Certainly, the urgency of the debate of anonymity versus real ID is on the current agenda because, on the one hand, introducing real names online makes users more responsible for posting comments and photos. On the other hand, disclosing real names can threaten the privacy of the user, causing problems in a real life.
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Therefore, in order to understand the shortcomings of placing real names and define the benefits of anonymous communication online, specific emphasis should be placed on reconsidering the concept of online behavior and responsibility, defining the situation when placing real names are irrelevant, and developing arguments against real ID names during online transactions.
Online behavior and responsibility for the information placed online does not actually depends on validity and credibility of user’s personal data. There is no guarantee that placing real name enhances the users’ responsibility for the comments, videos, and photos posted online. In fact, most of the users are not confident enough about the security of the private information.
Therefore, concealing their real names does not influence the responsibility users take while uploading new information. Besides, there are many other means for detecting the ID of the person, in case cyber crime is committed (Good, 2005).
Besides, while surfing various websites and databases, most of the users prefer staying anonymous because it might negatively affect their reputation. Hence, there is no actual connection between online behavior and person’s ID on the Internet.
On the one hand, placing real names increases the chances to find friend sall over the world in case a person has lost his/her close friend’s number. Nevertheless, there are many other ways to find the person, especially if this person is the one you really know. Apart from this case, there are no obstacles for user’s intent to communicate online and expand the level of involvement in the social media.
As a proof, the studies conducted by Lee (2011) have discovered that anonymity can be regarded “…as a measure to promote the viewpoint diversity in cyberspace” (p. 2). The right of anonymity is available to everyone because it is considered the main mechanism for sustaining online community. Although placing real ID seeks to alleviate such cyber crimes as copyright infringement and defamation, anonymity must still be used for secure purposes.
While carrying out online transactions, there is a threat of fraud because clients with concealed IDs could rescue from payment. One the other hand, the information about clients’ real IDs can have serious consequences for them. The point is that financial establishment could unveil their clients’ private information to use for their own purposes.
Under these circumstances, anonymous communication online can enhance user’s safety, as well as reduce the frequency of illegal invasions to user’s accounts. To support the argument, Papacharissi (2002) states, “anonymity online assist one to overcome identity boundaries and community more freely and openly, thus promoting a more enlightened exchange of idea” (p. 16). Thus, carrying out transaction does not always involve the presence of real IDs.
In conclusion, the benefits of concealing real names are more persuading in the light of the currently increased rates of cyber crimes. Communicating online anonymously provides individuals with stronger confidence in their security and privacy. It also makes their behavior more open and friendly. Besides, anonymity can be used to search for databases and websites where name identification function is presented.
Good, R. (2005). Anonymous Surfing: What the Benefits and Issues of Making Yourself Invisible Online? Web.
Lee, J.-Y. (2011). An Old Regime for Viewpoint Diversity of the New Media: Protecting Anonymity for a Functioning ‘Masterplace of Ideas’ in Cyberspace. Performance and Participation. 10(13), 1-20. Web.
Papacharissi, Z. (2002). The Virtual Sphere: The Internet as a Public Sphere. New Media and Society. 4(9), 9-27. Web.