Does anonymity cultivate dishonesty?

I believe this statement is true.The pursuit of authenticity is creeping into the heart of most social media models and in the current internet landscape is playing an important role in how we engage with one another and with web content. I read a disturbing article the other day where a 41 year old father posed as a teen boy in order to catfish his own daughter into sending nude photos. The father created an entire online persona just to catfish his daughter (which is super creepy). The man created an Instagram account with pictures of a random young teenage boy, an AOL account as well as an account for a texting app. He started to chat with his daughter through these apps and the two essentially started a “romantic relationship”. The young girl had no real idea of who this person was and was completely under the impression that it was a sixteen year old boy from New York when in fact it was her father.

Because there’s so many apps and websites that people can use and pull pictures and information from, it’s difficult to know if anyone is who they say they are online. If someone presents to us an intact, detailed identity, we immediately trust it. If we recognize just the outline of the individual – online or in the real world – we assume that that is real, with no verification. So identity equals trust, even if it’s not real. If someone looks like a person, we think they are a person.

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