If you missed it on CNN.com, a woman in Pittsburgh, PA who blogged about the city, the mayor, her hatred of pigeons and so on, decided to reveal who she was in real life, and was subsequently fired for it:
Feeling pressure to take control of her identity before someone else outed her, PittGirl on Wednesday posted pictures of herself on her blog and introduced readers to her real-world self: Virginia Montanez, a 35-year-old married mother of two who worked in the nonprofit sector.
“My friends and family call me Ginny,” she wrote on her blog. “But you can continue to call me Your Majesty, because I’ve grown accustomed.”
On Thursday morning, Montanez was fired from her job because of her online persona, she said.
Unfortunately, the article does not say what exactly her former employer found objectionable about her blogging, and why it was a terminable offense.
Even more disturbing is this:
On one end of the spectrum, a court could out a blogger simply because a legal action is filed against the person. That’s troublesome because any good attorney could leverage the courts simply to expose a person’s identity, he said.
Now, I had someone hit my blog the other day by using the search string “suin [sic] a blogger for defamation.” I’m not really sure why that brought them to my blog, unless it hit on the entry I made back in March about the outing of AKMuckraker, the blogger behind Themudflats.net, who was also quoted in the article as saying:
Devon, who blogs on a site called The Mudflats, says she has mixed feeling about being forced out of the closet. In one sense, she says, she was able to be more herself while writing under an assumed name.
“There are things that you know, or that you feel sort of in your heart of hearts, that you might not want to put out there in a public way” with your name attached, she said. “If people always spoke without filters, we’d learn a lot more.”
I am unclear at this point if this is some attempt to intimidate people and prohibit free speech, a way to exert more control over employees personal lives, a misguided attempt to curry favor with elected officials in Pittsburgh, all of the above, none of the above, or something else entirely.