Anonymous

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Anonymous

Postby BadgerJelly on October 12th, 2016, 1:10 am 

I think it is great to havre freedom of speech. What concerns me is people wanting to have freedom of speech online and remain anonymous.

I don't know about you, but I would like to see the faces and have the names of people make remarks I do not agree with. This way I can openly and publicly challenge them and ask people to question their views on this subject too.

As an example there are members on another forum that make some remarks I consider deeply naive and harmful. I have no idea who these people are and I worry that offline they go about spreading their word in more subtle ways without their community knowing the kind of thoughts going around in their heads.

Does anonymity give us the moral right to say anything we please? If we say certain things should our identities be made public?

Note: I do understand the practically of enforcing differerent laws from freedom of speech depending upon how exposed the individuals identy is. Also I understand how this could be abused by hacking etc... My concern is with what you believe is the right thing to do not its application.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Forest_Dump on October 12th, 2016, 7:35 am 

Chuckle, chuckle. Should I call you Mr (Ms?) Jelly or do we know each other well enough for me to call you Badger?

I can sympathize to some degree but what about a right to privacy? Sometimes freedom of speech may be enhanced by privacy particularly if you feel (or know) you might be persecuted for expressing an opinion that would be unpopular to your neighbours, employer or government. But I know you know all of this. And you know that one person's masked or hooded freedom fighter is the next person's terrorist.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2016, 7:38 am 

Does anonymity give us the moral right to say anything we please?

No: The Bill of Rights does. A great many people express sentiments, judgments and propositions that I consider extremely harmful, without any attempt to hide their identities. Politicians, preachers and pundits do this on widely broadcast media, with their faces right in the camera, and their names in bold type, every single day. There are very few restrictions on their speech - even hate speech, even incitement to violence, even costly and destructive lies. Public disapproval may slow some of them down; the threat of litigation may slow some of them down, but nothing stops them.

Certainly not morality.

If we say certain things should our identities be made public?

There are several reasons why some people prefer anonymity: personal safety; reputation, and social position; financial or professional vulnerability; threat to relationships,
protection of associates, organizations and friends.

Which "certain things" should merit involuntary outing? My political views? My stand on climate change? My opinion of income disparity? My tolerance for a range of gender role? My low estimation of religion? My avowed fondness for cats? My approval of vegetarians? My pedantry? My attempts at humour? My finely-tuned aesthetic sense?
Who decides?
Well, in forums, the administrator and moderators decide. In feedback sections of news outlets, the publisher. In a blog, the service provider has some control. At all times, we're monitored for criminal and seditious communications.
I believe we have already little enough privacy.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby TheVat on October 12th, 2016, 10:22 am 

My real name is Theophilus Beanpizzle. So that's why I have been reticent about using my actual name on the Net. But Dave Oblad has given me the courage to unmask. Be kind.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby BadgerJelly on October 12th, 2016, 10:39 am 

The OP stems from an interview with Ricky Gervais of all people. He made a good point about freedom of speech and said people should be allowed to make public racist comments so we can know and see who they are and challenge their position. Otherwise, he argued, they would go underground and be completely shut off from the general public.

I think the internet does allow us something unique in respect to what we feel comfortable saying. For example if someone is talking online about how they hate their >insert minority< neighbours and voices obvious prejudices, and this person has said they live in your area, wouldn't loke to knownwho they are? Of course you can challenge them online, and this is a great way for creating potentional understanding.

Serpent -

You are asking "Who decides?", and I am asking you "as if" you decide amd your thinking behind it.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2016, 11:03 am 

Braininvat » October 12th, 2016, 9:22 am wrote:My real name is Theophilus Beanpizzle. So that's why I have been reticent about using my actual name on the Net. But Dave Oblad has given me the courage to unmask. Be kind.

But, but, if you've been using your true adorable image the whole time, why be reticent about such a poetic name?
BadgerJelly -- You are asking "Who decides?", and I am asking you "as if" you decide amd your thinking behind it.

