/> TechnoSocial: Tag: Pseudonyms
Jul 27, 2011
This whole persona/pseudonym argument may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but the fact is, the forum for public discourse is no longer the town hall, or newspaper, or fliers on the street. It is here on the Internet, and it is happening in communities like this, hosted by private sector companies. Freedom of speech is not guaranteed in these places. As Lawrence Lessig once said, β€œthe code is the law.” The code that Google applies, the rules they set up now in the software, are going to influence our right to speak out now and in the future. It is imperative that we impress upon Google the importance of providing users with the same rights (and responsibilities) as exist in the society that nurtured Google and brought about its success.
I think people who say "I'm more comfortable talking to people who use their real names" or "they should find another social network" don't realize just what a broad swath of the population is being eliminated by this policy. ... For some excellent personal statements on the importance of name privacy, see http://my.nameis.me/ If you're wondering where I came up with "ten or more percent of the population", that's what I believe is a conservative estimate, based on the number of people on Facebook who don't use their real names.