This may be merely the first in an occasional series, as more public figures pop up on blogs to defend themselves from criticism. It would behoove them to be familiar with the technology before spitting out nasty accusations based on incorrect assumptions. As mostly a fan, it’s disappointing to see a clever person with media smarts fall into the trap of ASS+U+ME-ing her way into egg all over her face. A useful cautionary tale in general: if you use computers that other people are logged in to to leave comments on the internet then their default settings can make you look bad.
Wendy Harmer: You owe an apology for this accusation that a blogger maliciously changed your name on comments you left on her blog.
Hexy did nothing of the sort. Let me explain to you what really happened, and show you how to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you again. It was your own actions and omissions that led to that display-name showing up on the blog.
- Firstly, your assumption: when you post a comment on on a blog hosted at blogspot.com, the blog-holder is not able to change your name as displayed to all readers. Google does not allow their Blogger account-holders to access the parts of the database that would allow them to do that (on some other websites (such as this one) a blog owner can do that). Blogger blog-holders can approve or delete comments, that’s it. Only the commentor controls what name appears, you just didn’t follow the instructions to do it correctly.
- Secondly, your own actions: your comments were posted via an existing Google/Blogger account. You may not have meant to do this, but the computer you were using must have been already logged in to that account (were you using a computer belonging to a friend or a family member perhaps?). Here is the account-profile that anyone who clicks on the display-name for the comments you left on the blog can see:
- Thirdly, your own omissions: Blogger provides a “Choose an Identity” option that you failed to change away from the default setting which uses the currently logged-in Blogger account.
None of this was under hexy’s control, it was all under your control at the computer you were using. I suggest that in future you only leave comments on the internet when logged into your own profile on your own computer, and also that you check carefully any options blocks in comments sections to ensure that you are not relying on default settings that are not appropriate for you personally.
More on that display-name: for your comment to be shown with that display-name, that display-name had to be the one already deliberately created by the user on that account. A Blogger user account is under the full control of the account owner, who can change the way that their name is displayed on all blogspot blogs by editing the account settings.
So, only the creator of the account is the culprit for that display-name. Now, if the account actually is yours and you wish to change the display name, you need to click on the Dashboard link over at the top right of the admin bar that shows at the top of every blogspot.com blog when one is logged on to one’s Blogger account:
That takes you to a screen like this, where you need to click on the Edit Profile link to change details in the user profile display:
Then change the text in the Identity field “Display Name” as below:
I suggest changing it to “Wendy Harmer apologises for unfounded accusations” for a few days.