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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Crikey catches Claire Lehmann in a lie

According to Crikey

The right’s finest minds 
Yesterday, The Australian reported on the emergence of a new journal of “controversial ideas” led by Professor Peter Singer, which will (sigh) push back against cancel culture, in part by allowing researchers to publish under pseudonyms — thus freeing them to discuss difficult ideas without putting their careers in jeopardy or “suffering intimidation on social media”.
Today comes an approving think piece from Claire Lehmann, founder of “intellectual dark web” publication Quillette. Under the heading “What’s in a pen name? Freedom to think in the age of Digital Big Brother”, Lehmann argues pseudonyms are a great way of withholding data from big tech and that “there are often good reasons for people to conceal their identities that have nothing to do with abuse or trolling”. 
Fair point. But then she goes on to say:

We have published writers under pseudonyms at the online magazine I founded, Quillette, but only after verifying the author’s real identity. 

Which would have been a really easy thing to not specifically say. Back in 2019, Quillette published a piece under the byline “Archie Carter”. Carter described himself as a Marxist-Leninist construction worker and his argument was that the Democratic Socialists of America was doomed as an organisation, partly because of (you guessed it) a fixation with “inclusivity”, pronouns and “feminist procedures” were alienating to the fellow working men he brought along to meetings. In other words, a slice of fried gold for a publication so averse to identity politics and leftist orthodoxy.
You see where we’re going with this. Carter was a fake name and the article was a hoax, an attempt by some guy in Chicago to pass the “ideological Turing test”.

UPDATE - while poking around Twitter archives I found this exchange, which I missed the first time. Here we see Claire Lehmann demonstrating both the rigorous editorial standards and the civility that the Quillette/IDW gang are always patting themselves on the back for.

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