Book review: Kill All Normies

I’ve just finished reading “Kill All Normies” by Angela Nagle, a thoroughly enjoyable experience for anyone who is interested in Internet culture wars and how politics is shaping and being shaped by various online tribes. The title comes from the name given to normal people in some online chatrooms, particularly Read more…

Are you a different person online?

This question is as old as the Internet itself. It is often remarkable just how people behave differently when they are online, often under the guise of anonymity. The Internet allows us to become different people, to behave in ways that we cannot often behave in everyday lives. This can Read more…

How can Twitter deal with trolls?

The Internet is great. Except when it isn’t. Unfortunately, the Web is also home to racists, misogynists, homophobes, fraudsters, malicious hackers, and unsavoury characters of all sorts. It is also filled with trolls, Internet users who gain pleasure from purposefully upsetting other users by expounding views that they may or Read more…

Anonymous IP manifesto

Following up from the story about the Internet group Anonymous taking itself too seriously, the organisers of the now infamous Operation Payback have issued a statement of intentions. It seems like they were honestly thinking that they would be getting more serious attention by then, given the grandiose claims they Read more…

Defamation online revisited

I have been reading an article in the Chicago Tribune about online anonymity. Most of the story is centred around the defamation dispute between Lisa Stone and an anonymous individual going by the handle Hipcheck16 (see legal documents here). Lisa Stone was running for local office in an Illinois suburb Read more…

Freedom to be obnoxious?

Nobody knows how it happened, but Stephen Fry was declared sometime last year the King of the Internet. However, His Royal Tweetness seems to have lost some of the vibrant love for all things participatory. During a social networking conference, he is quoted as saying: “I don’t know about you Read more…

Trolls, news and social media

Last night something interesting happened online, a small incident that I think illustrates the problems of instant communications quite well. Geek blog Mashable broke the news that telecomms giant AT&T was filtering access to imageboard 4chan. For those unfamiliar with this site, 4chan is a forum dedicated to the exchange Read more…