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Anonymity on the internet.

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posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:01 PM
Hi, everyone!!

So I wanted to talk about anonymity on the internet. Yes this is a psychologically related topic. Let me begin with a story. Its a true story and I have left out names to protect my own Identity and my family's we have been through enough. This past month, Please stick with me the story is long but, it has meaning to me and it really changed my perspective on life

My father was a kind man and all he wanted to do was be and architect, he achieved this goal and he was successful, however, he didn't agree with what the board demanded. Rather than be an architect to make money he wanted to do it because he was passionate. So when a local children's hospital needed some housing for parents of long term patients they asked my father for some help, he did and because he was a nice guy he charged them WAY less than what the board sets as fees. The board very angry revoked his license and charged him.

This is where the story takes a nasty turn, my father kept being an architect without a license HOWEVER, still had his degree, and still followed board rules, and such, went to other architects to keep up to date and ensure things were proper. A local news station got wind of this and not only demonized him and slandered him but made him loose everything he held dear, he was called a fraud, and though he did do something wrong those who knew him and know the system know, he was falsely charged by the board, because of their own greed. He ended up loosing hundreds of thousands of dollars in under 48 hours. All because of a mentally unstable ex. with a friend in the expose "news" section. On November 20th he died, a month after the article, and 24 hours later another news story was published by this news station, they demonized the dead.

Its this part that really gets me, people were able to comment on the article. And its this false anonymity that makes me question human nature. Every day people began to say "... Its never good to hear some one died but in this case it is" or "Better make sure he is really dead, seems a coincidence" or the most painful to read " Better check the life insurance policies he probably killed him self"

So my question ATS is what makes people think that because they have a user name its okay to be rude and say things that you would never say to a persons face? I've seen it on ATS what I assume are perfectly kind people turning into monsters? Do you think you would do it? If so what makes it okay?

with respect,
Xiamara aka Nikki S. (To rid some anonymity)

Also for people who do know me and my family personally I know some of you are on here I'd appreciate not posting the articles I do reference.

RIP dad I hope you get the justice you deserve.
edit on 11-12-2010 by Xiamara because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-12-2010 by Xiamara because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:10 PM
reply to post by Xiamara

What a sad story, your family has been through a lot. Good thoughts to you.

As for your question, I really think it boils down to a few things but most importantly: lack of accountability.

People can and will do and say things behind a "cloak" that they will never say in the "light" especially if they believe their actions or words will not be attributed to their "real life" person/life. It's a sad, but true side of human nature.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by Xiamara

I am very sorry for your loss.

I just wanted to give you a little warning that the details you give in your post are more then enough to be able to find out who you are referring to with a quick google search.

Maybe you should remove some of the details.

I'm not criticising, just trying to help
edit on 11-12-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:20 PM
reply to post by davespanners

If some one is that desperate to find out then they can. I'm hoping people will look at the point of my message and comment as to why we feel the need to be rude when we hide behind our screen names.

Also I just did a quick google there are about 5 other architects who died on the same day... Sad, and I don't know any of them.
edit on 11-12-2010 by Xiamara because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:21 PM
its the same as saying something behind somebodies back. or writing something about somebody on the wall.these types usually spend the majority of their time on the internet so they do it more frequently and get use to it. use to never having to deal with any type of confrontation beyond strings of text. Coupled with being spoiled or rarely challenged in life...or just not having a notion of respect to begin with, and from the safety of their own home, i think its a combination of things.

been going on a lot longer than the internet has been around. the internet just brought it out more in people and provided the conditions to make it easier to do.

sad story though, sorry about your dad.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:21 PM
A lot of these people are probably just as rude in the flesh-hence the comments on the net due to the fact no one likes them and they are bitter.I just hope that they give murders,peados,rapists etc such a hard time but I doubt it due to their cowardice.Sorry to hear about your dad,he sounded like a good person to me unlike his greedy,selfish board members.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:23 PM
reply to post by Xiamara

My condolences for your loss. Your pain must feel unbearable right now.

I've read both articles and the associated comments. Your situation is an unfortunate one.

As is true in most things in life, nothing is ever 100% of anything.

Focus on the positive qualities and memories of your father, and understand that everyone has flaws. Govern your own actions and move forward when you can.

