Skip to comments.4chan's moot talks anonymity at TED 2010
Posted on 02/12/2010 7:09:21 PM PST by SubGeniusX
Christopher Poole, better known to the internet as 4chan’s moot, spoke at TED 2010’s “Provocation” session.
moot, 21, was revealed as 4chan’s creator by the Wall Street Journal in 2008. He said in an interview with TIME on the same day his identity was disclosed that his “personal private life is very separate from (his) Internet life … There’s a firewall in between.” Which is fitting for a young man backed by an army known to the internet at large as “anonymous,” based in a community known primarily for it’s nameless, anything goes menu of pornography, schadenfraude and extraordinarily crass humor.
Indeed, /b/ wouldn’t be what it is without the ability to post anonymously, and moot is puzzled at the growing trend away from anonymity on the web. moot’s talk on the subject is particularly interesting in light of the growing privacy nightmare visited upon us this week in the form of Google Buzz- even the tech savviest among us found ourselves in awkward situations with current boy or girlfriends, former employers and random one-time acquaintances we may now randomly be “following.”
Interestingly, what seems to be one of the highest impact points of moot’s talk was the saga of Dusty the Cat, infamously tracked down in 48 hours by anonymous after one anon posted pictures of the cat being abused. Although a contradictory point on the surface, it kind of illustrates how privacy and the net really are an illusion. Ars Technica points out that moot “didn’t speak to the dangers” of mass internet anonymity, but the Dusty anecdote seems to illustrate that we may all be throwing the anonymous baby out with the social networking bathwater:
…he insisted that anonymity is a good thing, yet we’re all giving it up voluntarily. He wasn’t talking about the NSA or tech policy or anything like that. Rather, he said sites like 4chan may go the way of the dinosaur because people are choosing to join social networking sites and persistent identity services. One of the ‘Net’s greatest strengths is disappearing as a result, but moot claimed that sites like 4chan show that a lot of good can come of anonymity, too. He seemed puzzled as to why everyone wants their identity tied to so much of what they say and do online. Do people hold back? Do they censor themselves?
Reflecting on my own long-time internet tenure, I have personally scaled back my disclosure in a big way over the past few years. (Yes, the postings you read daily are the censored me. You’re welcome.) Reading over the Ars Technica post made me nostalgic for the days I said what I wanted on the internet, when real names weren’t required, and I knew and errant status update wouldn’t make it into the eyes of my mother, my boss or my best friend from junior high.
Perhaps it was inevitable, and the march towards living publicly on the internet is an unstoppable force. But it would be a sad, sad day if the last true unfiltered cross section of the web ceased existing. The internet doesn’t just know who you are at all times now- it knows where you are, how you’re feeling, what you’re eating and who you associate with. It kind of makes you long for a time and datestamp and a “’sup /b/” on your disembodied left boob, doesn’t it?
To anyone who is not familiar w/ 4chan it's a image/message board, that has a checkered reputation. They have done everything from creating the rickroll and lolcat memes to protesting Scientology more recently they may be involved in action against internet censorship in Australia.
Beware 4chan is not for everyone heck, it's not a pretty place but this is a great talk.
Rules #1 and #2 apply.
The belly of the interbutts. Also spawned ‘I can has cheeseburger’.
Ah, that was back when /i/t was good.
Now that’s funny.
“ he insisted that anonymity is a good thing, yet were all giving it up voluntarily.”
I keep thinking that I should shed some of my longtime internet identities and create new ones at least once a year.
Am I paranoid or paranoid enough? Facebook really is a NSA funded project. (Kidding, really)
Yeah, I saw that and was most amused.
You may be on to something. Perhaps some bright lad in NSA realized people don't need to be spied on; they'll blab about themselves of their own free volition. It's genius.
I am considering creating a Rule #1 ping list send me an email with thoughts or if you would like to join...
plz nobody /r/ rule #34 of Freerepublic.
plz nobody /r/ rule #34 of Freerepublic.
well it would have to involve tea-bagging ..... oh god must stop
Also, this guy in the pic @ fr link looks almost like he should be hawking dinosaur shirts
actually I think FR was 34’d nicely by Carrie Prejean
Hell yeah, count me in!
Knowledge is free.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.