Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Joint Statement Against Anonymous Attack Blogs

By Adam Pagnucco, Eric Luedtke and Dan Reed.

Recently, an anonymous blog appeared targeting Montgomery County Council Member Mike Knapp. The sole purpose of this blog was to attack Mr. Knapp's character in an effort to discourage him from running for County Executive. We will not do the author a favor by linking to his work. The issue for us is not Mr. Knapp or his fitness for office. Rather, the creation of this blog, which is neither the first nor the last of its kind, calls a question of vital importance to Maryland's blogosphere. And this is our response.

All of us blog under our own names. We do it because we believe what we say. We do it because we are willing to stand behind our words. And we do it because we do not fear accountability from our readers. In fact, transparency and accountability are good for the blogosphere. They are the primary tools by which our still young, and occasionally unruly, medium can be improved.

Unfortunately, our medium is subject to abuse by those who attempt to destroy the reputation of others while hiding behind a veil of anonymity. By spreading incorrect and possibly libelous information, anonymous attack bloggers do a disservice to legitimate bloggers and to the community as a whole.

While we may disagree on some matters, we agree on the fact that these anonymous attackers discredit the blogosphere and political activism as a whole. For the good of our craft, our readers and the public discourse, we the undersigned stand against them and condemn their work. Specifically, the creator of the anonymous blog attacking Mike Knapp should either have the courage to identify himself or herself or have the decency to delete the blog.

Dan Reed is the author of Just Up the Pike. Eric Luedtke is a contributor to Free State Politics. Adam Pagnucco is a contributor to Maryland Politics Watch. As measured by Sitemeter, Just Up the Pike, Free State Politics and Maryland Politics Watch are three of the five most-read blogs in the state of Maryland.