A new collaborative Web site offers tips on blogging more anonymously for people who live in countries that restrict free speech -- or for those who want to write freely about their companies without the risk of getting fired.
The wiki, launched this week, is called anoniblog.
The site offers no guarantees of complete anonymity but bills itself as a starting point. Users, like those who visit Wikipedia, are encouraged to add and edit guidelines. It warns that bloggers can't be completely safe, but it offers information about risks in each country and tips for minimizing risks.
There are Arabic, Persian, Chinese and English versions of the guides, targeted specifically for people in Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
Those who work on free speech issues surrounding the popular Internet phenomenon, including Curt Hopkins of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, created the site. With the help of technical consultants and translators, they culled compiled information from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Global Voices Online and the OpenNet Initiative to create the site.
Critics of anonymous blogging question the credibility of information conveyed by unknown sources. On a discussion board, the creators of anoniblog defend the practice, stating, "in the reality of a world in which critics of certain regimes get interrogated, fired from their jobs, tortured, expelled and sentenced to long prison terms for dissent, it is an uncertainty we have to live with."
The site tells stories of governments imprisoning people for publishing critical content online.
It's backed by Spirit of America, a nonprofit that supports the American military and civilian workers abroad. The group states that it aims to advance freedom, democracy and peace around the world. Spirit of America also supports teaching hospitals, women's centers, schools, agricultural co-ops, services for orphans and equipment for police in Afghanistan.