So this is only tangentially related, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past few days.
People who are active on library Twitter probably saw the doxxing/calling out of an anonymous account called Drunkest Librarian, who previously went by Satan Librarian. He sounds like grade-A garbage, as he harassed and manipulated untold numbers of women on Twitter with a particular emphasis on POC and people with disabilities. It’s led to a lot of conversation around whether or not it’s “okay” to use an anonymous stick figure as your profile and not use your real name as a part of the “community.”
While I completely understand that Drunkest Librarian’s anonymity contributed to his ability to abuse, I’m not so sure I agree with the call to have everyone use their real name and real face on social media. I feel like it creates different kinds of vulnerabilities for different people–i.e., the accounts speaking truth to power run by people who know their trustees or deans are lurking and all too ready to pounce.
DL is also an interesting case in point with doxxing, since people were broadcasting his name in no time and there was a tweet out there about knowing what he looks like, his phone number, his wife’s name, etc. So some of the anonymity there was performative, or at least he wasn’t thinking he could be vulnerable because of how he was abusing his power (so the risks he was taking didn’t really mean much in his mind).
Anyway, sorry to bring this douchebag up in here. I just wanted to know what people think about the anonymity of online accounts! Something I have done a few times is change my name and bio/links on platforms to “hide” a bit when something I’ve said that could get me in trouble starts to blow up, but I’m not sure how effective that is. I think it’s probably time to start setting up my tweets to delete, but I feel weirdly possessive of them.