Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

October 31, 2013

Anonymity is fleeting when people are tweeting

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Did anonymity lend him mystique? "Oh, 100 percent," Sommer said. "People were thinking it was all these fancy media reporters. But those people don't have time for that! It's just this 23-year-old."

"Tweeting anonymously is great for people who either have an image to protect, or no image at all," said Jason Sattler, who puts himself in the latter category. A Michigan social media consultant, he launched @LOLGOP (160,000-plus followers) just for fun a few years ago; it led to a job with the left-leaning political site NationalMemo.com, where his new bosses decided he should come clean about his Twitter identity. "That made my reveal far less interesting," he said. "Personally, I was hoping I'd turn out to be Tagg Romney."

Abra Belke looped in her boss when, as a Capitol Hill staffer in 2008, she launched CapHillStyle, a blog and Twitter feed, "because I was tired of explaining to interns what they should be wearing to work." He was fine with it, she said — but lawyers for the House ethics committee fretted that lobbyists would try to woo her with gifts of shampoo or shoes.

Under the nom de plume of "Belle," she found anonymity hard to preserve: After she mocked the shiny green vest a congressman's son wore in his wedding photos, his aides tracked down her identity through her domain registration and called her chief of staff to complain. Now a lobbyist, she wonders what Joseph was thinking.

"Was he looking for people to retweet him and be microfamous? In the national security sector, you should know you're never truly anonymous. Somebody knows who you are!"

Text Only
Sister Newspapers' News
Sister Newspaper Columns
AP Editor's Picks Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
National and World