If I were the moderator, the server or the publisher, I would refuse to print some submissions - just as they all do. If i were police, i would investigate some posters - as they already do. I might warn people and ban people for some kinds of self-expression. What i would NOT do - I rarely resort to boldface or caps - is reveal that person's identity. A moderator on a forum I used to frequent did that to someone who annoyed her. The poster had not said anything particularly objectionable; he just made fun of the mod once too often. He worked in telecommunications and was privy to sensitive information, so having his cover blown was a pretty big deal. She didn't know this and didn't care. Needless to say, he was angry. So was I and I didn't know or like the clown. To me, it was a blatant abuse of power.

If i were the judge or jury member in a courtroom, i would have to decide each case on its own merits, according to the law as it stands. That's what I try to do in daily life. Considering context and intent, i might let some offensive material go by unremarked, or take a person up on their views, argue or contradict them. Some people, I simply ignore.

Gervais gets away with some quite unsavoury comments, because he's a celebrity. I liked him better when he was just a comedian and didn't celebrate himself quite so much. As to outing racists, I see no point. Their neighbours already know. There are so many high-profile racists, fascists, jingoists, xenophobes, homophobes, misogynists, bigots of every description mouthing off from high platforms that adding an obscure name to the list wouldn't make a difference.
If you want to make a difference, ignore the vessels and deal with the content.
Counter the propaganda, no matter where it comes from.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Forest_Dump on October 12th, 2016, 11:15 am 

Braininvat wrote:My real name is Theophilus Beanpizzle.


Well I can fully understand your use of a pen name now. Theo... Theo Huxtable... The Cosby Show... Now I will never be able to read one of your posts without thinking you were raised by a sexual predator.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Forest_Dump on October 12th, 2016, 11:25 am 

Perhaps one of the biggest examples might be in the question of anonymity in voting. Should we have a right to know how everyone voted (given that many will deny for various reasons)? For transparency, in all the provincial and federal elections, I have most often voted for the Liberal party but think I have voted conservative a couple of times and NDP (more socialist), not voted a few times, and voted Green party and even Marijuana Party once each.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2016, 11:49 am 

I wouldn't mind signing my vote... now, as things stand in Canada. In Eastern Europe, when the Communist party returned with 98% majority, you had to do it openly. My parents submitted a blank ballot, but you could get into trouble for abstaining, too. I've learned to prize the secret ballot, the unpublicized whistle-blower, the anonymous tipster. Privacy matters.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby TheVat on October 12th, 2016, 11:53 am 

I think anonymity should be calibrated to the specific situation, as Serpent and others have touched on. We have such rules in other aspects of life - a psychologist doesn't have to disclose what a patient says during a session, unless there is seen to be a genuine threat of imminent harm to someone, or a serious crime has been disclosed. Some things require a court order, and responsible jurists issuing them. "Blowing off steam" on the Internet seems okay, and some people may be able to work through angry feelings better if they have a mask on, and their Net venue permits a certain latitude.

There's also, in the U.S. especially, the safety aspect. Our nation has more than its share of nutty people who are allowed access to all kinds of guns and inexpensive transportation. Some websites have a lot of lurkers, so you may not know who is reading your most unvarnished opinions....or going ballistic over them. It's different in the real world - in a coffeeshop, say, you see who you are talking to, and the odds of a lurking nutjob overhearing you are relatively low. Also, in FTF communications, many statements with the potential to offend are somewhat softened or defused by the way we use body language and facial expressions.

And, even in real life, we sometimes find ourselves in socially uncertain situations, perhaps where there is a volatile feel in the group we find ourselves with, and we make the choice to confine our personal disclosure to "first names only." What's that phrase you least like to hear in a heated discussion, "I know where you live."


