ASIS&T 2006 START Conference Manager    

[Name Withheld]: Anonymity and its implications

Maureen Weicher

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


Since the word “anonymous” entered the English language with the advent of the printing press, the implications of being anonymous – and its lexical offspring “anonymity” – have shifted with time, place, and circumstance. What are the perceived effects of being anonymous/anonymity on the individual and on society? In this paper, I explore the shifting meanings and implications of this concept, first as it relates to authorship, then (as it came to be viewed) as a signature condition of modern life, and its perceived impact on the social good -- and the social “bad.” The theoretical requirements for maintaining anonymity are discussed, as well as the perceived effects of anonymity on the Internet. Finally, I will explore how anonymity has come to be seen as a way to protect individual privacy and promote free expression in cyberspace.

START Conference Manager (V2.52.6)