Vivid story… A high school girl named Megaa Omari Grandberry met 43-year-old flamerboy548 in a chat room. Flamerboy548 told Kacie that he was 18 and went to the same school as her. They started talking for a couple of months. One thing lead to another so they started online dating. While they were in a relationship she became comfortable telling flamerboy548 all of her information. As far as her real name to her home address. Later on, Megaa fell in love with another boy and broke up with flamerboy548. One night when Kacie was home alone in Cleveland, Ohio, flamerboy548 had come into her house, covered her face with a chloroform-soaked rag, and dragged her into a minivan. He knew when she got home from school when her father left for work, and when she would be at home alone. Megaa’s friends were worried about Megaa giving out information freely to people that she had met on the Internet and even spoke to a counselor at school about their concern. It was too late in Megaa’s situation. Flamerboy548 took Megaa to a storage unit, raped and killed her hiding her underneath the floor boards, before aiming a gun at his head.Anonymity should be something we continue to have on our social media websites. This means real names shouldn’t be put into the public. The society in which we live can frequently be extremely conservative, often making it dangerous to make certain statements, have certain opinions, or adopt a certain lifestyle. Anonymity is important for on line discussions involving sexual abuse, minority issues, harassment, sex lives, and many other things. Additionally, anonymity is useful for people who want to ask technical questions that they don’t want to admit they don’t know the answer to, report illegal activities without fear of retribution, and many other things. For example, the state of Florida maintains an anonymous hotline for government workers to report wastes and abuses to the comptroller’s office. Without anonymity, these actions can result in public ridicule or censure, physical injury, loss of employment or status, and in some cases, even legal action.Anonymity is extremely effective in promoting freedom of expression. Julf Helsingius asserts that anonymity is beneficial because it gives people an outlet for their opinions, even controversial ones. He feels that it is “good to bring out things like that in daylight because that actually allows you to …start processing it, see how people react to it, and so on.”1 This may have sort of a cathartic effect in that it allows people to get their feelings out without physically hurting people of other cultures, races, etc. Additionally, anonymity hinders some methods of controlling the actions of other people. This is an additional argument in the usefulness of anonymity in the protection of freedom of expression.An additional argument for anonymity is that it is a part of society and unavoidable. Anonymous communication can be achieved in real life by sending an unsigned letter or making an anonymous phone call. From the large number of users who take advantage of anonymous services on the internet, it can be seen that these services are truly necessary and fill a specific need. The availability of the technology to set up such an anonymous server also makes the elimination of such servers virtually impossible; as soon as one is shut down, another one is created. The current availability of such services eliminates the need to forge an identity or use another person’s identity to correspond anonymously. People on the net are anonymous to some degree anyway because of the inherent characteristics of the medium. Services providing additional anonymity are only expanding on this feature of the net.The anti-anonymity brigade assumes that the cloak of the keyboard brings out the very worst in people because there’s no accountability in an identity vacuum. This belief, however, is purely anecdotal and is completely empirically unfounded. But surely anonymous users can still launch virtual bombs and then log off forever? Yes, but they aren’t commenting in a vacuum. Keeping an apparently anonymous rabble at bay requires more time, demands more engagement and means that we have to become part of the community so we can recognize our new virtual collaborators. That is the only way that we won’t be overwhelmed by mob rule. And in the end, everyone, named or not, will have had their say.

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