Jillian C. York: Why Online Anonymity Matters

Undescribed Horrific Abuse, One Victim & Survivor of Many gmkarl at gmail.com
Wed Oct 5 12:31:54 PDT 2022

This is an enumeration of research articles regarding why it is very
important to keep your legal name secret online. Last updated early
2021. The EFF links would likely be the most known in this community.


Every few weeks or so, some[one] some white dude suggests that the way
to solve all of our online problems is to require users to submit ID
verification and use their “real names,” ignoring years of research
and commentary.

This is what I like to call the White Man’s Gambit. I’ve advocated in
favor of the right to online anonymity and/or pseudonymity[1] for many
years, but no need to take it from me; there is loads of research and
advocacy out there from a diversity of groups and individuals. This
page will seek to compile that research (as always, DM me on Twitter
if you have something to add).

# Academic and other research

- J. Nathan Matias’s foundational work[2] on the “real name fallacy,”
demonstrating that the use of “real” names does not inherently result
in civil discourse.

- Emily van der Nagel’s research[3] on the linking of identities and
bodies on NSFW Reddit.

- Also from van der Nagel: “Alts and Automediality: Compartmentalising
the Self through Multiple Social Media Profiles”[4]

- Research from the Queensland Department of the Premier and
Cabinet[5] on social media and identity verification

- “Constructing and enforcing ‘authentic’ identity online: Facebook,
real names, and non-normative identities”[6] by Oliver L. Haimson and
Anna Lauren Hoffmann

- “Trustworthiness and truth: The epistemic pitfalls of internet
accountability”[7] by Karen Frost Arnold

- “What do we know and what should we do about internet privacy”[8] by
Paul Bernal

- “The Adobe Content Authenticity Initiative approach to authenticity
infrastructure against media manipulation”[9] from Witness

- “Ethics for Cyborgs: On Real Harassment in an Unreal Place”[10] by
Katherine Cross

# Advocacy, popular media, and other expertise

- Realnames.online[11] is an excellent resource on the topic of
identity verification

- Geek Feminism Wiki[12] maintains several excellent pages related to
the subject

- An important comment from an early Facebook moderator[13]

- “Facebook’s ‘Real Name’ Policy Can Cause Real-World Harm for the
LGBTQ Community”[14] (2014) by Jillian C. York and Dia Kayyali

- EFF’s 2015 open coalition letter[15] to Facebook urging them to
change their policy.

- “Changes to Facebook’s “Real Names” Policy Still Don’t Fix the
Problem”[16] by Eva Galperin and Wafa Ben Hassine (2015)

- “Korean internet identity verification rule struck down
unconstitutional; 13 highlights of the judgment”[17] (2012)

- “One Name to Rule Them All: Facebook’s Identity Problem”[18] by
Jessa Lingel and Tarleton Gillespie (2014)

- “Pornhub Is Just the Latest Example of the Move Toward a Verified
Internet”[19] by Robyn Caplan

- “True Names and Identity on the Internet”[20 by Andrew Conway

- “Real Names Chill Free Speech”[21] by Paul Bernal

- “Tracing trust: Why we must build authenticity infrastructure that
works for all”[22] by Sam Gregory

- “Human Rights Video, Privacy and Visual Anonymity in the Facebook
Age”[23] by Sam Gregory

- “Nymwars! Part 3 of Google+ and Diversity”[24] by Jon Pincus

- “Why Gaming Culture Allows Abuse…And How We Can Stop It”[25] by
Katherine Cross

- “‘Real Names’ Policies are an Abuse of Power”[26] by danah boyd

- “OKCupid’s New Real Name Policy is Dumb”[27] by Kate Conger

1: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/07/case-pseudonyms
2: https://coralproject.net/blog/the-real-name-fallacy/
3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f9wd35jzfbno9f9/Embodied%20Verification_Emily%20van%20der%20Nagel_2020.pdf?dl=0
4: https://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/1379
5: https://t.co/FDZn14v9Sc?amp=1 (link downloads Word doc)
6: https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/download/6791/5521
7: https://philpapers.org/rec/FROTAT-2
8: https://libgen.li/edition.php?id=138304448
9: https://blog.witness.org/2020/08/adobe-content-authenticity-initiative-approach-authenticity-infrastructure-media-manipulation/
10: https://www.academia.edu/11099012/Ethics_for_Cyborgs_On_Real_Harassment_in_an_Unreal_Place
11: https://realnames.online/
12: https://geekfeminism.wikia.org/wiki/Pseudonymity
13: https://twitter.com/helloyouths/status/1349347981519044612
14: https://www.eff.org/de/deeplinks/2014/09/facebooks-real-name-policy-can-cause-real-world-harm-lgbtq-community
15: https://www.eff.org/document/open-letter-facebook-about-its-real-names-policy
16: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/12/changes-facebooks-real-names-policy-still-dont-fix-problem
17: https://m.blog.naver.com/kyungsinpark/110145810944
18: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/10/one-name-to-rule-them-all-facebook-still-insists-on-a-single-identity/381039/
19: https://slate.com/technology/2020/12/pornhub-verified-users-twitter.html
20: https://www.cloudmark.com/en/blog/true-names-and-identity-internet
21: https://paulbernal.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/real-names-chill-free-speech/
22: https://blog.witness.org/2020/05/authenticity-infrastructure/
23: https://blog.witness.org/2011/02/human-rights-video-privacy-and-visual-anonymity-in-the-facebook-age/
24: http://www.talesfromthe.net/jon/?p=2948
25: https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/game-changer-0
26: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2011/08/04/real-names.html
27: https://gizmodo.com/okcupids-new-real-name-policy-is-dumb-1821535975

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