Re: "...thinking you were raised by a sexual predator..." Well. I was raised by gentle Amish farmers in a small colony in what was then Upper Volta, but is now Burkina Faso. When we moved to Hoboken (I was 7), the other children taunted me with a ditty that went "He's just an assh--- from Burkina Faso!" I promptly curled up into a ball and did not emerge from said ball until the Ford administration and new developments in hair gel were promising hope for unruly hair like mine which often presented the unseemly aspect of a cranial exit wound. Well, I think that's enough personal disclosure for one day.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby ronjanec on October 12th, 2016, 3:07 pm 

I am in favor of continuing to allow people to post anonymously on all websites. I spend a lot of time on both liberal and conservative websites, and when people are actually allowed to say whatever they want without any PC bullying, you get to finally hear people's real feelings about many important issues. And let me tell you people it ain't pretty. :)
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2016, 3:57 pm 

I'll take that with a tablespoon of salt.
It often seems to me that many posters, rather than show their real feelings and opinions, put on a persona. The loudest macho-men are probably couch-potatoes who borrow their on-line vernacular from TV shows about alligator hunting or border patrolling. Sometimes, too, people will deliberately bait posters who have a well known hobby horse, religious message or political agenda. Some are just cutting up "funny" at the slightest opportunity; some have a sales-pitch that they keep repeating; some go on forums to vent on a frustration at home or work, or to throw public tantrums, because their mothers freaked at every threat to hold their breath till they turned blue.

Many, probably most, of these same people are perfectly normal and polite in the real world. They go on the permissive forums to try on different masks, play different parts. I believe it's mostly harmless, but the very prolific ones do sometimes give the impression that they represent some kind of silent majority.

Here it is - the catalogue I'd lost. http://www.theapricity.com/forum/showthread.php?53850-The-Full-List-of-Internet-Forum-Personalities!-With-pictures!
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Dave_Oblad on October 12th, 2016, 4:58 pm 

Hi all,

And I am the only person here that uses his Real Name and Real Picture?

Can we spell "Irony" BJ?

I like the fact this site has a Like button. I abhor those sites (You-Tube) that support dislikes. I see a child do their best to sing their hearts out and get 1000+ Likes and then there is always a handful 100+ (typical ratio) of dislikes. Why? Don't these idiots recognize that the positive responses enable a person? Gives them reason to keep improving? Negative responses cause them to withdraw, hide and quit trying.

Anonymity gives people the courage to simply be Mean.. to show their true negative selves.

As a kid, I loved to build large glorious Sandcastles at the Beach. But there was always that one kid that would come and jump on it.. destroy it.. the moment I turned my back. I look at the kids parents and ask "Why"? They shrug and say "Kids will be kids". If I push the issue.. they ask if I expected my effort to last forever? I would say "No.. but maybe an hour so others can enjoy my art would have been nice."

And that is just one of the things wrong with this world.. really Mean people.

Ps. Of course, perhaps I did use more than my fair share of local sand in my Creations:

SandHog.jpg
The Sandhog... lol.

Best wishes,
Dave :^)
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2016, 8:27 pm 

I heard good quality sand was becoming scarce, what with exporting to oil jillionares' private beaches, but I didn't know they'd started rationing.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby ronjanec on October 12th, 2016, 8:36 pm 

Serpent » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:57 pm wrote:I'll take that with a tablespoon of salt.
It often seems to me that many posters, rather than show their real feelings and opinions, put on a persona. The loudest macho-men are probably couch-potatoes who borrow their on-line vernacular from TV shows about alligator hunting or border patrolling. Sometimes, too, people will deliberately bait posters who have a well known hobby horse, religious message or political agenda. Some are just cutting up "funny" at the slightest opportunity; some have a sales-pitch that they keep repeating; some go on forums to vent on a frustration at home or work, or to throw public tantrums, because their mothers freaked at every threat to hold their breath till they turned blue.

Many, probably most, of these same people are perfectly normal and polite in the real world. They go on the permissive forums to try on different masks, play different parts. I believe it's mostly harmless, but the very prolific ones do sometimes give the impression that they represent some kind of silent majority.

Here it is - the catalogue I'd lost. http://www.theapricity.com/forum/showthread.php?53850-The-Full-List-of-Internet-Forum-Personalities!-With-pictures!


Yes, some do many of the things that you just said here Serpent, but there is a great deal of animosity built up from when the main stream media had a stranglehold on your average person only being allowed to say what they wanted them to say publicly(or only PC comments allowed), and the rise of the Internet has definitely changed that.

