Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dowd Fires Salvo Against Anonymous Bloggers

Stung by the Perfect Sting
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 25, 2009

Maureen Dowd has this revelation today about here secret fantasy life:

If I read all the vile stuff about me on the Internet, I’d never come to work. I’d scamper off and live my dream of being a cocktail waitress in a militia bar in Wyoming.
As tempting as that lifestyle would be, what prompted that thought was the Battle of The Blonde Bimbo Bloggers.
It began eight months ago when Liskula Cohen, a 37-year-old model and Australian Vogue cover girl, was surprised to find herself winning a “Skankiest in NYC” award from an anonymous blogger. The online tormentor put up noxious commentary on Google’s blogger.com, calling Cohen a “skank,” a “ho” and an “old hag” who “may have been hot 10 years ago.”
Completely unaware of the Streisand Effect, Cohen lawyers up.
Once she had the e-mail address, Cohen discovered whence the smears: a cafe society acquaintance named Rosemary Port, a pretty 29-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology student.
But, according to Dowd, the bigger issue here is the nature of online anonymity.
Yet in this infinite realm of truth-telling, many want to hide. Who are these people prepared to tell you what they think, but not who they are? What is the mentality that lets them get in our face while wearing a mask? Shredding somebody’s character before the entire world and not being held accountable seems like the perfect sting.
And this point I start squirming uncomfortably. Dowd makes a brief half-hearted defense of Pseudonym-Americans as Jon Swift (the anonymous blogger one, not the Irish babies one) calls them us.
Pseudonyms have a noble history. Revolutionaries in France, founding fathers and Soviet dissidents used them. {snip}

As Hugo Black wrote in 1960, “It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.”
But, and there is always a but, Maureen comes down hard on us poor anonymous snarkers.
But on the Internet, it’s often less about being constructive and more about being cowardly.
Ouch, that hurts. I snark because I love. So Maureen, if you want to know who I really am, don't call the legal department. Just send me an e-mail to dowdreport AT gmail.com. We'll talk.

7 comments:

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mark hoback said...

She would send you an email, BUT she doesn't read all that vile stuff about her on the Internet.

Grace Nearing said...

What is the mentality that lets them get in our face while wearing a mask?

Revenge. For any number of intellectual assaults and insults to human decency.

But maybe that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I emailed Ms. Dowd. Nothing I've ever emailed her has ever been acknowledged by her. But I guess this is the type of stuff she really dislikes.
===================================

You are responsible for much of the decline in the civility in civic discourse. Will you ever apologize for enabling W's election by effeminizing Gore? Will you ever apologize for continually degrading the Clintons? Will you ever apologize for (attempting to) effeminize Obama?

If you visit the graves of the fallen at Arlington, some of whom are there because you helped put them there by enabling W to be elected, do you dance or spit?

May you be afflicted with a cancer that eats your body away from the inside, may the NYT insurer rescind your coverage, and may you perhaps develop a sympathetic heart for the those less comfortable than yourself, who are not middle class White Catholic women, before you suffer your (richly deserved) ignominious death.

Mo MoDo said...

For the record, we at Dowd Report do not endorse or necessarily agree with the comments of our readers. And we've seen much worse.

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