Friday, 2 November 2007

anonymity on the net

Interesting comments by Ben Macintyre, from the Times.
Anonymity is also one of the defining features of public discourse in the internet age: of the millions of people posting comments on blogs, discussion boards and in other forums, most choose not to identify themselves, but prefer to opinionate under a pseudonym. The cloak of privacy is what gives much internet discussion its raw energy, with a great cacophony of unidentifiable voices competing on equal terms. But unnamed writing is also responsible for some of the worst internet vices: intemperate “flaming” of opponents, bullying, dishonesty and a general coarsening of language and incivility. Not to mention self-congratulation and score-settling.


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