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Anonymity of the Web
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22 / M
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Posted 6/21/14
Last night, I was given the chance to see how people can act when given the anonymity the web offers. It wasn't a particularly pretty sight. Do you believe this anonymity makes us worse people?

I say it can, to some and perhaps most of us. But not all.
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32
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Posted 6/21/14 , edited 6/21/14
Edit- No, it doesn't make people worse.
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27 / M
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Posted 6/21/14
Yes I would agree. It's part of a bigger problem I think.
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26 / The Raggedy Edge
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Posted 6/21/14
Anonymity of the web can make people like an inflatable castle, appearing as an unassailable fortress whilst remaining just a flimsy exterior full of air.

Although some people is definitely not all people, and can be perfectly decent even with the freedom granted by anonymity.
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Posted 6/21/14
Sometimes if you don't put emoticons on your statements some people get offensive.
We communicate in words. Being anonymous without showing body gestures can be hard to decipher most of the time.
Is she leading me on? Is he being a smart-ass? Is she a flirt? Joking around? Friendly? Close-minded?
Sometimes it's hard to tell.

Short sentences can be powerful. If you use it at the right time.
Posted 6/21/14
what happened last night?
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22 / M
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Posted 6/21/14

severticas wrote:

what happened last night?


The Matrix crashed.
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27 / M / Northwest Florida
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Posted 6/21/14
some people think that just because your anonymous means that nobody cares what your opinion is and will try to make their view on a subject the only correct answer. so some people having anonymity make them worse than they would be in real life
Posted 6/21/14

ouroburos wrote:

some people think that just because your anonymous means that nobody cares what your opinion is and will try to make their view on a subject the only correct answer. so some people having anonymity make them worse than they would be in real life



it's really annoying to see comments that don't use words like "some" even though it's still annoying that the comments are usually directed at someone or another. cold world, it's a "i come first and how i feel about this or that" reality before thinking about you.
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27 / M
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Posted 6/21/14
If every person had to post their address things would get dangerous I'm sure. Last night I would have sent over a few bigger gentlemen hopped up on ecstasy and Viagra to a few houses so they can tear that ass up.
Posted 6/21/14 , edited 6/21/14
I think it both boots out confidence in what we truly want to say, and what we truly think - but at the same time (and many a time) it gives us more leash and free reign to take complete advantage of that fact, and let tendencies such as bullying, rudeness, etc. crop up like weeds.
Posted 6/21/14
I don't think it makes us "worse" people. I believe that whatever despicable attitudes people display on the internet are innately there. It's just that the internet gives people more freedom to indulge those tendencies more often than they do out in public.

I mean.. None of us are walking angels. We have to conform and act accordingly when we're out just to keep up appearances. We bite our tongues most of the time to keep the peace and follow the rules to keep life simple. Being in a space where none of society's everyday restrictions are present usually lets people "let loose" somehow and speak freely without thinking things through or wondering about the consequences..

In short, the internet isn't a thing that creates assholes. It's the place where assholes are free to come and visit whenever they want.
GerryO 
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21 / Tyler, Texas
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Posted 6/21/14 , edited 6/21/14
Probably does make a lot of people worse, but as for me there's nothing I say online that wouldn't say in real life
Bavalt 
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28 / M / Canada
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Posted 6/21/14
Anonymity can be good or bad; it depends on the person and what they have trouble expressing normally, because that'll be what comes out when they don't need to worry about being judged. Some people use anonymity to vent anger or to be rude or even cruel, but I think those people are the minority (but of course, as is usually the case with this sort of thing, they draw much more attention than the unproblematic majority.)

Plenty of people, myself included, use the internet and the anonymity it offers to find a voice that they have trouble calling on face-to-face. Social awkwardness or bad conversational skills don't matter here, as the people you run into are strangers, and you typically have a lot more time to frame what you intend to say. I appreciate the internet's anonymity wholeheartedly, because that attribute, combined with the fact that I have the time I need to properly think about my words, means that I can speak much more assertively and coherently than I can when I'm speaking to someone right in front of me. I can't be the only one for whom this is the case: I know there are plenty of socially awkward people out there, but very few who act the part when they're online.

I think, usually, internet anonymity is a good thing; it just gets taken advantage of by some people who use it as a shield so that they can let loose their pent-up aggression. I really don't believe that they're as prevalent as lots of people seem to think, though. People tend not to remember things that don't leave an impression on them, and cruelty tends to leave a much bigger impression than respectful discussion, which is what leads people to take a cynical view on anonymity. I'd be willing to bet that for every person who abuses anonymity, there are at least two that use it in a constructive way, and about a dozen who don't 'use' it for anything.
Dragon
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37 / M
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Posted 6/21/14
Sometimes I think Penny Arcade said it best when it comes to some people's behavior online. The lack of accountability can bring out the worst in some people. They treat it like a game, rather than actual people's thoughts and feelings.

I like to think that most folks aren't like that, though. Just the bad types are easier to notice and remember.
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