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File: 1490087779058.png (159.23 KB, 243x300, ritsu_friends_01.jpg)

No.6967

Sup lains.

I've been thinking lately about the effects of identity and reputation on (online) communities. As I am posting here on an imageboard, it should come as no surprise that I am a fan of anonymity. However, it became apparent to me in a discussion earlier that I'm not very good at explaining why I prefer anonymity.

So I'm going to throw some ideas out there, try to summarise my thoughts, and if anyone would like to add some ideas, please go ahead.

Identity

Pros:

- Especially within a single thread, being able to identify particular posters (such as the OP) can be useful.
- In principle, people will tend to not make bad posts, as their social standing will fall.
- In principle, samefagging is impossible because the same name will be tied to the posts.

Cons:

- Identity persists between threads, meaning people can hardly avoid judging posts based on social standing the author acquired in totally unrelated discussions.
- In practice, people make throwaway identities for bad posts and samefagging.
- Names encourage cults of personality.

Reputation

(by which I mean the sort of numeric voting system that reddit and many other communities have)

Pros:

- In principle, results in good content being upvoted to the top of the discussion and bad content being downvoted to the bottom.

Cons:

- In practice, often results in inane in-jokes being voted to the top of the discussion, far ahead of good content.
- People judge the content of a post based on its score, rather than solely on its merits.
- Posts tend to be voted on depending on whether the voter agrees or disagrees with the message, rather than the quality of the content.

Any other points (in favour or against), or have I got everything?

  No.6969

Your points on identity are interesting, but I have my own. In the presence of long-lasting identities, fake identities become less likely to persist and receive acknowledgement, without increasing effort on the part of the maintainer. While it's true that image can be affected by unrelated discussions, this is less likely to happen across large topics, such as, say, programming and farming, in a focused setting with fewer topics. A cult of personality isn't necessarily an undesirable outcome; it allows for credibility to be based around long-term actions; as an example, people feel comfortable using Linus Torvalds' opinion of C++ in an argument, because he has experience maintaining a large-scale C project and so his opinion can be said to hold more social weight than that of someone who doesn't program at all. To eschew the ability to take credit for actions at such long terms, one harms a discussion's ability to rely on expert opinion and whatnot. It seems reasonable to say that there are many discussions that simply can't reasonably happen without the identity of at least some of the participants being established, just as there are many discussions people wouldn't want to have without the cover of anonymity.

I agree with your points on a formal reputation system. Perhaps reputation is best left as a fuzzy concept interpreted by man rather than machine.

  No.6974

>>6967
>>6969

I knew there was a reason I lurked here once in a while. Thanks for the food for thought lains

  No.6976

Your Pros are very weak. We have, "identity might be useful" but, when it is useful, people tend to identify themselves with a "blah here" anyway. That an identity will cause people to make higher quality posts doesn't pan out in practice either, as we can see with facebook. The rest you cover yourself as cons. They're principles that simply do not work.

I also don't think many of the cons are a big deal. Ignoring the ones that negate a pro, cults of personality are a rare problem and, I think, most do judge a post on its merits before they look at the score.

The cons that I'd very much agree with are social judgements and votes being based on opinion rather than quality. These are both massively relevant things that have a big influence on discourse and mean you'll see a lot less in the way of unpopular opinions. I'd add that voting systems can be exploited. The big pro for identity is that you can socialise, get to know people and make friends. I don't know of any real pros for voting systems. It was a nice idea that didn't pan out in practice.

>>6969
>fake identities become less likely to persist and receive acknowledgement, without increasing effort on the part of the maintainer.
This isn't exactly true. As much as it clearly takes more effort to establish a fake identity once you have it's far more useful. There's pluses and minuses to this. You're less vulnerable to drive by consensus cracking but more vulnerable to determined attackers. On the whole though the effort to reward ratio remains fairly constant. It's always being balanced by the fact that I'm judging how trustworthy you are by how much effort it would take to fake it.

>A cult of personality isn't necessarily an undesirable outcome

I think maybe there's a bit of talking at cross purposes here. As much as the term has been diluted a little when I think of cults of personality I think of the Manson family. Real cults held together by the charisma of their leader. Torvalds being a damn good programmer isn't a personality cult. Though your core point is still perfectly valid.

  No.6977

the reason I "main" anon image boards as my social media of choice is it is the only place (including IRL) that I can be the true me. everywhere else I need to be the me for that situation, work me, uni me, home me, the variation of me for every irc channel I'm on, linkedin me, facebook me.
with anonymity I can just let my mind run without regard for any social reprisal. It's a bit of a meme but I pretty much do use them like interactive diaries.

