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comment by dublinben

I like you pseudonymous folks on hubski better than the "real" people on my Facebook. I think this is actually the perfect middle ground, where people can truly express themselves and build a reputation, but not tie that to their real identity if they choose not to. I think I'm a lot more "real" under this handle than I ever was on Facebook.




kleinbl00  ·  612 days ago  ·  link  ·  

These discussions always divide the online world into two camps: "real name" and "anonymous" without ever mentioning "pseudonymous."

It's ridiculous - pseudonyms have been used to build clout and reputation without impinging on "real life" since the ancient Greeks. You don't switch costumes at the Masque. Since online networks were a thing, people have generally been using an alias (or a small handful of aliases) and sticking with it. Even over on Reddit - there's a large contingency for whom that alias doesn't matter but as soon as you have a single high-ranking post, you're sticking with it.

Yet the tech press always sees things in terms of "real name" or "total anonymity" and harps about how total anonymity doesn't work. no shit.

katakowsj  ·  612 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree with both of you. Personally, I hardly touch Facebook. Too much posturing and humble-bragging, or just bragging, for me to enjoy.

I've now invested over 2000 days in sharing and interacting with folks on Hubski, so I can get thoughtful feedback on topics I care about.

That feedback would likely be crap if others got to know katakowsj to be a hot-tempered jackoff, which I aim not to be.

I don't enjoy interacting with people that lack a sense of accountability. They tend to be disconnected and obnoxious. Fortunately for us, little of this exists on Hubski.

insomniasexx  ·  608 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think of the biggest problems with anonymous apps is the lack of reputation / consequences. I have always believed that anyone can be an absolute troll or a bully or whatever when presented with the right circumstances. Those circumstances tend to apply to far more people when you advertise yourself as an anonymous app.

However anonymity comes in more than one form. It can be not tied to your government issued identity. Or your work identity. Or your Facebook identity. Or your party-all-night identity. It can mean your IP can't be tracked or your communications are fully encrypted to everyone except the person on the other end.

Reddit actually started relatively anonymous. People tended not to use usernames that they used elsewhere and were extremely careful about posting personal information that could be tied back to them. You didn't have to enter and email (and were never asked to actually - you had to dive to the bottom of your settings to be able to reset your password). But even so, add some magic Internet points and you cut down on the cyberbullying and trashiness. It also helped that reddit's initial user base was mostly older programming males, not middle school girls. Lurk moar applied and improper grammar wasn't accepted. You didn't live on your phone and you didn't reddit from your phone.

Hubski is very similar, although a lot of people who came from reddit use their reddit identities. Again, why does Hubski not become a breading ground for crazy middles-shoot hate? (1) Empowering individual users to be their own moderators (2) Inspiring thoughtful discussion by design...and by leading by example (3) a reputation system to encourage good behavior and a user-moderation system to discourage it.

I guess my point is...anonymous purely to be anonymous usually attracts the wrong user base which perpetuates a spiteful environment. There are steps you can take to mitigate that, especially in the early days. Giving anonymous middle schoolers the ability to say whatever and not moderating it is never going to end well. 😬 But giving users power and reputation and rules and providing value beyond anonymity has a better chance of thriving.

rezzeJ  ·  608 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I think of the biggest problems with anonymous apps is the lack of reputation / consequences. I have always believed that anyone can be an absolute troll or a bully or whatever when presented with the right circumstances. Those circumstances tend to apply to far more people when you advertise yourself as an anonymous app.

There was a link to an article posted on /r/philosophy today entitled "Social Networking and Ethics" that has a section about Anonymity versus Commitment. It shares similar sentiments to the ones your express here.

    Dreyfus suggests that what online engagements intrinsically lack is exposure to risk, and without risk, Dreyfus tells us, there can be no true meaning or commitment found in the electronic domain. Instead, we are drawn to online social environments precisely because they allow us to play with notions of identity, commitment and meaning, without risking the irrevocable consequences that ground real identities and relationships. As Dreyfus puts it:

    …the Net frees people to develop new and exciting selves. The person living in the aesthetic sphere of existence would surely agree, but according to Kierkegaard, “As a result of knowing and being everything possible, one is in contradiction with oneself” (Present Age, 68). When he is speaking from the point of view of the next higher sphere of existence, Kierkegaard tells us that the self requires not “variableness and brilliancy,” but “firmness, balance, and steadiness” (Dreyfus 2004, 75)

    While Dreyfus acknowledges that unconditional commitment and acceptance of risk are not excluded in principle by online sociality, he insists that “anyone using the Net who was led to risk his or her real identity in the real world would have to act against the grain of what attracted him or her to the Net in the first place” (2004, 78).