Thinking about launching an anonymous blog? There are lots of reasons you might want to publish your blog or website anonymously. For example, publishing anonymously may protect you from retaliation by those who don't like what you write. We've seen plenty of bloggers harassed or fired from their jobs for what they've written. In some places, what you write could even threaten your safety or lead to your arrest or detention.
Keep in mind, however, that there are some practical considerations that you should think about before deciding to carry out your online publishing activities anonymously or pseudonymously. Using your real name promotes transparency and tends to increase your credibility. Many readers will be inclined to discount material published anonymously, and for other readers it creates a presumption of unreliability that can be difficult to overcome. If people know who you are, it is easier for them to determine whether you have a potential bias or conflict of interest when it comes to certain topics.
As we discuss in the Potential Legal Challenges to Anonymity section of our legal guide, you should be aware that publishing anonymously will not necessarily stop someone from bringing a "John Doe" lawsuit against you and using court procedures to obtain your identity from your Internet service provider or web host. It is a misconception that you can act with impunity when you post anonymously or pseudonymously. However, the law does provide some protection for anonymous online speech. You can read more about these protections in the section on Legal Protections for Anonymous Speech.
If you do decide to publish anonymously, you'll want to be conversant with the technical means and other strategies you can use to disguise your IP address or make it difficult for someone to associate a specific IP address with you personally. On that front, our friends at Global Voices recently announced that they have updated their excellent anonymous blogging guide:
I’m pleased to announce that the third update to the Anonymous Blogging guide with Wordpress & Tor is now available online! An early draft of this guide was written by Ethan Zuckerman on April 13, 2005 and updated on October 1, 2006. On August 8, 2007 Global Voices Advocacy published an updated HTML version of the guide, along with a downloadable PDF file.
The guide outlines several methods of protecting one’s identity in order to avoid retaliation and can considerably reduce the risks that a blogger’s identity will be linked to his or her online writings through technical means.
In order to provide you with the most up to date information on how to blog anonymously, the guide has been updated once again so that all the tips are compatible with Tor’s recent updates.
You can download the entire guide here. You might also find some useful information in our legal guide section on How to Maintain Your Anonymity Online.