November 7, 2010

No anonymity any more?

(Deje Selam; November 7/2010): We came across wonderful concept posted about our blogging world: the issue of being anonymous while writing and commenting, by a bloger called "Mahlet Zesolomon".

To show a solidarity with our fellow blogger Mahlet, we started our Deje Selamaweyan "to be registered and have names" before commenting and No anonymity any more. Read her article below and also visit her blog and leave your comments there.



(Mahlet Zesolomon Blog):- As the inheritors of faith and the Church poised in the brink of the 21 first century ,cyber has become one the major means of communication among the Laity of the Ethiopian Church as result we have a number of blogs about and for the Church .Praise be to God we are able to get news, dialogues and articles a lot more sooner and in a more legitimate way, yet most of these blogs have anonymous owners which has forced many of us to be very skeptical about them, questioning their credibility which made the time it takes for these blogs to be well recognized and accepted more longer than it usually does .When we come to readers of these blogs, a tendency of putting comment as anonymous or using avatar names is very common. So no matter how aggravating and important the issue is, to have an open discourse has become almost impossible making one unable to determine what potential is dependable-participant if change is initiated to happen.

Mahlet Solomon
  In its normal occurrence – cyberism, the screen cease to be a medium of communication between real people who exist elsewhere and also a place where we forward our ideas and views regarding an issue, just like we do in real world (in person and face to face interaction).The other occurrence is when a person creates a virtual character in the virtual world as proxies for themselves (avatar), so enabling their controllers to live in complete self-complacency behind the screen without being known. For instance a person can imaginatively use a phrase, name of holiday or a famous person for their avatar.


Causes
As this is not an in-depth researched writing on the original of the various reasons for why people prefer to use an avatar (second life) I would like to point out the most common one which is modesty, playing the biggest role since this has opened a loop to the rivals of the Church to use such methods to distract participants or readers from the topic of the subject that is being discussed by putting a disturbing or unrelated comment. These cyber bugs not only create a diversion but also support the erroneous act and challenges that the Church is facing by putting across their vocabulary decorated words and justifying it, hindering the formation of a strong foundation for open religious discourse that would bring about the desired change. 

I would only like to point out its effect by stating a small example
A manufacturing company might hold an electronic “town hall” where employees and stakeholder can participate from any part of the world. They can use avatars or second life as long as that second life can be linked in to a person meaning an employee or stakeholder and that avatar is a registered user of that virtual conference. The company can deliver the required message to everyone without any miscommunication and misapprehension. But at the end of the day since technology does not provide or grant its reward freely and for the business to be able to utilize the power of machines and manufacturing tool, the workers have to be become part of the machinery and bend their labor in to the discipline. In short what it means is that they have to be physically present to do the work.

 The Ethiopian Church, more than ever, is in need of a voice that says “NO” to all the wrong doings that have gradually worsen. The conflict among the fathers which has led to formation of an exile “synod”, the miscommunication that erupts every now and then at various Bishoprics between Bishops, clergy and the parish members, the abandoning of rural Churches and the flight of clergy because of the lack income, the uninhabited clerical schools, the muddle up administration and Hierarch and a lot more. This can only be attended by speaking up and re-involving in the ground work discipline and as the manufacturing company requires it workers to be physically present at the work place the Ethiopian Church needs a Laity that is spiritually committed, well informed and accountable that is dependable and sensitive about the faith and the well being of the Church. Avatar or Second life fail short on providing that role to the Laity since a real name and real face cannot be attached to the views and comments and discussion made.

Taking the rightful place
 It is undeniable that there are individuals that have given themselves to take up their role on the internal and external challenges that the Church faces, both in real world and cyber.
 For instance Dn Daniel Kibret who we all know for his books, his profound preaching and his invincible stand to the Ethiopian Church has always been an individual who forward his views and forte beliefs openly. And now he has merged the cyber world with the same tone and tune.
His blog has enormous amount of viewers and followers and the time it took the blog to be well know was very short since Dn Daniel Kibret has an established profile in the minds of public.

Even though everyone has differences on aptitude but as the children of the Ethiopian church all has one thing in common and that is the royal priesthood as mentioned in the first epistle of St.Peter, the second chapter and the ninth verse, the Laity has the obligation to take up that rightful place. As a one of progression of such spiritual and revitalized commitment I would like to recommend the following to cyber Ethiopian Church Laity:

1.       Be able to put your proper name because it is the voice of the individual in the voice of a group that actually counts in an ethical religious discourse. It will also suffice a proper flow of discussion rather than one “anonymous” referring to another “anonymous”.
2.        Be able to put proper identity because on doing so the discussion is given proper weight and credibility, as fictitious names are misleading whether a view or comment forwarded is the same person using different names (also known as cyber bugs) or actually a view of different individuals.
3.       Be able not to be very quick-tempered while putting comment no matter how upsetting the issue might be because temper will only stir up strife.
4.       Even though there would be comments that try to agitate the atmosphere, be slow to anger and try to calm the contention.
5.       Be able to always remember that these are not a political but a religious sphere and words have to be chosen wisely.


