in such a way that the actor
cannot be determined has often been a useful tool
in a global society
that prides itself on freedom
(that is to say, opinion
free of retribution
). The right to remain anonymous
in the rapidly expanding global information network
s is constantly being fought for.
Unfortunately, many people who exist within the system choose to abuse this right.
Anonymity can be a double-edged sword; the same traits that make it necessary also cause it to be a burden. Let's hypothesize, for the moment, that your words or actions were indistinguishable from those of 100 other people. Any action taken by one of those 100 would be thought of as having been taken by the group, not one individual. At least one individual in this group, as we see often in the Internet community, decides that it is safe to harass people outside the group. This antisocial (sociopathic, actually) individual doesn’t care about the reputation of the group, but is intoxicated with the idea that his/her own personal reputation is safe, no matter what he/she does. He/She can, of course, always join a new group once the old one is cast out of the Whole. In this case, anonymity has become a cushion for the Ego. Nothing that person does can truly be "wrong", because no one can connect that person's ideas with their identity.
The same forces work in our society, as the vastness and absurdity of what we have built around us makes many of us feel anonymous at times. The only way to defend against people who attack others from behind anonymity and obscurity are to abolish them, but everyone suffers when our rights are diminished. Anonymity persists (as I believe it should), and more people abuse anonymity by using it to spread anger and hate, without being personally responsible (in any sense of the word) for it.
All because either people don't believe strongly enough in their own ideas to allow them to be connected to their names, or because they don't have any ideas and must sadden and humiliate others for pleasure. All because people have seen how easy it is to control with the invisible fist, and they're afraid to rejoin humanity.
Of course, the anonymous persons who seek to disrupt and injure can always be ignored. However (the point of all this):
"What happens", you might ask, "when people in positions of authority use anonymity to escape rationality and accountability?"
To which I would answer;