56: iMob

"On June 1, 2006, The New York Times reported on a Chinese phenomenon called "internet hunting." A husband, who believed his wife was having an affair with a college student, posted the young man's real name to one of China's most popular message boards, along with a letter decrying the affair. Hundreds of people took up the cause of finding as much information as they could about the student, known as Bronze Moustache." In iMob Matthew Hector explores the outer limits of internet anonymity.

iMob

Talk about "accountability", heh. Of course, my big worry is that people will start forming iMobs for offenses not done. This kind of vigilantism is all very empowering, but it's problematic when innocents are being harassed because some 12 year old is good at feigning crying foul to the right people.

It's happened before. I see no reason why it couldn't happen again.

Online culture is fascinating. The next great frontier of sociology, I predict.

Just to nitpick and show off my l33t vocabulary, I think in many cases of discussing this and similar issues, "pseudonymity" would be a better term than "anonymity."

 

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