It’s a trial for me to listen to people complain about privacy on Facebook or anonymity on the Web.
Don’t get me wrong; you aren’t going to find a bigger defender of anonymous speech than me. The same way a secret ballot preserves the integrity of the plebiscite, anonymous political speech protects republicanism.
But there’s a difference between standing up for the right of someone to publish an anonymous blog and listening to people carp about whether some stranger can see pictures of his kids.
In the case of the former, the author wants to be heard, but to protect himself from the repercussions of speaking. That’s a tradition as old as politics itself, albeit that in time, anyone who makes an impact with anonymous speech is exposed.
In the case of the average Joe bitching about his boss via a tweet, there’s a far simpler point to be made: If you put it on the Internet, it’s not private. Period.
When we waste time debating whether it’s right for some potential employer to use a five-year-old drunken tweet against you, we don’t focus on the real things people should be doing to protect their Internet identities. For example, using strong passwords.
I’ll bet a dollar to doughnuts that the average person who worries about Facebook privacy is using his dog’s name as his Facebook password. And not only that, but using that same password for every Internet site he visits, including Amazon.com, online banking, travel sites, etc., etc. And not only that, but has been using the same password for years.