Right after leaving the Lantern Festival in Taipei at CKS Memorial Hall (國立中正紀念堂) on March the 11th 2007, it started to really rain. I took this shot right before diving into the MRT stop. Part of the Lantern Festival Series.
In the last few days, there has been an immense controversy brewing.
As we have all found out to one extent or another — whether through blog comments, or email flame wars, or blog posts about us — the anonymity of the Internet has a tendency to free people from their inhibitions, as James Robertson also notes.
The main discussion is about anonymity on the web. How anonymous are you on your blog?
Do you post your phonenumber or personal information on your blog?
Everybody who reads this blog knows that I am a big vague when it comes to personal details.
That is the reason why.
I don’t post my name or any relevant information about that.
I was reluctant to post pictures of me, but in the end it didn’t really matter. I use “Range” simply because it has been my nickname for the past 26 years. I got it when I was going to school in France. It’s also my DJ name, when I used to be involved in the electronic music scene in Montreal and Quebec in Canada.
But that is the reason why people like Mr. Angry are nicely concealed behind the cloak of anonymity. Mr. Angry uses a mask. Sure, you could find out his name and more if you really wanted to, but it’s not as obvious as if you blog under your full name.
Once you do, you have to be more careful.
Careful about what you blog about, careful about what you say and to whom you say it.
Because anyone can google you and come up with your blog and decide to fire/hire you because of what you have written.
There are numerous occasions when this has happened to bloggers in the past.
Naturally, anonymity comes with its price.
We all have our haters, I have numerous and other bloggers have them as well.
I rarely let hateful comments appear on my blog. When they do, I might edit them or remove/delete them. I do so in concert with my disclaimer policy.
While I do believe that those types of comments are clearly improper and not right, they will continue to appear, because just like Mathew Wingram said, anonymity has a way of removing inhibitions from people; they will say things that they normally will only think.
If you believe that everybody should always get along in life or in the blogosphere, well you are clealry mistaken. Human history has been one of war more than peace. As our focus moves between the virtual and real worlds, words will appear that should be best left in our heads.
Let me be clear, I believe this whole situation was completely wrong. No one should receive death threats, no matter what they say. Personally, I do hate nazis a lot and wouldn’t mind them receiving some death threats, but clearly in doing so myself, I would lower myself to their level, spewing hate, which I will never do.