An online identity is a social identity that network users establish in online communities. Although some people prefer to use their real names online, most Internet users prefer to identify themselves by means of pseudonyms, which reveal varying amounts of personally identifiable information. In some online contexts, including Internet forums, MUDs, IRC, instant messaging, and massively multiplayer online games, users can represent themselves visually by choosing an avatar, an icon-sized graphic image. As other users interact with an established online identity, it acquires a reputation, which enables them to decide whether the identity is worthy of trust. (“Online Identity”, 2007).
Here’s the Question of the Week (QotW):
- After reading “Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community” by Judith Donath (1996), identify an online identity you own or are familiar with, show where it is virtually situated (e.g. email, blogs, forums, IM, IRC, MMORPG), and how this chosen identity establishes reputation (i.e. via what kind of interactions). Finally, show how someone else could possibly assume this chosen online identity. (i.e. identity theft)
- Cite facts from the Donath article (1996), including at least two additional sources from this week’s readings or from external peer-reviewed sources.
- Make a concise argument in 500 words or more (proper written English), supported with at least three APA-style citations.
- Start the title of your blog post as “QotW5: _____”
- Drop a comment here with a permalink to your blog post.
Holiday extension till 23th Feb, Friday, 5pm
(Warning: Late work will not be graded)
What is “identity” in a computer mediated environment, especially since a new email address is often all that is required to create a new virtual persona? We’ll be exploring this and more…
- Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community (Donath, 1996)
- Manifesto for the Reputation Society
- Norm maintenance in online communities:
A review of moderation regimes (Lackaff, 2003)
- Mitigating Identity Theft
- Hooked on Phishing
- FTC Identity Theft site
- Also refer to IBM guest speaker: Ian Loe