  No.6978

with reputation systems it always feels like the conversation is already over. unless you go to small subreddits you rarely get the chance to be upboated to the top. Meanwhile on chans the the conversation isnt over until the thread is

  No.6989

File: 1490132346776.png (66.55 KB, 150x200, 1488862797454.jpg)

I don't know if this interests anyone but I'm going to tell it anyways. I have a lot of different personas that I use when I'm online. Each one is treated differently.

Personal Accounts
These are accounts I let people irl know I have. I identify these accounts and curate carefully. For example Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that I use my real name and have friends added on to them.

>Private-Personal

This account is for my closest of friends and family. I use this for communicating with relatives, etc.

>Public-Personal

This account is my account where I publish content for people to see. Anyone can view this account.

>Secondary-Personal

My old account that I use as a spam email.

Secret Online Accounts
>Private-Public
This is a project account that I'm working on. It requires several different accounts.

>Private-Personal

My lewd account >_>

Anyways, I might seem like I'm having an identity crisis (I am) but I plan on deleting some of these accounts eventually. I basically fuarrrked myself if I ever wanted to go incognito lmao kms

  No.6994

i like posting anon because I need to vent stupid soykaf and rant stuff I might not even mean. I dont want to be held accountable for half the soykaf I say and I think anonymity is an inherent part of what the internet is.

  No.6996

the main thing i have against imageboards is the lack of notifcation of a thread you like. Thread watchers ussually suck and lainchan doesnt even have one.

  No.7003

>>6978

I generally sympathize with this most of all. With anonymity and the lack of those voting systems, I can feel like I still have the chance to give my input on things and have it actually be seen by others. It's kind of like a meritocracy. We're anonymous but it's not like there aren't ways we could identify ourselves if we wanted to. But if we want any credibility, we have to work for it and make quality posts that back up that identity. Otherwise you're just namefagging without purpose and people will soykaf on you for it.

  No.7005

Anonymity makes the discussion a series of thoughts that are reactions to other thoughts. There is no information available to change how you judge a post other than the other posts in the thread. The lack of a history also means that for the most part no one can take credit for anything. This is what allowed memes to happen, but it also allows people to change their views without looking like they're flip flopping or parroting the views of another member of the community.

>Especially within a single thread, being able to identify particular posters (such as the OP) can be useful.

How other than in situations where the OP would be using a trip code anyway ? You respond to the OP and someone responds to you. Does it matter if it's the OP or someone who agrees with him ?

> In principle, samefagging is impossible because the same name will be tied to the posts.

Astroturfing is a thing and it's dangerous because no one thinks it's going on. The biggest problem I see with social media is that people are moving their social reality onto a platform where everything is filtered and controlled. It's easy to control people once you can steer what they think is reality.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8ofWFx525s

  No.7019

File: 1490424168824.png (2.44 MB, 200x100, Ernie Barnes - Sidewalk Scene with Graduate.jpg)

Thanks a lot for posting this. In my lifetime experience on the internet (both forums, imageboards and "web 2.0 social media" for more than half my life), I have met 95%+ of online acquaintances on identity-based sites and had a lot better long-term discussion on these sites.

I hate to be the "idea guy" but it's been in my head a while that a good way to combine imageboard culture and identity-based social media would be user profiles based on pgp keys. When you sign up for the site it encrypts the verification email to you with your pgp key. If you want to login you can choose to have a password, or an email with a one-time-use password encrypted with your pgp key. Or maybe there's some easier way with keyservers and all that. Besides this it would still be your friendly imageboard, just with usernames above each post with a link to your profile.

For conversation -- Has anyone here had more positive experience with anonymous-based social media or identity based social media, judging on the basis of utility? Like people met, projects worked on, information gathered, etc.

  No.7058

It is true that anonymity allows for ideas to be judged seperate of reputation to a degree. One way in which it fails at this is that holding a particular viewpoint causes others to make assumptions about you anyways, giving you a false reputation; something much worse and unproductive than an actual reputation. Believing a certain thing politically, expressing love for a particular movie or show causes others to make many assumptions about other things you may like or dislike and even character judgements. Even though this is fault on the assumer, it still happens regardless and is ultimately a flaw of the system.


