Internet Anonymity

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 A thing we now take for granted is the ability on the Internet to post down whatever you want, almost wherever- but where did this come from? .One of the most fascinating features of the internet is how anonymous you can be, no matter who you are. Let’s go back to 1989, following the launch of the World Wide Web . This allowed those with computers to finally start communicating with each-other, but the thing is that the only way to know who someone on the web really was, would be through looking at what was already on the internet, allowing for anybody to change their username as they see fit.

In 2003,  the rapid rise of internet use was mainly from young people all over the world, and with phones becoming a more common household tool led to the creation of numerous Bulletin Boards such as the infamous 4Chan, originally beginning used as an anime discussion site, and then to another bulletin board  named 2Chan. 2Chan was created by Christopher Pool, and as of now, contains over 72 other topics for users to talk about with ultimate anonymous use, meaning anything could be posted on the website with absolutely zero consequence.

 

Over the years, 4Chan has been expanding meme culture, and due to this reason, meme communities such as Reddit and select areas on Twitter have started popping up. In some of 4Chan’s and other website’s boards, people are taking advantage of the anonymous trust of 4Chan, allowing many people to post inappropriate things, or take part in criminal activities. This warranted people to move away from the website and create other communities, with a popularity spike in those websites in the 2000-2010s with the start of Facebook and more technological advances being normalized, such as the iPhone,  Samsung, etc.

During this time period, older discussion websites such as the previously mentioned 4Chan and similar discussion websites have evolved to focus mainly on social media. With these first social media websites gaining traction, it allowed them to evolve, and with other future websites as well as Instagram, Snapchat, etc. finding ways to monetize themselves, or gain revenue to sustain the website from business deals, sponsors, and ads, gave way for careers to be started such as being a Youtuber, with the arguably most popular being Pewdiepie, making over 7 Million dollars a year by posting gameplay videos and other content for his fans, with youtube and other streaming services allowing his fans to drop donations for his work.

 

All this leads up to now, with a long line of websites following suit, including websites like The Sail itself, being our own twist on news websites and inspired from other schools who have done the same, finding a way to spread information outside of school grounds via the internet. What does this all mean? It all leads up to the fact that, while the internet can look scary because of places like the Dark Web and other domains, the internet only got this far because of how anonymous we can be, allowing freedom in whatever we post, almost everywhere. Don’t be rude or offensive to other people, but remember that your opinion can be shouted out into the halls of the Internet, with an echo or not.