Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ 4chan's Chris Poole: Facebook & Google Are Doing It Wrong

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Interesting and very likely correct. 4chan's Chris Poole argues that companies like Google and Facebook who are trying to force people into a single identity are misunderstanding the nature of personal identity. "But human identity doesn't work like that online or offline. We present ourselves differently in different contexts, and that's key to our creativity and self-expression. 'It's not 'who you share with,' it's 'who you share as,'' Poole told us. 'Identity is prismatic.'" What that means is that we present ourselves differently in different circumstances. We may, depending on context, want to be viewed as different people - the 'show-no-mercy' World of Warcraft player may be very different from the mild-mannered teacher or librarian. "Twitter does the best job of this" of today's major social networks, Poole said. The platform itself uses handles and allows made-up answers in the real name field. Furthermore, "most of the apps allow multiple accounts. Facebook would never allow this, right?" He says Google Plus is the worst; you don't even get a vanity URL to distinguish yourself, and we all know how Google Plus handles pseudonyms: they delete the accounts. Here's the video of Chris Poole's remarks.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 22, 2024 12:03 a.m.

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