Reflections of the Pecha Kucha.

The Pecha Kucha slide project sounded interesting.  A slide presentation without filler and with a time restraint, sounds neat.  Then as I was preparing for it, I realized how much I ad lib in my speeches.  Being an actor in theater since I was 14, made me very quick on the fly and really helps with public speaking.  This assignment I thought would be a lot harder since there was a time restraint.

The theme of anonymity wasn’t too complicated but being able to set up my topics without sounding like a tool was kind of hard.  I feel that I did a decent job.  I did get to use my ad lib skills when the slide didn’t change at the right time for me which made me feel comfortable.

 

IWA pic2

I put this picture in my Pecha Kucha since I thought it would add some humor. I just think the kid looks excited and happy; I wanted to end with a picture that would make people laugh.

 

Brianne’s Reflection on Anonymity

A Walk Through A Slide:

The fourth slide in my section of this group’s Pecha Kucha presentation was a crying frowny face. During the slide in question, I discussed how some people use their anonymity in very negative ways. Some use it to harass and torment others. In this part of my narrative, I referenced the case we read about in which a character on LambdaMOO named Mr. Bungle trapped female users into a virtual room and forced their avatars to have sex with his avatar. While this was all virtual, it had very real effects on the victims. Just because it was a “cyber-rape” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken as seriously as a rape case in the real world.

4This is the thing many fail to see about anonymity online. While you may think that since it’s online, no one gets hurt, you’re sorely mistaken. When someone is constantly harassed and tormented on the internet, it has serious repercussions on their mind. These cases of harassment lead to self-harm, even suicide, in those who are being harassed. Just because the harassment takes place in the virtual world doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect the real world.

I chose the crying frowny face or this part of my narrative because although it is simple, it represents the feelings of those who are being constantly tormented on the internet. It doesn’t come anywhere close to what they’re really feeling inside, but it’s a good representation of my purposes. The effects of negative uses of anonymity online are forever. They can cause permanent damage, such as self-harm, psychological damage, and even suicide. Just because you CAN say something to someone online doesn’t always mean you SHOULD say it.

What I learned about my topic:

Before starting this assignment, I viewed anonymity online as a strictly negative thing. I am a user of the blog site Tumblr where anonymous comments are usually negative and biting. I have disabled anonymous comments on my tumblr because of the amount of anonymous harassment that occurs. I assumed this was the same with all sites as being anonymous online provides a weird power that can get to many people’s heads. They use it to say whatever they want to say, and what they want to say is usually mean and rude.

Then, I was assigned this blog project on anonymity. I figured I’d be writing a ton of blogs about the suicides that occur from the anonymous harassment that runs rampant throughout the online community, but I was wrong. In this assignment, I learned that there are many different aspects to anonymity. Some people use their anonymity for good, despite the myriad of people who use it for negativity and harassment. Anonymity removes and obvious bias that may be present when writing non-anonymously. This allows users to write their opinions without anyone immediately writing them off because of any obvious bias (such as gender, age, ethnicity, etc). This is a very wonderful tool on the internet, and I feel as though it’s underused.

Overall I learned that while anonymity is used for negativity a lot of the time, it does have some very positive outcomes. Some people on Tumblr will use their anonymity to counteract the negative anonymous comments that come through. Anonymity makes it so it doesn’t matter who the positive comment is coming from, it just matters that someone says it. Though the negativity of anonymity is heavily present throughout the web, it does have its positive outcomes that I feel should outweigh the negative ones.

Catch Me If You Can!

If you’ve ever been anonymously harassed on the internet, you may be wondering how these people can be caught without us knowing who they are? Well, I’m here to tell you there’s definitely a way!

Kashmir Hill, of the Forbes staff, has created an article with the steps to catching your anonymous harassers, in response to a man in Ireland being constantly harassed on every internet platform imaginable. This person found out a way to bait their harassers and trap them, and was able to identify them.27

Hill writes the following steps for finding your anons-

“1. Your troll-trap is a blog. If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to set one up.

