Rectification Of Names

Rectification Of Names

It has been brought to my attention that I have never ‘made it clear’ that I would rather be known, on blogs, as hilzoy, and not by my actual name. I had always imagined that signing my posts ‘hilzoy’ was a clear enough indication of how I would like to be known on blogs; however, to preclude any further misunderstanding, I thought I should state this explicitly.

I realize that my identity is not much of a secret, though I myself have never given permission for my name to be used in connection with my blog posts in print. Moreover, unlike other pseudonymous bloggers whose jobs or relationships might be at risk were their identities known, my reasons for using a pseudonym are not particularly dramatic. They are, however, mine, and I do not think that anyone else ought to take it upon him- or herself to disregard them, especially if s/he does not know what they are.

It has also been brought to my attention that Slate’s policy is that once an article has been published, it cannot be changed unless it is in error. Since my actual identity was published in Slate, and the article in which it is published is not in error, their policy precludes their replacing it with my pseudonym. This does not matter that much in my own case, but for what it’s worth, I think this policy is misguided. Suppose that Slate had published (accurately) my home address and phone number, or entries from my journal, or anything else that most people would think that I ought to be able to keep private, and that its editors had not known (as they did not in this case) that I had not agreed to the publication of those things. Would their policy prevent them from deleting that information? I hope not.

In any case, once more for the record: on blogs, I would rather be known as hilzoy. Thanks.

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