Using pseudonyms

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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rolling_boulder
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Using pseudonyms

Post by rolling_boulder » Sat May 21, 2016 6:28 pm

Hello,
In your opinion is the use of pseudonyms ethical? For example, if a person uses a false name when publishing a book or when using social media.

Thanks
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Using pseudonyms

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat May 21, 2016 6:50 pm

I don't think there's any intention to deceive. Your real name is clearly not "rolling boulder," but the Internet can be a nasty place, especially for women, so it is advisable to use a false name.

Someone may use a Pen Name for publishing books for similar reasons, or just out of modesty.
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DC2R
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Re: Using pseudonyms

Post by DC2R » Sun May 22, 2016 2:42 pm

It is unethical if the intention is to deceive. (4th precept)

For example, if someone uses a pen name to slander other people and avoid the consequences, then that would be unethical.

If the pen name is used for some other purpose (Joseph Conrad's actual name is Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, but the latter is a mouthful), then it is ethical.
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samseva
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Re: Using pseudonyms

Post by samseva » Sun May 22, 2016 4:54 pm

The unwritten/unspoken criteria of the medium should also be taken into account. No one is expecting you to use your real name on an Internet forum, so it is perfectly acceptable to use something other than your real name. With pen names, it is a bit different, but pen names are part of the trade, so you could say it is fine as well.

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