The Internet -- and the difference between public figures and private citizens
Quote: "I cannot understand why you can be anonymous to connect. ... People in the past like Martin Luther and Nelson Mandela did not hide their identities."
Let me explain.
Once upon a time, my relationship with my bank was mediated by my cheque book, by visits to a branch, and by the receipt of a printed statement in the mail every month. In this long gone world, the only people who knew about my bank relationship were bank employees and me. This situation was very likely also true for Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
Consider today's world. Today I HAVE NO IDEA how much of my affairs (financial and other) is available in the wider world, and no idea who can see the details. Google and Facebook and Amazon probably know quite a lot about my affairs. Google and FB (notoriously) sell my "profile" to anyone who wants to buy the details. Then there are hackers. And finally, there are government institutions around the world who have built up details of my "social network" using email traffic, FB analysis, and who knows what other tools.
You are quite right to say that public figures need to be identifiable by name, and to be responsible for their identity and their actions.
BUT THE REST OF US, AS PRIVATE CITIZENS, ARE ENTITLED TO SOME MEASURE OF PRIVACY. And on the internet, that probably means that we need to use anonymity as a poor protection for our privacy.
Signed: AC (obviously!)