Most Americans Think Anonymity’s a Bust, Says Pew Survey — Consider Me One of Them


A majority of Americans now believe total anonymity’s a pipe dream, despite wishing it were otherwise, to paraphrase a Pew Internet survey of 792 people published on Thursday.

Count me among them, though less in the “wishing it were otherwise” column. And yes, that implies I’m — gulp! — not exactly put out by the notion that anonymity may be a lost cause on the Internet.

Or something like that. Before you throw me to the wolves, I recognize that anonymity can be critical when it involves things like whistleblowers, law enforcement shakedowns, or something as fundamental as casting a vote in a democracy.

But I’ve never been circumspect about stuff like my name (never an alias, if it’s available) or posting pictures online (not that I post many), and the question I’ve been asking lately is this: How much of our desire for online anonymity has less to do with…

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