Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What anonymity really means

There once was a blog called Coram Non Judice (known to regular readers of this fine blog as Caput Penitus Culus).  The blog was purported to present valid legal opinions on issues related to the FLDS raid in Texas.  The blog was run pseudonymously by a fellow identifying himself as TxBluesMan.  No one knew his real name.  No one knew what his credentials were to opine on legal matters.  No one.

When asked how he justified writing anonymously what essentially amounted to hate-filled propaganda in the guise of legal opinion -- citing precedent often, of course -- TxBluesMan compared himself to the Founders, who at times wrote anonymous tracts against the colonial government and the King.

This, of course, was complete horse hockey.  There was nothing remotely similar to what the Founders did in anything TxBluesMan wrote.  The Founders hid behind anonymity to avoid arrest for sedition.  TxBluesMan wrote anonymously for a far different reason.
Anonymity, Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago observes, allows Internet bloggers “to create for themselves a shame-free zone in which they can inflict shame on others.” The power of the bloggers, she continues, “depends on their ability to insulate their Internet selves from responsibility in the real world, while ensuring real-world consequences” for those they injure.
As the tipster who passed this story on to me wrote, "That, boys and girls, is the story of TxBluesman."

100% true and accurate. Think I'm kidding? I was accused by TxBluesMan of being pro-polygamy and pro-pedophilia for simply opining that 4th Amendment protections were violated during the Texas Stoßtruppen's raid! 

TxBluesMan is an intolerant bully.  He desperately needed to be outed.  And he was.

TxBluesMan turned out to be Sgt. Gregory Prickett, AKA the Caput a Palos, AKA The Prickette.

Once he was outed, The Prickette immediately shut down his odious blog to try to bury the evidence.  You see, now his real self was linked to his Internet self -- and real consequences awaited.

It's not pleasant when the curtain is parted and the Great and Powerful Oz is revealed to be a two-bit loser with a penchant for throwing his weight around and playing the big shot.  At least, not for Oz.

UPDATE: The same tipster who passed on the NY Times article adds the following:
Just FYI: while online at any sites controlled by Google, your "anonymity" is subject to their selective authority that may or may not conceal it.