December 14, 2011

Blogging Anonymously

Many of us want to speak out, tell our stories, share our experiences and help others by telling things as they are. Partial map of the Internet based on the Janua... However, for safety reasons many are concerned or even scared to do so, and with good reason.  A person who still has a protective order against their abuser because of past violence and threats made can’t exactly feel (or be) safe blabbing everything that happened to them all over the internet.  Those that were abused as children and now still talk to the same people that abused them; may be reluctant to talk about what happened. 

There are ways that you can still share your story; not only to help others but as a stepping stone in your own healing process.  Many people make up online personalities to use for social networking and blogging.  No one says that you have to use your real name, your actual location or anything personal.  If you go the route of making up an online personality to blog and join social networking sites with make sure you do not give yourself away (for those that you wish to remain anonymous).

Here are a few of the most common mistakes that I have seen where someone with a made up screen name has ‘outted’ themselves:

  • If you don’t want someone you know in real life to find your new online identity, don’t tell anyone in real life about your identity.  Things have a habit of spreading to the people you don’t want them to.
  • Don’t use the same email account for everything.  When you make up an online personality give it its own email account.  Use a free email provider, don’t make a new account with your home internet provider.   Don’t link this new made up account with your old accounts at all.
  • Don’t post/use real pictures of you, your family, your pets, etc. 
  • If you promote your new blog or profile from your real profile say something like “I just found this blog/person” or “Reading this interesting post”  or something along those lines.  If someone asks you if that is really you, well then you must decide if you tell them or not.
  • Don’t use the real names of anyone you may be talking about on your blog or profile.  Many people will use just the first initial of everyone, but if someone that knows you and those people read what you have written it isn’t hard to put initials and details together.
  • Use a different location than where you are and a different time zone.  Usually you can adjust these in the settings area of many blogs and profiles.
  • Don’t use a made up name that has any meaning to you or that could make someone think of you.  If your favorite animal is tigers, lets say, then don’t make your username tiger something.  If you prefer to use a real sounding name don’t use something like your middle name and your grandma’s last name, others can figure that out.  Make up something that is totally not you.  If you want a real sounding new identity try this site:

There are many many other things that I’m sure could be added to the list above.  If you have something to add please leave it in a comment on this post!

I have had the discussion with others about whether it is ‘right’ to use a fake identity to tell your ‘truth’.  My opinion on that is that if it is keeping a person safe (and safety is the primary factor in my mind) and helping them and others at the same time...then sure why not use a fake identity online.

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