Is Internet Anonymity Bad?
With the recent terrorist attacks there has been a lot of controversy about the topic of internet anonymity. This is why I’m going to explore both standpoints, and bring you my personal opinion.
Why is internet anonymity bad?
The are many reasons anti-anonymity activists could bring up to defend their standpoint about the subject. The most prominent one being: By giving people anonymity, you give criminals the ability to do their thing. Look at the deep web, it’s full of criminal activity such as child pornography, illegal drug trades and other things we aren’t too fond of.
There is a reason we’ve got laws. If we would let people do their thing without the correction and pressure of a third party such as the law, the world would be in chaos. It is only logical to assume this also applies to the internet.
Another reason, for businesses at least, is that there is no way to have targeted advertising in an anonymised internet. For many users this isn’t a big deal, but it is the way of getting customers in this modern day and age.
The last reason I’m going to explore for this particular standpoint is that anonymity allows people to act like they are someone else. Identification is much harder, if not impossible, when internet users are anonymous. This is a huge problem, since someone could say they are Obama, and no one apart from Obama himself can prove them wrong. Now of course this is an exaggerated example, but it gets the point across. If you want quick and dirty proof of this, give Omegle a visit.
Reasons why internet anonymity is good.
Again, there are many arguments one could bring up to try and convince someone why internet anonymity is good. I will be describing the ones that interest me the most.
First of all, the data of the users on the internet is no ones business, but their own and the people they choose to share it with.
Secondly, it is a great way to protect yourself from potential attackers. They can’t target you if they don’t know who you are.
Also, It allows people in countries where the government doesn’t want their citizens to know certain things, to get to the information they deserve.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, it allows people such as Edward Snowden to give the public an idea of what is really going on behind the scenes at government and its agencies.
I think internet anonymity is really great. I am a huge pro-privacy activist, for all and more of the reasons mentioned above. Even though that is the case, I do realize that terrorism, child abuse, etc cannot be accepted, nor should it be. However, taking away the privacy and anonymity of the rest of the people is not the way to do it.