Esther Dyson Compares Internet Anonymity to Abortion

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Esther Dyson has gone on record as comparing the choice to remain anonymous on the Internet to abortion.

In an interview with the Internet Evolution, Dyson explains that “I was a much bigger fan of anonymity then than I am now. I thought it was cool. And it is, but it turns out anonymity really encourages bad behavior.”

Dyson goes on to explain that while she is “not in favor of the government tracking everybody and so forth… at least persistent pseudonyms and communities and stuff like that makes everything a nicer place.”

That said, she sees the ability to be anonymous on the Internet as a necessary thing, despite the problems it engenders. “It’s like a lot of things,” says Dyson, “I’m pro choice, but I think abortion is an unfortunate thing. I think the same thing about anonymity: Everybody should have the right to it, but it’s not something one wants to encourage. And that’s not weasel words, that’s the reality of it.”

You can read the full interview here at the Internet Evolution’s Interview of Esther Dyson with Mary Jander.

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