Christopher Poole of 4chan.com advocates for anonymity online. According to Mathew Ingram of GigaOm, Poole gave a recent Ted talk where he argued that “anonymity has very real benefits online, and that we would be wise to consider those before we switch to exclusively ‘real name’ policies.” He claims that allowing pseudonyms opens the door for more open discourse and protects the identity of those who may be vulnerable to physical harm.
The benefits of anonymity that Christopher Poole or Mathew Ingram posit are more for the exception rather than the norm. Those benefits just don’t apply to most online communities. I’ll provide a couple reasons why. (more…)