Online anonymity

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Should STF users be required to use their real name?

Yes
4
12%
No
30
88%
 
Total votes : 34

Re: Online anonymity

Postby Robin Orton » 3 Aug 2011 20:47

So, folks, just choose your online avatar - the wackier the better !! - and that's your passport to the fantasy online world of SydenhamVille©!!! Marvel at the skill of our technical guys, who have hand-crafted for your entertainment an astonishing replica in cyberspace of a real London suburb - we challenge you to tell the difference! And there's fun ahead, peeps! You can 'meet' real life Sydenham celebs like 'Tim Lund' and 'Councillor Chris Best' and other living legends!! What's more - and this is the best bit- you can be as NASTY AS YOU LIKE about them - or anyone else in Sydenham - WITHOUT THEM KNOWING WHO YOU ARE!!

Here's a for instance. Don't like the idea of a mosaic on the Naborhood Center? So slag off the organizers from the comfort and anonymity of your own living -room! Go on, you know you want to, it's fun! After all, they've asked for it really, haven't they?

We in the SydenhamVille© community can give you our solemn undertaking that YOUR PERSONAL SECURITY AND PRIVACY are our number one priority! We offer you Sydenham, but Sydenham as you would like it to be. No Irish travellers, no muggers, no stalkers, no street drinkers... and NO NEIGHBORS!
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Rachael » 3 Aug 2011 21:07

Robin! 'Neighbors'? Go stand in the British English naughty corner.

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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Robin Orton » 3 Aug 2011 22:06

Oh dear, technical incompetence on my part, I'm afraid. I hoped it would be clear that the American spelling was deliberate.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby kingfisher » 3 Aug 2011 22:26

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Last edited by kingfisher on 7 Sep 2011 17:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Voyageur » 3 Aug 2011 23:05

kingfisher wrote:Such as loss of dignity over such a trivial topic. Why do you care so much over whether or not some of us chose not to use our real names? Is it accountability you're concerned about, or do you just want to know who we all really are, from the comfort of your own living room? In any case, I can't recall anyone that uses this forum that's guilty of anything you've mentioned.


Mmm... I think that the voting result so far speaks volumes.

If people want to meet face to face with others they can do so at forum socials - and even then they shouldn't be required to divulge personal details unless they feel comfortable to do so.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Robin Orton » 4 Aug 2011 21:03

Such as loss of dignity ...

Whose dignity, Kingfisher? Do you mean me? If so, thanks for your concern, but I think I'm past caring!
... over such a trivial topic. Why do you care so much over whether or not some of us chose not to use our real names? Is it accountability you're concerned about ...?

Trivial in itself, but I think it has a wider significance.

Anonymous posting may be OK where there is little likelihood of your meeting your interlocutor in the real world. But in a geographically based community, where you are talking to your (physical) neighbours, I think it is worrying.

Accountability is part of it, but that's a rather cold and bureaucratic word. In my view, a website like this ought to be a place where real human community can be reflected and inded strengthened. By the real human community I mean the flesh and blood community, the community of saying hello to people in the street or the shop or at the school gate or the concert, of meeting and getting to know them in the pub,in church, at the constituency Labour Party meeting or at the ward assembly, of gossiping over the garden fence, of nipping round to borrow a cup of sugar, of offering to look after the children or the dog in an emergency. A 'community' website which encourages people to opt out of this through total anonymity and enables them to comment irresponsibly from behind their digital net curtains, without having to take into account the effect what they are saying on their 'neighbours', seems to me to be at risk, however unintentionally , of adding to already well-established trends toward social atomization and 'privatization' which I suspect most users of this form would say they are against.
...or do you just want to know who we all really are, from the comfort of your own living room?

Yes, of course. Don't you? Curiosity about other people is a natural and, in itself, totally innocent human characteristic. It's one of the things which helps a civilized society develop. But I do of course agree that the amount of information about yourself which you choose to reveal to your 'neighbours' is completely up to you, just as it is in the real world. It's just the idea of not even identifying yourself as a real person - by witholding your name, which is sort of symbolic of that identity - which seems spooky to me.
If people want to meet face to face with others they can do so at forum socials
-
I'm told that there were three people at the last one. OK, I wasn't one of them, so I' plead guilty to inconsistency. I thought about going, but I was afraid that all you cool young Sydenhammers would laugh at my hat or my Northern accent or my choice of beer. (So perhaps realy I am worried about 'loss of dignity' after all!). Perhaps next time, if there is one.

Mmm... I think that the voting result so far speaks volumes


Absolutely.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Voyageur » 4 Aug 2011 21:22

I can understand your views R, but I don't happen to have the same ones - neither it seems do the majority of others. For reasons already provided - keeping my job and my personal safety - I am against removing forum anonymity.

Having said that, I have met a good many locals at the VN Socials (I even organise them now). I turned up at the last STF one too, with the Duke and my other half. There were actually 6 (not 3) at the STF social - we were only there for an hour so more may have attended subsequently. As you say - if you want people to meet in reality perhaps a good idea to take yourself along to the next one?
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Tim Lund » 4 Aug 2011 23:06

For the record, the only edits I did to what John put on Facebook was to remove references to him and his site.

