I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but there is a new BJJ blog in town. It’s called BJJ Anonymous. This has already sparked some interesting internal debates amongst some BJJ-ers I know.
Personally, I like the idea, but I suppose heavily moderated. Why? Not to kill people’s ability to talk about what they want, but to prevent Youtube type comments.
Anonymity has power. I was struck by Christopher “Moot” Poole’s video called The Case for Anonymity Online hosted by the TED talks.
When we must use our names and our identities, we may censor what we say out of fear of recrimination or of revenge. A situation at work may be bad, but we don’t talk about it on our blogs for fear our bosses will read it. A situation in a relationship may border on abusive, but we don’t talk about it in case it gets back to them. Sometimes we need help. Sometimes we need to expose problems. Sometimes we just need to be free to talk about things publicly.
This is why there are anonymous tip lines, anonymous help lines, and even Alcoholics Anonymous. There is real power in anonymity.
All this power should come great responsibility, but it doesn’t always. Someone in Brighton UK felt the need to post anonymously to tell me I was an “ugly fat c*nt” and then post again to call me a “stupid fat c*nt” and a “sad fat c*nt” because I listed a gold medal due to being an only entrant. Were this person sitting here, would they call it to my face? Probably not. I actually laughed a bit because of their lack of creativity. This person felt like the absolute worst thing they could call me was a “fat c*nt”. So bad that they called me it 3 times, only changing the adjective. Dear anonymous, I hope it made you feel better.
There’s this awesome video featuring a woman only reading her youtube hate comments (warning, DEFINITELY not safe for children or work)
And this one kills me:
Anonymity gives people the freedom to be jerks and call random people “sad fat c*nts.” It gives people the freedom to be slanderous, hateful, and just flat out mean. It can lead to cyber bullying, to hatemongering, and worse.
I think that forums like this are valid and important, so long as there is heavy moderation.
What do you guys think?