Impacts of Anonymity

Anonymous Typist with bag over headDeindividuation occurs when people experience a reduced awareness of their personal identity because of relative anonymity within a crowd. Researchers note that deindividuation effects reduce people's need to adhere to social norms. Self-evaluation is reduced, and people care less about the consequences of their actions. Norms and values lose their impact when people feel anonymous within a crowd.

Deindividuation effects can be expected to occur in computer-mediated communication, where people communicate in relatively anonymous conditions. Flaming (verbally aggressive behavior) and other anti-normative behavior that occurs all too often in online communication have been attributed to the effects of deindividuation.

Anonymity - Good or Bad for the Internet? 

There is considerable debate about the importance of permitting and supporting anonymity online, as the following Infographic excerpt helps illustrate.

Excerpt from a bigger Infographic exploring Transparency and Anonymity online

This excerpt from a larger Infographic compares some
of the arguments for and against online anonymity.

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 3.0 License

For Educational Use Only