Hacktivism group Anonymous plans to target Iran tomorrow.
Recall “Anonymous”—the hacktivism group. This doesn’t say specifically that they’ve taken credit or anything, but I’d be willing to bet they had something to do with it. You go, Anonymous.
“We’ve got enormous challenges ahead of us,” he said. “We have to make a series of very difficult decisions about how we invest in our future but also get ahold of the deficit and debt,” he said. “But we’re not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We’re not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”
From LA Times. Good truism Obama, and I applaud you for confronting your hecklers with exactly what they demanded. Your sentiment on distraction can be applied to many challenges facing us today.
Sandy Stone, in The War of Desire and Technology, recounts a case of online identity “fraud”—though not in our current sense of that phrase. The story is of Sanford Lewin, who, in 1982 in an early online community, created an identity that did not match with his “assigned” or physical one. This was common online—many people created fantasy personas and multiple characters controlled under one physical individual. Lewin was a white male psychiatrist, fully able-bodied, if a little socially uneasy. His online identity, Julie, was a female, disfigured and disabled (from a car wreck), who was more socially outgoing and spontaneous. Julie became much more popular in the community than Lewin, and he was finally able to play out something he’d been seeking: the ability to interact with women and advise them, as a woman [himself]. When he was discovered, or maybe when Julie was discovered, the community was upset. Some forgave him and tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to make friends with his “real” online persona; others felt too betrayed and compared the deception to rape.
While this instance from the Reddit online community isn’t exactly the same, it is a big betrayal. Lots of “pretend” identities were created as the focus of these discussions, apparently all by the same computer IP address. Is this deception something we’ve incorporated as just being part of the Web experience? What does this experience suggest about our conceptions of online identity/identities, and about the nature of identity itself online?