Social Question

Anonymous523's avatar

Is anonymity on websites our friend or enemy?

Asked by Anonymous523 (214points) September 17th, 2010

With applications like Honesty Box on Facebook and MySpace, and sites like Formspring where you can ask people questions or leave comments anonymously becoming more and more popular I was wondering what people thought about all this? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Does anyone on here actually USE those things?

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5 Answers

chels's avatar

Really depends how it’s used and what it’s used for.

A lot of people use things like Formspring and Honesty Box to spew a bunch of hate that they couldn’t do without anonymity. Pretty sad that they have to stoop to that level, but hey. Some people are just pussies.

However I’ve seen some sites that use anonymity in a way that actually works. There are a few Q & A sites that allow you to ask questions anonymously if you so choose. The reason for doing so is obvious – embarrassment, not wanting to be associated with certain q’s that you have, etc.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Honesty Box. Thhhhbbbppptt!

We had those in 6th grade, except we anonymously our nastiness down in spiral notebooks with ink and called them slambooks.

“The more things change…” Feh.

marinelife's avatar

No, I don’t use them.

I really think anonymity is a bad thing. It leads to increased fantasy life.

YARNLADY's avatar

Anonymity is largely misleading. For anyone who wants to do the work, there is no such thing.

wundayatta's avatar

There’s anonymity, and then, there’s anonymity. Some people use anonymity to hide themselves. Others use it to find themselves.

Honesty box and slambox—I’ve not used either—sound like they make people free to say whatever. Stupid stuff. When they are mad about someone, they can say what they want anonymously. It’s kind of a communist thing, where you inform on your fellow community members without anyone knowing who informed. It’s just a weaselly, cowardly thing to do.

On the other hand, places like fluther allow you to be anonymous if you want. You can have a personality here that no one can link back to your real identity. Then you can talk about issues of importance; share things you could never share to people who know you in real life. That kind of anonymity lets you explore who you are and helps you build your understanding of yourself.

Building yourself online can lead to being a stronger person in real life. You can find out that you can share things that you thought you couldn’t. You can find out what you can talk about and what you can’t talk about. You can become more comfortable with things you’ve been ashamed of.

So yeah. Anonymity on the internet is both our enemy and our friend.

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