2. You’ll want to be able to keep track of the IP addresses of visitors to your blog. Programs like AWStats or Webalizer will keep visitor logs for you that will reveal where your readers are coming from. Alternatively, you can hope your troll comments on your blog. If they do, their IP address will be captured and sent to you along with the comment. Yes, readers of the Not-So Private Parts, I see your IP addresses when you leave your (usually delightful) remarks here.

3. Lure your troll to your blog. Traynor did so by including links to the blog on Facebook and on Twitter. If you’re very audacious, you could email your troll directly with the link. (Keep your fingers crossed that your troll is not using an IP masker.)

4. Once you’ve captured the IP address, whether from a blog comment or from visitor logs, it’s time to see where it originates from. You can do that onIPTracker. ”It will show you the user’s Internet Provider, a fairly exact location, the map coordinates and a satellite view of their location,” writesBopp. The Google stock advice comment spam above, for example,  appears to originate from an office building in Islamabad, Pakistan, a block away, coincidentally, from Kashmir Highway.

5. Now you may know where your troll lives, and if it’s someone you know in real life, you may already know who it is. Alternately, you can try searching the address online and see if it turns up anyone who seems likely to be the culprit. “Plug the location into Google Streetview and it will give you the actual address,” writes Bopp. “You can then put the address into Google to find out more details.” ”

Now, this method clearly isn’t perfect. What would you do in the event your troll decides not to bite? What if your troll uses a public computer?

Despite these drawbacks, this method is definitely something to keep in mind in the event of an anon harassing you. People who use their anonymity for evil instead of good definitely deserve to be brought to justice.

Alli’s Pecha Kucha Reflection

Online anonymity was my group’s topic for our Pecha Kucha presentation. A Pecha Kucha is a Japanese presentation style that involves no words on the screen. Instead there are pictures shown for twenty seconds. The presenter is responsible to speak for the duration of the twenty seconds that the picture is shown on the screen. Many people may think this sounds like a breeze. I did too, until I tried it.

 

 

A Walk Through A Slide

The third slide of my Pecha Kucha was about social media websites and online anonymity. My picture is a computer with a web of people surrounding it. This represents how everyone is always connected when they are on social media sites. Many times people do forget that people do not always tell the truth on these sites. I chose this image because I wanted to remind my classmates that we are all connected but sometimes people claim to be someone they are not. Just because Sally friend requested you on Facebook doesn’t mean the person who is sitting behind the screen is actually Sally. For all we know it could be Bill and Bill could be a 50-year-old man.

For my text reference for this slide, I decided to mention about the Cordell children and how they got a million Facebook “likes” in seven hours for a puppy. This situation baffles me. I know for a face that I would never be that lucky! There is no way that the Cordell children know a million people. This is where the anonymity comes in. We see a picture on Facebook that someone has shared. That someone could have shared it from someone who could have shared it from someone else. The scary thing is that we may not know any of these someone’s, but somehow, the picture ended up in our news feed.

This slide is a crucial part of online anonymity because it is where the actual act of being anonymous online comes into play. There are many other aspects in life where we get to be anonymous, but I would have to say that being anonymous online is the most used in today’s world.

If I had the chance to redo this slide, I might focus on the dangers of online anonymity rather than just a overview of it. I feel like everyone knows what online anonymity is, but many people may not know the dangers or even how to avoid anonymous situations when they are online.

 

 

What I Learned About My Blog Topic

Over the last couple of weeks, I have learned a lot about online anonymity. Before this research, I only knew of the show ”Catfish” which is on MTV. The show is about people who fall in love online. The host goes and finds these people and brings them to meet their lovers for the first time. I would say that 95% of the online lovers are not actually who they portray to be online. Their profiles, the people who these people have fallen in love with, are someone completely different. Personally, I think that making a fake account on any social media site is a LOT of hard work and dedication. I do not have the time to keep up with that nor do I even want to do something like that. Having some background knowledge really intrigued me to learn more about being anonymous online. So many people live a double life that it is almost scary to think about.

