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The way in which a person chooses to portray themselves on the internet may be in contrast to the persona which they effect in their day-to-day life, anonymity and persona creation allows individuals to express certain aspects of their personality that they may not feel comfortable expressing offline. The internet offers the potential for a level playing field on which people can communicate with one another regardless of race, creed, age and gender. And alongside the potential for egalitarian interaction, computer-base communication helps some of those more shy and retiring types bipass any social awkwardness which they may experience in face-to-face communication.

Of course, in practice identity online is subject to many of the same sanctions as it is offline. Most social networking sites and forums have their own methods of distributing social capital and thus create their own hierarchical structures. Elite status is signified through many methods such as gold memberships, point systems and rate of contribution.

The trouble with identity online comes when individuals share too much of themselves over the internet. It is extremely easy to share information and images of a sensitive nature over the internet because of the fact that you are not literally engaging face-to-face with another human being, and the normal social conventions of what is appropriate to share with other people seems to no longer apply. However, you must keep in mind that you are constructing an impress of yourself which anyone may view and form there own opinions on.

Identity theft online is a real concern for anyone using the internet and is indeed one of the darker issues concerning free distribution of information over the internet. Unfortunately as of yet the law has not caught up with technology and so the individual is still potentially at risk with little option for effective recourse should they find themselves subject to identity theft. This makes it all the more important for the individual to be careful and use reliable website which act responsibly with the information their clients privilege them with.
  • William McGeveran, a law professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, wrote in an e-mail interview, that so far, the law does a terrible job of recognizing the distinct problems of online identity.
  • He said the law protects expressions of identity online exactly the same as offline — a pseudonym or avatar is protected only if it is identifiably connected to you, but if it’s not directly tied to your real world identity it doesn’t enjoy much legal recognition. (A Guide to Protecting Your Online Identity. http://mashable.com/2009/04/21/protecting-online-identity/)

Links


A Guide to Protecting Your Online Identity.
http://mashable.com/2009/04/21/protecting-online-identity/

7 steps to building your online Identity.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UlcOX1fZW4