Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Choose Your Own Identity

Pseudonyms are common on the web. People use false names for email accounts, websites, social interactions, nearly anywhere that a name is required on the Internet. Identity is easier to proclaim on the Internet than in real life. In life you must be able to prove that you are accomplished where you say and earn your identity. On the Internet, it is slightly easier to declare your talents. It is thought that in many cases on the Internet, people choose to be their ideal selves. From behind the computer they feel more confident.

Identity will probably become a prominent issue in the future. Some European countries are already considering laws that make creating email accounts with pseudonyms illegal. Wikipedia asked for an editor's resignation upon learning that his credentials were false (see Wikipedia disowns an editor). In a world that is becoming increasingly more reliant on technology, watch for rules to be established surrounding identity.

Where should identity be policed and by whom?