The internet non-persons

Anonymity is still the accepted norm among the users of the internet. You should not be able to switch your name and identity out of a whim. All the social media platforms deny this in theory, but in practice, allow you to do it very easily. As much as you like.

In essence, anonymity is you hiding your face from other people. That is not cool. In short run, anonymity seems to be cool (to you). Having the freedom from upholding manners and responsibilities and in worst cases, having fun on the expense of others. In the long run we realize that in order to build any meaningful relationships with others, we have to have the courage to reveal ourselves and be honest and polite towards each other.

People can and should disagree, but if they do that without manners, the result is a war and in the end, an empty battlefield.

No manners leads to an ever expanding group of dissatisfied users, which leads to the abandonment of the community. The platforms encourage our transformation into locusts, jumping to a community, trolling and abusing it to the bone, and on to the next one.

People behaving badly will always be a problem, but the acceptance of anonymity multiplies that problem into unbearable proportions.

Anonymity is the reason people misbehave in communities. Sadly, It is still too common problem for users to have hardships in realizing that the actions in social media do have the same weight as in real life.

Our behavior towards anonymity in the internet should have no difference to the behavior we have in real life. The law books see no difference there, nor should you. That said, the current status is, that the behavior is completely flipped. In the internet communities, the default assumption is, that the other users are, more or less, anonymous.

There are exceptions, but the internet community users are abusing anonymity 99 times out of a hundred.

The current status is a kind of pseudo-anonymity, as it gives the internet users the impression that they are anonymous, but when need be, the authorities have fairly simple and easy methods to verify any given users identity.

Sure it’s more comfortable for me not to reveal myself to others. The problem is that everyone thinks the same, enjoys the same behaviour.

Could it be partly narcissism, only my needs need to be satisfied? The others don’t even really exist as much as i do. You see yourself as the king, among the anonymous servants.

The biggest asset of any community is the other members. They provide some of the best content to the platform (for free.) They are the reason for the user to pay to participate and stay in a community. On the other hand, the worst toxin for a community is the members with dubious agendas: the trolls and other sadists. At the moment, they get to roam free.

How to fix this? The platforms make the rules. But the users can choose, which platform they use. So, the users would abandon any platform which would start to require a heavier, more credible method of identity verification.

So the only solution would be government intervention, the creation of laws, which would require any platform to deny anonymity from it’s users. (with some minor exceptions of course.)

This would never pass in a democracy. At least not in the foreseeable future. People are too short sighted. They don’t want to lose their anonymity now, in order to gain much more thriving communities later on.

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