However still anonymity allows ideas to be judged themselves rather than someones reputation I agree. What I would argue is that this is flawed anyways, communication doesnt work independent of someones reputation or identity. You could say this is a flaw of real communication, but I think otherwise. One has no need to defend their ideas, continue with a conversation even, or even be a consistent person in anonymous discussion. Someone can argue two different sides without ever admitting they were wrong, and simply leave and ignore the thread if their ideas proved lesser. The problem with this is that if this is ones main method of communication it weakens the mind. It creates people unable to defend themselves in real world scenarios, their defense mechanisms are only applicable in virtual worlds. In addition identity confusion and crises, who am I? People who use anonymous imageboards are likely to say things out of character with their real speech because they are allowed to behave out of character like an actor who does not know he is acting. Acting is fun, especially when there is no judgement and we can be someone much better spoken or bolder than we actually are. Continuation of this will result in a weakening and destruction of the identity which is very mentally damaging, especially in say developing teens who are very fond of imageboards. A number of personality disorders stem from a lack of a solid foundational and concrete identity. Real life cowardice, people pleasing behaviours, white lying, lying to oneselves, hypocrisy and a number of other flaws of human character are what this communication breeds.


On top of this there is the issue of the same people likely spouting weak ideas, something that being able to judge reputation would help greatly. Reputation has advantages, if it was useless it wouldnt exist. Of course as I said earlier anonymous discussion is fun, and I dont see too much harm in it until it becomes the primary way of communication which it seems it may be going the opposite direction. Thought to thought communication would be ideal if it werent for the fact that our brains are innately very attatched to what some of you may consider a vestigial ego.

  No.7059

>>7019
>a good way to combine imageboard culture and identity-based social media would be user profiles based on pgp keys
What differentiates this from a normal pseudonymous forum? Either way you need a secret (an account password or pgp key) to prove who you are.

>Has anyone here had more positive experience with anonymous-based social media or identity based social media, judging on the basis of utility? Like people met, projects worked on, information gathered, etc.

Information gathered is the only metric listed which makes sense for anonymous communication. It's almost a mistake to call imageboards social media. The social aspect is very much muted. You can't really meet people and you certainly can't get to know them. While many projects have started due to imageboards they generally move to pseudonymous communication because otherwise you'll have difficulty organising. Still, I've had some of the best conversations of my life on imageboards and learnt a hell of a lot from other posters. They're not ideal for everything, but they're good at what they do.

>>7058
>holding a particular viewpoint causes others to make assumptions about you anyways, giving you a false reputation; something much worse and unproductive than an actual reputation
What's false about this reputation? It's based on your viewpoints as much as a "real" reputation would be. How is it worse and more unproductive?

>ultimately a flaw of the system.

It's equally a flaw of identity based systems. People still make all the same assumptions and judgements.

>simply leave and ignore the thread if their ideas proved lesser

That's what you want them to do. In an ideal world people would own up and say they were wrong but that's rarely what happens and it's far more likely to happen in anonymous circumstances where the person doesn't have to worry that they'll lose face. What actually happens with identity is that they start weaselling. They start saying that they were taken out of context or they misunderstood what was being said or even just resorting to ad-homs. Anything to save face.

>The problem with this is that if this is ones main method of communication it weakens the mind

Not at all. Of course a person who does nothing but anonymous communication will be less adept at pseudonymous communication but the reverse is equally true and being practised at one doesn't detract from the other. We could say that if you have internet conversations of any sort it'll weaken the mind with regards to real life conversation and it would be equally true.

Continued

  No.7060

>>7059
Continued

>People who use anonymous imageboards are likely to say things out of character with their real speech because they are allowed to behave out of character

Why is it that we're defining their speech in identity situations as their "real" speech as compared to their speech in a situation where they're under less social pressure and are more free to do as they please without consequence?

>an actor who does not know he is acting.

That's called being genuine.

>we can be someone much better spoken or bolder than we actually are

No we can't. If you can "act" better spoken then you are better spoken. If you act brave then you are brave. The only difference is that you've labelled one as fake because it was done under anonymity but, in reality, anonymous communication can be just as genuine.

>Continuation of this will result in a weakening and destruction of the identity

No, it won't. This is entirely without basis.

>Real life cowardice, people pleasing behaviours, white lying, lying to oneselves, hypocrisy and a number of other flaws of human character are what this communication breeds.

You're putting the cart before the horse. Imageboards don't somehow create cowards. Cowards flock to imageboards because they won't have to worry about social pressures. These people existed, and were a common sight in internet culture, long before imageboards became popular.

>Reputation has advantages

Sure, but a sense of being more "real" is entirely faux.

  No.7062

>>7059
>>7060
thoughtful reply

>What's false about this reputation? It's based on your viewpoints as much as a "real" reputation would be. How is it worse and more unproductive?


