Is anonymity common in virtual networks? Yes, I suppose, though I haven’t got the statistics on the percentage of networkers or learners who are posting in an anonymous manner. I don’t see it as a problem, as I am now using avatars myself in some networks too, for security reason. However, I am very concerned about the negative and destructive comments which are often too common in the web and blog posts, which are like trolls flaming us to respond or react to their baits.
I share Steve’s concerns. I would delete those as “spams” as they might not deserve our attention, and would also distract us from learning in collaboration with others. I don’t know the intention of those anonymous people who posted such comments on your post, but I think these were their “problems”, and not yours, so they should take responsibility in raising their “concerns” in a considered manner, and to fix their complaints by themselves, not you. Everyone could feel “free” to criticise others openly in open public networks, but, I think it’s the constructive views and comments based on evidence and “empathy” that would be valued by us as bloggers, or educators/learners, not the destructive ones that just leave others the impression of their arrogance. Manipulations, spamming and flaming are the acts those cyber bullies used to intimidate “us”, and I think we need to be aware of how it would affect and influence the way we share and learn with others.
So, Steve, thanks for bringing this to urgent attention, and I hope people would be more appreciative and constructive in their comments, as you mentioned in your post.
This then relate how we would like to relate ourselves in our identity in social web and networks, and how others would perceive us when we leave our “footprints” and traces on the networks.
What is Virtual Identity?
Thus a question arises about the purpose and meaning of the term “virtual identity”. Can we talk about experiencing one’s identity in the virtual environment? When and how does one change one’s “virtual identity”? It is for this reason that we have chosen to consider in detail the question of how identity in the virtual environment can be defined.
Why would people like to hide their identity on the web and network?
Is our real life and virtual identity blurred under such an ecology?
How would we educate ourselves and our (next) generation on those issues raised with such virtual identity on the webs?