The Antisocial Web

Is the Internet really one big psychopathy simulator?  While the Internet may not truly be anonymous, the relative anonymity and asynchronous nature of communication leads many to act poorly while in cyberspace.  Threats, deceit, misrepresentation, and doxxing are common among a non-trivial proportion of users of the Internet.  Why would people act so poorly when presumably they do not act as such in “real” life?  There is a reality of lessened accountability on the web and I surmise that in their natural state – their unhindered state – people are less social than they’d like to admit.  Anonymity leads people to believe that they hold power as there is a relative lack of retribution that could be had by an offended party.  We’ve seen time and time again what some neurotypicals do with power; they use it to exploit others.

So is the Internet a grand experiment in the sharing of information or merely another implementation of the darkest desires of man?  It’s a bit of both, but we should not ignore either.

This is a new type of post, presented without a jump, that will be common in between larger posts in the coming weeks.  Intended for quick reading and discussion, these posts will often be less “meaty” than traditional posts.

Marginalization and Discourse

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I like anonymity, because a unknown source let’s my voice trancend just my own name, and thus my words represent the meaning of what I’m saying, experienced as a human being capable of intellectual debate and educated in as language a medium for communication. I don’t care who or what wisdom comes from, as long as it is valid and pure. That being, I specifically don’t mind hyper connection where all things are open to be known, like my name, as it would provide consistancy. Though mysteries are more fun! I’m too obvious of a person to not recognize my patterns anyhow, so I hardly expect myself to remain unknown. Rather, I dream of an epic battle fueled by all parties honoring and respecting other, responsibly duking it out and crazily caring too much about the world.

    • Jessica Kelly says

      There is a certain merit in pseudo-anonymity if used responsibly. Thoughts that would be less likely to be vocalized bubble to the top. I just find it interesting that so many use anonymity as an excuse to behave badly. It would seem to support the argument that status is often the biggest incentive for good behavior rather than the innate goodness of the species as a whole.

      A day in which discourse can be had responsibly would be a grand day indeed.

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