Techdirt Podcast Episode 182: Anonymity In The Media & Online

from the someone-said dept

Anonymity is back in the news in a big way, especially since the New York Times published an explosive opinion piece by an anonymous White House official. Here at Techdirt — proudly one of the few blogs that still allows completely anonymous comments with no sign-up — we’ve talked about anonymity for a long time in the context of the internet. On this week’s episode, Mike and regular co-hosts Dennis Yang and Hersh Reddy talk about the benefits, challenges, and overall importance of anonymous speech.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Comments on “Techdirt Podcast Episode 182: Anonymity In The Media & Online”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Anonymity is crucial to protecting marginalised groups who live in fear of violent repercussions for speaking out about their experiences or their opposition to those with power.

Meanwhile much of the worst abuse directed at people online comes from those who happily flaunt their real identities, because it’s not about anonymity emboldening them to do it, it’s about the notoriety and attention they get for doing so.

Those people held up as examples of the “problem” with anonymity have every incentive *not* to be anonymous in this day and age.

John Smith says:

No uch thing as noline anonymity anymore. There’s an app that takes a persons anonymous witing and “fingerprints” it against internet searches in a way that can identify 98 percent of the speakers within five minutes or less.

It’s kind of like how old AOL or other e-mails turn up in reverse-lookup searches.

Lost count of the number of “anonymous” people who didn’t realize they were anything but. Your computer may hide behind a VPN but your brain doesn’ t. Also nothing is onymous on the outgong end and thanks to the software, LE knows where to look for that.

Nothing to hide, nothing o fear.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What business could you offer aside from boasting on a website that you call a “distraction” about your “millions”? It’s far likelier that your “millions” didn’t exist. Same for your magical “self-help advice”. Or you’d have “self-helped” your way out of this place you loathe with every fiber of your being…

John Smith says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You sound really obsessed with me, to the point of misconstruing my words repeatedly. Did I strike a nerve?

All I said here is that anonymous speech no longer exists unless someone doesn’t post as themselves anywhere else, because “speech matching” software can identify most anonymous speakers within minutes based on their unique language patterns.

As for how being pirated millions of times equates to having made millions, that’s your logical fallacy.

The software has already caught a few lawyers posting anonymously on places like Twitter and will prove very useful with Bar Association complaints.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You were the one who said that your riches or losses could be easily “proven”.

You have yet to do so. This earned you derision, as anyone unable to substantiate their claims rightly deserves. Again, what business could you offer to the point where you can boast about rescinding it?

Go ahead, take it to the Bar Association. Should bear as much fruit as the federal violations you claimed to have.

James says:

Four talks by Eben Moglen

From a person who still believes the same as so many others do who read techdirt, that Privacy and Anonymity are crucial to citizens welfare, I offer a link to one of my all time favorite recordings on those subjects. The link contains four mp3 files of four talks by Eben Moglen titled, “Snowden and the Future”.

As a longtime, regular lurker on techdirt, this is my first post. So I would like to add a thank you to it, for your blog Mike. Though not 100% perfect (and which blog is?), your blog far exceeds most others out there in subjects of interest and those that matter.

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