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Old 08-03-07, 11:05 AM   #1
timmyquest
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Hiding behind our names

I was going to post this in the P&R forum but it really hits home to everyone on the message board who has ever been an ass, including myself.


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Originally Posted by Time Magazine


Over the course of eight or nine years, until last August, someone with the handle "rahodeb" posted regularly about the company Whole Foods on Yahoo!'s finance bulletin boards. Rahodeb liked Whole Foods. He didn't care for its competitor Wild Oats. Rahodeb particularly liked Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. "While I'm not a 'Mackey groupie,'" rahodeb wrote, "I do admire what the man has accomplished." This was true, as far as it went. Rahodeb was not a Mackey groupie. Rahodeb was Mackey.
More Technoculture
The Price of Anonymity



It was a venial sin that would never have come to light except that in February Whole Foods made a $565 million play to buy Wild Oats--the very company rahodeb so soundly dissed online--and while reviewing the bid, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) turned up what would, if this were a spy thriller, be known as the Rahodeb Identity. The FTC is seeking to halt the deal on basic antitrust grounds--it claims that a union of the two companies would produce an organic-foods quasi-monopoly. The government may also be examining whether Mackey, in his double life, revealed information a CEO shouldn't. But there are plenty of economists and lawyers around to figure out important stuff like that. The really burning questions are, Why would Mackey bother posting about his own company on Yahoo? And should people be allowed to be anonymous on the Internet at all?

As far back as the 1980s, the Internet has been an electronic masked ball, a place where people can play with new identities and get off on the frisson of being somebody else. MIT sociologist Sherry Turkle has argued that this kind of identity-play even has therapeutic value. You certainly can't ascribe a plausible financial motive to Mackey--rahodeb's postings weren't moving stock prices around. This was about just being naughty: picture Mackey chortling as he played the regular rube, like Marie Antoinette dressing up as a peasant and milking cows on the fake farm she built near Versailles. (Mackey was even in drag, sort of--rahodeb is an anagram of his wife's name, Deborah.)

But it's all fun and games till somebody loses his head. As anybody who has even looked sideways at the Internet knows, anonymity has a disastrously disinhibiting effect on human behavior. Freed of any possibility that their words will be connected to their actual identities, anonymous Internet posters have charted historic new depths of verbal offensiveness. Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture, has called for posters to own up to their Internet alter egos, arguing that "if we are to save the Internet, we need to confront the curse of anonymity."

Then again, anonymity can protect the innocent as well as the guilty. As privacy advocates will be ecstatically eager to remind you, Common Sense and The Federalist were both first published anonymously. In countries where governments don't respect free speech, anonymity is a priceless resource. Right now the Chinese city of Xiamen is trying to ban anonymous Web postings after citizens used the Internet to organize a protest against a new chemical plant.

There are forums in which the need to exchange information anonymously is compelling. But there aren't many, and in most cases it's just a temptation. Look at Amazon, which since 2004 has urged anonymous reviewers to fess up to their real names, lest authors be tempted to review their own books. Viewed as a social experiment in good faith among anonymous equals, the Internet is not succeeding. The masked ball is in danger of becoming a hooded mob.
His posts, if your interested.
http://search.messages.yahoo.com/sea...in=tm&off=1381

Last edited by timmyquest; 03-09-08 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:11 AM   #2
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Confession is good for the soul, I guess.

Say tree "Hail Mary's", four "Our Faddas", the Stations of the Cross every Saturday for a month, and don't forget to sweeten up the poor box on yer way out.

On yeah, I'm Stacey from Upper Bucks County and I'm an ass hole.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:14 AM   #3
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I'm Cyrus Lowe, the 97th. My forefathers weren't very creative with names.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:21 AM   #4
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Well so much for my secret identity - wait, how many people do you think live in Costa Rica, grow trees and have a website called www.fincaleola.com?
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Old 08-03-07, 11:23 AM   #5
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I go by Michigander here, but my real name is Mr. Nought Seighin.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:23 AM   #6
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Oh, timmyquest - you will get over that "I know everything" as you get older - I promise.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:35 AM   #7
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Hello. I go by KingTermite, but in real life, I'm God.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:37 AM   #8
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Well so much for my secret identity - wait, how many people do you think live in Costa Rica, grow trees and have a website called www.fincaleola.com?
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Old 08-03-07, 11:37 AM   #9
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That's doG to us dyslexics.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:43 AM   #10
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There are some who call me............



Tim
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Old 08-03-07, 11:45 AM   #11
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I r Pope. I get confoozled. Me use nahlege.
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Old 08-03-07, 12:25 PM   #12
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That's doG to us dyslexics.
Are you a member of DAM then? (Mothers Against Dyslexia)
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Old 08-03-07, 12:32 PM   #13
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I have nothing left to hide
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Old 08-03-07, 12:42 PM   #14
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Old 08-03-07, 12:46 PM   #15
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Old 08-03-07, 12:48 PM   #16
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I don't say anything in here I wouldn't say to your face.
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Old 08-03-07, 12:49 PM   #17
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I don't say anything in here I wouldn't say to your face.



You wouldn't tell me to stop using blue text in my face....would you?
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Old 08-03-07, 12:53 PM   #18
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I've come out from behind my user name a couple of times and if you search, you'll find it! If you don't search, you don't deserve to know!
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Old 08-03-07, 12:55 PM   #19
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You wouldn't tell me to stop using blue text in my face....would you?
In your face? ?? The blue text is a sort of trademark thing I've been doing since day one on the 'net better than 10 years ago and I've no plans to stop. I actually have to stop myself from typing the code on sites that don't support it
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Old 08-03-07, 12:56 PM   #20
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So the answer is no. I love internet personality!
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Old 08-03-07, 12:59 PM   #21
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Anonymity doesn't just allow the meek to bark long and loud, it's also good for protecting one from the crazies. But I've blown mine before, and I am one of the crazies. John Kane here, studying mosquitoes and debating on going for my PhD. If anyone is stuck out in the midwest and feels like showing up the SoCal folks, look me up.
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Old 08-03-07, 01:01 PM   #22
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Anonymity doesn't just allow the meek to bark long and loud, it's also good for protecting one from the crazies. But I've blown mine before, and I am one of the crazies. John Kane here, studying mosquitoes and debating on going for my PhD. If anyone is stuck out in the midwest and feels like showing up the SoCal folks, look me up.
You mean you're not a spice junkie?
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Old 08-03-07, 01:04 PM   #23
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So the answer is no. I love internet personality!
I didn't understand the question. The phrasing was rather awkward, not 419 letter bad, but bad enough.

If you mean what I think you do, I've advised some on here not to use it
(plenty of other colors ) for fear that they would be mistaken for me (for good or bad) as I've been doing it for so long. So yeah, in that capacity I would, sort of like asking someone to stop doing an unflattering impression.
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Old 08-03-07, 01:08 PM   #24
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Anonymity doesn't just allow the meek to bark long and loud, it's also good for protecting one from the crazies.

Unfortunately, it's not just the meek that bark loud and long.


Soooo.... like... are the whites of your eyes blue?
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Old 08-03-07, 01:08 PM   #25
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(plenty of other colors )
H4X!!!!12
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