Speaking as someone who doesn’t blog under his full name to avoid professional and personal complications, I think James Joyner has the best take on l’affaire publius (background here). And speaking of Internet anonymity, H.C. Johns has recently been on the case, riffing off of this entertaining Craigslist article. He was also kind enough to mention an old Zizek op-ed I dug up on a similar subject.
So when is it not OK to blog anonymously? If you’re deliberately misrepresenting your expertise in a particular field, I think that qualifies, though I’ve always been quite open about the fact that I am very wet-behind-the-ears, with little more than an undergraduate degree in history and a penchant for witty, incisive dull prose to my credit. Has anyone taken a stab at putting together a formal blogging code of ethics? Now that the medium has matured – and, in many cases, gone mainstream – it might be something worth pursuing.
Feel free to throw out your own suggestions for the 10 Commandments of Blog Ethics in comments.