Whats false is it is based on one post and it is largely assumed. Anonymous means posts are judged individually, as assuming two posts are by the same person is running a greater risk of assigning a much falser identity (i.e saying one person is another). Though obviously some posts are by the same person (such as this one), defending oneself which is required for a true representation of someone ultimately removes some of the anonymity and is counter intuitive to the idea of a reputation free conversation anyways. Basically I am claiming that a reputation is always assumed, as our brains are unable to communicate just in thoughts yet. My evidence would be the intense feelings one can see in imageboards, the need to defend points, putting people into groups off of very minimal information, and also to ask yourself if you have ever seen a post and thought you knew what kind of person would post it. I know I have

>What actually happens with identity is that they start weaselling.

This is where reputation comes in, they come to be known as a weasel. Whether you like them or associate with them has a lot to say if you condone weasling

>Of course a person who does nothing but anonymous communication will be less adept at pseudonymous communication but the reverse is equally true and being practised at one doesn't detract from the other.

So long as one makes the distinction in ther mind, which I guess is where a potential point I should have clarified is that my opinion of anonymous discussion and comparing it to real life discussion was also assuming an imaginary scenario where they were of equal prominence. An adult who grew up with real communication is unlikely to lose much by also participating in online comminication (however still runs risks il get to that later). However what about children and developing adults who would be exposed to such a system at a younger age. So when you say.

>No, it won't. This is entirely without basis

Its not entirely without basis in this context. Though il let you have it because im not willing to link research papers on the effects of online communication on the developing identity of our impressionable youth. So an argument instead. Our identity consists of our values, beliefs, things we hold to innately be true of the world that we make value judgements off of. When someone else argues against these things it presents a dilemna to us even and we fight it, so imagine the dilemna when we ourselves betray these things. Internal conflict.

  No.7063

>>7062
>You're putting the cart before the horse. Imageboards don't somehow create cowards. Cowards flock to imageboards because they won't have to worry about social pressures

But I just argued they did create cowards, by allowing cowardly behaviour to go unpunished. Or at least I think I did. Humans especially smart ones tend to look for the easiest and simplest route to get what they want. The checks are not in place especially in anonymous discussion to prevent that. Again if you have made the distinction between the two forms of communication and are able to switch this might not be an issue, but il also mention how switching is an issue.

>Why is it that we're defining their speech in identity situations as their "real" speech as compared to their speech in a situation where they're under less social pressure and are more free to do as they please without consequence?


>That's called being genuine.


>No we can't. If you can "act" better spoken then you are better spoken. If you act brave then you are brave. The only difference is that you've labelled one as fake because it was done under anonymity but, in reality, anonymous communication can be just as genuine


The difference between being genuine is the actor eventually has to stop acting. Just as the person who is better spoken has to face they cant actually talk like that in real life. Even if you think their online identity is their genuine one, the problem stands just in opposite order. The real identity is causing a crises within their online one. A strong identity remains fairly consistent, it comes from within. The more consistent the stronger it is. To be a completely different person in one modem of communication (better spoken, stronger, more fearless) compared to another will at least cause self dissapointment in said person who feels their online identity is real. Either they face the real world and resolve the conflicting identity issue, or they retreat to the safer world of online communication where they may be themselves. The former will involve much mental pain and work and the latter steals a likely intelligent precious human being away from society (or at least most of them). Thats just how I see it if you see nothing wrong with that behaviour then I guess i accept defeat.

Aside, an identity shaped so strongly from social pressures already signals some kind of outward dependency issues that are unhealthy. Im not of course arguing that we dont care what other people think, societal and cultural influence is also part of our identity. When you are free to do without consequence you act out normally repressed desires. Im not even necessarily talking about dark ones even. Good for you, terrible for society or at least our current society. Thats a whole different argument though. And im not a huge fan of our society either so who cares.

So overall I suppose if you are strongly a proponent of the wired there is little issue. We can just retreat and communicate as such, eventually giving up carnal pleasures and interactions and transcending. But if you value both I stand that online communication specifically anonymous communication poses threats to identity development and societal well being if made to be more than the kind of fringe its at now.

  No.7073

>>7062
>it is largely assumed
This is no different with identity. Even if you actively attempt to prevent it people will still do it. Try saying "I'm not a racist. I support Trump" or "I'm not a gullible idiot. I believe in god" etc to the right people and watch as they insist that you are a racist or an idiot.

>My evidence would be the intense feelings one can see in imageboards...

These things are all more evident in real life communication. As much as no, anonymity is not a perfect cure for them. It's weird but it would be if people really truly acted like they were anonymous and never worried about defending themselves because it's pointless, there's nothing to defend, but normal socialisation is so very ingrained that it doesn't quite pan out, but still, it goes a lot better.

