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LES/EV nightlife under attack


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Suddenly the booming nightlife scene below and above Houston on the East Side isn't popular any more. At least with some local residents, who have organized a coalition to agitate the licensing autho

I lived through a lot of this in Soho, London in the late 1980s and 1990s. It is infuriating when laundromats close down to be replaced by identikit sushi bars and lounges. But when you choose to li

E-mail just received from an activist:     The 7-Eleven will replace Bar on A. I thought we wanted fewer bars.   (Of course, the serious point is that if you drive out bars, they won't be rep

Wilfrid feels, as I do, that the outing was proper. Others disagree. That's what open debate is about.

Then argue that point. Don't say:

 

If you make yourself a public figure on controversial issues, you have to assume that someone will try to discover your identity, and unless you have been very skillful about concealing it, they will probably succeed.

Just because something is expected or has happened in other contexts doesn't somehow make it "proper".

 

I am telling you that the norms I deeply value regarding open discourse on the internet are best served by a healthy amount of respect for privacy, especially of your opponents, and especially when they have prominent online platforms.

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Wilfrid feels, as I do, that the outing was proper. Others disagree. That's what open debate is about.

Then argue that point. Don't say:

 

If you make yourself a public figure on controversial issues, you have to assume that someone will try to discover your identity, and unless you have been very skillful about concealing it, they will probably succeed.

Just because something is expected or has happened in other contexts doesn't somehow make it "proper".

 

I am telling you that the norms I deeply value regarding open discourse on the internet are best served by a healthy amount of respect for privacy, especially of your opponents, and especially when they have prominent online platforms.

 

Surely you can see that there are topics the require pseudonymity and those that do not?

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Surely you can see that there are topics the require pseudonymity and those that do not?

Yes, but doing the actual utilitarian calculations is too exhausting. We all need mental shortcuts.

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Has EVG said why he chose to be anonymous in the first place?

 

All he said was:

 

I've been thinking about using my name on the site for several years. However, I resisted. It's not a personal website, and the blog isn't about me or what I had for dinner last night or what I did this past weekend. It's a news site about the neighborhood, for the neighborhood. Everyone has a voice and the opportunity to share a story, photo or tip, discuss a liquor license application or the latest Citi Bike seats. At least that's how I see it.

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Surely you can see that there are topics the require pseudonymity and those that do not?

Yes, but doing the actual utilitarian calculations is too exhausting. We all need mental shortcuts.

 

"all of them" is not a shortcut.

 

 

Almost every person posting on MFF is "publicly" anonymous. Of course lots of us know each other's actual names but that information was revealed privately, not in a public forum.

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Has EVG said why he chose to be anonymous in the first place?

 

All he said was:

 

I've been thinking about using my name on the site for several years. However, I resisted. It's not a personal website, and the blog isn't about me or what I had for dinner last night or what I did this past weekend. It's a news site about the neighborhood, for the neighborhood. Everyone has a voice and the opportunity to share a story, photo or tip, discuss a liquor license application or the latest Citi Bike seats. At least that's how I see it.

 

 

That's not a real justification. For example, if a few development companies were clients at his PR firm he'd certainly have a good reason for wishing to remain anonymous. He might get fired if his real name was revealed.

 

I can see potential reasons for outing him for cause. For example if an anonymous blog systematically opposed every new bar that planned to open in a given neighborhood and it turned out that the blogger owned 3 existing bars and was trying to restrict competition. Conflict of interest. Fair enough.

 

But there didn't seem to be any specific reason that B&B gave for outing him other than "because we can."

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"all of them" is not a shortcut.

It's exactly a shortcut!

 

It's easier for me to be fair and be happy with my decisions if I don't try to figure out what sort of speakers should be safe from doxxing and which ones shouldn't. Otherwise I might decide that EVG is a jerk who I agree with who deserved to be doxxed, but that some controversial pseudonymous political writer that I follow and secretly agrees with deserves absolute privacy, and that's not a particularly consistent or admirable position to hold.

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I can see potential reasons for outing him for cause. For example if an anonymous blog systematically opposed every new bar that planned to open in a given neighborhood and it turned out that the blogger owned 3 existing bars and was trying to restrict competition. Conflict of interest. Fair enough.

But why does it matter who he is? Either his arguments are wrong and stupid and should be rejected in their own light, or you're literally trying to win an argument by silencing the person on the other side. How does doxxing the guy help? Maybe he honestly believes that there are already enough bars in the neighborhood.

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Wilfrid feels, as I do, that the outing was proper. Others disagree. That's what open debate is about.

Then argue that point. . . . Just because something is expected or has happened in other contexts doesn't somehow make it "proper".

 

I am telling you that the norms I deeply value regarding open discourse on the internet are best served by a healthy amount of respect for privacy, especially of your opponents, and especially when they have prominent online platforms.

 

My position is more pragmatic than principled. Whether your way leads to better or worse public discourse, or is in fact irrelevant, is a question to which I have no answer. I do not find it clear-cut, one way or another.

 

So I am merely asking whether, based on the long history of attempted (and usually 'outed') pseudonymous publishing, over a period of many hundreds of years, Elasser had any good reason to expect he wouldn't be discovered eventually. I conclude not.

 

If you're going to claim "it's a social norm," then that norm had better be almost universally well known and accepted, since all it takes is one person to look up the information in a publicly accessible database, as the reporter in fact did.

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Wilfrid feels, as I do, that the outing was proper. Others disagree. That's what open debate is about.

My position is more pragmatic than principled. Whether your way leads to better or worse public discourse, or is in fact irrelevant, is a question to which I have no answer. I do not find it clear-cut, one way or another.

 

So I am merely asking whether, based on the long history of attempted (and usually 'outed') pseudonymous publishing, over a period of many hundreds of years, Elasser had any good reason to expect he wouldn't be discovered eventually. I conclude not.

Is it "proper"?

 

ETA: I'm reading you as saying "proper" in the sense of correct, morally justifiable, a good move, &c. I disagree heavily with that. If you just mean that it was in some sense inevitable or to be expected, than obviously you were right, given the existence of WHOIS history.

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I'm reading you as saying "proper" in the sense of correct, morally justifiable, a good move, &c. I disagree heavily with that. If you just mean that it was in some sense inevitable, than obviously you were right, given the existence of WHOIS history.

I do believe it is morally justified, because EVGrieve was himself often responsible for "outing" people, usually for the purpose of ridiculing and showering indignation upon them. If he engages in that behavior, and considers it proper (as he evidently did), then what right have we to presume that others cannot do the same?

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