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Damion

Internet anonymity and jerkitis

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Damion    27
Damion

My mornings after I get to work usually consist of unlocking the office, washing my face, and then going to my computer and checking out what news articles I can find. Usually, many of these sites allow for comments to be posted. And usually, these comments are negative, filled with hate, stupidity, racism, sexism, other kinds of -isms, and irrationality.

So it makes me wonder; why is it that the ability to remain anonymous on the internet inspires so many people to be complete and total jackasses? Many of these comments are things that the people behind the keyboard wouldn't dare speak out loud in a public place. They know that in real life, they'd be scolded, shunned, or even throttled for saying some of the things I see attached to news articles.

Of course, some of these people are internet trolls, simply trying to get a rise out of an easily-enraged passerby. But not all of them are. Some of these comments reflect the true opinions these people have. Tearing down all the false facades and personas, they show who they really are at their core when they say things like "the holocaust never happened" or "(insert race here) are responsible for all the (insert crime here)". I won't even get started on the **** that gets flung if the article is politically minded.

So why? What is it about the comfortable safety about being unidentifiable that seems to bring out the absolute worst in people?

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Keiichi Morisato    423
Keiichi Morisato

The problem isn't anonymity but rather internet trolls who enjoy nothing else but posting on various websites, blogs and whatnot and just being jerks in the process. When our community started to attract spambots, I put a stop to that and disabled the ability for guests to post anywhere within our message forum. This way, it allows each member to "own" and take responsibility for what they are posting.

While I've been guilty of extraneous posting on the forums, it was about a year ago that I decided to change the atmosphere within our community and it's all still a work in process. I'm had to force myself to pull back and simply allow our moderators to take the reins of the community. But, you just have to realize that it's internet trolls and spambots and automated spammers who have created a problem regarding the whole "anonymous" issue.

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Damion    27
Damion

No, I don't think so. Granted, a certain few are certainly trolls and nothing more, but some percentage of those commenters are real people who honestly believe the stuff they're saying. I don't think it's bots either, because they're not posting ads or asking you to come to some outside site, they're just stating a beligerent and hateful opinion. Look at any news article that allows comments; try and go for just ten comments and see how far you get before someone says something extreme and offensive.

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Keiichi Morisato    423
Keiichi Morisato

Well, not what I would call it ... but, you never know.

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Damion    27
Damion

A good way to look at it Avinash, but that theory makes it look like they're normal and then become idiots. I'm thinking they were idiots first and only expose that when they think anonymity makes it safe to show off that nasty side of themselves.

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Keiichi Morisato    423
Keiichi Morisato

I have to say that I do support anonymity, but only to a point. As with our forum software, our forums are set up where a member can choose to be anonymous when they log into their forum account but when that member chooses to post content on the forums, their username is logged along with their content. Far as "posting anonymously", that's where I do draw the line, because it invites too many problems with what I refer to as "hit and run" posting. It's where someone can post something slanderous and not be penalized for the content, if the staff of that community or blog find it to be offensive.

Here, with our community, posting anonymously just isn't something that we allow. Even if it were possible, I don't think I would use that feature. I've actually ran into this problem in the past where someone would create an account just to post a single message disparaging the site, the forums and the staff and it's something that I would ban their account, email address and IP address, as well.

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Dark Paladin    2
Dark Paladin

I have an opinion to give on this matter, myself having been on the darker sides of the internet.

Anonymity or being 'anonymous' is essentially a mask with which one can let loose their true opinions on the matter, no matter how twisted they are, without fear of retribution. It is a sort of double-edged sword; you may have an original, unbiased opinion that may or may not probably wind up getting you in a bad situation with sites, organizations, the law, etc.but you never get credit for it - all credit goes to, well, Anonymous.

It is partly true that majority of the time, there is trolling going on, with the goal being to create a laughable, epic or otherwise significant situation, mostly at someone's expense. I can't even count on my hands and feet the number of examples; there's quite a few websites that document those sorts of things.

And then there is a general mass movement of a headless organization - a 'hivemind' of sorts, that usually has a goal. I remember the time when Project Chanology was the rage amongst internet users - with one simple goal - bring down A Certain Sham Of A Religion Based on Quackery, Extortion, and worship of something too ridiculous to even be believable. No, seriously, the entire story of a 'bible' of sorts for Scientology is so ridiculous, it'd be easier to believe that you can become a Level 5 ESPer in Academy City than to believe all this stuff about Xenu, thetans and the like. The only reaction i could get from reading the whole thing was (not my head exploding, too bad) "...what the heck am i reading?"

google - terms " mind benders scientology"

In my honest opinion, the Internet, being one of the few remaining bastions of "Free speech, expression of opinions and preferences in comparison and contrast to others" is, well, doing it's job, though that is slowly changing for the worse. Yes, i have daily visits to 4chan's boards, and while it is relatively much tamer (and so, much more 'stale' 'fail' and 'boring') than long before, is still not for the faint-hearted church-going uptight upright everyday normal persons. I daresay that if it did disappear, there will be quite an outrage - for where else could serve as the septic tank of the internet, where there are barely any rules at all (even the internet hate machine has standards; posting CP is a permanent IP ban but the enforcement of it is occasionally laughed at as a joke) and essentially anything goes - there's a reason why it is called 'random'.