Longing to here good news

13 comments:

DEREJE THE AWASSA said...

Dear Dejeselams
this is a good solution to filter out who is disturbing the discussion board. however many of are not well oriented to create accounts to post comments. thus could you please aware us how to get an account.
God bless our church

aragaw ewnetu said...

That is very good.

Daniel said...

I don't see advantage to ask people to login to their Google account for comment. If somebody really want to hide his identity, he/she can open fake Google account and comment using the fake name. Forcing people to register create inconvenient for people who just only want to comment.

tewahedo said...

First I would like to appreciate Mahlet for using her real name and link her picture with the comments that she has been making on a couple of dejeselam posts. I share some of the points that she raised with respect to using real names instead of anonymous. I totally agree in using other names instead of anonymous but disagree in using names that will be traceable to the person over dejeselam. Mahlet didn’t noticed that this is religious issue which very critical and most us of may not have common understanding on some points.
She has listed out five reasons why using anonymous should be avoided. In the first reason she pointed that using registered real name” will suffice a proper flow of discussion rather than one “anonymous” referring to another anonymous”. I agree using real name or avatar name can help in identifying the person who wrote a comment and will be easy for people who want to post comments referring the person’s name. But this doesn’t necessary need the use of real name. It can be solved using any other name.

She also said that anonymous users can repeat similar comments. But from reality dejeselamawian were able to identify very similar comments that were probably posted by same person. I remember a year ago a person who had been posting his message multiple times. If a person wants to duplicate or triplicate his post, he can even register on deje selam a number of times and comment using his names.

I want to mention also that dejeselam is a discussion point. A person can write his wish, idea or disagreements. Whether our name is known or not, as far as we are Christians we are expected to use proper wording and avoid offensive words. As we are Christians we have to obey God’s law instead of deje selamawian.

The major disagreement point that I have with regard to using traceable name is people will be very conservative to give comments and to share valuable information. Dejeselam will be a place where appreciations and thanks giving will be posted instead of criticism. It is known most of the posts of Dejeselam criticize the church admin and some persons. But what if we want to criticize MK? For sure we cannot do that because dejeselam supports it. Alternatively if we criticize somebody which DS supports, the DS will be very tactical to defame us.
Let us take an example, this writer being member of MK is happy to provide services through the association and has good feelings towards the association. However I strongly oppose some acts of my association. I know if I tell those weaknesses they will not accept at this time and they will try to detach me from my service which I like most. So as anonymous user I have raised some points which should be corrected by the association keeping my identity hidden because what I like most is correcting the problems.
I prefer this since I believe most people don’t have equal and matured way of solving churches problem. For me what matters is the idea not the person who wrote about the issue. Keeping the tradition of the church and the law of God in mind, the correctness of the idea and flow of information is very important irrespective of the speaker or writer.
Blessed are those who make Peace

tewodros said...

That is very good to hear. As it builds the confidence of the writer & the reader's as well. One more thing ,the writer will take time before sending any idea coming to his or her mouth.
For deje selam it will creat more publicity and trust. I believe it is time all educated ethiopians start spending their knowledge for the good of the church & for bright future of ethiopia. 10Q Mahlet Zesolomon for starting the road. I promise i will join u. May God help us all.

Dn Haile Michael said...

In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit Amen.
To Tewahedo
The Mk may have some weakness as you said.But for sure, "the weakness" will never be Dogmatic or Canonic.If you are really member of the association :-
1)Why did you like to say "there is some weakness" in general ?
2) Why did you choose to post the presence of "some weakness" in this blog while there are altenatives of informing the presence of "the weakness" ? For instance you can
a)send by post or email.
b) cite in your specific service section or tell to one of those in responsility regarding the association .
More over I remember that there were many posts by commenters which criticise MK ,even those insult MK were posted.But you denied this reality.Why ?
As far as I understand dejeselam didn't post any thing regarding the personalty of some one unless for the sake of Church's well-being.Of course if she did ,she woudn't have this number of followers.That reveals that what is posted in dejeselam is common issue of the children of the Church.
So I understand it is not moral to criticise some group or individual without evidence .And is not christian to reveal someone's or groups sin for the sake of self interest unless for the sake of the well-being of the Church.
To finally come to the raised issue ,what is the problem with even real name of ours if we are confident with what we comment?If we are really the children of the Church why do not we speak in light ? Rather why we choose to walk in darkness ? I don't understand .So I agree with idea raised by our sister Mahlet.