Best of luck to you.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:43 PM
There are no real consequences for people who are rude, disrespectful, or mean on the internet. The internet provides a medium for communication between people who are totally disconnected in real life. This A) removes any consequences associated with being identified as mean/rude (i.e. not being well liked, being confronted by one's target) and B) removes one's sense of how their actions affect other people. Many people encounter others that they have negative thoughts about all the time in real life, but I think a big part of what keeps people from saying degrading things to others is that it's uncomfortable to make someone else feel very bad.

The situation is unfortunate. Everyone has a part of them that thinks negative things about other people. In real life, action is not often taken as a result of these thoughts because of opposing considerations like empathy and not wanting to be perceived as a jerk. On the internet, negative thoughts about others are not subject to the same filters when it comes to acting on them. The result is self-evident: the anonymous comments one finds on the internet. I'm of the opinion that "Comments" on the internet are the lowest form of communication that otherwise "normal" individuals participate in. ATS might be something of an exception because we have a fairly high quality member base and active moderators working against belligerent idiocy (that's not to say that one would struggle to find instances of belligerent idiocy on ATS).

On the other hand, we could adopt the perspective that being politically correct, respectful, and nice is a behavioral norm that society imposses on itself which results in censorship. To some extent, we censor ourselves in real life as part of acting "civilized" with one another. What we find on the internet clearly demonstrates that people act much differently when there aren't other people around expecting them to be civilized. Is there anything to be gained from the censorship imposed by civilization on its members in real life? Is there anything to be gained from the freedom of anonymity on the internet? Of course there are pros and cons for each.

Like I said, I think that internet communication at times stoops much lower than communication in real life. Overall, though, the anonymity of the internet can be used for good or bad. I don't think ATS would be what it is if it weren't anonymous; professional people aren't likely to participate in documented discussion about reptilians if someone could find that conversation by googling the person's name. I think this is a good thing.

In the end, there's nothing to be done. We're not forced to read what people say on the internet; if someone thinks it's more bad than good they can simply unplug. The fact that we're all playing along despite the perversions that arise from anonymous communication seems to indicate that we like this system more than we dislike it.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:46 PM
I am very sorry for your loss. However I feel the anonymity is important in order to protect ourselves from nosy employers(who may fire you for disagreeing with them) and most especially to protect ourselves from TPTB. I try to take extra-ordinary precautions to protect my identity due to my skill set and my view that revolution is our right. As a military veteran with combat experience and the ability to handle explosives(in order to create IEDs or drop bridges or whatever else) I strongly believe people like me are being watched. If they read some of my posts, I would certainly be labeled a terrorist, or at least a potential one, even though I only want our nation to return to constitutional government. Anonymity, like any tool, can be misused. That does not mean you throw the tool away.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 01:58 PM

Its pretty accurate, when you are anonymous and have an audience you will not act like how you would normally act, most people will act like dickwads on the internet because there are no consequences.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 02:27 PM
I will redfaced argue a point
I will troll a mindset
I will not however toss tomatos at a person I don't know.

My anon is to project a mindset, not to create an irrelevant monster on the net.

The way I see 2000 years, our little internet chats and messages will be considered great reads. they may come across my posts and think "Wow, this is a truely advanced thinking", or "wow, this person certainly has it backwards"...either way.
But I don't want my posts to be simply discarded as "mindless troll"...

Being negative and judgemental about a person is the easiest thing you can don't need to know facts, you can simply spout out what you truely fear about yourself onto some nameless, faceless person.

And finally, for the sake of irony, I will make a judgement on the people whom spoke ill of your father as a person...
there is a special place in hell for those whom judge an entire mans life without knowing the man or the circumstances of the situation.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 02:50 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your story.

Geez, I mean... that's tragic. It just goes to show how selfishness and greed are the new american dream.

AS for as people making comments because you don't know who they are: they do it because they can get away with it, it's because "they can." Not really a good excuse, however...
edit on 11-12-2010 by v1rtu0s0 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 03:37 PM
There have actually been studies on this. There seems to be some agreement to the anonymity the internet provides being the reason.