The Web 2.0 readings have widened my knowledge greatly on many topics in today’s technological world. For example, Gee’s article, “What Video Gamers Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy” introduces a term “gaming literacy” which blows my mind. I would have never thought that you could actually learn, and learn correctly, from a video game. I have heard people say that they know how to fly a plane because of video games, but I never thought they were serious. Thinking about it now, they would at least have a sense of what to do over someone like me, who does not even know how to use a controller to control an airplane, yet alone fly one.

There were many articles online about online anonymity. By searching through them, I learned that being anonymous online causes many debates. Many people do not think being able to be anonymous online should be allowed while others are for it.  The Wall Street Journal has a very informative article called “The Debate over Online Anonymity”. This article goes in depth on how anonymity can help and/or hurt everything from science experiments to people’s lives.

Overall, I have learned a lot about my topic through readings and research. I was interested in online anonymity in the beginning and even now that my required research is complete, I still find myself wanting to know more. I have some unanswered questions like why someone would want to make up a fake profile that I would like to try and be answered.

Social Number

Imagine having a social media website where your identity remains completely anonymous, unless, of course, you share it? An up and coming social network called Social Number gives its users a number by which they are identified by. There is no name, no handle, and no thumbnail photo of yourself, just a number.This forces users to be completely anonymous when interacting with others. The mission of this website is to have people talk about everything and anything to each other, not knowing a thing about them; they’re complete strangers.

In January this past year, CNN did an article on the website named The social network where no one knows your name.This article takes its time to thoroughly explain the website and how it works. To sign up, you need to enter your “social number”, which has a ten character limit to the spaces available per number. You also need to enter a valid email address and your date of birth. The requirements for this website are fairly normal. Once you log into your account, the home page comes up. This is where users have posted discussions. These discussion reminded me of tweets. Some can be questions for others to answer, some can be feelings. The possibilities are endless. When you see a discussion that intrigues you, you click on that discussion and input your two cents.

social_number

Though my initial reactions to this website as that it was very creepy, after researching it a bit and reading up on it, it just reminds me of an anonymous version of Twitter and Facebook combined. For the people who want to stay completely anonymous, this is the social networking site for them!

Amy’s Pecha Kucha Reflection

For my Technologies and Future of Writings module, our group presented a Pecha Kucha on our topic of anonymity. A Pecha Kucha is composed of 20 slides with no words, only pictures. The presenter has 20 seconds to present each slide, for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. There are four people in my group, so we each got to present 5 slides, totaling 1 minutes and 4o seconds. I presented the second set of slides which would be slides 6-10.

A Walk Through a Slide:

8509205855_60d6006537_oThis was my last slide out of 5 in my portion of the Pecha Kucha. I especially like this picture because it represents the future of anonymity in video games. I wanted to show the horizon, because there is much to come of video games, especially in education. Video games are meant to engage players, and are an excellent way of learning. Video games also allow gamers to explore new worlds, which is also why I chose this representation. This portion of my narrative correlated nicely to the image because it focused on the future of being anonymous in the gaming world. Based on the readings both inside and outside of this class, I foresee the gaming world becoming a valued aspect of society.

This idea of the future of gaming ties into anonymous gaming in the virtual word because with more gamers, comes more characters and interactions among individuals. This built on the beginning part of my narrative that incorporated the idea that many gamers chose to be characters in games that don’t actually mirror who they are in real life. For instance, an excessively shy person in the physical world has the opportunity to break out of their shell in a virtual world and start anew. Many players like this thrive in these types of virtual environments because face to face contact is eliminated, which in turn creates anonymity. The pictures also reflect the mindset that while players can also explore new virtual gaming worlds like a sailor would on the open seas, these timid gamers are also exploring themselves deeply. The last portion of my narrative and slide offers a good reflection on my 4 previous slides, incorporating not only the benefits of today that were touched on in the slides, but also what is to soon to come in the future.

