly to an individual comment. Town Square is one long stream of gibberish.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 21, 2012 at 8:51 am

Gibberish writes: "Town Square is one long stream of gibberish."

And yet you read it and participate in it.


Posted by The Mad Hatter, a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?


Posted by Cheshire Cat, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

"Courage" was right!!!! SAVE THE CHILDREN from the Mad Hatter and the Almanac!!!! Put up that fire wall!!!! (PS: Thanks for the smile, Mad Hatter.)


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I enjoy this forum a lot. My experience has been that I have been equally enlightened, and turned off, by the posts of many people regardless of whether or not they used a handle, or a name (who knows if they are real anyway). Just to name a few of my personal favorites, Pogo, Menlo Voter, Hmmm, and Peter Carpenter; I sometimes agree with them, and I sometime don't, but regardless, I have a great deal of respect for their opinions. To the point that they have actually changed my thinking more than once.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Thank you, WhoR and I enjoy and respect your posts as well.

gibberish - Actually, I have met SEVERAL people who I did not know before they posted comments on The Almanac's website. It is not that difficult to ask someone to connect with you offline if you wish to speak with them privately.

And we do meet at coffee shops, too.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Who:

I add my enjoyment and respect ot your posts as well.

gibbersih: POGO is right. It's really not hard to connect with those on this board off line as I too have discovered.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Which reminds me, MV, it's been a while since we got together!

Connect with me off line and we'll set something up.

WhoR - want to join us?


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

POGO:

you read my mind!

I'll be in touch.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Thank you WhoRU! I always appreciate your insight & I've learned a lot here. When I read about ridiculous lawsuits, political silliness or local crimes that have a bad impact on others, I enjoy your perspective. I hope that you have a relaxing & lovely holiday.

POGO - thank you for your insights as well. You're a good contributor to local issues that really affect our quality of life, whether we're up in the hills or down by the bay. I stopped to help someone w/their busted grocery bag up in your neck of the woods recently & I actually thought to myself, "For all I know, this could be POGO." It made the world a bit smaller.


Posted by Abraham Lincoln, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I believe that postings should be made under a real name. Not my real name, but someone's.


Posted by Winston, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 27, 2012 at 6:25 am

The anonymous bloggers' identities are riddles, wrapped in mysteries, inside enigmas; but perhaps there is a key. That key is protection against scurrilous attacks


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 6:32 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.


"That key is protection against scurrilous attacks"

And what protects named posters from scurrilous attacks by anonymous posters - particularly since attacks against unknown/anonymous persons produce virtually no damage/harm to the real person who is using an anonymous shield ( except perhaps to their anonymous ego)?


Posted by civility is missing, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

More civility to fellow residents and neighbors is in order whether or not the person is anonymous. Unfortunately, there are too many who seem to enjoy making personal attacks. I am grateful the Almanac has policies to limit that even though it happens anyway, and I am really grateful the Almanac allows anonymity.


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