Using your real name online

Via La Shawn, I read about the vicious and despicable hate email Michelle Malkin typically receives and it’s spurred me on to bring up something I’ve been thinking about for some time now: the repercussions of using your real name online.

I have to say I admire those in the blogosphere who use their real names in their blogs – these days, with the sharp political divisions we have within this country and the anger which sometimes stems from those divisions, by using your real name, you’re taking a really big risk. Of course, this is nothing new to the political pundits who write articles for opinion sites and political insiders who write books as they relate to the important issues we face every day.

Most of the bloggers on my daily must-read list use their real names and I’m sure they receive plenty of hate email and threats. It wouldn’t and doesn’t take much for the crafty low-lifers out there who prey on political figures and pundits much to find out whatever they want to know about the object of their ire. A negative side effect of the Internet, while a powerful and extremely resourceful tool, has been how ‘brave’ it makes a certain deviant element of society who, 20 years ago, didn’t have this outlet in which to express their hatred towards those with differing opinions.

I admit the idea of using my name on my blog scares me – but I know that eventually one day I’ll have to use it. I’ve submitted a few articles to a some big time online conservative publications and used my real name (for obvious reasons), so I guess when the day comes that I finally get published, that will be when I reveal it. Until then, I think I’ll rest in the relatively safe confines of the “Sister T” online name. Not because I don’t want the majority of good people out there who read my blog to know who I am, but because I want to hold on for just a little while longer to the safety that anonymity brings against those who’d rather spit at me than be civil towards me simply for sometimes having thoughts and opinions that are outside of the ‘acceptable norm.’

My hat is off to all of you out there who put it on the line everyday by using your real names, even when you merely write one sentence. I hope to be joining you one day soon.

Linking to Outside the Beltway’s Beltway Traffic Jam.

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