So perhaps this “invasion of privacy” uproar is moot.
At the end of the day, whether the current methods of dealing with these problems are right or wrong is an argument that can play out into the ether; it doesn’t change how things will actually function now and going forward. What you say and do on the internet is being heard loud and clear, by more people than you might ever suspect.
It is still being shouted down as “vigilantism,” when, if a similar piece had been published offline, it would probably be chalked up to “investigative journalism.” Reddit went so far as to block all Gawker links from the website, stating that the group had violated one of the primary foundations of Reddit’s platform – the right to anonymity. If we make every effort to keep our true names off the internet, if we buy a multitude of security platforms, if we friend-lock every social media site we belong to?
Don’t tell them your name, or where you live, or how old you are, or what school you go to. In college, I joined an online text-based RPG and had a blast. Yet we do guard our privacy on the internet – viciously, in some cases.
Don’t tell them anything about you.” And I rolled my eyes and promised I wouldn’t because I had never intended to in the first place. I made friends and we all talked frequently outside the game, emailing each other at length about any number of topics. You don’t know who these people are.” “Mom,” I assured her, “I really do. We are particular about who can view our Facebook accounts, Twitter feeds, who can have our email addresses.
While we were assured by our moderators that there was never any pressure to share more information about ourselves than made us comfortable, it wasn’t long before we all knew each others’ names, where we were writing from, and what we did on a day to day basis. It’s pretty easy to spot crazy most places on the internet.” This is not a sad story where I end up stalked and have to change my name and move to another state, bemoaning my lack of foresight. They are real, wonderful people who I am very lucky to know. I was warned to take caution when I graduated from college; if there were any pictures of me on Facebook sporting a suspicious red plastic cup, I should remove them immediately.
In fact, I should remove any pictures that made me look weird at all. Anyone can screen capture your tweets, even if your account is private.
And in the name of privacy, people have picked up their virtual boxing gloves and started winding up the good old one-two punch.
Yet it seems that this anger stems from the internet’s greatest fallacy, one the internet itself has long encouraged: the notion that the world wide web is somehow private in the first place.
Recently, a man who had been brutally harassed by an internet troll for three full years used this technology to find the person who had made his life hell, day to day.
That troll, shockingly, turned out to be the son of a family friend.
The man, who was known to many under the username “Violentacrez,” has now been given a real name and a face, and was fired from his job as a result.