Thursday, March 23, 2006

Short Housekeeping Note

Although I have asked those who wish to comment anonymously at least to adopt a "nom de blog" so that comments can be kept sorted out, this seems beyond some commentators. The Data Port joins Rum Romanism and Rebellion, and Stand Up and Be Counted in no longer allowing anonymous posts.


Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cc burro said...

It was getting too confusing. Thank you.


anonymous said...

Adj. 1. anonymous - having no known name or identity or known source; "anonymous authors"; "anonymous donors"; "an anonymous gift"
onymous - bearing a name; "articles in magazines are usually onymous"
2. anonymous - not known or lacking marked individuality; "brown anonymous houses"; "anonymous bureaucrats in the Civil Service"
faceless - without a face or identity; "a faceless apparition"; "the faceless accusers of the police state"

Means of obtaining anonymity

Anonymity is a result of not having identifying characteristics (such as a name or description of physical appearance) disclosed. This can occur from a lack of interest in learning the nature of such characteristics, or through intentional efforts to hide these characteristics. An example of the former would include a brief encounter with a stranger, when learning the other person's name is not deemed necessary. An example of the latter would include someone hiding behind clothing that covers identifying features like hair color, scars, or tattoos, in order to avoid identification.

In some cases, anonymity is reached unintentionally, as is often the case with victims of crimes or war battles, when a body is discovered in such a state that the physical features used to identify someone are no longer present. Anonymity is not always found in such morbid situations, however. As an example, a winner of a lottery jackpot is anonymous (one of however many play the lottery) until that person turns in the winning lottery ticket. Many acts of charity are performed anonymously, as well, as benefactors do not wish, for whatever reason, to be acknowledged for their action.

There are many reasons why a person might choose to obscure their identity and become anonymous. Several of these reasons are legal and legitimate - someone, for example, who feels threatened by someone else might attempt to hide from the threat behind various means of anonymity. There are also many illegal reasons to hide behind anonymity. Criminals typically try to keep themselves anonymous either to conceal the fact that a crime has been committed, or to avoid capture.

Anonymity and social situations

Anonymity may reduce the accountability one perceives to have for his actions, and removes the impact these actions might otherwise have on his reputation. This can have dramatic effects, both useful and harmful.

In conversational settings, anonymity may allow people to reveal personal history and feelings without fear of later embarrassment. Electronic conversational media can provide physical isolation, in addition to anonymity. This prevents physical retaliation for remarks, and prevents negative or taboo behavior or discussion from tarnishing the reputation of the speaker. This can be beneficial when discussing very private matters, or taboo subjects or expressing views or revealing facts which may put someone in physical, financial, or legal danger (such as illegal activity, or unpopular or outlawed political views).

With few perceived negative consequences, anonymous or semi-anonymous forums often provide a soapbox for disruptive conversational behavior. Some people label those who do this online as Internet trolls.

Relative anonymity is often enjoyed in large crowds. Different people have different psychological and philosophical reactions to this development, especially as a modern phenomenon. This anonymity is an important factor in crowd psychology.