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  • Anonymity

    Is anonymity a good thing? Something we should try to protect on the Internet?

    Christopher "m00t" Poole of 4chan recently gave a talk at TED and then gave this interview to CNN, arguing that it's important to provide safe havens where one can post without identification.

    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

  • #2
    Re: Anonymity

    Here's some text describing his TED presentation:

    http://www.motherboard.tv/2010/2/12/...ting-anonymity
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Anonymity

      4chan. Part of that anonymity provides a haven to those that partake in the despicable parts of the internet, such as child pornography. It's hard to take the website seriously when it's created memes such as "pedobear". After all, child exploitation is a goldmine of laughs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Anonymity

        Anonymous speech is one of the greatest concepts to be enacted as part of the push for individual rights.

        Anonymous speech allows anyone to state their ideas without personal consequences, giving people the ability to freely discuss concepts. It also allows those ideas to be held on their own merits, as people can easily ignore the anonymous speaker because they have no identity to support the validity of their freely stated ideas.

        While there are people who would abuse that anonymity, there are also people who would abuse the inability to be anonymous and punish people for opinions they disagreed with.
        |TG-6th|Snooggums

        Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Anonymity

          But with total anonymity people have no consequences to their actions. I think the Sandbox is a great example of a forum where one can speak their mind in a semi-anonymous fashion (I'm sure your real name isn't Snooggums, and I don't really "know" you apart from the ideas and thoughts you share on this board) in an environment that regulates itself.

          4chan is anarchy. Parts of it are infested with cretins I would beat the crap out of in real-life.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Anonymity

            As I noted, speech being anonymous is great. People committing crimes against others isn't free speech, so court action to expose those criminals wouldn't be treading on anonymous speech or being anonymous for those that are simply stating opinions.

            There is no reason to group people who want to anonymously discuss laws about child porn openly without fearing punishment so post anonymously with people who anonymously post child porn.
            |TG-6th|Snooggums

            Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Anonymity

              There isnt anonymity anymore. Facebook and Myspace are about to start releasing feed streams to google for indexing. If you have someone's address, phone number, ip address, internet handle, whatever, you can dig up information on them in no time. I see it happen all the time in the android development community. Someone who wants to remain *anonymous* will release pictures of some new development, which people have used to uncover twitter accounts, youtube accounts, etc. Hell, there was a developer who was stealing people's work and passing it off as his own a few weeks back and within an hour of the outrage beginning, people had posted his real name, address, phone number, license plate number (as well as the make/model of his car), youtube account, twitter account, xbox live gamertag, playstation network username, and 3 of his email addresses.

              Sure, there are ways to be completely secure with your information, but chances are, anyone who is trying to hide their information is simply doing too little, too late. Everyone leaves a footprint somewhere, whether they realize it or not, and with the right amount of googling and maybe shelling out a few bucks, you can get all the information you ever wanted. It's scary, but its true. Better get used to it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Anonymity

                Originally posted by Gill View Post
                But with total anonymity people have no consequences to their actions.
                Only if "speech" is an "action". It's true that there's no consequences to their speech. Except that someone else might agree with them, and you don't.

                4chan is pixels and ideas, not clubs and guns and other physical violence. I thought our country was founded on the idea that people should be punished for what they do, not what they say. (OTOH, the founders are largely discounted as anti-government fruitcakes whose ideas don't matter anymore because our population is so big and our society so complicated. Security is more important than freedom. Liberty is a luxury that we must give up to be safe.)
                Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Anonymity

                  To this topic I can only reference the 'John Gabriel's Greater Internet F---wad Theory*', which in essence states that; A Normal Person + Anonymity + an Audience = A total F---wad.

                  I have nothing against people who choose to remain (or attempt to remain) anonymous when interacting online, what I take issues is with people who use that anonymity as a free pass to do anything. I guess I have all ways held to the idea that people are in many ways who they say they are. So if under the guises of a anonymity you act like a 3 year old child who needs a spanking, then don't be upset if that is exactly what you get.

