Topic 2: Reflection.

After interesting discussions with colleagues on the topic there is much more to your online identity than just knowing how to be anonymous appropriately. My initial curiosity on the topic was sparked when I read Aumar’s blog where he talked about online gaming and security. The internet has brought a lot of opportunities for people to commercialise their personal brand and in gaming it is not an exception. Aumar made a point on how the threat towards the security of these gamer’s streams only became a problem when money was introduced (in reply to my comment). Money hadn’t cross my mind when it came to hacking internet celebrities and I have no doubts now that it is an important factor. Hackers don’t just target the famous because they’re famous.

Andy’s comment on my blog sparked another interesting point on the benefits of being anonymous in online gaming. For both of us it created a platform to experiment and build our real life persona by learning from our online persona. What we do online can have major effects (both positive and negative) brought forward to the real world and for many of us it easy to take this for granted.

Calum’s reply to my comment shed some light into the intricacies of being a musician the modern online world. He emphasizes that effective audience retention is the key to success as a musician. And although having a distinguishable online identity is one of the best ways to do so, Calum doesn’t dismiss having multiple “sub-identities” can help when appropriate. This point ties up well on my thoughts about having multiple or single online identity and that is there is no single best way to behaving online (as it always is) but the key is to learn and adapt.

References:

Aumar’s blog – http://aumarm.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/help-ive-stolen-someones-online-identity/

My comment on Aumar’s blog – http://aumarm.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/help-ive-stolen-someones-online-identity/comment-page-1/#comment-2

Aumar’s reply to my comment – http://aumarm.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/help-ive-stolen-someones-online-identity/comment-page-1/#comment-3

How much do Pro Gamers make streaming? – http://progamerhub.com/streaming-money/

Inside the strange and seedy world where hackers trade celebrity nudes – http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/4/6106363/celebgate-fappening-naked-nude-celebrities-hack-hackers-trade

Andy’s comment on my blog – https://dinj18hoursaway.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/anonymity-one-of-the-most-powerful-inventions/comment-page-1/#comment-4

Are There Benefits in Playing Video Games? – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201402/are-there-benefits-in-playing-video-games

My comment on Calum’s blog – http://mistmanx.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/identity-crisis-how-many-online-identities-should-you-have/#comment-30

Calum’s reply to my comment – http://mistmanx.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/identity-crisis-how-many-online-identities-should-you-have/#comment-31

Anonymity: one of the most powerful inventions.

For users of 4chan, August 31st 2014 comes down as one of the most controversial internet events in history. The Fappening, is the hacking of over 200 private photos of celebrities. The hacks were confirmed to have been aimed towards Apple’s cloud services or better known as iCloud. This event stirred a lot of debate towards internet security. What could have been different to stop this from being ever happened?

Two factors came into play that made the hacking possible – the alleged compromising of Apple’s database and the victim’s account information. Having multiple online identities and particularly an anonymous one is a growing trend in the digital world. It would be naive to think that the hackers wouldn’t find another way to obtain the images had the account informations been anonymous or under pseudonyms, but it would’ve surely decreased the risks.

On the other hand, it can be argued that anonymity gave the hackers power in the first place. By hiding behind several layers of proxy servers, they were able to perform the attacks with confidence. Anonymity, in the hands of the wrong people, is evidently dangerous.

“As soon as you log into a Gmail account, you start getting ads for the drug rehab you want to forget. If you’re in a real-name environment, such as Facebook, unless you actually physically change your name and your friends, you’re thrown right back into your old life.”

– Andrew Lewman, Executive Director of the Tor Project.

Lewman makes a revealing point that I can personally relate to. Online gaming was a big part of my life growing up and as cliché as it may sound it served as a place to find myself. In the real world, I was an awkward 15 year old with low self esteem, in game, I was someone else. Separating my real self from my online persona gave me liberty to shape the person I am today.

Contrary to popular beliefs, the digital world is slowly dialling down the need for having multiple online identities. Convenience is as important to a lot of people as is anonymity. Knowing I can share almost literally all on Facebook is a big plus.

Having an online identity that is consistent is extremely beneficial when you are trying to make a name for yourself. In gaming alone, people can now stream themselves playing video games live on websites such as twitch. Having a consistent and recognizable persona on the streams is extremely important in attracting viewers.

Having multiple online identities gives the user the sense of power, control and liberty. Unfortunately, anyone can have them.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

– Uncle Ben from The Spiderman.

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Having multiple online identities is easy. Here are just a couple of mine.
Having multiple online identities is easy. Here are just a couple of mine.

References:

The Fappening – http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/01/naked-celebrity-hack-icloud-backup-jennifer-lawrence

TJX Hacker Gets 20 Years in Prison – http://www.wired.com/2010/03/tjx-sentencing/

Authenticity vs Anonymity – http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity

7 Steps To Building Your Online Identity – jetsetshow – http://youtu.be/2UlcOX1fZW4