1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

The anonymous blogger *

by: Rui Rangel, Judge

“These lowly people who write without identifying themselves are only apt to discuss persons, and not ideas and principles”

In this global world, nobody questions the virtuosities and advantages of the blogs, as a multifunctional tool that promotes a new form of communication, a completely free form of expression. In fact, when the blog is used correctly it constitutes an important instrument for public debate, pertinent and serious debate, rendering the exercise of Democracy a good service.

But the blog that allows for the vast majority of bloggers to hide behind anonymity is not serious, nor does it render any relevant service to society. I know well that anonymity was a conquest to escape from the massive opinion, to be able to disagree without being identified, avoiding to be placed outside of the group. But I’m also aware that this specific characteristic of the blogs, founded on anonymity, has been used to protect cowardly and petty people who use this form of communication for personal revenge, to offend the honour and the reputation of those who show their face and are not afraid to sign everything that they do. These lowly people who write without identifying themselves are only apt to discuss persons, and not ideas and principles. The spiral of silence of which the sociologist Noelle Neumann speaks to us is the frontier that distinguishes quality and intellectual honesty between blogs.

The anonymous blogger is unfortunately a judge, as well. This person, who is the visible face of Justice, a Justice that we want to be transparent and to show its face, also hides behind this despicable form of communication, sending torpedoes into what he reads, defaming without a trace of respect and tolerance. Maybe the Superior Council of Magistrature should pay attention to some of the blogs that follow the matters of Justice and which do not dignify the Judicial Power.

The anonymous offenses are at the antipodes of constructive, proportional and adequate criticism. It’s good for the anonymous judge to know that the blog does not escape the rules of the Portuguese law, or the limits of the exercise of freedom, of manifestation and of thought. And it’s also good that he knows that the blog’s owner is civilly and criminally responsible for any injurious comments. For every right that is created, there is a limit.

The one that hides in the cave of silence and darkness, to enjoy a moment of glory when he writes without identifying himself, shows his weak personality and doesn’t have a minimum of respect and of love for the rights of personality.

source: Correio da Manhã, 08.10.2008

* This article is not related with the Madeleine McCann case. It is an article that was written as a comment about a Portuguese blog whose author severely defamed the Portuguese prime minister, José Sócrates. It was an unprecedented attack that prompted an unprecedented wave of reactions. While this article by Rui Rangel partly focuses on the specifics of the issue, we also find it relevant in general terms, as it raises some interesting considerations about the blogosphere and its inhabitants.


  1. Well, Judge, here's another lowly anonymous blogger, been bloggin' and blastin' the McCanns since Day 7, and just a-wonderin' why the Portuguese legal authorities were asleep on the job, from Day 1. Now I know.

  2. Am a blogger and my identity is there for all to see. I havent got a pot to piss in so the libel law is of no odds to me.

  3. The article "The anonymous blogger" focuses only on one of the two sides to anonymous blogging. Here is the other side:

    On topics like the McCann's case, you may run the risk of being black-listed if you put your name to an opinion that does not subscribe to the McCann's version of events or defends the Portuguese Police. Besides, anonymity is only relative, you can be traced by your email address.

  4. I too seem to have an anonymous blogger hell bent on insults and rude comments. I ask why someone feels the fear to have to hide behind a mask of anonimity and post comments of hate? I understand some that post here needing anonimity (saves Clarence suing us all) but not when it comes to respectable bloggers that find anonymous critisising their every post. Blogger would do well to allow any set up to ban anonymous posters without the need to have to set up comment approval. This is the only time I will post here as anonymous because I know who the person is who also reads this blog and I do not want them to have the satisfaction of knowing that their diatribe is bugging me.

  5. Yep, Judge, I’ve been an ass, an old ass. Been bloggin’ and beratin’ so long now, seems it’s all I ever did. Right from the time Marianne - was her name Marianne? - memory’s going - right from the time she first set up petitiononline, the May before last. ‘Bout the time young Madeleine got herself trademarked by ‘I have a vision’ Gerry-find-the-body-and-prove-we-did-it.

    Then on to Mike at ionglobaltrends in Sydney. What times we had. Happy days. ‘Course, I’ve always been an old ass, about Madeleine, I mean. I’m trying to become a pompous ass, like you, Judge, and I guess that will take some more working on, but I sure as hell don’t get any more respectable, as I get older.

  6. http://pauloquerido.net/blogosfera/os-blogues-estao-muito-a-frente-da-imprensa/
    Fica aqui este link. Tem um excerto de uma voz dissonante, a do MEC.

    Pois, de facto, a blogostera tem muito de Antígona. Isso incomoda.

  7. obrigada pelo o link de.puta.madre, genial o seu blog;)

    até breve

  8. anon @ 15.15

    Ah yes, so there you are seeking justice for Madeleine and no doubt shocked by the suspicions that David Payne engaged in paedophilic behaviour only to support Mike Hitchen who openly writes paedophilic stories and disses those, such as Paulo Reis and Joana, who speak up for Madeleine.

    Not sure how you can claim to have Happy Days with Mike whilst blogging about Madeleine. Makes a mockery of justice for Madeleine really.

  9. Blasted Lowly People. String 'em up by their nuts from the nearest lampost. That's what I say.

  10. Blasted Lowly People. String 'em up by their nuts from the nearest lampost. That's what I say.

  11. BOB from cardiff///Are you reffering to the Bloggers or the Mccanns when you say string em up?

  12. LOL The average modern male or female child is more of a man than this whiner.

    Review by Anonymous- Classic rant for its superb whiny tone. Delightfully Shrill. Great material for book entitled, The Decline of Generation Whine.


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