The Instigator
HSeaton
Con (against)
The Contender
JaguarScout
Pro (for)

Internet users should have to disclose their identity, assuming it were possible.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2017 Category: Technology
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 260 times Debate No: 100915
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

HSeaton

Con

While there are arguable some benefits to the idea of transparency on the internet, the moral and practical harms this could cause mean that the anonymity the internet provides must be upheld. The main reasons for this are that it contradicts with the key principle of privacy, and that people don't just want anonymity for bad reasons.
Firstly, lets consider why privacy and anonymity are important. Privacy stems from the key principle that people should be allowed to do anything, provided it doesn't affect others. Now your average person isn't necessary trying to use internet anonymity for bad reasons, but would prefer that their real name wasn't attached to what they do. This is their personal preference for their own comfort, and as it isn't harming anyone else, they should be allowed to keep it. If everyone on the internet knew the real identities of everyone else on the internet, people would feel less comfortable acting online if their real name was attached, because even if they do nothing wrong their real identities can be traced, which can in itself lead to undesirable consequences such as stalking or targeting of these individuals both online and offline. As such, basic privacy and anonymity for the average user is not an issue, and would in fact be more harmful if it was withdrawn, so internet anonymity should remain.
Secondly, people who deliberately try to act anonymously do not always do so for bad reasons. Its very easy to argue that all these people are terrorists, sneaking around invisibly, but this really isn't the case. What about people that are doing things where their identity should seriously remain anonymous? Activities ranging from pornography to suicide prevention hinge upon the user's real identity not being disclosed, but harm the users who are exposed with no benefit to any other party.
Because of both of the above reasons, internet anonymity not only does no harm for the vast majority, but can actually hurt even more when it is taken away. As a result, internet identities must not be disclosed.
JaguarScout

Pro

First, thank you for this opportunity to debate such a relevant topic to modern society. Good luck to my opponent.

I believe the following three points sufficiently outline the Con arguments against online identity disclosure:

Transparency:
1. Causes moral/practical harms, such as offline stalking.
2. Contradicts principles, such as: Non-harmful actions ought to be allowed.
3. Is harmful to legitimate internet use, including whistleblowing, porn, and suicide prevention.

Please add points if one is missing.

My starting arguments follow; I will expand on them shortly. Counters to the Con arguments will be provided later.

Transparency prevents:
1. Deliberate falsification of information, including identity theft.
2. [Some] online abuse.
Transparency enables:
1. Authentication of online transactions/legal claims

(https://www.rcfp.org...)

Counter arguments to Con points:
1.Causes moral/practical harms, such as offline stalking.
Counter: My research has shown the risk of physical stalking does increase with disclosure.. My idea to solve this issue is that an online account would have to be run through a private, system to be determined safe. I can explain further on this idea in a later round.

2. Contradicts principles, such as: Non-harmful actions ought to be allowed.
Counter: This principle depends on three definitions. Here is the original wording of the principle, as Con listed it:

"Privacy stems from the key principle that people should be allowed to do anything, provided it doesn't affect others."

First, what is meant by "should be allowed"?" What are the determining factors to say whether something should...be anything? I first think of universal morals. My definition of "universal morals" is: A set of beliefs by which people govern actions to be innately positive or contributing to society, as compared to negative or detracting from society. Another version of morals is spiritually-related, but I"m not certain Con was referring to those.

Secondly, society tends to agree that "harmful" actions include murder, theft, rape, etc. However, it is important to note societal designations of "harmful" actions are subjective to society"s support of certain concepts, which include political ideologies and religious beliefs.

Thirdly, by "...ought to be allowed," I assume Con refers to an obligation, possibly, again, a moral obligation of members of a decent society to treat other members with respect.
Feel free to correct me on any of those definitions, and my apologies for the length of explanation.

3. Is harmful to legitimate internet use, including whistleblowing, porn, and suicide prevention.
Counter: I personally added whistleblowing in this list of legitimate internet use. This article describes audit committee members' treatment of anonymous whistleblowing claims.

http://i-sight.com...

If requested, I can research effectiveness of protection for whistleblowers.

My personal bias is that porn causes more harm than good, though some may disagree. I will focus on suicide prevention. It appears that depression is a major cause of suicide, and a lack of acknowledgement, combined with a victim's silence, often results in suicide.

The revealing of victims" identities can provide a better opportunity for professionals, and friends of victims, to deal with underlying issues. Otherwise, if victims remain anonymous, they may continue to feel hopeless. It seems that the means are worth the result in this such circumstances.

To Con: Please engage with the last point, particularly, if possible, as I find it to be a very intriguing topic. I have no personal bias in regards to suicide prevention and internet anonymity, so I am up for a healthy and informative debate on this. This makes for an engaging debate.

Thank you.
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Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by JaguarScout 10 months ago
JaguarScout
I am currently working on my argument. I will post it either tomorrow or the next day, depending how much time I have. I want to make certain it is reasonably well developed.
Posted by HSeaton 10 months ago
HSeaton
Hi, no the idea is I am against "Internet users should have to disclose their identity, assuming it were possible", so am arguing for their anonymity, while the contender is arguing against this and saying that their identities SHOULD be disclosed.
Posted by JaguarScout 10 months ago
JaguarScout
Does your being the Con mean that you are arguing FOR the point in the title, while the contender is arguing for the points in the description, as opposed to the title?
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