Yes, Gawker is conflicted — but anonymity is still valuable

At a time when everyone is talking about how important it is for commenters to use real names, Gawker is going in the exact opposite direction. And while that may benefit Nick Denton for all kinds of selfish reasons, it’s still an experiment worth watching.

Being tracked by Google isn’t bad — it’s actually good

There has been a lot of outrage — bordering on hysteria — about Google’s new privacy policy, with some critics advising users to delete their search histories. But is there that much to fear from Google’s tracking? Not really. In fact, in many ways it is beneficial.

4chan founder: Facebook and Google do identity wrong

4chan founder Chris Poole believes that users need a balance of anonymity and identity online, a strategy he hopes social networks will also adopt as a way to allow people to make mistakes online without having to worry about those transgression coming back to haunt them.

Today in Social

Formerly known as Atly, a new social network from Myspace Music’s CTO Dmitry Shapiro is going into beta under the new brand of AnyBeat. From its description, it looks to be a pretty richly featured social network, with a couple of stakes in the ground meant to differentiate it from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ et al. One is anonymity, a contentious topic among digerati. Both Facebook and Google want users to specify their real identity. That’s not really for advertising, as both will more often than not only target aggregated groups. Identity authentication is actually a whole different business, and is likely more about business transactions, etc. AnyBeat’s not doing that, and since it’s not, it won’t try to act as a log-in service nor “follow you around the web.” AnyBeat also wants to be about meeting new people rather than managing existing relationships. But at first glance it feels like it’s lacking that compelling app that would complement existing networks. An identity manager that could work across networks and apply anonymity on demand, now that would be compelling.

How Google could dig itself out of the Google+ real-name hole

Google’s requirement that users of Google+ be known by their real names has been the source of a firestorm of criticism since the launch of the network. But the recent launch of “verified” user accounts shows what could be a way out for the web giant.

Google+ and the loss of online anonymity

As it rolls out its Google+ social network, Google has been cracking down on its requirement that users have “real” names, just as Facebook has — but are we losing something valuable as a society as a result of this stamping out of online anonymity?

Anonymity has value, in comments and elsewhere

Online anonymity has been taking a beating recently, with the Gay Girl in Damascus affair and a recent piece by the former ombudsman at NPR criticizing anonymous comments. But allowing people to be anonymous has real value for society that shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly.

4chan’s Founder on Why Anonymity Can Be Valuable

Christopher “Moot” Poole, the founder of the anarchic website known as 4chan, spoke recently at the TED conference about the rapid growth of the online forum, but also talked about the site’s guiding principle of anonymity and what the world stands to lose if anonymity disappears.