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regeneratia

Anonymous commenters on the Internet

21 posts in this topic

Why Are There So Many Mean, Anonymous Commenters Online?

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/03/06/good-question-why-are-there-so-many-mean-anonymous-comments-online/

"

A Pew Research study found 25 percent of people admit to posting anonymous comments online. A communications professor at the University of Houston studying the issue found anonymity contributes to less civil discourse. He looked at online comments in newspapers for more than a year and half and found 53 percent of comments were uncivil in papers that allowed anonymity. That percentage dropped to 29 percent when newspapers required names or links to Facebook accountsicon1.png.

“I think people are also much more inclined to comment about something if they have a complaint. Sometimes it’s the only way you feel that you can be heard, so it winds up feeling like online comment sections are filled with negativity,” said Shayla Thiel-Stern, a professor of new media and culture at the University of Minnesota."

I don't want to give up anonymity. Do you?

Can't we all just behave in an civil, upright and just manner, to give each other the respect that they deserve?

Surely the uncivil understand that what they do to others is out there for all of us to see and judge. A bad comment towards another person reflects poorly directly on the poster, not the person to whom they are responding.

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Anon conversations can also lead to more openness in my opinion, and less fear of speaking your mind about who you really are, what you really believe. It's a double edged sword.

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Truth is if they make mean anonymous comments they are probably mean natured people anyway. They just let it out more if they think no one knows who they are. However get too nasty and IP addresses can be obtained.

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Truth is if they make mean anonymous comments they are probably mean natured people anyway. They just let it out more if they think no one knows who they are. However get too nasty and IP addresses can be obtained.

My IP address rotates. I make a point of undoing the connection sometimes several times a day, since it is right here and easy to reach. Which means I get a new IP address several times a day, sometimes.

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In some societies it is imperitive to remain anonymous because the physical repercussions of not being so, makes it a dangerous option to post real comments. For others, it is just a vehicle to be mean and hateful.

It is sometimes difficult here on UM when a poster does not even reveal his / her country, or even continent of residence - yet sallies forth with "apparent" first hand knowledge of a particular event in a specific location.

But then, I would rather have that, than some kind of "gagging order"

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Forced identification is a backdoor form of censorship.

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Posted (edited)

i have no problem saying exactly what's on my mind and putting my name to it.

meanness or impoliteness or rudeness is largely subjective depending on who's doing the complaining about it.

i happen to be a very straightforward and sometimes abrupt person. there are those who think that's mean and then there are those who appreciate that directness.

so whom do i cater to? neither.

as far as i'm concerned you have the option of ignoring me or not reading what i write.

Edited by JGirl
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I agree. I can be sarcastic at times but I try not to be rude unless someone is rude to me but I say what I feel regardless of anonymity. Some people just have no couth

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Some people prefer anonymity to protect themselves from others after they posted controversial comments. I don't think they're in grave danger, other than they could get followed around on the internet if they're not anonymous. Talk is cheap, but the price of free speech is high...unless you posted anonymously in a message board, it won't cost you your reputation.

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I always think if you wouldn't say it straight and clear to another human's countenance then why type it? The answer is of course obvious - protection via miles of cable and anonymous replicas of screens - but is there any merit/significance in the remark if it is done in such a callous and hollowly calculated method? When you express yourself lucidly via the written word there is no room for rumination or victory, just a flow of thought from your brain to the receiver as if you were face to face. Idk, I just prefer saying what you honestly don't mind backing up regardless of the medium between.

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Trolls!! The bane of internet existence.

A lot of trolls don't care if they can be anonymous or not, they'll just keep creating user accounts under different names, and keep posting hateful ****. Forcing someone to link to a facebook account or the like won't help either, because they can just create a ficticious profile.

And people that post mean or rude comments don't care how it reflects on them, even if they can be sniffed out.

This lady committed suicide a week or so ago because of the things people were posting to her twitter account: And she found them and confronted them, here's what they had to say:

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The infamous "chan" boards are where you find the worst, nastiest and craziest stuff on the internet. I recommend everyone to avoid them in all costs and not get caught up in "e-drama" from anonymous trolls and troublemakers there take advantage of anonymity for "sick humor's" sake. I don't believe you can remain "anonymous" on Facebook or Twitter though, because you need to log in with your name to post comments on others' pages.

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Truth is if they make mean anonymous comments they are probably mean natured people anyway. They just let it out more if they think no one knows who they are. However get too nasty and IP addresses can be obtained.

I tend think this as well. It's a little like the saying with money or wealth being the root of all evil. Or power corrupts. Wealth is not evil, it just liberates people to be what they really are- good or bad.

Power is the same, it enhances what was always there. So anonymity seems to grant the same magic spell Lol.

Trolls are a problem though. On another discussion next to this thread about passive aggressiveness, there's a question over whether online abuse is a form of male passive aggressive behaviour.

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I agree that these people who post abuse are mean spirited and nasty anyway in most instances - whether or not they are anonymous won't change what they are.

