ranted written about the dark side of anonymity before [here and here for those interested] but today I’m going to be all sweetness and light because the biggest social media machine of them all – Facebook – is finally doing something about the problem!
If you live on Facebook then you already know about the crack down on anonymous identities. Accounts have been suspended and some special interest groups have been hurt. I say that without any sarcasm – victims of domestic violence are just some of the innocents hurt by this policy. The sad reality is that some people have a very good reason for needing to remain anonymous.
Nonetheless, I believe that doing away with anonymity will make the WWW a better place to live for everyone, in the long run. Bullies will have to face the consequences of their actions in the real world… and so will scammers of all sorts.
As for the rest of us, a little common sense goes a long way. As an author, my name is my brand so I have to splash it around. However I work hard not to post anything that would identify my physical location – i.e. pictures of my house, my street etc. My real world friends and neighbours already know where I live, no one else needs to know.
The same caution extends to my family. I’ve posted a picture of myself but I will never post a picture of anyone else in my family. Nor will I use their real names.
There used to be a saying – ‘the walls have ears’ – meaning that the most innocent looking structures could contain listening devices monitored by spies [shades of the Cold War perhaps?]. Anyway, I believe we have to start treating the WWW with a similar degree of caution; it may just be digital but it is a world, and it can bite.
Hmm… this seems to have turned into a mini rant after all. 😦
Have a great weekend people!