T Nation

Talk of the Nation: Anonymous Online Posters


Today on NPR they were talking about Anonymity on the internet.

Full Story or Audio if you prefer:

I find it interesting that people are studying this behavior like its some great mystery, it all seemed pretty intuitive to me but then maybe the guy studying it isn't the one living it.


So I guess we're the one percent eh? Thats a pretty big one percent.


I'm not too sure about that. A lot of people hide behind the anonymity of the internet to spout lots of bullshit and pretend to be someone they aren't.


I like when people create new accounts so that they can try out a new personality or be the insecure creep who's afraid to say certain things under their "real" account.


There are hundreds of "useless" studies, like the one in the 1800s linking poverty and education. Did you know that uneducated people tend to be poor? Like, DUH!!!!!


Unless you know how many total are on this site you can't determine this figure. How many people do not create accounts and just lurk? I look at this in the same light as the OP, but my question is why? Why do people feel the need to create an alter ego? Why do some have to dominate certain forums in this alter ego?


Whatever happened to "If you got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all".

It just so happens that none of us have anything nice to say. So fuck off( See?)


So Wol what you are saying is that you use forums like this to to say things that you would never say in real life? This way you feel a cathartic cleansing?

Sorry when drinking wiskey I like to argue.


anonymous prevails.


Fuck nah, I say this shit in real life. If I know you and I think you're ok, I sound just like this. If I don't know you and don't find the subject interesting, I'll give a Yes or No answer, then walk away.


Okay so you are the exception, how many people on here do you think are like that? How many accounts does HH have? Like the avatar by the way, love that movie.


I wouldn't say I'm the exception. The people who post very little, but always use common sense are probably like that in real life. Nards, Polo, RSGZ, Pootie Tang, Big Boss, and Prof.X are like that.


^ ahem.


ahem as well.


I agree, I don't thinl there has been one or two comments I have ever posted that I wouldn't say face to face in the right context. I.E. Some statements will take a good reading of the situation and probably be limited by who is present. But some "locker room" shit gets said in real life and some people are just so guarded and introverted they think it's the anonymity that makes people say such outragous things.

The fact of the matter is that saying outragous things illicits a strong response in others. Illiciting a strong response is a good thing most of the time. If you go through your life and illicit no strong responses from other humans, it means you are a boring turd.

On the other hand, the person who illicits strong responses is the center of attention, or at least a major hub of it and that person is going to have the benefits of said "popularity".

I think there are two types of people who will use outragous communication to try and illicit strong responses. Those who feel physically superior, be it personal physical strength, or having the backup of a group. And there are those who are master communicators.

People who read other like open books and can tailor thier own communications in such a way that the threat of physical violence is greatly reduced. You could think of these people as "charismatic". Sometimes one could posess both assets, which make them very formidible in the communication department.



Online disinhibition effect. Interesting stuff.


I sent an email to Swidey (and CCed to Talk of the Nation) asking if he has considered any confidence issues that may be playing a role particularly in the lurker vs the poster.

If he thinks those lurking have more confidence because they don't feel the need to seek acceptance from the group nor do they feel the need to assert their own views onto another, or if those posting are more confident because they are willing to put themselves out there for a discussion.

If I get a reply I'll be sure to let you all know.


Another thing is this statement which I quoted in part in my OP.

So Mods if you care to (and are allowed to) disclose with us, is part of your job description to observe us 1% (Heavy Users) to report back findings to Biotest so they can find out how to further improve their sales?



Agree with a lot of this post, nicely done vegita


I also think that people who are more introverted and who aren't used to "being the funny guy" or being the type of person who can catch people off guard and make them laugh have a harder time appreciating the comedic value of posters that do tend to post more outlandish comments. I think they tend to read posts and take them at face value and not truly understand the comedic value behind most posts.

There are posts on here where I'm dying laughing and my girl, being curious as to what I'm laughing at, will come over and read the thread and I'll be lucky if she so much as chuckles. Now she has a great sense of humor in that she's easy to make laugh and is almost always doing so, but she does not have a real outlandish personality and therefor doesn't always think the posts on here are funny because I think you have to have a certain mindset to pick up on the comedy of posts when reading them online. Most people who are really outgoing and funny know that a lot of what goes into humor is not only what's said and not said, but how it's said, and the body language and tone while saying it. So the outgoing individuals can see a post not only for it's face value but understand exactly how the OP meant it to sound and can find more humor in it then a more introverted person might.

That is also why I think many of the more serious posters may think that some people on this site just say outrageous crap and would either never say that in real life or they would be socially awkward and not make sense, when in actuality the complete opposite is true.