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August 19, 2009

All Things Digital Post Shows: 1. There is No Anonymity Online 2. Why Not To Call Someone "Skank"

The post on All Things Digital this morning titled "On the Internet, Everybody Knows You’re a Name-Caller: Google Unmasks the “Skank” Blogger" is a great example proving there is no anonymity online. The post hit on a very important point that anyone online should heed:

I have given advice to many that ask me about setting up anonymous blog pen names or kids that start social networking. I am not an expert, but have seen lots happen during my time blogging. Here is my advice:

1. Once you go online in any forum - whether it be a social network, blog or community forum - ONLY share NON personal information that you would feel comfortable sharing with the public. I especially tell 13 year olds when they first start social networking - while your new bikini may be cool - you probably don't want to share a picture of yourself in it online for all to see (including older men with questionable interests). While you think it was really cool that you got drunk for your 21st birthday - you don't want your future employer to see drunk pictures of you online while they do a online search on your background. Even if it is a "private" social network with just friends invited in, anyone can copy that picture and post it elsewhere..

2. There is no anonymous. Can I say that again "When you go online - there is no anonymous!". While you can use a pen name for those that want to try to remain under the radar - only share information you don't mind the public knowing.

3. Mind your manners. I feel like a mom saying this - but use the same manners you do in daily life online. That includes calling someone a "Skank"..


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I try to act online as if my worst enemy were watching and planning to use the information against me. Although, frankly, I think I'm giving that hypothetical enemy far too much ammunition.

Excellent advice!

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