Friday, October 25, 2019

I am... Sock Puppet; The History and Right of the Non de Plume

Staff Writer, DL Mullan
Big Tech Censorship / 1st Amendment / Internet Identification
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A false identity adopted by trolls and other malcontents to support their own postings.
Your favorite authors do it. Singers and songwriters do it. Actresses and Actors do it. 

A sock puppet is more than creating a persona for political groups to terrorize online communities for paid jest. Anonymity is a time-honored tradition that has become a literary staple in human society. A pseudonym, or non de plume, is a tool for satire and criticism. 

In a world of social media where one post can send you to the unemployment line or even jail for an unpopular opinion, non de plumes are more important than ever. Unfortunately big tech like Facebook as well as lawmakers in Washington, D.C. would like to restrict freedom of speech by imposing another layer of internet identification onto the populace. 

That requirement would be to the disadvantage especially for women. Women have often used pen names in the writing world because female authors are discriminated against by readers and judged as their sex instead of their merits. So women like Joanne Rowling use their initials: J.K. Rowling as well as she used a male name Robert Galbraith. In centuries past, female authors like Jane Austen, The Bronte sisters, and Mary Ann Evans were in fact authored as "The Lady," Currer Bell, Ellis Bell, Acton Bell, and George Eliot respectively.

Non de Plumes are not just for women, but also male historical figures:
FIRDOUSI, Persian poet. Abu '1 Kasim Mansur (or Hasan), who took the nom de plume of Firdousi (Firdausi or Firdusi), author of the epic poem the Shdhndma, or "Book of Kings," a complete history of Persia in nearly 6o,000 verses, was born at Shadab, a suburb of Tus, about the year 329 of the Hegira (A.D. or earlier. Firdousi was profoundly versed in the Arabic language and literature and had also studied deeply the Pahlavi or Old Persian, and was conversant with the ancient historical records which existed in that tongue.
NĀSIR KHOSRAU (Nasiri Khusru), Abū Mu‘in-ed-din Nāsir b. Khosrau (1004-1088), whose nom de plume was Hujjat,
Clemens had become widely known in Virginia City — if not necessarily widely liked — by the time the pseudonym Mark Twain first appeared in the Enterprise on February 3, 1863.
In 1784 he [Arthur Young] began the publication of the Annals of Agriculture, which was continued for 45 volumes: contributors included King George III, writing under the nom de plume of "Ralph Robinson."
Is it no wonder that communication from print to online has seen its share of these anonymous sock puppets? But is the hysteria of election meddling really that relevant to require everyone to be bagged and tagged? Isn't the mere call for identification meddling in and of itself?

Americans already suffer the unlawful condition of using a cellular phone to use social media like Twitter and Facebook as a form of internet identification. Unlawful because why are Americans forced to buy another separate product and service when their home computer and internet service provider (ISP) already allows them to use social media, which is supposed to be free, as well as their ISP is a layer of forced governmental and intrusive identification?

Disabled people who cannot afford or are otherwise unable to use cellular phone service are restricted from access to social media because of this unwarranted and unnecessary bias that cellular phones equal identification when burner phones could be used in their sted.  The requirement makes no sense. To mandate additional internet identification and financial consumption of cellular phone service is discrimination akin to voter suppression when viewed through the lens of political philosophy and supposed election meddling.

What the political and tech elite fail to understand is that Americans have the right to be anonymous. Freedom of expression covers many areas of thought and creativity. A non de plume is a creative expression of one's native identity.

Richard Saunders
Anthony Afterwit
Silence Dogood
Celia Single
Miss Polly Baker
Busy Body
Margaret Aftercast
Patience
Bridget Saunders

All pseudonyms of one American Founding Father: Benjamin Franklin, so he could parody, criticize, and discuss gender topics as well as political conceptions in Puritan colonial America.

Other male writers who have used false identities are:  
In his satires, Jonathan Swift used seventeen pseudonyms including Isaac Bickerstaff and M. B. Drapier...  
In the eighteenth century, Enlightenment figures became prolific users ofpseudonyms. Voltaire, whose real name was Francois Marie Arouet, used 173 pseudonyms (174 ifone includes "Voltaire").
Daniel Defoe, who holds the record of using 198 pseudonyms, had one called Miranda Meanwell.
Social media identification in any form is unwarranted. First internet service providers track and identify users. Cellular phone service serves that same function. If authorities need to investigate and seek a warrant for criminal activities, a person's identity is a foregone conclusion. 

However the history and usage of a non de plume (literary double) is not only an American right, but a human historical fact. From the far east and into the writings of our most beloved authors, the pseudonym helps society workout its social norms, mores, and taboos through criticism and satire.

If politicians and corporations cannot stand criticism, then stay out of the public arena, do not do anything wrong, and cease all activities associated with social engineering. 

Americans and the world have the right to speak freely and without persecution. It is a human right. It is the human condition. 

Expressing an honest, nonviolent opinion without corporate and governmental repercussions, that is also a fundamental civil liberty online, at home, and on the streets.  

Freedom of speech and expression are nonnegotiable.


Sources: Urban Dictionary, Mashable, NPR, Glued Ideas, Wikisource, Time, PraBook, Digital Commons, Wikipedia,   

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