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Anonymity on the Web

An interesting article on NYT. Two things to take away: Internet does not forget anything that you post publicly, don't expect complete anonymity these days if your actions are questionable.
The collective intelligence of the Internet’s two billion users, and the digital fingerprints that so many users leave on Web sites, combine to make it more and more likely that every embarrassing video, every intimate photo, and every indelicate e-mail is attributed to its source, whether that source wants it to be or not. This intelligence makes the public sphere more public than ever before and sometimes forces personal lives into public view.

To some, this could conjure up comparisons to the agents of repressive governments in the Middle East who monitor online protests and exact retribution offline. But the positive effects can be numerous: criminality can be ferreted out, falsehoods can be disproved and individuals can become Internet icons.

This erosion of anonymity is a product of pervasive social media services, cheap cellphone cameras, free photo and video Web hosts, and perhaps most important of all, a change in people’s views about what ought to be public and what ought to be private. Experts say that Web sites like Facebook, which require real identities and encourage the sharing of photographs and videos, have hastened this change.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/us/21anonymity.html
 
I actually started using my real name on forums etc, as a constant reminder to myself that I could always ultimately be identified, so why pretend to hide.

I find that using my real name forces me to think long and hard before posting anything, and I think that has saved me from responding to troll bate, arguing with clowns, and that hopefully will ultimately save me from making too big a fool of myself ;) Basically, I use it as a self-regulation tool.
 
I completely agree with you Andy and I am really disgusted in the way some people set out to destroy others. This episode where the woman was secretly video taped on the train, throwing a fit, which has lead to her near term life being ruined. People who post these videos and help perpetuated them should be held liable.

I really think people have taken this concept of the internet and being anonymous way too far. Defacing someone for no reason other than joy or pleasure is sickening and cannot be allowed to run rampant. It is only a matter of time (maybe the time is now) when politicians realize they can be destroyed by this and you will see regulations and criminal charges. Frankly, I support it.
 

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
Unfortunately since I use my real name I can barely post online at all anymore due to compliance rules at work. Then again, I would rather not post at all than post something bad. I even had to delete Twitter. :(
 
Deleting Twitter sounds like the next step in evolution... Don't lament its passing ;)
That's funny.
I rather focus my brand building effort in one industry-oriented site like Quantnet, than to spread it over every social network out there with the risk of having nothing worthy to say, and quite possibly saying something stupid in the process.
Unless you are a celebrity, Twitter isn't a good place to build your name.
Facebook: set up privacy filters on your account so only friends can view your info. And don't just friend anyone whom you don't know in person. Don't post stupid comments, pictures or what you had for lunch. You are not a high school kid anymore.
 
On the opposite of "anonymity", here is an interesting article on how your online presence can be graded and may have important consequences on your career, services you receive.
IMAGINE a world in which we are assigned a number that indicates how influential we are. This number would help determine whether you receive a job, a hotel-room upgrade or free samples at the supermarket. If your influence score is low, you don’t get the promotion, the suite or the complimentary cookies.

This is not science fiction. It’s happening to millions of social network users.

If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, you are already being judged — or will be soon. Companies with names like Klout, PeerIndex and Twitter Grader are in the process of scoring millions, eventually billions, of people on their level of influence — or in the lingo, rating “influencers.”

Marketers are signing on. More than 2,500 companies are using Klout’s data. Last week, Klout revealed that Audi would begin offering promotions to Facebook users based on their Klout score. Last year, Virgin America used the company to offer highly rated influencers in Toronto free round-trip flights to San Francisco or Los Angeles. In Las Vegas, the Palms Hotel and Casino is using Klout data to give highly rated guests an upgrade or tickets to Cirque du Soleil.

Industry professionals say it’s also important to focus your digital presence on one or two areas of interest. Don’t be a generalist. Most importantly: be passionate, knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Still, scoring is subjective and, for now, imperfect: most analytics companies rely heavily on a user’s Twitter and Facebook profiles, leaving out other online activities, like blogging or posting YouTube videos. As for influence in the offline world — it doesn’t count.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/sunday-review/26rosenbloom.html
 
On the opposite of "anonymity", here is an interesting article on how your online presence can be graded and may have important consequences on your career, services you receive.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/sunday-review/26rosenbloom.html

I can understand why companies would want to pamper influential clients but workers? If I'm not the type to Twit all day long than it means I cannot lead a group of engineers? No correlation whatsoever.

It seems like another move by the PR/HR departments to justify their worth and actually produce the illusion that they're working.
 
What's everyone's opinion on TOR?

Useless unless you're trying to find large quantities of drugs to buy, or other highly illegal material, neither of which I condone of course. Any other information that has legitimate use, such as large ebook libraries, are already available on the surface-Web.
 
Useless unless you're trying to find large quantities of drugs to buy, or other highly illegal material, neither of which I condone of course. Any other information that has legitimate use, such as large ebook libraries, are already available on the surface-Web.
First of all, I didn't ask, what's your opinion on .onion sites (although there are many others of interest, that can't be accessed through the surface of the darknet, i.e the hidden wiki.)

TOR can be used as a proxy to the surface-web as well, and provides near perfect anonymity (at Dialup speeds, of course :P)
 
First of all, I didn't ask, what's your opinion on .onion sites (although there are many others of interest, that can't be accessed through the surface of the darknet, i.e the hidden wiki.)

TOR can be used as a proxy to the surface-web as well, and provides near perfect anonymity (at Dialup speeds, of course :p)

The hidden wiki, which is essentially information on said .onion sites; which ones have drug contacts, which ones have large ebook libraries, sending money anonymously. Basically for shady activities that require anonymity.

For the purposes of anonymity on social networks, Tor is useless.
 

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