Anonymous on social media: The many problems of online anonymity

News: Social media handles and platforms encourage the use of anonymity which amplify various issues like fake news, online abuse etc.

How can one be anonymous on social media?

Social media defines anonymity as “Unidentifiable within a set of subjects” but that identity is not linear. The most common type of anonymity involves the use of a pseudonym, a fake or no photo, and nothing specific in the bio.

Why do people want to be anonymous on social media?

– To be able to speak the truth against vindictive forces.

– To participate in online conversations without being judged from past experiences

– For choosing non-hetero normative identities or for documenting deeply personal experiences that could be subject to sweeping judgments by others.

–  To not let the views be tagged to the real person being spoken about, in the offline world.

Why do platforms encourage users to go anonymous on social media?

There are some of the platforms where giving reviews anonymous are the norms like Glassdoor, Reddit, Fishbowl etc. These platforms believe that people can be more authentic and true to themselves when they detach from real-world identities.

What are the problems with being anonymous on social media?

1) Extreme opinions  2) Spreading fake information

Read here: Centre plans law on online hate speech

Source: This post is based on the article “The many problems of online anonymity” published in The Hindu on 20th January 2022.

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