A recent decision by a British High Court has held that anonymous bloggers have no right to privacy in their identities as ‘blogging is essentially a public not a private activity.’ The privacy and the ethics issue around anonymity on the Intenret has always been debated.
Persoanlly I have two very different opinions on the same. Sure some (or maybe most) people prefer to vent their opinions under a pseudonym so they don’t get identified. But why? If I had a problem with someone or something, I’d post a blog or a comment in my own name simply because I’m not embarrassed about my opinions. If I had to be anonymous, I’d rather keep shut! Don’t know what you think, but most anonymous comments on blogs etc are either abusive, non-related or a silly attempt to be extra witty.
The interesting thing is that when you see such weird comments on a news website you read them out of a curiosity factor (or to kill time) more than deriving a sadistic pleasure. The journos who publish these comments know this well and some times allow to publish these to get a higher rating on a ‘most read story of the day’ etc. I think it’s OK to be anonymous as long as you don’t fly completely off the tangent for your 5 seconds of anonymous fame.
BUT…and this is a big but…the biggest USP of the Internet is it’s anonymity. We don avatars, chat under nicknames, disguise our profiles as there is a certain fun about being someone other than who we are or sometimes who we would like to be. This is the very reason why virtual worlds etc are so popular.
I think there are several identity issues on the Internet and we need some kind of an ethics code around it or else separate courts in separate countries will continue making isolated decisions around it, which will just fuel the debate rather than solve it. What say?