Discussion The Beauty of Anonymous Internet Spaces

Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa

Seeker
Aug 1, 2023
474
In real life and to a partial extent online, as both these spheres have become increasingly interconnected (by this, I refer to the mainstream side of the internet, whether for social, academic/professional and civil purposes in the form of social media, professional networking, accessing governmental services etc.), your identity is intrinsically tied to your different qualities and attributes, whether it be your social status, wealth, appearance and so forth, and assumptions will be made based on this data which is available, influencing one’s attitudes and perceptions towards one another.

There’s also this extremely discomforting aspect to it, where a person is this uniform individual entity which can be probed and scrutinised, leaving one feeling naked and exposed. This will also apply on non-anonymous spaces of the internet, because your identity is still attached to this individual entity. Generally, it is the inherent design of a platform/service to index an individual human person and gather personal details relating to the user, or otherwise one may be expected or prompted by others on the platform to reveal information pertaining to their personal identity.

In contrast, anonymous imageboards and forums (online chat rooms as well, though they have been long usurped by modern instant messaging services) are a different kind of breed. A relic of the old internet era, these kinds of sites have clawed their way to stay out of extinction in the modern internet age (albeit in a diminished form compared to their old heydays) in the face of a centralised and corporatised online environment. What could be attributed to their survival is a small subset of people who in despite of the highly popular and myriad choices of social platforms available stubbornly persist with using anonymous internet spaces.

There could be many reasons these people keep to these kinds of platforms. It may be a dislike of the mainstream and conventional, to escape censorship, to discuss esoteric and specialised topics, or it may just be a combination of multiple different reasons. What I think, however is the most alluring characteristic, and what draws people the most to these kinds of places is their anonymous aspect.

To participate in these kinds of spaces, there are almost no prerequisites or barriers to entry, barring an internet connection, and in some cases, an email address. On anonymous sites, you are free from these labels and identifications that constrain you and make you feel vulnerable. In a sense, one becomes a tabula rasa. Only when one posts are they only judged by the content of what they are saying, and not their person. This moreso applies to imageboards rather than forums, the latter being slightly less anonymous, as one is still attached to an online persona and account on the platform, but the principle still applies nonetheless, an anonymous persona being nothing more than an avatar and a collection of posts which can be launched into the ether and a new account created the next day.

There is a beauty that can be found in anonymity, it is something that reaches the peaks of human freedom and expression. You are never really sure who or what is behind the words written on your screen. One would generally act on the assumption it is a human person, but by all means it could be an artificial intelligence, a member of an extraterrestial species, or perhaps even a sprite living in a magical forest from another world. It’s the feeling of being like a disembodied spirit, limitless and unbounded, purely cerebral, pouring words and ideas from an ever-flowing wellspring. It’s what attracted me to these kinds of places as an individual who’s felt socially alienated and outside of the in-group of the society… or perhaps I’m not. After all, one can never know what’s true and what’s not on this side of the internet.
 
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Magonia

Magonia

Rapism cures Racism
Jan 2, 2022
7,479
You could have said water is wet instead of forcing people at gunpoint to read that
 
Abhorrence1

Abhorrence1

Banned
Jan 8, 2024
2,484
There is a beauty that can be found in anonymity, it is something that reaches the peaks of human freedom and expression. You are never really sure who or what is behind the words written on your screen. One would generally act on the assumption it is a human person, but by all means it could be an artificial intelligence, a member of an extraterrestial species, or perhaps even a sprite living in a magical forest from another world. It’s the feeling of being like a disembodied spirit, limitless and unbounded, purely cerebral, pouring words and ideas from an ever-flowing wellspring. It’s what attracted me to these kinds of places as an individual who’s felt socially alienated and outside of the in-group of the society… or perhaps I’m not. After all, one can never know what’s true and what’s not on this side of the internet.
Yea
 
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