                  *Minor Inappropriate Language Warning

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Anonymity

                    Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                    Only if "speech" is an "action". It's true that there's no consequences to their speech. Except that someone else might agree with them, and you don't.

                    4chan is pixels and ideas, not clubs and guns and other physical violence. I thought our country was founded on the idea that people should be punished for what they do, not what they say. (OTOH, the founders are largely discounted as anti-government fruitcakes whose ideas don't matter anymore because our population is so big and our society so complicated. Security is more important than freedom. Liberty is a luxury that we must give up to be safe.)
                    Inciting violence could be considered an 'action' if by 'action' you mean it is intended to cause a a specific affect on someone as opposed to a simple stating of views and not just with a physical requirement. For example, if you are driving and you swerve into the next lane, and that car swerves and hist something even though you did not come in contact with them, you 'forced them to move' with an indirect cause.

                    Telling a group of people to do X is different than just discussing or expressing your opinion on X. I support the open discussion of ideas but I do not support anonymity being used as a cover to incite violence through directions or clearly implied directions, and that is why there is a place for the courts (through a court order such as a warrant or trial) to determine whether it is clearly free speech or something that requires a third party (courts) to determine if it is free speech. This is not for safety's sake, but for being able to address truly criminal actions through the cover of anonymity.
                    |TG-6th|Snooggums

                    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Anonymity

                      “Inciting Subversion of State Power”: A Legal Tool for Prosecuting Free Speech in China
                      http://crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Cl...5721_7032.html

                      Incitement in English criminal law:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incitement

                      Unfortunately just about anything one can communicate can be seen as incitement, since the whole point of communication is to get someone else to take action. If that's the case, and one must be responsible for the actions of others that hear him, then perhaps a principle of "free speech" was wrong-headed to begin with.
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Anonymity

                        One way to deal with the Gabriel issue is this game theory strategy:

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat

                        We see it here on the forum via the software reputation system, and also in other forums via the notion of reputation within the mind of each reader. The requirement is that anonymity be coupled with persistence within a given forum. Within the context of that forum you develop reputation (positive or negative). The only real requirement is that identities not be reusable by others, so that reputation remains a reliable indicator. (In the real world this is done with trademarks.) On Usenet you can have anonymity tempered by the ignore feature: Anyone can "killfile" another, depriving the offender of his audience, one person at a time. This is a huge stick to an attention-seeker.
                        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Anonymity

                          Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                          Unfortunately just about anything one can communicate can be seen as incitement, since the whole point of communication is to get someone else to take action. If that's the case, and one must be responsible for the actions of others that hear him, then perhaps a principle of "free speech" was wrong-headed to begin with.
                          That is like saying everyone who ever spoke with a murderer was an accomplice, a ridiculous generalization. Oppressive regimes can abuse the tools they are given and even the US used inciting riot laws to punish peaceful demonstrators using their free speech rights. It doesn't mean that there shouldn't be an avenue of punishment for those that actively engage in promoting violence while allowing the majority of people to have their access to free speech available without needing to identify themselves.
                          |TG-6th|Snooggums

                          Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Anonymity

                            Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                            Is anonymity a good thing? Something we should try to protect on the Internet?

                            Christopher "m00t" Poole of 4chan recently gave a talk at TED and then gave this interview to CNN, arguing that it's important to provide safe havens where one can post without identification.
                            The ability post things anonymously should continue to persist throughout whatever incarnations the internet sees. The rub is that the level of anonymity should be directly proportional with the amount of trust/credence/attention any given item is afforded.
                            [volun2]
                            NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                            Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
                            <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
                            <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

                            Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Anonymity

                              Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                              That is like saying everyone who ever spoke with a murderer was an accomplice, a ridiculous generalization.
                              But those that speak with a murderer do influence them, however small that influence is. We're the product of our inputs (nurture) and our wiring (nature). How much influence is needed to push someone over the edge? Which straw broke the camel's back? Just the big one?
                              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                              Comment

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