Monday, March 24, 2008

Who are you online?

The question of anonymity on the Web seems to me a heated and
never-ending debate. Should we reveal our true identities online? Or
should we hide who we truly are and go around cyberspace as
anonymously as possible?


In favour of the first position, I've heard:

  • People like real names. It's much easier to trust content posted by someone you can track back in time, and this helps you get readers more realistic perception of the poster.
  • The more background information you give about yourself, the less likely your readers are to misinterpret your words.
  • For educators, addressing a group without introducing themselves seems unthinkable (at least in my culture). Conversely, I would personally refuse to teach someone who refused to identify themselves. Why would I do otherwise online?

Against revealing your true identity online, it's been said that:

  • The Web is the place for anonymity by excellence. (I do not support this view, I actually believe this idea goes against true communication)
  • You cannot control who has access to your information online. Therefore, it's wise to protect your privacy. (I do agree with this view to a point, though I guess it's time we started questioning how "private" our identity is even before we go online when so many sites can post about us!).

A solution reconciling all arguments (except perhaps the unlimited right to anonymity) could be the systematic use of aliases and an avatar instead of a photo.

In conclusion, I can certainly understand somebody's decision to use different aliases to post about their professional life from family news. What I find hard to deal with is somebody who asks for support from a community I belong to, and at the same time refuses to open any doors to collaboration with me by not revealing who they are.

In this video clip, Dick Clarence discusses Identity 2.0. Enjoy!

 

Can you add any arguments to the ones mentioned above? Would you like to share your views on our online identities? Post a comment below! (or write a post in your own blogs and trackback here).

Gladys

15 comments:

Elizabeth H-S said...

I wonder if Identity 2.0 will overcome the identity theft problem?
This it would seem would be greatly aggrevated if a simple theft would give access to ALL of your online sites and archives, etc.
--Elizabeth

Uncle Freddy said...

Interesting stuff.


PC performance and security tips

Super Cars said...

i like that..

Hindustani said...

good blog

Super cars-photos

William said...

Come check out computersmatter.org

Http://www.computersmatter.org

jaso said...

Nice Article.

dkzody said...

Although I use my own name, I try not to use my school's or my colleague's names. However, if you know anything at all about ME, then you can easily figure out the others.

Jon said...

Useful article thanks...

Branded USB Sticks said...

Very nice post. I like it.

cheap computers said...

I think it's much easier to trust content posted by someone you can track back in time, and this helps you get readers more realistic perception of the poster.

Cheap Computers said...

I am happy to read your blog and admit the webmaster has done a very good job. With reference to my website http://www.pctechoutlet.com

Used Computers said...

I am happy to read your blog and admit the webmaster has done a very good job. With reference to my website http://www.pctechoutlet.com

astraweb said...

Thanks for interesting information...I always use my real name. Real Name gives more realistic perception of the poster..

nzbsearch said...

I think that giving a real name could be a problem for the privacy cause there are many bad people who could use this information for not allowed things.

Firoz Khan said...

ABC a Go Go - Android App-This educational program for children showcases New York and its landmarks, as well as utilizing everyday English native speakers use in their daily lives