Reflective Summary: Topic 2 – Advantages & Dangers of Multiple Identities

Through my research into this topic, followed by my blog post and subsequent reading of the posts of my peers, I have been given an insight into the vast advantages, as well as the dangers of having multiple online identities.

Arthur’s post showed an excellent real world example of multiple online identities being kept up online. This was an example of someone with a personal online profile and a second through which they post about Arsenal FC.

However, the ability to effortlessly create a completely anonymous online identity also entails some danger. I raised the issue to Arthur, that this may cause users to abuse this anonymity and may use this in a negative way, such as cyberbullying.

Whilst agreeing with my viewpoint, Arthur also claimed that anonymity is an important right online, due to the security and privacy risks of having a lot of personal information available online. This further describes one of the many issues that arise with the topic of multiple identities.

Furthermore, my reading of Tom’s post brought to my attention a further important reason for the necessity of online anonymity; the idea that people may be afraid to contribute. Many people may be unwilling to posting certain views or opinions due to a fear of being ridiculed. Through posting anonymously, people can be honest online without being personally criticised.

Through this journey, my understanding of the topic has changed somewhat. One particular idea that was sparked by Gus through his comment on my post, was the legal aspect. This is a side of things that I had not previously thought about. The issue involved is that once we agree to the terms and conditions when signing up and creating profiles, companies can legally do anything expressed in said terms and conditions. Therefore, whilst it is important that we are protected online, there must also be a level of self-consideration of the implications of our actions online, whether working anonymously or not.

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