Fascist Cyberthuggery

Neo-Nazi Misappropriation of Name

"Misappropriation of a name" is similar to identity theft. Where identity theft involves misappropriation of somebody's real name, the other misappropriation involves pseudonyms.

'Nyms are common on the net, either deliberately selected to replace the person's real name, or forced upon the user when his or her real name is already used by another customer at the ISP.

Legal thinking against misappropriation of a name is rooted in earlier theories of intellectual property as well as the labor and expense necessary to build a particular following for something represented by the nym. This could be a respect for the novelist, as with "Mark Twain." It could be for an actor, as with "Clint Eastwood."

One can normally adopt any name one wishes, providing it is not used for illegal purposes. One could easily use the name "Clint Eastwood" to post to news groups devoted to cooking, collecting stamps, or caring for Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs.

But one would be guilty of "misappropriation of a name" if one posted to movie groups as "Clint Eastwood,"

This would be especially true if the posts were presented as scripts written or movies directed by "Clint Eastwood."

This is, however, one of the neo-Nazi tactics: to routinely misappropriate the nyms of their opponents and to post under the forged headings, indicating that the anti-fascists are really fascists themselves, are criminals, or are engaging in abuse of the net.