Internet freedom is a controversial issue nowadays, and there are some findings discovered that using internet without registered their real name will cause some critical problems as cyber bullying, stealing or intimidating since users do not need to have any responsibility about what they said. However, using internet anonymously are also some advantages which gives an essential protection to internet users. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages will be discussed. Using internet anonymously gives some advantages to some internet users.
First, it can protect users’ privacy in an effective way. In this era of technology advancement, social network platform like facebook or twitter, it required users to upload their personal information and keep an eternal record. It is a dark side of the use of social network platform that those records may be used in a commercial way without users’ authorization. This action is stealing our information and invading our privacy in a grey zone. Using internet anonymously can help protecting user’s information.
According to Andrea (2013, P.32) , privacy is similar to human right, which need to be protected preferentially. Therefore, anonymously using internet is a way to protect users’ information not to be leaked.
Also avoid that users’ information will not be used in a profitable way or an illegal way. Secondly, anonymously giving a comment to some critical issues or controversial topics can also protect users not to be traceable. Andrea (2013) noted that for some people who do not want to use their real name for giving some donation, not using their real identification is their privilege to do so. Some of the users tend to comment on some issues in a critical way and aggressive way, if using internet needs them to register their real name, thus, users who gave tough comments may be investigated their responsibility, and users then may not willing to tell the truth so as to protect themselves, and they may left their comments in a pretended way. This situation is related to the social justice. A finding in 2013 (Fu, Chan, & Chau, 2013) launched a real-name registration system to microbloggers in China which required them to give comments with their nick name or real name, and this policy cause a chilling effect on commenting on microblog, especially on political criticism and sensitive topics. Therefore using internet anonymously is an effective way to encourage citizens to criticize on controversial topic and contribute to the society.
Alternatively, using internet without their real identity also has some disadvantages. Lack of responsibility is a main problem which caused by anonymity. Clapperton (2013) noted that using user’s real name to comment mean that before they write, a clear thinking is needed, and when user is going to write some contentious then he should find some supports for it. It implied that the majority of anonymous internet user might not have responsibility to bear with what they have commented, and they can issue some misleading expression without any consequence. Through the media on internet, those expression can be easily send to the others, thus the credibility will keep increasing that citizens may mistakenly believe in it. Therefore an atmosphere with lies and rumors is built in our society, which may disrupt public order. The final and the most important point is that anonymity will cause some illegal activity. Cyber bullying is one of the essential problems among teenagers in this generation. Based on the view of lacking responsibility, Clapperton (2013) discovered that some internet users tend to use some offensive comment to criticize the others.
Some of the comment recipients are being intimidating which damaged their self-esteem, and it may drive them to self-harm and suicide after being attacked in order to escape from the blame. This view shows that those users may not know what consequence and impact they made to the comment receiver, also the pressure they built on the comment receiver. In the research (Claudia, 2012), some anonymous message were posted in AgriBioTech Inc. company’s forum in 1999, which claim that the company was bankruptcy, it caused that the company’s shares plummeted, and have a severe loss. It demonstrated that the power of rumors, and this illegal action can caused a company to be beset with a crisis.
Those problems are vital and should be improved in the future. In concluding this brief article, there are both advantages and disadvantages on using internet anonymously. In fact, using internet anonymously can help preventing privacy leakage and protecting users’ freedom of speech, which can maintain our social discipline. However, using internet anonymously can also weaken internet users’ responsibility, and give some offensive comments. It may possible to evolve the situation to cyber bullying, which gives the receiver a huge mentally impact.
Claudia, R. (2003). Evolving attitudes towards anonymous posting on the internet. Journal of Internet Law, 7 (1), 3. Fu, K. W., Chan, C. H. & Chau, M. (2013). Assessing censorship on microblogs in China: Discriminatory keyword analysis and the Real-Name Registration Policy.. IEEE Internet Computing., 17 (3), 42-50. Andrea, K. (2013). Web users should have the right to remain anonymous in cyberspace.. Engineering & Technology (17509637), 8 (9), 32. Clapperton, G. (2013). Web users shouldn’t have the right to remain anonymous in cyberspace.. Engineering & Technology (17509637), 8 (9), 33.