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August 10th, 2008

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02:41 pm - Netiquette: Aliases vs. IRL Identities
Is it okay to use the real-life name of someone in an online discussion?

The reason I ask is that I left a comment on a friend's weblog, using my usual handle of "arensb". We know each other in meatspace, and he left a reply that gave my real name.

Now, this isn't a big deal, since I've never made my real-life identity a secret. The only reason it jumped out at me is that when I reply to an online identity, I try to refer to that identity in my replies. I even go so far as to keep a person's different identities separate: a few of my LJ friends have left comments on my other weblog, using nicknames other than their LJ identities. If I get an idea for a post from so_and_so, I'll refer to so_and_so in the post. But if that person then leaves a comment under the name "Alice", I might reply with "Alice makes a good point", rather than "so_and_so makes a good point".

Am I being too sensitive? Am I trying too hard to preserve the tattered shreds of online privacy and anonymity? Or did my friend commit a (very minor) breach of etiquette?

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
I default to your same behaviour unless I know that the other person prefers something else -- two of my friends prefer being referred to by their common names rather than their handles, so I do that with them.
[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
Am I trying too hard to preserve the tattered shreds of online privacy and anonymity?

Yes. Neither really exists anymore.
[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
Nope, I think you have it exactly right. Even people who agree with you about the right way to do things may make mistakes, however.

Netiquette: Aliases vs. IRL Identities - Mr. Perl BOFH

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