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Anonymous blogging is the practice of writing an online blog or diary in a way that is intended to hide the identity of the writer. These writers may have different reasons for not wanting to disclose their names, as well as different styles of blogging. As blogging has become more popular, programmers have created a variety of tools to simplify the process of anonymous blogging.
The most common type of anonymous blogging is the traditional weblog. These blogs typically run short to moderate length articles on a daily to weekly basis, although longer entries focused on specific issues are not uncommon. Other anonymous bloggers may choose to use microblogging services such as Twitter™ to post more concise messages. Other writers anonymously participate in multiple user blogs, where several authors can contribute to the same articles or write separate articles to be posted to the same site.
There are several reasons why individuals may choose to engage in anonymous blogging. The most frequently cited motive is whistleblowing. Whistleblowing is the practice of reporting unethical or illegal activities of an organization or business. In many countries, there are laws in place designed to protect whistleblowers from negative repercussions, but bloggers do not always feel that these laws will effectively protect them, especially when they are reporting the activities of their employers. For this reason, many choose to remain anonymous.
Another reason that people participate in anonymous blogging is to avoid confrontation when engaging in gossip or complaining. Bloggers with this motive often have negative things to say about the individuals or companies they are discussing, but are not considered whistleblowers because they are not revealing illegal or unethical behavior. These blogs not protected by whistleblowing laws. If the statements made by the authors of these blogs can be proven to be objectively false and damaging, then the authors may be sued for libel.
There are several methods available to remain anonymous. How a blogger chooses to remain anonymous often is influenced by the resources and technical skill of the people who wish to discover the person's identity. In a case where those resources are limited, simply using a false name may be sufficient. In other cases, more technically complex solutions may be necessary, such as always connecting to the blog through an anonymous web proxy, or using a more advanced anonymity service such as The Onion Router (TOR). Even when the best technological methods are used to protect the authors identity, it can still be revealed though accidental release of confidential information. For this reason, some bloggers try to alter any identifying details in stories or articles that they post.