May God bless us

Mahlet said...

@Daniel
You are absolutely right it will not solve all the problems but this will just reduce the figure. It will slowly but gradually clear out and the trend of legitimate blogging will be adopted.
@Tewahedo
I have read your comment and have come up with only four points that I feel we should clear out and the rest I absolutely agree with. The points are:
• Mahlet didn’t noticed that this is religious issue which very critical and most us of may not have common understanding on some points.
I believe if you have read the writing carefully you can see the main purpose of it is to suggest to give the proper weight to issues since it is a religious matter. And the main purpose of discussion is to bring about common understanding and if there is ambiguity on ideas it is advisable to ask about it and discuss it in the platform. Mind you cyber networks people from all over the world and it is uncommon not to find participants who have small or different-way of understanding of the matter, discussion in a away helps to bring everyone on the small level of understanding or awareness.
• Equal and matured way of solving churches problem
Keep in mind, as the example I have mentioned and in a way tried to project the concern behind and the discipline that is required for stepping up to involve in approaching church problems ,one needs to be credible and accountable for one’s action. Just like the manufacturing company needs employees to be physically present one needs to be physical and mentally present in and for the Church. And please remember blogging can be used for discussion but it is not a full-fledged discussion forum.
• Repeat comments and Proper wording
As the writing suggests and as I have commented above this will not solve all our cyber problems but will reduce the number. The reason I have mentioned proper wording is because I see people mixing up politics with religion and entering such platforms still wearing their political hats using the same term, this may be knowingly or unknowingly.
• Using names that will be traceable to the person over dejeselam.
Fear of being traced, apparently I feel like it’s an irony to talk about Christianity and fear together. But yet it is understandable that commitment based on choice is a luxury that we still need to grow into.

quchera said...

UUmmmmm...................
surprised.
Dejeselam did you forgot that you are also anonymous.

tewahedo said...

Peace to all of you.
@Dn. Haile Michael,
Take it easy. I wrote about our association to show an example to elaborate my idea. I don’t want to list fault of the association and make antagonism here. I wrote a couple of pages to send it to Head Office but leave it as I thought it is not time to do so.
@Mahlet
Thanks for the explanations. I don’t want to make more debates on your explanations but I want to make clarification about the last point you raised. “Fear of being traced, apparently I feel like it’s an irony to talk about Christianity and fear together.”
Yea it seems speaking about Christianity and fear but as you supposed it is not a matter of commitment, rather it is matter of time. Sometimes people accept your ideas and impressed in your points though you are telling them what they already know. While sometimes you will be considered as useless person though you provide very essential solutions. This is reality in this world including church related matters. So using traceable names will make most people to focus on writer than the idea.

mistire tewahedo said...

Selam dejeselam.You are so funny that you hide yourself and want to know who is commenting on your blog.I like what Quchera said, who is running Dejeselam? who are you in the first place? MK ? UNDERCOVER TPLF? Mahilet Solomon and friends? You see,you are not living by the rules you are accepting.First lets know who you are and then we absolutely obey the rule!

EHETE MICHEAL said...

Deje selamoch selam lenante
I am the one who appreciate this blog good job keep it up.But why and for what you said no more anonymous comment post in your blog??????????
In my view i don't have any problem ,we are living in a free world peoples have to do what they want to do.You are not posting comments straight away.So in my view just let it be.And i am honest with you who are running this blog? You guys and some peoples knows that unless you are doing you job from somewhere ***SEWERU BLOG*** but really working hard day and night.Deje selamoch as i said your information is good for me but this kind of minor this that you didn't even want to do ,don't ask others to do as the bible says.
Ehete micheal

Mahlet said...

@Tewahedo
As you have said if it is reality of the world that some times your idea will get accepted or rejected or some times people discuss the person than the idea ,then why hide
@Mistire Tewahedo
I bit you did not read the article properly anonymous blogging includes blog owners too please read the first paragraphy carefully
Secondly,as Deje-Selam has mentioned in the begining this is an endorsed writing from my blog which you can visit
www.mahletzesolomon.blogspot.com
I stil believe Deje-Selam will one day reveal the stakeholders

Anonymous said...

Please Dejeselam team now i feel i am reading a chat comment and this really out of touch that it's all the right of the fellow dejeselamawiyan to make them selves anonymous as far as they got they share their thoughts and depreciates the value of passing information and after all you guys are blogging spiritual matters and it's not an honor to call such a blogger to call fellow blogger and who blogs about personal thoughts and please i have a great value for DEJESELAM so be up to your level and don't put your value down their only because she/or he writes about dejeselam.

Keep up the Good Job and May God bring peace for our church!!

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