The ugly side of Web 2.0

August 7, 2007 at 7:56 pm 1 comment

Yes, the new shiny toy does have an ugly side. Perhaps more than one.

Reputation of a pseudonymous identity serves many Web 2.0 services well. In the case of, say online auctions or blogging, the online actions of a person over time using the pseudonymous identity is more important than who he/she is. So, identity = reputation.

But this doesn’t work for some Web 2.0 services where there is no ability to build up the reputation of, and therefore confidence in, a pseudonymous identity. And therein lies a problem of the connection between the person online and real life.

Some Web 2.0 enthusiasts believe that no connection should exist, that anonymity is king. Equally extreme, and equally wrong, are people who think that the solution lies in people using their real identity online, always and for everything.

Consider this article about how a person was impersonated on MySpace. This Australian marketing manager and child-care worker was depicted by her former boyfriend (allegedly) as a sex-addict looking to have fun. Her profile had her correct home address, phone numbers, and email address.

It’s not difficult to imagine what happened next. Not surprisingly, she now has a new mobile phone number.

This can’t be right. This is the ugly face of Web 2.0. Or, at least one of them.

Can we fix it? I think I have a possible solution. More on this tomorrow….in the meantime, if you have any solutions, jump in.

Entry filed under: Aus, fraud, identity, personal_info, privacy, Web_2.0.

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