Friday, February 5, 2010

Being a fake is not an inverse of being open

Again, I am focusing on fake accounts on the web. I define an account 'being a fake' as the alteration of the name, false profile picture, alteration of the information or user data provided in creating the user account. I use facebook, my favorite social networking site for this post.

I used to maintain a small diary in my home, which no one ever dared to read, as it is assumed to contain objectionable content for public view. But once I signed up to facebook, I stopped writing that diary, and started issuing status messages instead. Isn't it contradicting? The stuff which was considered a taboo for others' view has become the public content, considering the fact that I have 1000+ facebook pals including strangers and fakes (as defined above).

Once a lady started a chat with me on facebook, who had an account that could easily be identified as a fake one. I mentioned her that she was a fake. After a pause she replied, "Yes, my name is altered and a star's photo as my profile picture, but I am much open than you when expressing myself through the chat. So you are more fake."

Seems a reasonable argument. Isn't it? People are interested in building relationships with strangers, while hiding their identity. When they hide their identity, they feel free to open their mind. On the other hand, our identity is explicitly shown to the public, so we do have to hide our minds in some cases.

When I joined Wikipedia as an editor, I was suggested to use a pen-name for the very same reason. I am writing under my own name there too, however. However that doesn't mean creating a fake account will protect your identity. So better hide your mind, if it is too dirty ;).

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