Reflecting on Online identity

My initial argument when it came to online identities, skewed towards the benefits of having multiple identities or being anonymous online. Adam’s comment on my blog and the link he included to a wired article bought to my attention the potential motivations some people might have for creating false persona’s online. It also bought to my attention how a false persona can be abused in order to make someone’s argument appear more legitimate by making sock puppet accounts to agree or disagree with a post. This got me into thinking about just how flawed using social media accounts is in order to seem more authentic online.

Adam’s blog discussed the potential new way Web 3.0 technologies could bring for managing online identity. This got me thinking that Web 3.0 could change the existing paradigm of being forced to surrender personal information to social networks in order to be perceived as an authentic person. Following this I researched into web 3.0 further. I found that theoretically, the new model for managing an identity online, would allow users to choose when personal information is pulled from a platform and when they retain complete anonymity. As discussed in this medium article. This new insight caused me to reflect on the potential future methods for managing online identity, as per my responding comment. The video below expands on the potential differences I have reflected on for Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 for managing identities.

Source: (Dodd,R,2018) created with biteable

Reading Stefan’s blog and responding to it got me to consider the pitfall of social media when it comes to prospective employers and how information gleamed from employee’s online profiles can be used as a basis for deciding not to hire someone, or for disciplinary action as I found in this article.

Conclusion

Upon reflecting on the different ways identity can be managed online, and the potential changes that Web 3.0 could being, I have created a chart below to show how I now intend to alter managing my own identity.

scandinavianstyle interiors-

Source: (Doddr,R, 2018) created with Canva

 

Word Count: 330

 

Comments

Comment on Adam’s Blog

Adam’s response to my comment

Adam’s comment on my blog

My response to Adam’s comment on my blog

Comment on Stefan’s Blog

 

Bibliography

BBC News. (2017). I lost my job over a Facebook post. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-41851771 [Accessed 30 Apr. 2018].

Seife, C. (2014). The Weird Reasons Why People Make Up False Identities on the Internet. [online] WIRED. Available at: https://www.wired.com/2014/07/virtual-unreality-the-online-sockpuppets-that-trick-us-all/[Accessed 30 Apr. 2018].

Zago, M. (2018). Why the Web 3.0 Matters and you should know about it. [online] Medium. Available at: https://medium.com/@matteozago/why-the-web-3-0-matters-and-you-should-know-about-it-a5851d63c949 [Accessed 30 Apr. 2018].

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Single online Identity, versus multiple online identities, versus total anonymity

Authenticity is a key argument made for the benefit of having just one identity. It stands to reason that if everything you post online can be easily attributed to you, this makes everything you post appear more trustworthy because it’s tied to your reputation and credibility, it’s also easier and less time consuming to manage just one identity, (Futurelearn, 2018).

However there are risks tied to having a single online identity, conflating the personal with the professional can damage your credibility and have real world repercussions. Ed Pilkington pointed out that when Justine Sacco posted a racist tweet on a twitter account that was tied to her as both a professional and a public figure, this damaged her career and reputation, (2013). Having multiple identities allows for different behaviours, as van Dijck discussed. Facebook as a platform encouraged users to express themselves whereas LinkedIn encouraged maintaining a purely professional tone, (van Dijck, 2013).

With the previous example we can see how online identity is multi-faceted. People will adjust their behaviour depending upon social settings, i.e. professional workspace versus public space like a coffee shop. This is true of online spaces as well, only the social rules are dictated by the digital platform rather than the physical social setting. I believe at the heart of the online identity is the dichotomy between anonymity versus authenticity, (Krotoski, 2012). As previously mentioned digital platforms determine which behaviour is permissible, but there is also the role of state governments to explore. In Countries where criticism of the state, or access to particular information online is restricted, it becomes important to hide one’s online identity in order to circumvent this (BBC, 2018). The debate around identities is expanded on in the video I created below.

Video source: (Dodd.R, 2018)

To conclude whilst it’s easier to maintain just one online identity, multiple identities are essential for expressing different facets of our self. Additionally anonymity remains an important option but one that is worryingly, “becoming quite the luxury”, (Costa, and Torres, 2011).

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References:

BBC Guides. (2018). What is the dark web and is it a threat?. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z9j6nbk [Accessed 23 Apr. 2018].

Costa, C. and Torres, R. (2011). To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society. i2Cat Foundation, pp.47-53. [online] Available at: https://pure.strath.ac.uk/portal/files/21051777/digitalIdentity.pdf [Accessed 23 Apr. 2018]

FutureLearn. (2018). What is your network identity? – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [online] Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303357 [Accessed 23 Apr. 2018].

Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity[Accessed 23 Apr. 2018].

Pilkington, E. (2013). Justine Sacco, PR executive fired over racist tweet, ‘ashamed’. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/22/pr-exec-fired-racist-tweet-aids-africa-apology[Accessed 23 Apr. 2018].

van Dijck, J. (2013). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society, 35(2), pp.199-215. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0163443712468605