Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st Nov 2017 23:33 UTC
Internet & Networking

This week, representatives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter are appearing before House and Senate subcommittees to answer for their role in Russian manipulation during the 2016 election, and so far, the questioning has been brutal. Facebook has taken the bulk of the heat, being publicly called out by members of Congress for missing a wave of Russian activity until months after the election.

But one of the most interesting parts of yesterday's proceedings actually came after the big companies had left the room, and a national security researcher named Clint Watts took the floor. Watts is one of the most respected figures in the nascent field of social media manipulation - and when it came time to diagnose root of Russia's platform meddling, he put much of the blame on the decision to allow anonymous accounts. As long as Russian operatives can get on Twitter and Facebook without identifying themselves, Watts diagnosed, foreign actors will be able to quietly influence our politics.

I decided to keep this particular part of the hearings currently underway out of the previous item I posted because I feel it's too important not to be discussed on its own merit. The concept of anonymity online is a complex issue, and instinctively, I want to say it's one of the greatest things about the internet. What part of it are we willing to give up - assuming we still have it or parts of it to begin with - to prevent dictators like Putin from meddling with our elections?

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RE[2]: Comment by Lazarus
by Lazarus on Thu 2nd Nov 2017 00:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Lazarus"
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

Getting rid of anonymity will not get rid of bullying.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Lazarus
by tylerdurden on Thu 2nd Nov 2017 02:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Lazarus"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

So many liberties and freedoms have been curtailed in the name of "thinking of the Children." It's so depraved in a sense.

Reply Parent Score: 2

yoshi314@gmail.com Member since:
2009-12-14

it will give the bullies a face and identity. or they will switch to bullying you in real life.

i mean, anonymity in internet is great, until you start receiving online death threats.

then you might prefer to actually identify whoever is tormenting you, just because they might actually not be jokiing around. which means that imperfect anonymity is also pretty useful.

it's a double edged sword, and there is no perfect solution to this problem, unless you are perfectly anonymous online to start with - then whoever is harassing you online won't know who you are.

Edited 2017-11-02 09:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4