My purpose here as always is to make sure that anyone with an idea or response to share will feel comfortable participating in any discussion sparked by this blog. Turmarion, a thoughtful reader and oftentimes critic of what I write, changed my mind on commenters using pseudonyms. I now think in a context like this, a discussion of ideas, that’s just fine. Criticism of my or anyone else’s ideas, even if harsh, is of course totally fine. Some things that aren’t fine in the comment threads are personal insults, vulgar insinuations and name-calling — but you knew that already — and sock puppetry.
A “sock puppet” refers to using a variety of false names to give the illusion that many different people hold your views.
There’s one commenter here who does this all the time and he’s now on the verge of being banned. No more warnings.
He last commented as “edman” and typically, his comment stepped over the name-calling line, so I unpublished it. More egregiously, “edman” was just the latest of his pseudonyms. It’s poignant when one of his false identities gives a “high five” to another of his pseudonyms. When I’ve pointed this out to him in a thread, he denies it. Apparently, he doesn’t realize I can see his IP Address. Even without that, I could recognize him easily by his tone. I’m embarrassed for him because he writes as if he were a religious Jew, yet he’s full of shrillness and hate. Why, I don’t know.
Anyway, this is all by way of saying that if you prefer to use a pseudonym, please choose one for yourself and stick with it. This makes a civilized discussion possible. Anyone who can’t abide by these rules will be banned.
If you have a concern that you don’t want to share in the comment box, you can always contact me by email through the Discovery Institute website