Why am I so dogmatic about open and distributed online communities? Stories like this offer the answer. Jeff Jarvis writes, "Mattel is shutting down its American Girl Club and our daughter is rightfully upset." As he points out, "Because of the anonymity features of the community, this means that thousands of friendships are suddenly cut off." Rex Hammock is more blunt. "The issue here is one of 'identity.' Who owns 'me' online? I think I own my identity, but the weasles at Mattel obviously think they own the identities (even if they are 'anonymous' avatars of real girls) of the American Girl Club members." I think Mattel really should reconsider this one. "Toy companies should not be in the business of making children sad."
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