An Honest Blogger

4CD745AD-5CB5-4C3D-A497-9439E58964DBRory, A Guy Called Bloke, wrote a post today in which he asked this:

How honest are you to your blog and as such, to your readership? Do you think you can be too honest, too open?

This question really struck a chord with me. Why? I was once told that, since I blog anonymously, I am not an honest blogger. Why? Because I’m hiding my true identity, and unless or until I reveal my true identity, I’m being dishonest and disingenuous.

Well I call bullshit on that. I have my reasons for blogging anonymously, primarily having already been the victim of identity theft — twice! So it has nothing to do with being dishonest or disingenuous.

With that out of the way, on my blog I write a lot of flash fiction, often in response to word or picture prompts. Fiction is stories that describes imaginary events and people. Fiction is invention or fabrication as opposed to fact. So, by definition, writing fiction is not about honesty.

I also respond to Q&A prompts, and I do try to honestly answer the questions posed. And finally, as my blog’s tagline says, I post about life, society, and politics.

Other than members of my immediate family, few of my friends or acquaintances know who Fandango is. If they did, the real world me might feel more constrained when it comes to expressing my deep down inside thoughts and feelings on my blog. After all, I have to interact with these people in the real world and I’m a relatively private person.

Thus, it’s here, on my blog, where I’m probably being more honest and genuine in expressing my inner self than I am in the real world.

So back to Rory’s question, I feel that I am honest on my blog and with those who read my blog. As to his second question, I do feel there is a risk of being too honest and too open — in the real world. But not when it comes to my blog, where I can write and post any damn thing I want.

The Future Is Now

On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, shared a video showing CNN’s Jim Acosta struggling with a White House intern to hold onto a microphone during a contentious exchange with Donald Trump. The video appears to have been doctored to make Acosta look more aggressive than he was during the exchange

Fact-checkers and other experts say the video, which was first shared by Paul Joseph Watson, a conspiracy theorist associated with the far-right website InfoWars, was deliberately sped up to make it look like Acosta chopped the woman’s arm with his hand. Authentic versions of the video that weren’t manipulated showed him slowly raising his hand, appearing to gesture to the president. The White House pulled Acosta’s press pass Wednesday, with Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeting that the White House will “not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video.”

In July I wrote a post about something called deepfakes. Deepfakes are videos that use a sophisticated type of software that makes it possible to superimpose one person’s face onto another’s body and manipulate voice recordings, creating fake videos that look and sound real.

“When you see video, you still think that you are peering into reality,” David Ryan Polgar, a tech ethicist, said. “The struggle now is that we are blurring the lines between reality and fiction. That’s extremely dangerous for our notions of truth, what happened, and what didn’t.”

It’s very telling that the American government is now disseminating doctored videos to spread its propaganda and to justify the president’s lies and abhorrent behavior. Authoritarian governments have a history of manipulating images and releasing propaganda films. But now it appears that our very own government, in the age of Trump, continues to deliberately create and promote false realities.