Smirch Engine

Friday, March 20, 2009


There’s a name for how cruel people can get given a little anonymity on the internet. It’s called “online disinhibition effect” and the resulting venom can ruin your day or worse, destroy your good name. Bob looks at the fraught relationship on the web between reputation, privacy and the law.

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  • Let's Go
    Artist: Build Buildings

Comments [3]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I have only rarely found anything worth reading in an anonymous post and the so-called adults who would deny an interview or employment on the basis of such suspect information really need to rethink their selection criteria.

Hey, USENET, that's probably what the newsgroup Barak used to organize that event in DC I met he and Michelle at was part of! I wasn't following all the subtle distinctions back then.

Mar. 26 2009 06:45 AM
Vincent Murphy from Shrewsbury, MA

In this report, On the Media makes a typical mistake by confusing the World Wide Web with the Internet. The latter has been around since the 70s, while the Web gained popularity in the early 90s. So the Internet wasn't in its infancy in 1996.

The "online disinhibition effect" is really just a fancy way of saying that anonymous people can be jerks. Anyone who participated in USENET newsgroups in the 80s and 90s know that it isn't a new thing at all.

Mar. 23 2009 05:38 PM
Byron Miller from Glen Ellyn, IL

I was listening this afternoon and heard the segment regarding Yelp. It sounded to me like Yelp got a PR placement. The argument that people in San Francisco AND Chicago have made is that when they refused to sign on with YELP, positive reviews disappeared and negative reviews suddenly received top billing. Apparently, there have been sufficient complaints to suggest some truth to this. Your interviewer asked only about negative reviews, not about YELP sales practices. I don't use YELP, but being aware of the controversy, I was disappointed that your interviewer appeared to serve up only soft lobs to the YELP founder.

Mar. 22 2009 03:58 PM

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