The end of anonymity on the Internet and it's all thanks to Facebook?

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Bill Loguidice's picture

TrollfaceTrollfaceI was listening earlier to the net@night 192 podcast ("Guy Kawasaki and Enchantment" March 8, 2011) on my iPhone and Amber McCarthur and Leo Laporte were having an interesting discussion regarding Facebook's pervasiveness and how it might solve the problem of anonymous trolling on the Internet. As you know, some of around here on Armchair Arcade have been championing the idea of one's online identity being tied directly to their actual identity (here and here, as just two examples). The basic premise is that just like they do in the real world, an adult's negative actions would have consequences because others would know exactly who was causing the grief. The problem was always how to implement such a system, because previous attempts at real name accountability (as detailed in those two example links) were met with anger and resistance. In short, there was no practical way to make this happen considering the wide open and non-unified nature of the Web. Interestingly enough, the answer may be in Facebook's ever increasing dominance. You see, many sites now are requiring use of a Facebook login to leave comments--anonymous griefers need not apply. According to McCarthur, the sites that have implemented such a system have seen a slight reduction in the volume of comments, but a dramatic increase in the quality of comments and few, if any, trolls. While we've already debated this idea endlessly around here with neither side really budging from their positions, I think even though the Facebook-login-to-comment's success is largely anecdotal at this point, this is certainly a trend worth keeping an eye on for those of us in the accountability camp. Who knew that Facebook could have been the argument clincher all along? With over 600 million users and counting, it's clearly one of the most viable solutions out there. As Bill Loguidice - the actual Bill Loguidice - I can say without hesitation that if this indeed represents a turning point, I believe that the vast majority of us will have a heck of lot of great conversations to look forward to.

EDIT: In the category of "put up or shut up", we've now enabled Facebook Connect on Armchair Arcade. So now you can login with your Facebook account or your Armchair Arcade account, and even link the two. Enjoy!

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DosFreak (not verified)
Don't need a facebook logon

If facebook logons will be required for commenting on websites in the future (not a good idea for sites to put all eggs in one basket but anyway) then I'll just create a facebook account for my alias.

Don't need a facebook account and never will. ;)

Bill Loguidice
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DosFreak wrote:

If facebook logons will be required for commenting on websites in the future (not a good idea for sites to put all eggs in one basket but anyway) then I'll just create a facebook account for my alias.

Don't need a facebook account and never will. ;)

Certainly that's one out, but I believe the reality is most people won't want to bother going to the trouble of logging in and out of their real identities versus their fake identities. There will also be ways to block what are clearly trolling accounts versus real accounts.

As for the need of Facebook or not, clearly there will always be people who don't want to embrace what nearly everyone else is onboard with. Sometimes that's the correct choice (like those of us who chose not to embrace the senses-assaulting MySpace), sometimes it's just curmudgeonly or contrarian, like some those who refuse to get with Facebook or Twitter. As long as it's for the right reasons to go against the grain, there's really no debate the merits or lack thereof necessary.

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clok1966
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refusing Facebook
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Sometimes that's the correct choice (like those of us who chose not to embrace the senses-assaulting MySpace), sometimes it's just curmudgeonly or contrarian, like some those who refuse to get with Facebook or Twitter. As long as it's for the right reasons to go against the grain, there's really no debate the merits or lack thereof necessary.

I really wonder if all this is good, i mean really think about it. We have went from not saying nasty things to people becuase it wasnt nice and we where face to face, and there where social penelties for it. Now you can say any nasty thing you want because of a percieved shield of the net.. even when using your REAL identity. Poeple interact in a not so nice fashion becuase there are no imediate repercusions with the net. Kids are doing many mnay unacceptable things as there is no way to be held responsible. Im all for PARENTING but you cant keep your kid locked in a room 24/7 there is net access in every nook and cranny, stores, libraries, phones, coffeo shops. THERE IS NO WAY to police it, and when there are no laws the people gravitate to the worst behavior (thats simply a fact). And sadly the most tech savery generation is the young who simply dont alwasy make informed/logical decisions (this is one thing tech has not changed.. kids where screw ups when all they had was rocks to play with, thats part of growing up).

personally i cant see the appeal of telling somebody " i was to the mall today and say JIm with Sandy" which is 90% of all posts on those things.. telling somebody about a great movie/book etc.. yes.. but there is so little actual information and so much utter crap, attention craving people..

