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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Flea-ting thoughts

As an anonymous blogger, I have a personal interest in the fallout from the dramatic courtroom admission that an anonymous medical blogger was writing about his own malpractice trial.

Globe blogger Elizabeth Cooney writes:
If there was any remaining doubt, the settlement of Natick pediatrician and medical blogger Dr. Robert Lindeman's malpractice trial removed any illusion that blogging could be done anonymously.
With due respect, Lindeman's problem was not that he blogged anonymously. It was that he blogged anonymously about his own medical malpractice trial, as the Globe notes, taking swipes at the plaintiff's case and the plaintiff's lawyer; revealing the defense strategy; accusing jurors of dozing.

The issue is not anonymous blogging. It is arrogance, hubris, stupidity and a whole bunch of other words like that.

To blog anonymously about your work, especially when it is in a field where privacy and confidentiality are paramount, is overwhelmingly arrogant. It is about taking cheap shots, as Lindeman did, swatting at the "fleas" who make your life miserable on a daily basis.

I blog anonymously to avoid linking my employer with my political views and opinions (although many know I write this blog and are quite encouraging). To me, that's just basic common sense.

And, oh by the way, I don't write about my employer. That's even more common sense.

In the end, it wasn't anonymity that brought down flea. It was arrogance and stupidity. His punishment was public humiliation (and apparently a fat settlement for the plaintiff.)

Don't look for me to unmask anytime soon.

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