Anonymity

  • spektor

    spektor (100)

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    In this day in age, everything is closely monitored. What is your stance on internet anonymity?

    I think that complete anonymity on the internet is impossible nowadays, but you can get fairly close to it. I wish I had remained more anonymous on other social platforms.
    October 20th, 2013 at 06:21pm
  • bashful

    bashful (100)

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    In general, I think that internet anonymity is very freeing and that's a really good aspect of it.

    Internet anonymity means that people can discuss things and express themselves more openly than they might in everyday life as they don't have any fear of embarrassment or being judged, and that makes for a better society of sorts as it's sort of like a massive room of people with no inhibitions having one large conversation about really massive concepts like the meaning of life and issues in society and in turn far more detailed ideas on far smaller scales; everyone gains knowledge from these things and can start to see things different perspectives which I think is really good.

    The anonymity can also create a atmosphere of comfort and it means people can find help for issues with a lot less difficulty. I see about ten people a day at least on tumblr getting anonymous asks looking for help regarding one problem or another and sometimes I see really long, in depth and useful as well as quick-fixes and hopeful/supportful answers being given that can help other people with that problem beyond the person who sent the ask. People can also make internet friends that are perhaps more intimate in some ways than real life friends and get support/happiness etc. from that while still remaining anonymous and keeping their real life separate from their internet self.

    Of course, that kind of removal of yourself from your 'internet identity' can also be a really bad thing. People who are just very average in real life can become very vindictive on the internet as they're reassured that there will be no backlash for them and so things like trolling and anon-hate start cropping up because people think it's funny or are just taking advantage of an outlet for their more malicious side. This can have a lot of negative effects and really it's my main issue with internet anonymity. Furthermore, there are situations where people who are more naïve and unaware of the dangers of the internet can get into serious trouble such as when younger people are lured to meet people who hid behind a pseudonym on the internet and are in fact very much not who they pretended to be. That is incredibly dangerous and why I think internet anonymity to that level is a massive risk although also very difficult to monitor or prevent.

    Internet anonymity is, on a more technical level, impossible. IP addresses etc. can be tracked, accounts can be hacked and information stolen. However, what I think it so interesting about internet anonymity is instead how a person may behave so differently on the internet than they do in real life and the various reasons for why that is and the more sociological/psychological reasons behind that.

    Personally, I think that to be completely identifiable (for lack of a better word) on the internet is not a very good idea as the internet and especially social networking sites can be hacked etc. and are not particularly secure so some anonymity is best to be safe. I understand why people like to remain anonymous but I think it's best only to a degree: total anonymity is very open to abuse but I think to be none of yourself on the internet is also the waste of an opportunity to express yourself more or less freely on a platform where you can interact with so many other people that you wouldn't ever have been able to otherwise.

    (Disclaimer: it's very late and I am very tired. This may not make any sense and is probably flawed but I just think this is a really interesting topic! Punk)
    October 22nd, 2013 at 12:47am