This website, riskyby.design, is a project of the 5Rights Foundation. It does a good job of talking about the benefits and drawbacks of anonymity in a way that isn’t patronising.
Online anonymity can take many forms, from pseudonyms that conceal “real” identities to private browsers or VPNs that allow users to be “untraceable.” There are also services designed specifically to grant users anonymity, known as “anonymous apps”.
Often conflated with privacy, true anonymity – the total absence of personally identifying information – is difficult to achieve in a digital environment where traces of ourselves are left every time we engage with a service. Anonymity is best considered on a continuum, ranging “from the totally anonymous to the thoroughly named”.
People have lots of reasons for being anonymous online. While anonymity affords a degree of protection to people like journalists, whistle-blowers and marginalised users, the lack of traceability that some types of anonymity offer may prevent people from being held accountable for their actions.
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