Every now and then something happens that makes me realize how flawed I am as a human being, and today we had one of that those situations. For those of you who do not know, Armando has been outed. And by outed, we mean his anonymity, not his sexual practices (which are, to the best of my knowledge, still his own business).
At any rate, why does this lead me to think I am a flawed person? Because, while I think it is wrong to have had this happen (really, do the folks at NRO have nothing better to do?), and I am pissed that it happened, and that I am a signatory of the Online Integrity petition (and have and will adhere to it), my gut instincts was to blame Armando for some degree of the problem.
As a refresher, one of the tenets of the Online Integrity pact was the following:
Persons seeking anonymity or pseudonymity online should have their wishes in this regard respected as much as is reasonable. Exceptions include cases of criminal, misleading, or intentionally disruptive behavior.
So, in principle, I respect that people who choose to remain anonymous be granted that right. However, I have to admit that the first thing I said when I read that Armando was ‘outed’ (well, second- the first thing I said was “Who cares if he is gay?” before I figured out what they meant by outed was) was:
“You have to be shitting me- his real name was Armando?”
Additionally, it appears that his fingerprints are all over the web, leading an easy trail to his own identity, including this announcement that he was to be a speaker at the Bay Area Law and Technology Conference.
So where does that leave us? I can understand Armando’s desire for anonymity- he has already stated he will be no longer blogging, and while I disagree with him on virtually everything (although we agree on more things as of late), I think it is a loss for the blogosphere as a whole. At the same time, I can’t help but think that someone as high profile and as technologically proficient as Armando should have known better than to leave all the trails that he did. I know that sounds like ‘blaming the victim,’ but I can’t help but think that were my anonymity at a premium, I would have gone to greater lengths to protect it.
So those are my thoughts. What was done to him was wrong, considering his expressed desire for privacy and obvious attempts to maintain his anonymity, and in no way should anyone read this post as a defense of those who wronged him. Let’s be clear- Armando is the victim here, and I am really angry at NRO and the folks behind this.
And one thing I do know, for sure. This will happen again, and if blogging and participating in online forums in anonymous fashion is what you want, make sure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself.
BTW- What does GBCW mean?