The psychology of rude behavior online

Online communications reduces a person's sense of his or her own identity, thus providing the means for some to be rude and aggressive when they normally wouldn't be in person,

Of course there is also the argument about the "coldness" of next, the missing of body language etc. Like what is typed in jest may appear rude and cold to the reader.

However, the basic consensus seems to be that the internet can turn some people into jerks because they feel "hidden" and will indeed say things they never would in person.

There is also this quote that probably has some truth to it..

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing. - Robert E. Howard

I am sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like he was a good man. The world is always lacking in good men and often treats them harshly for reasons I cannot fathom.

Peace to you.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 03:53 PM
I am very polite in real life and this may give others the impression, if they read some of my honesty on the net, that I have double standards. I don't believe that I do... as an example, I swear i felt like stabbing the person who complicated my day today. I love the way people think they can just set off a chain reaction of events and people should just take it on the cheek. I can accept dilemmas, but when people # with me for their own stupid petty ass reason... I will do everything I can to make it known and I won't stop until they get that into their head.
Unfortunately, I wasn't exactly in the position to be getting in their face because that's not how those little games work. If there was a chance I could confront them at the moment, they wouldn't play their games. So what now? I suppose it seems I'm still lashing out in the shadows because others are cowards? I dare them to do something right in front of me... and then they might see that side they like to poke sticks at... and on my end, there won't be any losing control. It's not about a loss of control. It's more along the lines of "I'll #ing stop when you #ing stop and not a second sooner"

... but do I ever get a chance in a world of cowards? No.
maybe the real question is "Do people lash out more on the internet because those fleeting moments you don't often get to see are documented in black and white" In some cases, I believe that very much... but I know what you mean. I know the type that thinks they can do whatever they want behind a computer. It's not just about being crudely opinionated either... it's about playing stupid games... just like in real life but on the net, there seem to be endless opportunities to do just that and some losers have made an art out of it!

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 04:07 PM
reply to post by Xiamara

First, let me say i am sorry for your loss. It´s always painful to loose a person that you love.

So my question ATS is what makes people think that because they have a user name its okay to be rude and say things that you would never say to a persons face?

Because through the Anonymity of the internet, people have no shame at all. They can say and do what they want, and they do not care, because they forget or they do not realize that on the other side of the table, another human being is present with feelings too. Simply said anonymity is bringing forth the true Human nature. Anonymity is a double edged sword. It´s good and bad.

I've seen it on ATS what I assume are perfectly kind people turning into monsters?

The problem is that if 2 or more persons, starting to behave bad, and insulting, then the rest will simply follow.

Do you think you would do it? If so what makes it okay?

Do what? Insulting and hurting people? Nope i will never do that. I am always try to keep my responses civil as possible. After all we are all real persons on a virtual-social-network, separated with Anonymity. But that does not mean that we must behave as Monsters.


PS: "Sorry for my English. It´s not my native language."

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 09:33 PM
Sorry for your loss, friend.

My opinion of the internet is growing more embittered by the day frankly. I was 38 years old before I ever saw the damned thing, and in the ten years since, my opinion of the (chronic) online user has dropped considerably.

Some can--and do--- call it 'the last bastion of free expression' but that in itself is just typical of the internet-addled mindset of an overstated sense of self-importance. The reality of it is the information gathering aspect of the net can be useful, but the anonymous nature of the communication aspect has been over run by former truck-stop wall scrawling pervs and obscene phone callers before the invention of caller ID. The net is less 'freeing' than it is just another big party-line source of gossip and dirty talking.

Anyway, sorry for the mini-rant. Just try to keep in context the mindset of many(but not least not yet) on the internet and ignore the hurtful idiots. Trash in, trash out and all.

posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 09:55 PM
I've read through all the posts and it still makes me wonder why people can do this sort of thing. I know there are countless people who've felt it and Its opened my eyes. In the news we really only see whats in front of us we forget that the people we read about have families and lives, they are people too. Its made me really think about what I read, if I see a news story about a murderer or a business man charged with fraud I now see past that. Its something I think people should be aware of, and is lacking. Its one reason I think we forget out manners.

Also thank you to GENERAL EYES for the applause, its my first and it made me very happy, always wanted one I;m glad this is how I got it. (cheesy I know but its true)

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