Friday, August 12, 2011

Internet Anonymity for People like Us

Yesterday on the radio, the show I listen to did a story about this: Gawker.  The hosts were all for it, saying that anonymity on the internet is bad, because it allows people to say things they wouldn't say out in public.  They said that people should have to get some kind of license to go online to post to blogs and message boards, using their real names, so that you'd know exactly who said what.  All I could think was that it would shut down whole sections of the internet.  Spanking on tv has become slightly more mainstream, but so much of society still thinks that what we do is worse than being gay, and we know how they feel about THAT.  We go on Twitter and we write our blogs anonymously, for our own protection for the most part.  Some of us have careers or spouses or friends and relatives who can't find out about what we're into, because it would cause serious problems.  We HAVE to have anonymity online so that we can interact with other people like us.  We can't go back to the old days when we had almost no connection to other people who did what we did, putting pricey ads in the backs of free newspapers to find somebody to spank or be spanked by.  There was a scene back then, but not like it is now, where we can talk to so many people all over the world who think the way we do, and want the same things.  Losing that would be devastating for all of us.  I'm out to some friends, but I keep my Twitter and Facebook personas totally separate for a reason.  There are relatives and work friends on Facebook who I don't want finding out about this, because I've had some bad experiences with people finding out in the past.  One of my uncles is born again, and his only thought filter is his religion.  I doubt he'd take the news well if he found out.  I don't feel like being ostracized by half the people I know and/or love.  Also, G. isn't out at ALL, and if what I do online got out, it would be very easy for his friends to figure out the connection.  I would never do that to him, so I would have to stop posting.     

What they said bothered me so much that later in the day I emailed one of the hosts, whom I have emailed before about trivial things, so I had his email address already.  I told him about those of us who require anonymity to do what we do online.  I haven't had an answer yet, and I may not, but at least I let him know the part of the concept that he obviously hadn't thought about at all.  I'll post if I get an answer.  


Rich Person said...

It would be devastating, but I think that's what some of these people want. It's how they get their kicks.

I get my kicks by pushing for the exact opposite. I like that there's a way to say what I want without having to look over my shoulder. I think it's good for society. It provides an outlet and also gives us a measure of how far society is straying from what people really want.

Good on you for firing off an e-mail. But more important is for all of us to be watching what politicians are saying and doing about net neutrality and privacy on the Internet. These are huge issues that really affect us, and we have to be aware of the politics and ready to take action.

Otherwise, you could see vast swaths of the Internet shut down.

Anonymous said...

My legal specialty is privacy, especially electronic privacy. You are absolutely right in what you say, but it goes way beyond just kinky things, but includes political dissent around the world, especially in places like China and the Middle East. Anonymity has been approved of by courts in North America and in Europe as well.

Good posting.


Jen said...

@Rich Person, I'm far too opinionated to stay quiet these days. LOL

Jen said...

Larry, I also thought about the political dissent, but they were so focused on fighting terrorism in their discussion that I thought they were missing a whole side of things that they hadn't even considered. They get in that mindset of "What are you afraid of by using your real name?" They had people call worried about the government watching what we're doing, but they weren't buying it. It's funny though, on the morning show the next day, one of THOSE guys thought about the pervy side of things. "What about porn?" LOL At least SOMEBODY'S thinking!