>This is where reputation comes in, they come to be known as a weasel. Whether you like them or associate with them has a lot to say if you condone weasling

No it doesn't. You'll like them or otherwise based on if you agreed with them in the first place because when you're observing the argument you empathise with them and put yourself in the shoes of the person and then you start weaselling too. The speakers in a debate very rarely concede and their side will be fine with that. It's tribalism and we see it all over the place.

>assuming an imaginary scenario where they were of equal prominence

Well, in that case, being only adept at anonymous communication would be fine in the same way that being only adept at real life communication is fine today. We can't take the half of the hypothetical that anonymous communication is equally prominent without also taking the half that it would then be equally useful.

>imagine the dilemna when we ourselves betray these things

But we don't, quite the opposite. People are more true to their beliefs in anonymous situations where they don't have to fear social pressures.

>Its not entirely without basis in this context.

Oh but it is. To show this, let's take a similar example and say that I'm a very eloquent speaker of English but can barely speak French. This is the same idea of two contexts, one in which I am adept, another in which I'm not. This isn't, even in the most minor of ways, going to cause an identity crisis.

>But I just argued they did create cowards

Right and I said you were wrong.

>but il also mention how switching is an issue.

You didn't. Switching isn't an issue, people are capable of differentiating social context.

>Just as the person who is better spoken has to face they cant actually talk like that in real life

>the problem stands
How is being adept in some contexts but not in others a problem? Should I say it's a problem that I can speak eloquently in English but not in French? Does my eloquence become fake if I move to France?

>To be a completely different person in one modem of communication (better spoken, stronger, more fearless) compared to another will at least cause self dissapointment in said person

No it won't. I'm not that disappointed in myself that I can't speak eloquent French.

>Good for you, terrible for society

What is society but a collection of individuals? How can something be good (or at least neutral) for all of the individuals in a society while being bad for the society itself? You're not hurting anyone else.

>that online communication specifically anonymous communication poses threats to identity development and societal well being

It doesn't. It's a false dichotomy to assume that because you do one you can't do the other. I'm adept online and in real life. This idea that being adept anonymously will somehow detract from real life interactions or cause an identity crisis is as absurd as the idea that being good at English will make me worse at French.

  No.7078

>>7073
>These things are all more evident in real life communication. As much as no, anonymity is not a perfect cure for them. It's weird but it would be if people really truly acted like they were anonymous and never worried about defending themselves because it's pointless, there's nothing to defend, but normal socialisation is so very ingrained that it doesn't quite pan out, but still, it goes a lot better.
In real life when one makes assumptions you may defend yourself right there. In posting its supposed to be identityless, making another post explaining why you arent racist or an idiot is working against the system.

>No it doesn't. You'll like them or otherwise based on if you agreed with them in the first place because when you're observing the argument you empathise with them and put yourself in the shoes of the person and then you start weaselling too. The speakers in a debate very rarely concede and their side will be fine with that. It's tribalism and we see it all over the place.

Debate and politics is a game of its own, with numerous constructs and strategies. Im talking socializing. And your assuming a lot about me, I dont know what you mean but people agreeing with me doesnt mean I like them. Regardless if I agree with someone if I interact with them we are going to disagree on something and their flaws become apparent and I probably wouldnt hang out with them or would get annoyed. It changes nothing that one cant simply escape in real life discussion (without making a fool of themselves) but they can online.

>Well, in that case, being only adept at anonymous communication would be fine in the same way that being only adept at real life communication is fine today. We can't take the half of the hypothetical that anonymous communication is equally prominent without also taking the half that it would then be equally useful.


Sure. Il concede that. Il just stand with it being dangerous as is on a smaller scale.

these are the only things I wanted to clarify. Im sure if you are interested you can read more into the psychology of identity and recent studies on online identies and realize why the switch is in fact dangerous and why your french english analogy is beyond false (hint a better analogy would be actually living in france and the US or UK at the same time which is impossible). I doubt you are though, and I doubt I can convince you. In the mean time you tested some thoughts and helped me write this paper so thanks I guess.

inb4 must be a soykafty paper.

  No.7079

>>7078
>In real life when one makes assumptions you may defend yourself right there.
They're unlikely to announce it.

>And your assuming a lot about me

I wasn't talking about you specifically. It was the general second person.

>Im sure if you are interested you can read more into the psychology of identity and recent studies on online identies

Link them.

>a better analogy would be actually living in france and the US or UK at the same time which is impossible

How about living in France and going to an international school where they speak English? Still not going to cause an identity crisis. The exact example isn't important. Humans are very context aware.