Im old, so myabe just grumpy.. I prefer talking face to face, thats me.. I dont like the fact that a cell phone can reach me anywhere. I do understand it can be a good thing in some cases. And with gas soon hitting $4 again, telling somebody at the store to pick up milk insted of driving home and going back out is a great thing.. but again 95% of calls are just utter crap (I know i get to many of those myslef).
In all honesty i think its BAD, we have such amazing tech and we use it to self gratify. Its Internet masturbation. "I Went here", "I saw them", I did this" who cares? We are already a world of ME ME ME... and we are only compounding it, making it easier to become more self obsorbed then ever. I cant see a single posative in any of that.

Of course being able to talk with a person 1000 miles away or in another country, awsome! being able to do it cheaply, awsome (even for silly reasons). being able to understand how others think about stuff, awsome. Information or ideas from total strangers, awsome... Finding an old freind... wonderfull, to bad hardly anybody uses it for that.. facebook /twitter/myspace all self gratification outlets, almost zero information. Stars are using it to premote, companies are using to to sell, kids are using it to torment.. i really didnt need an easy way for people to shove more crap into my life, it took years for us to finally kill the people using the phonbe ofr this, they still use mail and email, now they have a new way.

I guess like all tech, there is a good and bad use for it. But in all honesty can any of you tell me Facebook isnt 80-90% crap? With very few guneuine people on it.. Tieing a REAL id to it, eh... its just going to desensitize us even more to being rude, less face to face interaction, nothing good that i can see.

I do have a myspace account but must say i posted about 5 pictures and a couple things on it 4-5 years ago and never went back. I do read a few twitter accounts (mostly informational ones on milestones of games, etc..) and I will even admit to finding some humor in some of it.. but it it all went away tomorrow it would be weeks/months before I even noticed.

-this post compliments the grumpy guy :)

Matt Barton
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Here we

Here we go:

http://drupal.org/project/fbconnect

Give me the word and she's installed!!!

The only thing I do like about anonymity on the internet is that it doesn't bar people at the gate. That can be a good thing in the case of trolls, but a bad thing in the case of people who have something good to say, but don't have the "proper" credentials or "acceptable" qualifications to join a discussion. I could imagine a site where they banned everyone who didn't have a college degree from a prestigious school, for instance. I'm sure that happens a lot already, but at least now it's a lot harder for people to check up on stuff like that. I like the idea of a smart and mature 8-year old being able to join a discussion with adults who don't realize his age and aren't pre-disposed to ignore or laugh at what he has to say. I don't know about you, but I hated it as a kid when adults treated me like an ignoramus without even bothering to check out what I had to say.

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Bill Loguidice
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Let's do it, if...
Matt Barton wrote:

Here we go:

http://drupal.org/project/fbconnect

Give me the word and she's installed!!!

If it doesn't interfere with our traditional system of membership, then I say we should put our money with our mouth is and get that sucker installed! It would be nice if the two could interconnect like I see at places like AtariAge, for instance, meaning a user can log in using their traditional login or Facebook login, and it would recognize them as the same person. I think it would be a poor module if it couldn't link accounts on our site.

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Matt Barton
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Installed

I had to monkey a bit with the layout (the button is too big to let us keep the login in the header, so it's on the side now). I've been able to login with a click.

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Matt Barton
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You know, this is actually

You know, this is actually pretty handy. People won't need to email us anymore to register on the site, assuming they already have an FB account.

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Bill Loguidice
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Facebook
Matt Barton wrote:

You know, this is actually pretty handy. People won't need to email us anymore to register on the site, assuming they already have an FB account.

Works beautifully. I was able to link my Facebook account to my AA account. Hopefully the Facebook login is obvious to people, but in any case, it's a definite step up. Nice work!

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Carmine
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Joined: 09/05/2010
I dunno guys. I for one am

I dunno guys. I for one am against facebook eventually having a long and detailed profile of everyone in the world based on everything they've done on the internet and what they've uploaded to facebook. The idea of facebook knowing everything I say on armchairarcade or logging all the uncopyrighted works in my email is raising my paranoia flag for sure. It does sound like a pretty swift solution to abuse of internet anonymity but I'm looking at the potential long term results and I don't like what I see.

Bill Loguidice
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Counterpoint
Carmine wrote:

I dunno guys. I for one am against facebook eventually having a long and detailed profile of everyone in the world based on everything they've done on the internet and what they've uploaded to facebook. The idea of facebook knowing everything I say on armchairarcade or logging all the uncopyrighted works in my email is raising my paranoia flag for sure. It does sound like a pretty swift solution to abuse of internet anonymity but I'm looking at the potential long term results and I don't like what I see.

I don't necessarily disagree, but let me raise this counterpoint. Don't we have social security numbers in the US and the equivalent in other countries (national ID cards?) that help keep track of all our dealings already? Isn't it then reasonable to have something similar for our virtual lives? The only difference is that it's a corporation in control of the data rather than the government, and in all practical ways the government is a business anyway, so it's really one in the same.

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