If you had a name to go by that had been stuck pinned to you all the time, you would not want to tarnish it, for humans nowadays are hypocrites by worldly moulding. One would wonder why children are considered 'attractive' by adults; mind you, I do not like child exploitation; but a potential answer - it's not just the innocence factor; it's the fact that they have not yet been taught to become or turned into manipulative, cunning, sneaky persons who would not hesitate to blackmail and backstab you at the drop of a hat. Maybe, just MAYBE, you might find a truly kind and honest person without any sort of ulterior motives somewhere out there in the most remote of regions and find it to be lower than .001% of the total populace of this planet - the rest are more or less tainted already. And the worse part of it - those who want to be kind honest persons have either had their goodwill exploited in a bad way, or are shirking away from being the nice people they really are for fear of being exploited for it. This is not to say that everyone is a bad person, however; but people have to put on a face for this messed-up world we live in so they can live on normally. This fact is rather disheartening, but that same principle also applies to anonymosity in real-world and online scenarios.

Sometomes people have to have an outlet for the stresses of everyday life; the tendency for people who constantly are on the internet is to either vent their frustration or show who they really are (in a bad way) under a fake name or no name at all. Others have opinions and interests that are considered weird, wrong, and creepy by others because of either lack of information, societic norms (of the general audience), or just plain boredom. Anomymous exists partially because of boredom - if we had anything good to do for ourselves in this world in reality and online, we would not be spamming the heck out of CoS sites, DDoSing Google (and observing how pointless DDoSing is in general), and exploiting security flaws in social networking sites so they can get more pornographic material (..wait, what? well, why would you post nude pictures of yourself on a freaking social networking site anyway? No, really, this is true)..

If there are two things that separates us people from all other living things, it is the necessity for amusement and entertainment to get rid of 'boredom' and our constant and bottomless appetite for gratification and satisfaction (Yes, people will never get satisfied; or why else would the rich want to be richer no matter what it takes? Why else would someone with power yearn for more power and don't care how you get it? Why else would they be overdosing cause they couldn't' get 'high' enough anymore?) On a lower scale, all internet users who are not on for work, business, shopping, (maybe) travel and studies, will almost always be seeking some form of entertainment - anything ranging from online gaming to some porn flick to a simple amusing, disgusting or otherwise interest-getting event or meme gone viral.

I suck at getting my point across -_-

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Damion    27
Damion

Hah, I love a good rant that touches on as many things as it possibly can.

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Sugoi    47
Sugoi

Many people don't seem to have manners. It's because of that I avoid reading youtube comments. As like 50% of commenters slur left right and center turning the whole thing into a cesspit. :no:

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winedrinkingcritic    22
winedrinkingcritic

I used to be an internet troll when I was 15. My ironic life comeuppance was I became a webmaster for Beckerfilms and had to put up with internet trolls for the next ten years of my life. Serves me right. Don't be an internet troll. Just don't do it. Because the Goddesses of Irony and Payback are watching you.

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Keiichi Morisato    423
Keiichi Morisato

it's funny that you mention that, @Sugoi. The fact is, youtube has become a joke. 99% of the videos uploaded these days are fragile little snowflakes who think it's their job to tell you what you should think, what you should do and if you don't agree with everything they say, then they label you as racist or something far worse. Personally, I post comments on youtube just to troll these idiots because they refuse to join the rest of the human race in the real world. I've just gotten so sick to death of this whole "political correctness" bullshit that I think it was a word somebody created just so they could feel good about themselves. Everyday, someone tries to go out of their way to create a viral video or a catchphrase, hoping to get their fifteen minutes of fame. It's just become so ridiculous that I roll my eyes at the ceiling everytime I watch their crappy videos, read their snarky comments.

My response to that crap is: blah blah blah. (I'm referring to the youtube snowflakes. :laugh:

13 hours ago, Sugoi said:

Many people don't seem to have manners. It's because of that I avoid reading youtube comments. As like 50% of commenters slur left right and center turning the whole thing into a cesspit. :no:

 

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Board startup date: December 12, 2004 13:15:32
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