Blogs > Cliopatria > New HNN Pseudonym Policy

Jul 20, 2005 7:45 pm

New HNN Pseudonym Policy

After considerable internal (and external) discussion and consideration, HNN has altered its comment policy:
Pseudonyms may be used only with prior permission from HNN. Permission may be granted to bloggers who have been using a stable pseudonym for a substantial prior period, or to posters with a credible fear of professional or personal retaliation for their views. The real, verifiable name of the poster must be made known to HNN, which will hold that information in strict confidence. Once a pseudonym has been assigned, the user must continue using only that pseudonym (i.e. may not comment under both a pseudonym and their own name), unless they wish to reveal their name, in which case it must be done by altering the account so that all prior comments are properly attributed.

All permissions and approvals are the sole purview of HNN administration, which retains the right to alter or cancel permission, or even this policy, if it is abused. (To contact HNN click here.)

What this means is that our usual policing of comments and commenters will continue unabated, but that a few exceptions will be made for responsible bloggers and scholars who we can't get into the discussion any other way. My views on anonymity within HNN are pretty well known: I was probably the person in the discussion most resistant to this change. But we're going to experiment.
comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 7/21/2005

As someone who has used a pseudonym on this site for a while with no ill intentions, I must ask 2 questions:
1) How would the HNN editors know that it is a pseudonym and not the poster's real name?
2) What harm does it do if someone choses to use a pseudonym so long as they remain civil and adhere to all other rules of HNN?

Mind you, I have no problem with using my real name and fear no retaliation or concern, but I certainly have no problem with debating and conversing with someone whose real name remains unknown to me. After all, our Founding Fathers regularly used pseudonyms to profess their beliefs, and even if their authorship was widely known, their moral right to do so remains as solid as our own today.

mark safranski - 7/20/2005

I think it will be a lot more fun for the rest of us who don't have a case of megalomaniacal paranoia and use our own names if the editors get to pick the psuedonym and not the applicant.

History News Network