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Online anonymity: study found 'stable pseudonyms' created a more civil environment than real user names

By Alfred Moore, Lecturer in Political Theory, University of York
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The ability to remain anonymous when commenting online is a double-edged sword. It is valuable because it enables people to speak without fear of social and legal discrimination. But this is also what makes it dangerous. Someone from a repressive religious community can use anonymity to talk about their sexuality, for example. But someone else can use anonymity to hurl abuse at them with impunity.

Many people focus on the dangers of online anonymity. Back in 2011, Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Mark and (then) marketing director of Facebook, said that for safety’s sake,


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