What if online anonymity disappeared?

One of the most exciting features of the Internet is the ability to use it without revealing your identity. This ability is not always used, but with the right VPN and browser extension, you can easily remain completely anonymous.

Not everyone is satisfied with this fact. Some argue that the Internet would be a better place if everything done online was tied to the identity of the person doing it. For example, there are calls on social media for more transparency or efforts to end online bullying and trolling from anonymous accounts need to be stepped up.

So what will happen if anonymous Internet use is no more?

There are many downsides to the legitimacy of people being able to use the Internet anonymously.

Using a pseudonym is a useful tool for online harassment. Harassment is defined as pressure or threat of aggression.

In real life, harassment is a serious violation of the law. When it happens online, perpetrators are very rarely prosecuted. It is also very difficult to prevent them.

This often allows online harassment campaigns to go on for a long time without consequences.

The internet is used to spread hate speech. It allows people to say almost anything they like without consequences.

If the only thing stopping a person from sharing racist views is the possibility of damaging their reputation, they are often happy to share such opinions online.

This makes racism more and more prevalent in many online communities and even allows communities to be created specifically for such views.

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Some people post false information online using their real identities. But the moniker makes the process even easier and more efficient.

If a platform does not require identity verification, an entity can create multiple accounts. This allows organizations using bots to automatically spread misinformation. Bots are often used to mislead many people with the same opinion.

Nicknames also mean that when an identity is found to be spreading misinformation, the person responsible simply needs to create a new account.

The anonymous nature of the Internet is very convenient for cybercriminals. If anonymity is removed, cybercriminals will persist as they simply ignore the new laws. However, it becomes much harder for them to take the wrong action. This could reduce the number of victims and would also make many existing methods impossible.

The problems with anonymous Internet access are undeniable. But it’s also hard to deny its importance. If this mode is removed, it will have serious consequences.

Freedom of speech is often taken for granted in the United States, but this is not the case in many parts of the world. People living in these countries often rely on the Internet to talk openly.

If anonymity ends, many opinions will be kept hidden for fear of legal consequences. This is not just a problem for those who are prevented from speaking out, it will be harmful to human rights in general.

In parts of the world where there is no free speech, human rights violations are common. Without the anonymity of the Internet, this would be much easier to notice.

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The anonymous nature of the Internet is often used by whistleblowers. It often allows individuals who know important confidential information to talk about it without consequences for themselves.

The whistleblower usually speaks only on condition of anonymity. Therefore, it is likely that if online anonymity does not exist, many people will not dare to speak out in the future.

The anonymity of the Internet is often used by minorities to speak openly without fear of persecution.

It is used by LGBTQ+, ethnic and religious minorities to discuss their lives without attracting unwanted attention. It is also used by people with special interests who want to discuss specific topics without facing ridicule.

Many of these conversations would not take place without anonymity.

Online anonymity allows people to share opinions, which while not illegal, can still pose risks to those who share them.

For example, nicknames are often used by people who want to share a negative opinion about their employer and/or workplace. They are also often used to make claims that go against conventional beliefs.

Provided such comments do not incite violence, this is a positive part of the Internet because discussion is encouraged.

Nicknames are often used to ask questions that people wouldn’t ask if they were asked to use their real name. This allows people to stay informed on difficult topics and make better decisions in some situations.

The advice people seek anonymously includes everything from domestic violence to drug abuse. If anonymity is removed, the number of isolated people will increase significantly.

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Anonymous online work harassment increased. But if the victim is also anonymous, this helps reduce the potential for harm.

If people are required to use their real names, any controversy that occurs online could have an impact on real life. Anyone who wants to harm the people they interact with online is at significantly greater risk of harm if they no longer remain anonymous online.

Personal information has never been more valuable. Companies are also collecting more information than ever before. If anonymity is removed from the Internet, people will not be able to opt out using nicknames.

This means that any platform you use may ask for your personal information. This is especially problematic when you consider the fact that many services have proven themselves incapable of protecting personal information.

Those who demand an end to online anonymity will not get the desired results. While the importance of anonymity is undeniable, its consequences cannot be ignored either.

Some people use nicknames to say things they shouldn’t and as a result innocent individuals are harmed. Unfortunately, if you severely censor a large portion of the population, the price may be too high to pay.