Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On why I post comments from colleagues "anonymously" sometimes

I sometimes post comments from colleagues elsewhere, but without attribution (I always ask them what they would prefer).   I imagine the reason is obvious to most readers, but perhaps I should make it explicit, especially for the benefit of those who don't pay much attention to cyberspace. 

The basic fact is that anyone these days who speaks in favor of legal scholarship and law schools, or against "scam" blogs and charlatans like Campos, is immediately subjected to a torrent of cyber-abuse, defamation, and harassment.  (Anyone skeptical can simply do some searches to see the cyber-response to the sober and scholarly analysis of the economic value of a law degree co-authored by Seton Hall professor Michael Simkovic.)  Cyber-vilifcation is meaningless in the end--it is the ranting of the powerless and the deranged--but it is, undestandably, shocking to most adults.  Many of my correspondents would prefer not to become targets of this abuse.  I have been in cyberspace too long for it to matter anymore, and because I have been out front on many of the issues that generate the most cyber-harassment, the abuse and attempted defamation is both predictable and not very credible.   But this also puts me in a position to provide a forum for other academics to comment, a forum in which I can vouch for who the commenters are but at the same time insulate them from the disgusting abuse of cyber-miscreants.

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2013/08/on-why-i-post-comments-from-colleagues-anonymously-sometimes.html

Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest | Permalink