The Guardian is, like, totally against anonymous...
In a column reeking of them-darned-kids-and-their-darned-Internet antiquarianism, The Guardian’s Jonathan Myerson dubs anonymity a force of “debase[d] debate”: The web has become a bizarre synthesis of toilet wall and Thomas Paine Far from being a crucial brick in the wall of free speech, online anonymity debases debate and devalues the national dialogue
Anonymity as a Market?
Jan Chip Chase’s thought-provoking quote below, CV Dazzle, and the German Pirate Party all prompt me to ask one question: Should we pursue anonymity as a right, or anonymity as a market solution? Surely there are people willing to pay for privacy, even total anonymity online. And maybe if companies see a valuable market in providing anonymity — we’ll keep you secret if you pay...
When everyone is known by name, the value of being known shifts to the...– Jan Chip Chase, “Let’s Agree That I Don’t Know You” (August 26, 2012)
Orlando Figes and the anonymous poison pen
Although Professor Orlando Figes used anonymity to publish caustic reviews of his peers online, anonymity and the right to sue for libel must be protected, writes Katie Engelhart. [Note: this post originally appeared on www.freespeechdebate.com, a project of Oxford University.] The case In April 2010, a mysterious commenter, writing under the nom de plume “Historian”, began publishing caustic...
Embarrassing Searches & Dissociative Anonymity
This morning, I saw a tiny, reddish beetle on my windowsill, right next to my bed. My first groggy-eyed thought was: Oh hello, Nature. How are you? Thanks for bringing me a cute little friend! And then I remembered that this is NEW YORK CITY, which means that any and all small reddish moving dots I see must be under immediate suspicion of being BEDBUGS. And bedbugs – bedbugs!!! – mean that I will...
Is it still heroic if it's anonymous?
Anonymity = cowardice? = half-way to heroism? Former Israeli soldiers disclose routine mistreatment of Palestinian children. (via The Guardian). “Most of the soldiers have given testimonies anonymously.”
Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan stared at a printout of gene sequences from a man with...– Anonymous Medicine. From today’s New York Times.
FromThe New York Times: South Korean Court Rejects Online Name Verification Law “SEOUL, South Korea — In a major victory for free speech activists in South Korea, a top court on Thursday ruled unconstitutional a law that required Internet users to verify their identity before posting comments on major local Web sites. […] The regulation was adopted amid widespread concern that...
Now that big data is becoming the norm, we need to build anonymity into our...– Swedish Pirate Party MEP Amelia Andersdotter, to Reuters.
Anonymity: a human right?
If Germany’s especially-litigious Pirate Party has its way, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) will soon be forced to rule on whether anonymity is a human right - or, more specifically, part of the right to private life enshrined under the European Convention on Human Rights. Reuters reports: “This latest suit follows a February ruling by Germany’s Federal...
There once was a word
I’m no linguist. Yet it occurs to me that our discussion of anonymity might benefit from a little phonological injection. The noun “anonymous” comes from the Greek anonymos, or “without name.” But—as the literary scholar Anne Ferry recounts far more thoroughly than I—the English adjective itself was only born in the late 16th century. Then, and for centuries, the word was used sparingly. And its...