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General Internet

Authenticity Index

From Modern Practice:

Why do people feel comfortable saying in cyber space what they would probably never say face to face?

Do we all revert to a more primitive state when in the shield of anonymity?

via Authenticity Index – Modern Practice.

Read the whole thing.

I agree that people are much more likely to be cruel if they are anonymous. This fact of human nature results in horrible online comments, flame wars and trolling.

On the other hand people also tend to spout little white lies rather than tell the truth if it might come back to them in some awkward or negative manner. “Of course you don’t look fat in those shorts, you look great!”

Anonymity can be an asset when a whistle blower exposes a powerful organization.

Sadly our over lawyered litigious society makes it dangerous to say anything bad about anyone. If you put your name to it you are likely to get sued and even if you are right and eventually prevail the costs of defending yourself can be devastating. The process is the punishment.

Related, Dealing with Digital Cruelty

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