The Glass House: Anonymity Vs. Transparency on the Internet
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The Glass House: Anonymity Vs. Transparency on the Internet

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CSJournalism Digital Communication specialists Noah Echols and Clay Duda presentation about transparency vs. anonymity on the Internet at Geekend 2011 in Savannah, Ga. ...

CSJournalism Digital Communication specialists Noah Echols and Clay Duda presentation about transparency vs. anonymity on the Internet at Geekend 2011 in Savannah, Ga.

Novemeber 12, 2011.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, argues for complete transparency (thus accountability) on the Internet. Christopher "Moot" Poole, founder of the image message board 4Chan, argues for the anonymity and the freedom it brings.

Both perspectives affect how we interact and communicate online, and increasingly within the world around us as our culture becomes more and more tech-saturated.

In this presentation Echols and Duda examine each arguments and the respective founder's real-world actions within the historical context of communication and interpersonal studies.

How has context collapse reshaped the way you communicate? Are you aware of the shift?

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  • The headlines tell us that privacy is dead. They tell us to watch carefully what we post to Facebook and Twitter but is that really true? Facebook has pushed the privacy bar with each of its major site changes, asking its users to evolve socially. With the exception of a loud minority that erupts in temporary protest after each new addition, society has generally adapted. All the while niche sites like 4chan cling to anonymity. So who is right and why? Which is more beneficial for society: transparency and accountability, or freedom and anonymity?
  • -Ask for volunteer-”Tell me something interesting about yourself.”-(back up/follow up questions)
  • Michael Wesch, Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University

The Glass House: Anonymity Vs. Transparency on the Internet The Glass House: Anonymity Vs. Transparency on the Internet Presentation Transcript

  • “It is probably no mere historical accident that the word person, in it’s first meaning, is a mask. It is rather a recognition of the fact that everyone is always and everywhere, more or less consciously, playing a role … it is in these roles that we know each other; it is in these roles that we know ourselves.” -Erving Goffman
  • The Glass House:Zuckerberg’s Vision for Transparency Noah Echols Digital Media Manager @nvechols Clay Duda Digital Media Specialist @clayduda
  • Shout it!
  • Erving Goffman (1959)“Information about the individual helps todefine the situation, enabling others to knowin advance what he will expect of them andwhat they may expect of him. Informed inthese ways, the otherswill know how best to actin order to call forth adesired response fromhim.”
  • Looking at:• Context Collapse• Mark Zuckerberg vs. Christopher Poole• Specific implementation of differing ideals• You decide
  • Context Collapse
  • What is Context Collapse?• In face-to-face interaction we make careful decisions about how we will act and what we will say taking into account many factors that define the situation.• Online it is nearly impossible to know who your audience will be at all times, making it difficult to control the interpretation of your message.
  • Opposing Ideals“You have one identity… “The cost of failure is reallyHaving two identities for yourself is highan example of a lack of integrity.” when you’re contributing as yourself.”
  • Zuckerberg moves toward center• Facebook introduces ‘List’ function – Control status updates, but nothing else.
  • Zuckerberg moves toward center
  • Poole moves toward center• 4Chan adds e-mail field to deter illegal activity – Still very easy to bypass
  • Poole moves toward center
  • Zuckerberg moves back to extreme• Facebook adds frictionless sharing – Seamless sharing from around the web
  • Zuckerberg moves back to extreme
  • Poole moves in more toward center• Poole launches Canv.as, adds Facebook connect to verify users – Outward appearance remains anonymous
  • Poole moves in more toward center
  • “we shape our tools andthereafter our tools shape us.” -Marshall McLuhan
  • Q: So, in what ways do you seeour tools shaping us as individualsand as a society?
  • Q: How many of you use toolsto make you anonymous onlineon a regular basis?
  • Q: What about mobile andgeo-location? What are itsimplications on privacy?
  • Q: Which is better for society:transparency or anonymity?