Does Online Communication Compromise the Rights of an Individual When Information is "Anonymous" - Essay Example

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Such opportunities include the ones to make political claims, as well as non-political comments, , perform commercial transactions, engage in whistle blowing, and conduct personal or individual…
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Does Online Communication Compromise the Rights of an Individual When Information is "Anonymous"
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Does Online Communication Compromise the Rights of an Individual When Information is Anonymous The internet offers people with opportunities for anonymous communication. Such opportunities include the ones to make political claims, as well as non-political comments, , perform commercial transactions, engage in whistle blowing, and conduct personal or individual correspondence without revealing one’s identity. Other than those benefits, anonymous online communication is able to facilitate socially unacceptable vices or even criminal activities because it is very hard to hold anonymous users accountable (Alexander and Hanson, 239).
Anonymous online communication is continually evolving aided by changes in technology, particularly internet technology. The effect of anonymous online communication on the rights of individuals still remains a hotly debated topic in the coming years. Different scholars have divergent views with regards to the issue. Neil Swidey on one hand believes that it compromises the rights of the individual because many people post abusive and vitriolic stuff that are often eliminated by the site moderators (Akrivopoulou and Garipidis, 148). He argues that anonymous posters may sometimes become offensive thereby calling into question the nature as well as the value of online communication.
Ian Lloyd, on the other hand, maintains that anonymous online communication does not compromise the rights of the individuals. He argues that there is a legal approach that protects anonymity and privacy. Even though the legal approach that is directed online communications tries to safeguard personal rights, people may often have bad intentions; therefore, life in this digital age may be subject to breaches of trust (Akrivopoulou and Garipidis, 148). However, it is worth noting that the use of anonymous online communication is unstoppable because its benefits do outweigh any limitations they bring. The government and the media should be involved in identifying how to harness the potential of anonymous online communication to inform the general public better by making sure that the good intentions do not often backfire.
According to me, I tend to think that anonymous online communication is not capable of compromising the rights of the individuals in case it is used correctly because it has more good than harm. First, anonymous online communication actually protects the rights of individuals. It has greatly helped investigative journalists who frequently use it when investigating new stories. Such people have been able to gather information that they wouldn’t have reached had they used direct communication (Akrivopoulou and Garipidis, 148).
Secondly, law enforcement agencies such as police have relied on anonymous data to acquire information regarding criminal activities. They also have access to several sites in the cyberspace that have helped them in accessing anonymous email services thus capturing criminals. Thirdly, anonymous online communication is an example of the most powerful means that has helped people to protect their personal privacy. It has protected them from receiving unwanted advertisements and junk emails and being tracked. It has also helped people who require crucial information to hide their true identities. For instance, it has helped women to communicate on the internet thereby avoiding harassment, gender discrimination and differentiation (Alexander and Hanson, 249).
Since anonymous online communication is neither intrinsically good nor intrinsically bad, governments are challenged to enforce internet laws and hence regulate online anonymous communication to control the risks associated with it.

Work cited
Akrivopoulou, Christina, and Nicolaos Garipidis. Human Rights and Risks in the Digital Era: Globalization and the Effects of Information Technologies. Hershey, Pa: IGI Global, 2012. Print.
Alexander, Alice and Hanson Jarice.Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Mass Media and Society. New York: McGraw-Hill Education (2013) Read More
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