Anonymity is a crucial issue in debates concerning technology, politics, and data justice. A new anthology offers fundamental insights into what anonymity is and why it matters. The book of anonymity focuses on the possibilities connected to and created by anonymity, how it is produced, its outcomes, and its potentials. The book looks at anonymity as a ‘mode of being and knowing’ , moving beyond a purely technical definition.
The events which led to the most heated debate about online anonymity in Poland begun in 2002, when a blogger using the nickname Kataryna started commenting on sport events on one of the online forums, which belonged to Gazeta Wyborcza, a leading daily quality Polish newspaper. Soon she became active on political forums, especially those related to one of the biggest corruption scandals in post-communist Poland, the so-called ‘Rywin Affair’.
In a process that started decades ago, a multiplicity of forces is creating a slow, but steadily rising storm against anonymity. Discourses of transparency and accountability often describe anonymity as a threat. Technologies such as the IP-address-based Internet, sensory devices, and machine learning techniques further undermine anonymous encounters. In an age of near ubiquitous surveillance, anonymity is under attack. But what is at stake in such discourses and developments?
The profound changes in technologies of personal data collection have shifted our terms for understanding anonymity. As data gathering technologies are permeating various corners of our lives, a number of stakeholders are attempting to map, track, analyse and define what is happening to our identity, our privacy, or our ways of being social. These stakeholders include lawmakers and politicians, think tank members and lobbyists, entrepreneurs and marketeers, journalists and activists, legal scholars and lawyers, social scientists and computer scientists.
Archaeology of no names? The social productivity of anonymity in the archaeological information process
The portrait gallery of archaeology presents a conspicuous mix of the discoveries of the great characters of the past and an everyday labour of faceless individuals of the past and present.
In this paper, I focus on the particular context of self-organised addiction-therapy where anonymity plays more than just one important role and thus serves various functions – functions which are not only vital for therapy to work but sometimes even convey a culture-critical message against social distinction, hyper-individualism and big-shotism. These functions of anonymity are considered valuable in the name of recovery and equality by members of self-organised support-groups against addiction.
Issue Editors: Götz Bachmann, Michi Knecht and Andreas Wittel
Anonymity is deeply tied to the European values of liberty, equality and fraternity. Concealing one’s identity can enable freedom (as in the anonymity of speech), support equality (e.g. in anonymous application procedures), and provide the basis for non-reciprocal relationships as expressed in the value of brotherhood (e.g. asking a stranger for directions). It is capable of traversing cultural differences and is essential for many contemporary forms of sharing, communality and collaboration (e.g.