Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,

Accountability and anonymity: the latest SF&F/fandom wank

Apparently acrackedmoon (of Requires Only That You Hate fame), formerly "winterfox," has been outed.

I can't say I've ever heard of her (the real name who is apparently an up-and-coming author), but I'll probably check out one of her stories.

I think outing people who are trying to remain pseudonymous is generally a pretty shitty thing to do. I am quite aware that I'm not really anonymous - someone who really wants to know my real identity can figure it out. If someone posted to Twitter: "Hahahaha! Inverarity is really Stephen King*!" I would be annoyed, but I would not freak out about it. I would consider that person to be an asshole, though.

Right now, no one cares who I am, and the number of people who dislike me enough that they'd find it amusing to post my real name just because it would annoy me is small enough that I don't really care. If I ever actually get published, I expect at that point it would be a matter of time before I got "outed," if I didn't out myself.

So, I think the people involved in outing acrackedmoon (exactly who these people are seems to be debatable, as there are those who have apparently known for a while, those who've been dropping hints and threatening to out her, and then the one(s) who actually first publicly posted her real name) are kind of dicks. I've read various justifications from "It was coming out anyway and this put an end to the drama" to "Bwahahaha, karma's a bitch!" And I still think that absent some reason more compelling than "She deserved it," it's wrong to post someone's real name if they don't want their real name posted.

That said, apparently this up-and-coming author also adopted a sweet, friendly, and mild persona when interacting with the very people she was shredding on her ROTYH blog. And the point at which she stopped blogging and tweeting coincided with the point at which she started getting published. So I find that profoundly disingenuous and cowardly. If you're gonna say it, own it, and if you're gonna say it anonymously, be prepared to own it when you inevitably get outed.

I've generally tried to be pretty much myself and not say things I'll regret here. Supposing that I became famous (for some small value of "fame"), I'm sure someone could scour all my LJ posts and find something objectionable I've written. But the reason I don't worry too much about being outed (besides the fact that I'm a nobody) is that I'm fairly confident that the worst thing that would come of it would be some mild embarrassment. ("Oh, he's that guy?")

So anyway, be yourself and own your words. acrackedmoon is no angel, and she went out of her way to antagonize some of the people who are now celebrating her little moment of notoriety. But what I find most objectionable is the fact that she wasn't prepared to face down her critics when this day came and say, "Yeah, that was me, and yeah, I said those things."

In the long run, though, I doubt this will really hurt her. If she goes on to become a Big Name Author, she will always have her remora-like enemies hanging around reminding everyone that she used to be winterfox and that she once said she wanted to punch Paolo Bacigalupi in the face and that U.S. soldiers are all mass murderers, but editors and publishers really don't care about this kind of thing. If Orson Scott Card, Marion Zimmer Bradley**, and Harlan Ellison haven't lost any sales, a writer once known for incendiary reviews and vitriolic tweets will be able to live this down just fine.

* I am not really Stephen King

** Yes, she's dead. She probably still outsells most living authors.
Tags: fandom wank, requires only that you hate, soapbox

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