. .

social media

The Founders Would Not Be Amused

August 3, 2011 9:50:14.051

The guys at Facebook have a grasp of history that stretches back, oh, maybe 15 minutes. Here they are on anonymity:

I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away. People behave a lot better when they have their real names down. … I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors.

Maybe these guys should have a look at the credited authors of the "Federalist Papers" - oh, wait - they were anonymous. Or perhaps at Ben Franklin's work during the same era - published anonymously. While I usually prefer that people attach their names to comments, it's not always the best policy. When the "consensus answer" on a question is X, and you think Y, it can be safer to push your ideas behind a veil of anonymity. One size does not fit all here.

posted by James Robertson


Re: The Founders Would Not Be Amused

[lnxwalt] August 3, 2011 13:09:47.730

I agree fully. In fact, most of us will not know how necessary anonymous / pseudonymous speech is until we *need* to use it. By that time, we may regret complying with "real name" policies on the various sites we use.

Re: The Founders Would Not Be Amused

[anonymous] August 3, 2011 16:32:58.235

Zuckerberg wants people to "behave a lot better"? As in "don't protest against your beloved Greatest of All Leaders, Kim Yong Il"? Send her to your preferred dictatorship for a while - she might feel at home. This is not just about abolishing anonymity, it's about abolishing the right of free speech. What would the Syrian protesters say, who are uploading videos of the killings in Hama to Youtube? And Mubarak might still be in power in Egypt if there'd be no anonymity on the Internet.

 Share Tweet This