Yes they do. I don't hate them, but there is something in them that makes me feel sort of uneasy.
I have counted myself among those without religion for quite some time. I'm pretty open about it and I'm always eager to talk about it when the occasion is right (which isn't all the time, of course). So, as much as I'm open about it "in real life", I'm open about it online. I don't hide my name, nor my face and whoever wants to find me online can do it with a couple of clicks. When I can, I'm pretty active on Facebook and write on my bilingual blog. All that with my name and a link to "friend" me if the reader wants.
So I tend to get quite a lot invitations. The problem comes when I receive invitation from someone who has a nickname related to atheism, like "atheist archbishop". Sometimes they don't even have a display picture, just some random picture, or worse, something related to atheism or a religious cartoon.
In the beginning I didn't accept their invitation under suspition that they would be some kind of christian troll or someone who just wants my information to harm me. But as the time passed and I met more people involved in atheist activities, I noticed that they are legit accounts, not just trolls.
But then something else came to my mind. If I see someone with some sort of atheist name and atheist picture, I think that such person will only talk about atheism and nothing else. No matter how much the topic might interest me, a person like that is boring to me.
Moreover, to me it's kind of an act of cowardice to criticize religion but concealing one's name, pretending to be just a shadow that is there to be a nightmare to religion, some kind of "anonymous" that pretends to be a hero. Their points are usually good points, but the fact that there is no one to talk to, or argue with, throws much of it away.
A friend of mine who acts in facebook under a nickname and no pictures says it's because of safety. He says he can't disclose that because in real life, most of the people around him are christians and then he would have a hard time. Yet, online, he is very critic of religions, sometimes getting a little bit extreme.
I can understand the concern for safety, yet, I have another facebok friend who lives in Morocco (the first one lives in Mexico), has a blog that criticizes Islam, and has pictures of himself. He has received threatening calls, but keeps criticizing Islam. To me that's a correct correlation between one's position and one's action. My Mexican friend, on the other hand, criticizes religion online, but bows to it in real life.
That annoys me. Maybe not everyone has the "guts" to confront a religious society, but there are many who have. I don't think I'm being brave, just being who I am, and living according to my ideals, both online and in real life.
So, does that happen to you too? Am I being too hard on these online closet atheists? I would like to have some input on that.