Group Post: Real-Life Identity and The Internet

We got together and started writing this post after Slate published this article about a University of Kansas tenured professor who got in trouble with the Kansas Board of Regents for tweeting his views about the NRA.  Since that time the issue of anonymity, pseudonymity and real-life identity on both Twitter and the blogosphere has really blown up.  Below are essays by five academic scientists discussing the pros and cons of being real-life identified on the internet.  
 

Group Post: Real-Life Identity and The Internet

Hope writes: “People have good reasons for wanting to be anonymous on the internet.  People have good reasons for wanting to be pseudonymous on the internet.  I have good reasons for wanting to be real-life identified, but they are not noble reasons …” read more here …

DNLee writes: “I share my personal experiences with students, educators, academic policy makers, and the general public as my fully identified self to shine a light on how the meritocracy doesn’t quite work the way it should. Right now, my real name carries no weight, but my use of it is about conspicuousness  …” read more here …

Jeremy writes: “Even if I toyed with the idea of restarting under an assumed name, I can’t think of much that I’d do differently. I suspect that my profile—youngish gay biologist with a thing for species interactions, a distaste for sloppy evolutionary storytelling, and a stylistic crush on David Foster Wallace—would out me …” read more here …

Karen writes: “It is a combination of luck and privilege that has permitted me the choice to be Karen James online, not strength of character, commitment to transparency, courage, or any other sort of superior crap certain foes of pseudonymity might suggest …” read more here …

Terry writes: “A visit to a blog can be like arriving at an intimate party where you don’t know anybody. In contrast, I want my blog to be approachable to everybody. I want to be the guy who walks over to the front door, says ‘Hi, I’m Terry. Come on in.’ “ … read more here …

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Note: You can find us individually on Twitter! We are: Hope Jahren (@HopeJahren), DNLee (@DNLee5), Jeremy Yoder (@JBYoder), Karen James (@kejames), and Terry McGlynn (@horminga).  You can also get to our individual blogs via our Twitter profiles.