Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh Noes! The Web May Not Be Free For Me To Harrass People!

Yeah, well it never was...

People are in a bunch over a bill that attempts to address "cyber bullying". Yes, as does most attempts to police the web, it has flaws... and probably should never have been drafted. Here is a thought. Use the existing laws and social norms to stop people who hide behind false identity and anonymity on the web to harass people.

All it would take is for us to admit that IT'S NOT REALLY NEW OR DIFFERENT! The web is not magic... good lord, people read to much William Gibson or something! "Ha Ha! I have done something vile but you will never find me because I have escaped into the INTERNET!" : )

It is just a way of communicating... in a few years it will be as thrilling as a CD ROM.

Here is my post to people up in arms over it on a popular news aggregation site...

Regardless of foolish attempts at legislation, I believe that the distinction should be that you never say anything that you would not say directly to a persons face or in a public place... hiding behind a false persona on the internet just proves cowardice. Only the people that post know for sure if what they type is really in their "own voice". If people took the time to be honest with themselves then we would not have gotten to this point.

For 15 years I have argued for more civilized behavior on the web as I have watched people become more brazen and spiteful. Saying crap and even pulling stunts that simply intend to injure others. The web could have REMAINED open and free longer before this sort of thing started... but what so many people don't get is that the stupid ass "wild west" behavior is one thing that will be used as an excuse to eventually bring down the hammer. Look at history and you will see examples.

Do you think THIS technology is beyond control? (from the comments here I can see many do) Sadly, no... powerful people are just waiting for the right time to take control of it. Most likely when it will make a small hand full of those people the most money to lock it down. At that time the law will be brought into play to suit their needs... and not just in the U.S. The crazy thing is... many people who use the web are giving them all the ammunition they need.

Mark my words, as we speak, interesting information about you and everything you have ever uttered on the internet is being collected by several entities. Hell, most people are GIVING it to commercial databases. How many "top 5 surveys" have you taken this month? Even if you are sorta careful and they have not de-anonymized your 16 different online "personalities" now... they will in the future. The data is too intriguing and valuable. Never before in history have so many people revealed so much about themselves. When people act badly... that is useful not from a marketing standpoint... but from a control standpoint. "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" But then, its hard to see them as evil since you can hardly blame them for using the club that the users of the web put in their hands. Ugh.

Do a search for "de-anonymize" and consider that if the University Of Texas is doing this publicly, think about what the capabilities of more nefarious organizations might be.

Good luck everyone... and remember to play nice.

Pulling back the curtain on "anonymous" Twitterers

Oh, and by cross posting that, I just TOTALY de-anonymized myself! lol Thats all it takes. Posting any portion of my own text in 2 places would be a HUGE ping in an engine designed to figure out who people on "popular news aggregation sites" are. : )

I don't care HOW careful you are... some unfeeling piece of software will figure out all your secrets someday... best to plan ahead and act accordingly.