Intelligent Discontent

Watch Where You Post “Anonymously”


The Lee Watch blog, a great source of information about Lee Enterprises, has a pretty frightening post up about the dangers of posting online when you assume your identity is safe.

It seems the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s “social media editor”  (who says papers are hurting for money?) Kurt Greenbaum decided to out a commenter who left a lewd comment on his thought-provoking journalistic masterpiece, “What’s the Craziest Thing You’ve Ever Eaten?”.

Greenbaum claims to have contacted the employer of the commenter who, with Greenbaum’s help, was able to track down the culprit, who resigned once confronted. Assuming Greenbaum’s triumphant tale is true, it’s troubling to imagine that an editor at a newspaper would act like this. Having some experience with with the subject, however, it’s certainly not surprising.

It raises a number of interesting questions, certainly. How bound are newspapers or any site to follow their privacy policies? How foolish would an anonymous source have to be to trust someone from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch? What in the hell does a newspaper need a social media editor to do?

Careful out there. Kurt Greenbaum is watching.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a sixteen year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate. In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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