I hope he will accept that I in no way misrepresented his views.

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Last edited by Tim Lund on 5 Aug 2011 10:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Tim Lund » 4 Aug 2011 23:09

While I could indeed make an FOI request re Lewisham policies in this area, it would save time and Council money if he could share them with us here now.

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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Tim Lund » 4 Aug 2011 23:30

This is almost worth a new topic, but I wonder why any person, or organisation such as LB Lewisham, runs on-line forums which attract relatively few comments. It costs both time and money, and runs legal risks, I believe. Surely better to use an independent forum such as this, and leave the worries to Stuart. Somewhere Lewisham could save money?

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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Tim Lund » 4 Aug 2011 23:49

I appreciate Robin as a fellow poster unafraid to use his own name, and also his standing up for the mosaic committee. It would help his case, however, if the committee were more comfortable with their names being known!

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Last edited by Tim Lund on 5 Aug 2011 10:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Ann Shantoak » 5 Aug 2011 08:13

Robin Orton wrote:In my view, a website like this ought to be a place where real human community can be reflected and inded strengthened. By the real human community I mean the flesh and blood community, the community of saying hello to people in the street or the shop or at the school gate or the concert, of meeting and getting to know them in the pub.....


Indeed, but only with people we wish to communicate with and want to make friends with. It sounds like you have never had an unhappy experience with unwanted attention from strangers in the community.

Robin Orton wrote:A 'community' website which encourages people to opt out of this through total anonymity and enables them to comment irresponsibly from behind their digital net curtains...


I'd like to re-phrase that and say:
"A 'community' website which encourages people to have their identity protected and enables them to comment as they wish, from behind their digital net curtains...."

Maybe some of us are shy, but still wish to join in conversations without standing up in meetings?
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby michael » 14 Sep 2011 16:34

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14898564 on trolls, online anonymity, and jailing trolls.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby admin » 14 Sep 2011 17:44

Nobody can hate trolls more than me. Everybody else has the option to ignore them (recommended action). I have to clear up the mess when they don't.

The case quoted is quite extreme and beyond what we would normally expect of trolls. So linking it to trolling appears to be purely to create a story rather than report it. One expects better of the BBC.

Even so prosecuting & jailing this guy puts me in eyebrow mode. When it comes to internet crime that really does harm (rather than just upset) the police are usually absent unless it has (however slight) a paedophilic or islamic element.

This guy would appear to be a type of obsessive stalker. The usual way if the stalked feel strongly enough is that either a civil action or an ASBO is put in place. Only if this is disregarded does the full criminal law come into play. But then is jail going to sort someone with a mental disorder or possibly make it worse? Or would good psychiatric care have a better chance?

Your views?

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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Voyageur » 14 Sep 2011 19:51

Jailed appropriately.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Duke of Clarence » 29 Sep 2011 13:05

Off with his head.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Tim Lund » 11 Dec 2011 16:04

There's an interesting book about to be published - jointly - by Cllr John Paschoud - Access and Identity Management for Libraries / Controlling access to online information

Initially, I found this from the blurb

With the rapid increase in the use of electronic resources in libraries, managing access to online information is an area many librarians struggle with. Managers of online information wish to implement policies about who can access the information and under what terms and conditions but often they need further guidance.


disturbingly Orwellian. However, this online presentation by the authors puts the subject into its proper context, which is that of academic libraries, such as at the LSE where Cllr Paschoud works, where access to information may need to be charged for, because of the licenses under which it is supplied by publishers.

It explains the posts made by Cllr Paschoud on this thread, but I wonder how relevant this is either to on-line Forums such as this, or for access to information which is in the public domain and not subject to copyright or other intellectual property rights.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby JulietP » 11 Dec 2011 16:59

No. There is enough online fraud as it is without putting my real name or any other personal details on here. When I meet anyone from the forum personally "in real life", I do, of course, use my real name, and I know theirs. I cannot say the same of any random who is looking at the forum.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Checkmate » 15 Dec 2011 05:45

I know of a former member of this Forum who used to post regularly about a topic he was both interested in, and familiar with because of his job. His posts were considered by quite a few Forum members to be useful and informative.

Sadly his employers got wind of the information he was providing here, and, although well-intentioned, he felt it best to stop posting in case his employers were not impressed.

I am pretty sure that, had he been forced to provide his real name when registering, not only would this forum have been less well informed, but he would now be unemployed.
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Re: Online anonymity

Postby Tim Lund » 16 Dec 2011 19:28

Checkmate wrote:I know of a former member of this Forum who used to post regularly about a topic he was both interested in, and familiar with because of his job. His posts were considered by quite a few Forum members to be useful and informative.

Sadly his employers got wind of the information he was providing here, and, although well-intentioned, he felt it best to stop posting in case his employers were not impressed.

I am pretty sure that, had he been forced to provide his real name when registering, not only would this forum have been less well informed, but he would now be unemployed.


I can well believe this, but I'd be interested to know how it would be argued in front of an employment tribunal. Any lawyers out there who could advise - using an alias if you prefer?
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