We Need Online Alter Egos Now More Than Ever | Opinion | WIRED

Many thriving communities allow pseudonymous participation, using various ways of making history and reputation visible. On Twitter, you can see users’ past tweets and number of followers just by clicking on their name. Disqus provides the commenting interface for millions of sites and allows people to choose whether they want to be anonymous, fully identified or pseudonymous. Their assessment? “Pseudonyms are the most valuable contributors to communities because they contribute the highest quantity and quality of comments.”

Yet our option to use pseudonyms is endangered. Online participation increasingly requires using a socially verified account, usually provided by one of the giant social networks — Google+, Facebook, Linked In, etc. – which insist that people use their real names, their users enmeshed in a network of friends and colleagues. Newspapers, blogs and many other sites require people to identify themselves with one of these accounts to take part in any discussion.

via We Need Online Alter Egos Now More Than Ever | Opinion | WIRED.

Pressing Refresh Notes:

I agree. There are many people who would bring certain truths to light if they were sure it wouldn’t put them in harms way. Physical, mental or monetary.

What a sad world when doing the right thing or what might benefit people is considered wrong. The fact that even protesting or disagreeing with something is akin to a crime says a lot about what we pretend to call democracy.

A pseudonym by no means protect you from anyone who really wants to find out who you are, where you work or where you live. But for the average person who wants to contribute input to another average person, it can become a good thing, bring better conversation, ideas and maybe bring change in areas that could use some, without having to whitewash or hold back because anyone you work with, want to work for, hang around with can watch you every step.

It is just like having a group of people right behind you 24/7.  Some privacy in life is needed for everyone.

I’m sure the ones follow you, like their privacy, what if the tables were turned? I think we are finding out now, how much they enjoy it. They don’t.

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