The Power of Anonymity

 

Sourced from http://www.yalelawtech.org/wp-content/uploads/anonymous-online.jpg
Sourced from http://www.yalelawtech.org/wp-content/uploads/anonymous-online.jpg

Every one has a unique identity in the real world. But why is it that when we hit cyberspace, our ‘identity’ can change so much, that we morph into a completely different person? The power of anonymity is a strong one. It can promote freedom of expression, exchange of ideas and intrigue. However it can also contribute to online fraud, scams, violation of privacy and abuse online. (Himma & Tavani, 2008) And why? Because our computer screen act as a mask, where we aren’t confronted by the consequences of our actions, where we gain a false sense of freedom and confidence to attack someone and something we can hide behind.

Some like Randi Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerber’s siter) believe that “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.” Cyber bullying allows the perpetrator to disregard the consequences for their actions and vilify their victims anonymously. Victims invite the bully into their home through their laptops and phones leading to constant harassment where this has lead to depression, anxiety, isolation and every suicides. 

There is also a big advantage to being anonymous online. Because you don’t need to deal with the consequences of your words, it automatically grants the writer power, because they are seen as unbiased. They can not be judged or ridiculed due to their gender, sexuality, race, religion or physical appearance, which occurs especially to women, transgender or homosexuals. The anonymous, have the ultimate power to express themselves free of judgement. Brooke Magnanti (writer for the London Daily Telegraph) says “the loss of a right to anonymity far outweighs whatever potential harm abusers may cause.” (Rooney, 2013) We all value the freedom of speech and I believe the power of people’s words should not be defined because of who they are. 

[If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression/anxiety/bullying, visit http://www.youthbeyondblue.com/ or seek professional help]

Further Readings/Videos

http://www.sbs.com.au/insight/episode/watchonline/610/Free-Speech

References

Himma, K.E. & Tavani, H.T 2008 “Online Anonymity” in John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, USA, pp. 165-18, accessed 15/05/2014, http://ey9ff7jb6l.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:book&rft.genre=book%20item&rft.title=The+Handbook+of+Information+and+Computer+Ethics&rft.au=Himma%2C+Kenneth+Einar&rft.au=Tavani%2C+Herman+T&rft.atitle=Online+Anonymity&rft.pub=John+Wiley+%26+Sons%2C+Inc&rft.isbn=9780471799597&rft.spage=165&rft.epage=189&rft_id=info:doi/10.1002%2F9780470281819.ch7&rft.externalDocID=10.1002%2F9780470281819.ch7&paramdict=en-US

Ben Rooney 2013, The Debate Over Online Anonymity, Dow Jones & Company Inc, New York, N.Y. accessed http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/1269762840

Penny, L 2014, Online bullying isn’t freedom of speech, Al Jazeera, 22 February, accessed 15/05/2014, http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/2/online-bullying-harassmentwomenfreedomspeech.html  

 

I Have An Idea! *(We)

“I think copyright is moral, proper. I think a creator has the right to control the disposition of his or her works – I acutally believe that the financial issue is less important than the integrity of the work. ” – Esther Dyson
Sourced from http://helpmerick.com/cut-copy-and-paste-video-tip.htm
Sourced from http://helpmerick.com/cut-copy-and-paste-video-tip.htm

When you are using Tinder, not only are you agreeing to their Terms and Conditions, but also Facebook’s, and combining one of the cyber-world’s biggest powerhouses with Tinder, reduces your protection of copyrights and intellectual property significantly.

Terms and Conditions have almost become a novelty, each time you scroll down and click ACCEPT, you laugh to yourself thinking ‘who actually reads that?’ But would you sign a professional contract without reading between the lines? And professionals are advising that we should be doing the same with our sign-ups to apps, websites and other agreements. (Smithers, 2011)

Sourced from http://identitytheft-reality.com/wordpress/virus-news/how-much-does-tinder-know-about-you

The T&C’s of Tinders user agreement, , state that You grant Tinder, Co. and its affiliates a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license and right to copy, transmit, distribute, publicly perform and display (through all media now known or hereafter created), and make derivative works from your content. In addition, you waive any so-called “moral rights” in your content.’ (Tinder, 2014) Along with Facebook’s Terms and Conditions, which state ‘you specifically give us the following permission, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook.’ Thus between both parties, the work you produce becomes their work, in which they can distribute world-wide royalty free, making your intellectual property, public. With your thoughts and ideas not necessarily being yours anymore, the question arises about the future of copyright and protecting individuals intellectual property.

Prosumerism is how Tinder functions, people creating profiles and actively engaging in conversation or ‘playing.’ It relies on people sharing ideas and working together, contributing to Tinder’s success. However, if intellectual property is immediately stripped from the user, the future of Tinder will not be so bright. I suppose it is all in the Terms and Conditions…

Read carefully!

 

 

References

Rebecca Smithers, Consumer Affairs Correspondent, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/money/2011/may/11/terms-conditions-small-print-big-problems, 11/05/11, accessed 23/03/14

Tinder Terms and Conditions, http://www.gotinder.com/terms/, accessed 23/03/14

Facebook Terms and Conditions, https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms, accessed 19/03/14

Aaron George, App Empire, http://www.appempire.com/top-5-legal-issues-facing-app-developers/, accessed 22/03/14

Oxford English Dictionary, ‘prosumer,’ http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/prosumer, accessed 23/03/14

Identity Theft Tips, http://identitytheft-reality.com/wordpress/virus-news/how-much-does-tinder-know-about-you, 04/10/13, accessed 23/03/14