So what has now happened is the floodgates have opened, and people can now anonymously say all the racist and bigoted things they wanted to say in the past right up to the very limit of each websites moderation standards(and some let people say basically anything)

"That's terrible and this should not be allowed!" I guess you are not real big on that free speech thing right? "Well, there must be exceptions!" Then it is not free speech. Who will determine what the exceptions are?

"People must use their real names then so they can be held accountable for what they say online" Then they will be afraid of the possible repercussions for speaking their minds, and you are now drastically limiting free speech online.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2016, 9:19 pm 

No, I'm not interfering with the bigots. If they were on my boards, they would adhere to my rules, or be tossed off. On their own boards, I don't care what they say: I don't go there. Nor do I care if they fall afoul of the law, such as it is. I also don't go to your country anymore.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby ronjanec on October 12th, 2016, 9:25 pm 

Serpent » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:19 pm wrote:No, I'm not interfering with the bigots. If they were on my boards, they would adhere to my rules, or be tossed off. On their own boards, I don't care what they say: I don't go there. Nor do I care if they fall afoul of the law, such as it is. I also don't go to your country anymore.


That was not actually directed at you personally Serpent: I was just making some general comments about censorship and anonymous comments on the Internet, in line with what is being discussed here in this thread.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2016, 9:31 pm 

Oh, right. Then we agree.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Lomax on October 13th, 2016, 12:41 am 

Badger,

Your concerns are exactly the reasons I reveal my real (sur)name and location, and use real pictures of myself for my avatar, on this forum. If I'm not prepared for people to know it was me who said it, I shouldn't be prepared to say it. But this is just my way of making sure I can't be brought to think of myself as a creep or a coward. Ricky Gervais's argument -

BadgerJelly » October 12th, 2016, 3:39 pm wrote:The OP stems from an interview with Ricky Gervais of all people. He made a good point about freedom of speech and said people should be allowed to make public racist comments so we can know and see who they are and challenge their position. Otherwise, he argued, they would go underground and be completely shut off from the general public.

- illustrates to me a good reason for anonymity. Some positions are not just in the minority but positively scorned upon. Suppose they are all incorrect: we still need to hear them. It leads us to sharpen our own faculties. Thomas Paine, in his famous introduction to The Age of Reason, reminds us that censorship doesn't just deprive the speaker of their right to speak, it deprives the listener of their right to listen. Social castigation can do the same to the faint of heart, and that could be a real shame. I know far more about the second world war, for instance, than I ever would have pushed myself to learn if I had not come into contact with deniers - and relishers - of the holocaust.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby BadgerJelly on October 13th, 2016, 1:49 am 

Lomax -

Yes, it is a good reason for anonymity. I don't want people who disagree with me to be driven underground. I want them out in the open where they can be challenged.

My concern is about the inflience on law and the global presence of the internet. The very idea of "insighting hatred" as being a crime is closely related to the internet. Because our lives have become part of the internet we've mkved beyond cultural and geographic boundaries and find ourselves speaking to all sorts of people from all sorts of differing traditions.

If someone I am speaking to is from India or from China then what they say can easily be taken out of context. Being blinded from the context and cultural differences causes problems. So many people assume if you are speaking English online you are american (statistically this makes some kind of sense).

For example, if someone makes a remark about black people then the political tone is very different from country to country, and even city to city.

In an ideal world I would like to know who is saying what. I am not saying we should have to present our real identities nor stop using pseudonyms only that if I wanted to I could find out with ease. In certain situations I may not want to know in order to see what impressions are made on me by this person and guess more about who they are ... or it may simply be of no concern to me whatsoever.

To all -

If it is okay for the government to monitor our posts and see our identities then why cannot we not see each others? I do not believe freedom of speech is applicable to anonymity. Having a discussion face to face with someone doesn't mean you have to tell them your name. Online we are talking about speaking without anything other than pure text.

If I was to create a new account and start posting here is that against the rules? Why? Why not?
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Re: Anonymous

Postby BadgerJelly on October 13th, 2016, 2:05 am 

If you care, my name is Matthew Roffey, I am 38 and live in HCMC, Vietnam. My heritage is English and my nationality, in my mind, is void.