If anything I am more careful what I post online as I am conscious that I have no gauge of the mindset of the recipient of my posts - I could be causing harm I absolutely did not intend if I do not mind my manner and my words. Face to face I can see if they are joking, don't really care or are emotionally affected when they speak and I can respond robustly if they show they have a strong character and that is what it takes to get my message through to to them or more softly if it is a serious matter to them.

However something to also consider is that online the false bravado can work both ways - not only can it be used to troll and post abuse, but the very people doing so can be hiding deep emotional issues and insecurities which they try to cover up by being brash or abrupt - it is a defense mechanism they use to hide their own insecurities from the world. Some of these nasty posters can be very vulnerable and not at all capable of taking it on the chin if they in turn find themselves the recipients of trollish or abusive posts.

On the matter of anonymity - it does give us some licence to be more free with our thoughts - stalkers is the most obvious protection anonymity provides, as well as con artists and other criminally minded individuals not having a means to make attacks invasively personal or, God forbid, physical.

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Well I've never felt anonymous online. After having emails hacked and stuff I've never felt anonymous and I'll never feel again as if I'm not being trolled/stalked. So I'm happy with everyone losing anonymity. I think it might actually help in online bullying and stalking/gang stalking. I have nothing to hide and so it would be good to shine a light on others so everyone can see them more clearly.

So I avoid all the things like twitter and facebook because of these types of people(trolls/stalkers). I know I would be followed there. So I've never set up an account on anything like that and I don't think I ever will(I think it verges on narcissism too). I also avoid being in any groups. So I don't tend to add friends online because I always see how people use their friendships and groups to attack others who are not in the group even if one member of the group is incorrect or being rude. So the group mentality wont say "hey steady on, that's not right!", instead they will either agree because they are apart of the group or they will become silent and allow certain types of behaviour to continue. So I tend to avoid doing anything that might bring me into a group. So I will rarely give likes, as a simple example, because I feel it could bring me into a group and almost force me to act a certain way in future. So I 'like' many things that are posted but I will rarely tell you.

Anyway so I think if we lost anonymity it might make people feel the need to be more decent and honest. I think it would control trolls more, stalking and online sock puppetry. I think sites should have something in place so that people cannot make a second account. So I think sock puppetry goes hand in hand with gang stalking and trolling which can make just a few trolls seem like many(let alone if you get a gang of them). So I've seen and experienced how people cannot be civil online and use the net to hide and play with troll puppets. So I think its best to take away the anonymity and shine a light on these types, so the almost psychic vampire types will catch on fire and burn away.

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My nephew committed suicide five years ago, concerning the abuse of on line bullying and at school. He was 16 years old. His parents (my sister and brother law) let alone any other family member were not aware of the tirade of endless torment that he had been going through. Apparently, his mum and dad had put his solemn moods down to his age. Believe me, they have suffered with much regret that they didn't take more notice of what was truly going on with him at school and via the internet.

We found out later, only through his best friend that he was being harassed about his size at school. He was small framed for his age.

Because of the people that bullied him, and their age. Not much could be done with them. I often wonder... now that they are older.... do they look back with regret and shame concerning how they treated him?

On line bullying is rife, it is rife in schools, the work place and even in families.

Bully's are cowards as far as I am concerned, they usually hunt their target/targets in packs. They always have their followers. If any of the followers go against the main leader, they are afraid that they will become the bully's next victim.

I abhor the nasty bullies of this world......but sadly they will always walk among us.

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Posted (edited)

I think people tend to be ruder than normal when they feel protected by anonymity ... Jerks tend to be jerkier.

i'm sure some of the things people say in text would not be said FACE to FACE.

Edited by lightly
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Being anonymous gives those without the stones to speak up a platform to do so. Things like Ask.fm make a business from people being d**** to each other and they know that's what they're product is good for.

Not to make you paranoid but you're being judged every single day and there's so many things people want to say to you that's offensive, some people are just stupid enough to give people a platform to ask them anonymous questions (ask.fm) - and then there's outrage when someone tops themselves because they can't take the flack and disregarded the fact that it could only go one way when they signed up for it.

There's also a degree of trolling too; just being mean for the sake of it and some people only lash out online if they;re having a bad day...or they may genuinely be p***ed at something which is fine if that's how they feel.

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If you can't own it, don't say it.

If you must hide behind anonymity, then you are a coward.

I own everything I write, good and bad. If someone calls me out and tells me I am wrong or made a mistake, I go over it again. If I mess it up, I own it.

Personal responsibility.

Maureen Shields Jacobs (real name)

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technically we are all anonymous on the internet, whether we give our full given names or make one up.

we can interact on these forums until hell freezes over and we still won't know each other.

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I think people tend to be ruder than normal when they feel protected by anonymity ... Jerks tend to be jerkier.

i'm sure some of the things people say in text would not be said FACE to FACE.

I can promise you some of the things that have been said to me wouldn't have been said face to face, at least not more than once.
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