To the Editor:
Christopher Wolf of the Anti-Defamation League must have spent much less time on the Internet than I have if he sincerely thinks that a real or legal names policy in any way improves the quality of conversation. I have seen many forums made uncivil by people writing under their (apparently) real names.
He must also not have thought much about the political dissidents, members of sexual and ethnic minorities, and members of other groups who would put themselves at great personal risk if they were to participate in Internet discussions under their real names. There's a handy list of people so affected at the Geek Feminism Wiki. I strongly encourage Mr. Wolf to read it.
Yrs truly, &c,
It's worth noting that this blog is under my real (legal) name and almost everything I've said on the Internet is under my real name. I've occasionally posted pseudonymous comments at the NY Times, but that's about it. But I care a lot about those for whom anonymity or pseudonymity is a matter of survival; I'm friends with plenty of people in that situation.