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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Is it time to take Anonymous seriously?

Anyone who has ever heard me speak about Internet regulation will know of my barely contained scepticism with regards to Barlow’s Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace, and all that it represents. In fact, the Declaration speaks of a more innocent time in Internet history, and it is usually considered to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Beware of geeks bearing gifts

I have been following with growing interest the online debate between Lily Allen and Techdirt with regards to file-sharing and three-strikes. If you are unfamiliar with the debate, here is a brief introduction. You may have heard that Lord Mandelson has put forward proposals to have our own version of […]