I’ve read through the comments here, and I just have a couple of things to point out.
In the case of AKMuckraker, previous to Doogan outing her, there was no connection between her real life identity, and the identity of AKMuckraker. You couldn’t google and find a link between the two. It simply was not possible.
He spent three months obsessively asking people who AKMuckraker was. He did this because she posted this blog post – Are You People Nuts? Lessons In Email Etiquette – this post came about as a direct result of his own actions.
The actions? Rep Mike Doogan replies to emails in a very inappropriate manner as a matter of course, it seems. But in that case he had collected up 30 or so different email addresses, and then emailed them ALL with the email addresses viewable to everyone. That is a clear breach of the privacy of those people who wrote to him.
Now AKMuckraker had a right to inform people about that, in my opinion. If you write an email to your representative, you expect there to be a level of privacy. Apparently this sent Doogan quite over the edge and began his obsession with her.
He chose to send out her identity in a newsletter to his constituents, many of whom may never have heard of AKMuckraker at all. That is the part which is most inappropriate in my opinion.
There are many reasons people want to remain anonymous on the internet. Alaska is a quite a small place in the scheme of things and like a lot of small towns to have true freedom of speech you don’t want to use your real name.
Other reasons someone might wish to remain anonymous –
* Because it is a standard identity- and privacy-protection precaution
* Because they have experienced online or offline stalking, harassment, or political or domestic violence
* Because they wish to discuss sexual abuse, sexuality, domestic abuse, assault, politics, health, or mental illness, and do not wish some subset of family, friends, strangers, aquaintances, employers, or potential employers to know about it
* Because they wish to keep their private lives, activities, and tastes separate from their professional lives, employers, or potential employers
* Because they fear threats to their employment or the custody of their children
* Because it’s the custom among their Internet cohort
* Because it’s no one else’s business
Bear in mind also – remember Kathy Sierra? Remember Dooce? Remember Abby Lee? What person in their right mind would knowingly put themselves out there for the kind of treatment those people went through?
Would you put your hand up to be fired from your job because of your blog? To receive death threats – and the people sending them know where you live? Who knows how far those people who do not like what you wrote might go?
The bottom of the bottom lines is – AKMuckraker would never have written about Doogan if he were acting in a sane manner. He is the politician who was sending the crazy emails to 30 people at once. If he had been doing the right thing and treating the people who elected him professionally and with respect, AKMuckraker would not have exposed his behavior. And NOTE – It is actually his JOB to listen to what the people are saying, and respond appropriately.
I haven’t had time to collect links today but here are some from yesterday – I would like to highlight these –
Picture of Mudflats’ AK Muckraker Posted! <-- do not fear, just go and read it. ;) I would not be posting a link if it infringed on AKM's privacy, and AKM has commented on the post too.
Lorelle Van Fossen, who to me is famous but may be unknown to many of you, is writing a series on this event -
The Outing of a Blogger: Social Transparency or Violation?
The Outing of a Blogger: Is it Legal to Reveal a Blogger?
The Outing of a Blogger: The Fear of Being Found Out
More links will be added to this post once I work out what hasn’t been posted. Apologies for any double ups.
Dear Mr. Doogan (Don’t feed the bears)
A Final Thought About Rep. Doogan and Mudflats
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
alaskan dem legislator outs blogger
Mike Doogan- own version of 1st ammendment
Anonymous bloggers, journalism and politics
The pertinent point
Alaska Legislator Mike Doogan: A Tool Of The First Order
Headline Does Not Match Story, Part 14: “Anti-Palin”?
Mike Doogan was wrong!
Take action on behalf of MUDFLATS
Mike Doogan Fell
My Letter to The Ethics Committee
Open Letter to Alaskan Rep Mike Doogan
Please look for a new book by Alaska writer Mike Doogan: “Indecent Exposure.”
Know Your Blogging Rights and Help Protect Anonymous Bloggers Everywhere
Suck. Suck. Blow.
ADN’s Ear Siding With Doogan – The World Has Gone Mad
Politician Outs Blogger