And I like cheese ... especially Brie!

If you wish to send me some french brie pm and I'll give yoy my address.

Note: Am I fibbing?
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Re: Anonymous

Postby TheVat on October 13th, 2016, 9:49 am 

Greetings, Matt Who May Be Fibbing.

Paul Nelson, 60, Rapid City, SD, English/Irish/Norwegian heritage. Nationality - feel Canadian, but official documents say otherwise.

I stick with Italian white cheeses, which minimize flatulence.

Monterey Jack is also good - don't know if it's available in UK or Vietnam, though.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby ronjanec on October 13th, 2016, 10:58 am 

Braininvat » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:49 am wrote:Greetings, Matt Who May Be Fibbing.

Paul Nelson, 60, Rapid City, SD, English/Irish/Norwegian heritage. Nationality - feel Canadian, but official documents say otherwise.

I stick with Italian white cheeses, which minimize flatulence.

Monterey Jack is also good - don't know if it's available in UK or Vietnam, though.


I used to represent an American manufacturer pretty close to you Biv in Rock Rapids Iowa called SR Pipe Nipples: Have you ever heard of them? They were the nicest people I ever had the great pleasure to represent with my former business.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby TheVat on October 13th, 2016, 12:19 pm 

I'm over by the Wyoming border side. Where the hills are. Been here two years. I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska for some years, however, which is probably somewhat closer to any place in western Iowa. Can't say I've heard of your nipple supplier, but the pleasure I find in typing this sentence should be evident to all.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby ronjanec on October 13th, 2016, 12:40 pm 

Braininvat » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:19 am wrote:I'm over by the Wyoming border side. Where the hills are. Been here two years. I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska for some years, however, which is probably somewhat closer to any place in western Iowa. Can't say I've heard of your nipple supplier, but the pleasure I find in typing this sentence should be evident to all.


It is a terrible thing for a man to lose his only nipple supplier Biv...
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Re: Anonymous

Postby BadgerJelly on October 14th, 2016, 1:17 am 

So you all think complete freedom of speech is okay even in complete anonymity?
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Re: Anonymous

Postby TheVat on October 14th, 2016, 10:20 am 

Yes! And I fart in your general direction! Your mother reeked of elderberries and your father was a hamster!

Seriously, I have doubts. Especially in cases where free speech includes assertions based on one's personal credentials. Claiming extraordinary personal knowledge/wisdom perhaps needs to be backed by some identification?
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Re: Anonymous

Postby BadgerJelly on October 14th, 2016, 10:39 am 

What do mean? An african swallow or a european swallow?

I guess you kind of see what I am getting at? The us eof the internet has opened up a whole new perspective. Prior to the internet people could still print and distribute anonymous ideas, but that was a rather cumbersome way to do things. Now any old nitwit (I mean look at me!) can write anything I want and only government official from paranoid nations can find out who I actual am.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Lomax on October 14th, 2016, 12:25 pm 

Braininvat » October 14th, 2016, 3:20 pm wrote:Seriously, I have doubts. Especially in cases where free speech includes assertions based on one's personal credentials. Claiming extraordinary personal knowledge/wisdom perhaps needs to be backed by some identification?

Wisdom?!

Really though, if the reader believes everything he or she reads, I don't see why that's not on them. The sheer ardour of trying to prosecute people for making up credentials online sounds mindblowing. And I should know, I've been a lawyer for forty years.
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Re: Anonymous

Postby Paul Anthony on October 14th, 2016, 1:02 pm 

I was raised Catholic, and this thread is beginning to remind me of Confession. :)

My name really is Paul Anthony...sort of. Anthony is my middle name. My last name is hard for people to spell and even harder to pronounce, so I write under a pen name comprised of two-thirds of my full name. But, in my defense, I use my pen name consistently. I have absolutely zero presence on the web under my full name. Even my Facebook page is as Paul Anthony.

You may have guessed that I don't actually look like my picture. I think the picture is better looking! (I may have been a cat in a previous life, so maybe it really is me?)
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