The internet and anonymity | INFJ Forum

The internet and anonymity

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by TinyBubbles, Mar 22, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    One of the best advantages of the internet over other social mediums is the ability to stay anonymous; this liberates people from the threat of persecution and fear should they choose to voice controversial opinions. It's a place where real discussion can happen, exactly because no one is greater or lesser than the words they type on a screen - it eliminates many of the prejudices and social biases you normally face in real life. It's much more of a level playing field.
    However, for the very reasons it enables discussion, the internet ALSO discredits reward for those same discussions. Because nobody really has an "identity" on the internet, beyond a moniker and a few select photos they choose to upload (and the great majority of people upload nothing), nobody really gets the recognition they might otherwise get for their contributions online. Consider in the past, how an influential political article would reach thousands of people, and because there was a direct link to who wrote it, to where the idea originated from, and because there was so few others who were saying the same thing, the author's identity would be recognized and celebrated as an intimate link to the thoughts presented in the paper. Indeed, the author's identity prior to writing the article would itself have a huge effect on whether the article was read at all - something that is very less the case online. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, because of the anonymity of the internet, everyone's thoughts are, initially at least, as valid as everyone else's, and for the exact same reason, it doesn't really matter WHO speaks. The concrete link between creator and creation, which was so important in the past, is becoming less and less relevant in the present and future. A complete democracy of opinions.

    What do you think? Any thoughts on the matter?
     
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  2. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    Anonymity in my opinion breeds skepticism, because people generaly except the opinion of someone with credentials(identity) on a given subject. It would be why IndigoSensor's opinion would hold more value in a discusion of chemistry. The question is how do we prove our credentials on the internet, IndigoSensor told us he is chemistry student but how can he prove that he is who he says he is. seeing as it's possible to forge just about any evidence possibly shown over the internet.

    With this lack of certainty we begin to doubt opinions other then our own, because we are the only one we can trust to be who we say we are on the internet. We only trust our own opinions.

    And so instead of having a level playing field, we get rid of the field all together.
     
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  3. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Recognition damages content. "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls..."
     
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    #3 enfp can be shy, Mar 22, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
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  4. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

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    There is no complete anonymity on the internet. There is always some trail of numbers, addressees, used resources that leads back to the person who wrote something on the web.

    But presuming that people in groups like this one have some form of anonymity, then I'd say that it's better this way. You have an option of saying whatever you want, seeing responses to your opinion that are to some extent free from prejudices of various kinds, and learning and expanding your horizons by reading opinions of others.

    Saying something and having your name under it is completely different category because that implies that you are responsible for your thoughts and that you are willing to be the subject of criticism by your peers.
     
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  5. Gaze

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    True. Being anonymous signals that your views are truly one of many in the marketplace of ideas, and they can be considered equally - discussed and debated without the added privilege of position, credentials, or authority. But, at the same time, on some subjects, not all opinions or views presented are or should necessarily be readily accepted. Someone can have good insight on a subject, but expert opinion from someone who is more knowledgeable on a subject should sometimes, not always, have a little more weight.

    I could be wrong . . .
     
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    #5 Gaze, Mar 23, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
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