I chose to cite the article “Who Am We” by Sherrie Turkle because she talks about how quickly gaming is changing our society and mindset of community, and how it will surely be even more prominent as the years go on. Turkle even interviews children gamers and shows how easily they can interact with the games, making them great for education. I am very happy with this slide, however I would  liked to have memorized what I said for my narrative rather than just read from a piece of paper.

What I learned About My Blog Topic:

Through blogging about online anonymity, I learned an incredible amount of information in the past four weeks. Prior to this assignment, I never realized just how much the power of anonymity on the web affects how people talk as well as how they respond to anonymous comments. Being able to easily hide your identity online creates an environment where people are more outspoken because they are not worried about being personally criticized. While this exercises freedom of speech, there can also be downfalls, such as virtual rape and harassment as seen in the reading by Julian Dibbel. If the online issue becomes serious enough, I learned from the article by Kevin Whitelaw that it can even be taken to court, were the anonymous person’s online information is usually disclosed.

I have heard of anonymity being used by people of social networking cites, chat rooms and blogs prior to doing any readings or research, but I never realized how it also runs ramped in video games. Thanks to both Dibbel and Turkle’s articles, I was given a better understanding for the reasoning of staying anonymous on games. That reason is basically to be able to live out a fantasy life that may or may not mirror the real world.

Although some people use technology to hide their personal information to avoid spam and viruses, many others do so to be able to freely speak their mind. An article that I blogged about found on wisegeek.com actually looks at how anonymity causes people to be more mean online than they may normally in real life. This is because many people are not ashamed to voice their own brutal opinion since they don’t think they’ll be found out. While it may seem tempting to do, it is not a great idea since the issue can be filed in court for harassment. People that consistently create trouble online anonymously are known as trolls in the web community, and are thus frowned upon by regular users.

Through the readings and blogging, I have learned that anonymity is an important web 2.0 issue that has both perks and downfalls. It is up to the user to use the power of anonymity responsibly. While not everyone agrees with it, online anonymity is here to stay for awhile, so I am glad that I am more knowledgeable on the topic.

Anonymity Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha slides

Narratives:

Alli P.-

What is anonymity? Anonymity is defined as the state of being anonymous, which is to not be identified by name. Many people like the feeling of being mysterious. They like to lay low and fly under the radar. This is fine, as long as these people intend no harm. It is when the wrong people get to stay anonymous is when the trouble starts.

Online anonymity is the act of staying anonymous online. Sometimes we want to stay anonymous, while other times we want to be noticed. Ben Rooney brings up the point in his article “The Debate over ONline Anonymity” which is published in the Wall Street Journal, that many comment sway the readers to one side or the other. Many times, validity is at steak.

Social Media and online anonymity go hand in hand. Any social media site has its skeptics. Remember when the Cordell kids got one million “likes” in seven hours for a puppy? Or when you want to follow Lady Gaga on Twitter but hundreds of accounts show up? How does this happen? No on really knows. But think about it– it’s kind of creepy.

Anonymous gamers pretty much live a double life. They have reality and that have virtual reality. A 47 year old man could be playing a 17 year old girl. In Gee’s article, “What Video Gamers Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy”, he introduces a new kind of literacy, gaming literacy. There is a whole new world of language many people don’t know about.

There are many different steps to understand online anonymity. The first step is very basic but many people could not give you an answer to the question “What is a blog?” Rettberg’s answer from his book “Bloging” simply states “to really understand a blog, you need to read them over time.” So, I encourage everyone to get out there and see what the millions of blogs have to offer.

Amy S.-

Gaming anonymously is when gamers socialize with one another typically hiding their personal self behind a character that they create. While some gamers are completely different characters in the game than they are in real life, others are exactly the same. The article “Who am We” actually touches on a specific incident of a reclusive guy who proposed to his gamer girlfriend on LambdaMOO.

