Topic 2: Reflective Summary

Having completed my own blog entry on this topic and read entries from the rest of the class, it is clear that this is a topic that is determined much more by personal opinion than what we have covered so far.

I thought that Ben’s post summed up the dangers that I see with having multiple identities on the web, Catfish is a great example, it’s pretty entertaining viewing but it definitely makes you think (and question quite how gullible some people are!)

The general feeling that I got from most of the blogs was that most people felt the use of multiple identities could rarely be used for innocent reasons, something that Francesca and I discussed in the comments section of my post.

I found the idea of 4 Chan and Tor a pretty confusing concept, something which Andrew was able to explain to me in his comments section. Now having a greater understanding of it, I actually find it even more worrying than I did when I read about it originally to write my first post on this topic.

I think for me personally, if you’re putting it on the web you should be happy for people to see it. My internet browsing shows me to be a pretty dedicated shopper and a compulsive procrastinator, but there will be people out there who are searching for things far more dangerous than I am and do we really want this to be done entirely in secret and without any trace? I don’t really think we do..

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Blogs I commented on:
Andrew’s Blog

Jens’ Blog

Topic 2: Online Identity

A quick Google of my name shows the usual links to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc, all of which I’ve knowingly placed information into in order to build a profile. But there is also information that I’ve never placed on the internet; you can see that I passed my Grade 1 Ballet exam when I was in Year 2, not exactly scandalous and it won’t stop me from getting a job but it just shows that we have little control of what is written about us online. Regardless of whether we want to have an online identity, by the time we’re at University, the chances are we inadvertently already have one. A further Google search of “For and Against having an Online Identity” produces results almost exclusively claiming having an online identity can lead to you falling victim to Identity theft; our habit of over sharing personal information on Social Media can leave us exposed to identity and bank fraud (Smith, 2014). We could argue that having more than one online identity could actually protect us.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 17.03.13

This graphic is based on the ideas found on It shows how our individual identities on the web are combined to create what is known about our Identity on the Internet. I think that this show how hard it is to have a credible identity when we attempt to have more than one; the circles wouldn’t overlap in the same way. As Aleks Krotoski points out in his article, “the main value now lies within creating a platform that provides confidence that a person is who they say they are” (Krotoski, 2012).

Something that wasn’t raised by my readings was what the motivation was for having more than one identity? I use my online identity to communicate with friends, follow beauty blogs and aimlessly browse Amazon, I find it hard to comprehend why you would have the need to do this outside of your actual identity. In Japan there are sites such as 4Chan where you are totally anonymous to other users (Krotoski, 2012). However, with cookies, IP addresses etc, can you ever truly be anonymous online?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently announced that in the not so distant future “every young person.. will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends social media sites” (Jenkins, 2010). This presents the idea of ‘Reputation Bankruptcy’ (Zittrain, 2010). If you gain Reputation Bankruptcy, the good as well as the bad would be removed; what does it mean for society if we can effectively remove our past from the Internet?

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Reference List: Accessed: 19/02/2015

Jenkins Jr, Holman W, 14/08/2010. “Google and the search to the future”, The Wall Street Journal. Accessed: 19/02/2015

Krotoski, Aleks, 19/04/2012. “Online Identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?, The Guardian. Accessed: 19/02/2015

Smith, Anthony, 24/10/2014. “Five ways to protect yourself against online identity theft”. The Huffington Post. Accessed:19/02/2015

Zittrain, Jonathon, 07/09/2010. “Reputation Bankruptcy”, The future of the Internet and how to stop it. Accessed: 19/02/2015