Internet anonymous

People in general are willing to do just about anything as long as nobody knows about it. A lot this is happening on the internet where people can do just about whatever they want. There really isn’t any censorship online. You can go around leaving stupid comments with a fake name and nobody would know it was you. There are more and more people doing that everyday because they have that fake identity to hide behind.

When I was in high school, I remember a lot of people going into chat rooms and just chatting. This was back when internet was just becoming popular. Everyday during lunch, the computer room was packed with students. Every one of them was on some sort of chat room. They all had their online alias that they went by. I never got into the whole chat room craze. I just liked the fact that I was surfing around on the internet. When I signed up for something, I signed up using my name. I didn’t have anything to hide and it just makes things a lot simpler. I don’t think there’s another ‘Don Khuth’ out there so chances are the username that I’m picking hasn’t been taken.

I have nothing against online alias. Back in the days of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) I had an alias as well. I was new to the BBS scene and my friend told me to make an alias. So I thought about it for a while and I selected ‘Airborne’ as my alias. But in the profile and everything was my information. The BBS system operators (Sys-Op) did not request too much info. All that was required at the time was your name, address and phone number. All of that are information that can be found in any phonebook. What I do have a problem with is people going around with any random alias and just leaving negative comments about things.

The internet is swarming with negative comments. You can go to any community based website and see for yourself. The reason behind commenting is to start up a discussion. But some comments are just negative and have nothing to do with the discussion. It’s comments like those that ruins it for everyone. My site use to have an open comment policy where people can say anything they want. But with the appearance of spam and stupid people, I had to resort to moderating the comments.

I visit YouTube and Digg almost very day. The YouTube people take their time to make their videos and post them online to share with others. If you like the video they you can leave a comment saying so. If you don’t like the video but have some advice on how to make it better then by all means leave a comment. Constructive criticism helps. But if you just don’t like the video because the quality was bad and you decided to say “Your video sucks ass cuz I can’t see shit,” then don’t even bother wasting your time with that comment. It’s inappropriate and it doesn’t help anyone.

Over on Digg, they have a commenting system were other ‘diggers’ can ‘digg’ or ‘digg down’ your comments. The thing that I’m seeing wrong with this system is that the discussion is usually biased. If more people agree on one idea but disagree with another, they can ‘digg down’ that other story and the system will hide their comments. The only comments that are shown are the ones with the positive feedbacks. The thing wrong with this is that others who haven’t seen the discussion will only get to read one side of the story because the other side is hidden. In order for you to see it, you have to click on a link to unhide it. If there are a lot of hidden comments, most people aren’t going to click on every single hidden comment to read the other side of the debate.

I got a little bit off topic there for a while. What I wanted to say was that, behind a fake identity people can be a whole other person. Maybe in real life, they pretend to agree with one thing but when they are online, they’re not afraid to speak their mind because they don’t have to worry about anyone finding out. They have this whole other alter ego that they can let loose without holding back. When you’re online, it doesn’t matter how big you are or how much you can bench press. Your words become your weapon of choice. You can speak your mind and not worry about what other think of you because they don’t know who you really are behind that made up alias.