The article, “Staying Anonymous Online” says that playing these games give users the freedom of speech because their real life selves are hidden by the gaming character. Many people are more willing to speak their minds on the games because they have no fear of being frowned upon in reality. This is a great aspect of the anonymous gaming world, but there are also drawbacks like harassment and virtual rape.

An article about virtual rape by Julian Dibbell actually goes into detail about a character named Dr. Bungle who would lock other female characters into a room and force them to have sex with him. While Dr. Bungle may have been living out some sick fantasy in the video game, his actions emotionally hurt the women in real life. This type of anonymous virtual harassment is an unfortunate reality of being able to hide identity.

The idea of games being better than reality can also lead to video game addiction, like what happened to the one student in the video we watched called “Are Games Better Than Real Life?” These players have a hard time separating the real world from the virtual one. Many gamers tend to want to keep their anonymous playing nature rather than deal with their real life selves and it’s more dulled down version.

Gaming is a great anonymity tool that will likely become more valued for both play and education over the years. It is so simple to create a virtual character on a game and potentially live a second life, so there is endless opportunity. “Who Am We” says they let the gamer explore worlds and live lives that would be impossible to in reality. Likewise, anonymity also plays a part in social media.

Chris S.-

Dick Clarence Hardt talked about how each website has their own way of identifying a person .  We web users register with individual sites numerous times what about registering once and being done with it? Wouldn’t that be convenient?   It is happening somewhat with Facebook, with the whole” login with facebook” when you’re trying to play candy crush.

Social Media anonymity is everywhere, as stated by Marie Atwood, “The Twittersphere is an odd and uncanny place.”How do you know anyone is who he/she says he is,  when they put up pictures of themselves that might be a tin of Spam?”  She is right.  If you search for let’s say Kim Kardashian on Twitter, you’ll find a lot of “Kim Kardashian”s on there, but how do you know?  Granted there is the verified check mark but that could be a fluke too.

The internet has come a long way from what this picture depicts but in Kevin Kelly’s article he discovered that many “professionals” agree that “as computing devices become embedded in everything …, these networked devices will allow greater surveillance by governments and businesses.” This is prevalent with the whole Target almost spying on people trying to figure out if they are pregnant or not.

Anonymity in social media is there it is nearly impossible to change but why should we, granted it may bother some when they are online talking to someone they may feel a connection with and find out that the dreamy person they started talking to is really….

Just some computer savvy kid thinking he’s playing a game.  And as this kid would probably say, why not go to a place where everybody doesn’t know your  name.

Brianne O.-

Online anonymity can be a wonderfully useful and positive tool. The internet practically strips us of our identity, allowing us to become anyone we want to become, and say anything we want to say. However as we all know, the power that being faceless gives can be overwhelming to some, leading them to abuse it. Like most web 2.0 topics, anonymity on the web has its share of pros and cons.

Free speech is our constitutional right as Americans, but we all know that others can judge us harshly for the things we say. Online anonymity gives web users the possibility to build upon our right to free speech, adding facelessness. This gives us the freedom to say whatever we want without the fear of being judged or directly criticized by others. It’s truly a wonderful feeling to be able to speak your mind and write about the things you want to write about without the fear of being judged.

People can use their online anonymity in an extremely positive way. Some use it to write about an opinion they have, with their facelessness giving no evidence of a bias on their part. Many people use anonymity as a way to compliment or make each other feel good, facelessly in order to avoid any awkwardness that may come from someone knowing who they are.

However these positive actions are usually the result of the negative uses of anonymity. People can use their anonymity to facelessly harass and torment others, much like the case we read about by Julian Dibbell involving LambdaMOO. Negative anonymous comments are very common on popular blogging sites such as Tumblr, and can lead to a variety of dilemmas such as self harm and sometimes even suicide.

Since the internet makes us all virtually faceless, how do we know how authentic anyone is being on the internet? I could create a Facebook account right now claiming to be a Brazilian male model, and people would never know I’m just a random college student. Like Shirley Turkle says, on the internet we’re “constructing new selves through social interaction”. How do we know someone is who they say they are? That’s up to your own judgment.