When thinking about anonymity (and privacy), I like to divide it into two main categories, Real Anonymity and Granted anonymity. Real Anonymity is where you don’t reveal any information that could identify yourself when performing a public act (like posting comment to a blog). Granted Anonymity is where a third party knows who you are, but “grants” anonymity based on a pre-arraigned agreement such as a TOS.
I am not going to comment on this specific case, enough others will do that. But I would like to share one rule I live by:
Never say anything on the internet under a grant of anonymity that you wouldn’t say publicly as yourself.
Some of the things that can cause the grant of anonymity to be revoked include:
- Change of TOS (which seems to be the case here)
- Acquisition of your service provider, resulting in a new TOS
- Government subpoena (including private lawsuits)
- Security breach at your service provider
- A breach of the TOS on your part