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back to article 4chan founder bashes Facebook, Google+ on identity

The founder of internet forum 4chan and media-sharing service Canvas has accused Facebook and Google+ of fundamentally misunderstanding how we use identity. Chris Poole – aka “moot” – told delegates at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco that Google+ made a serious mistake in its Circles function, a mistake repeated by Facebook …

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We should listen to the ...

... spiritual leader of the annonytwats why, exactly?

I mean, seriously, a college dropout living with his mommy, whose only claim to fame is a garishly bad anti-social-networking[1] website?

Don't give the lackwit childish idiot(s) any more press, let 'em wallow in their own hole, without dragging the rest of us into it.

More seriously, has anyone pointed the main-stream press at /b/? Methinks it would be good for a giggle to let the NYT and CNN know exactly what they are trying to report on ;-)

[1] To coin a phrase.

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Anonymous Coward

Did /b/ "hack" your internets or something? You seem quite upset? You mad bro?

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Ironic

I did think that Jake may have been influenced by the irony of comments on online identity from the spiritual leader of people associated with compromising the errm online identity of so may others.

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He makes

more thoughtful and mature points than you do.

If FB and Goggie weren't staffed by robo-marketing corpo-droids (especially now that GoogLabs has closed) someone with a brain might have noticed that people quite like playing with identity online.

But no. The droids are cursed by en enfeebling literal-mindedness, and therefore everyone *must* be who they say they are, at all times.

Otherwise - why, it might be chaos, I tell you. Chaos!

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Anonymous Coward

Why only your first name, Jake? Got stuff to hide?

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Anonymous Coward

You think /b/ is bad?

Have a look at the weirdness on /d/. But obviously not at work.

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Anonymous Coward

What? Moot isn't the spiritual leader of anonymous

He copied 2chan when he was 15.

There's loads of boards. Anonymous just sort of evolved out of /b/

It's also got bugger all to do with social networking and predates the whole concept by 5 or 6 years.

A college drop out? Oh noes! He can join other losers like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison.

Generally speaking, if you don't know what you're talking about, it's best to stfu.

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WTF?

jake

Would you have felt comfortable sharing that opinion if El Reg didn't allow you be an annonytwat?

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Anonymous Coward

4chan isn't b

as to your "I mean, seriously, a college dropout living with his mommy," wasn't that close to Steve Jobs in description at that point?

4chan has a lot of boards and many of them are Work Safe, and a lot of work gets done via them on a lot of project (fan subbing being the area I'm most closely related with.) However if you want to know about most things that geeks might know about (from photography, to computers, to trains) there are worse places to go than 4chan.

Also 4chan isn't necessarily "anonymous" as you have hashtags to prove you are who you say you are. The chans are a large and interesting place, some parts are like a squalid drug den run by sycopaths and gangs while others are nice sophisticated coffee shops, while others are art galleries and still more are dirty little peep show.

Also if you love the futa there's a whole board for you, you strange strange creatures!

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Stop

@jake

I'm wondering at the reasoning process which makes moot "spritual leader" of anonymous. If I understand the reasoning, then the Boeing corporation must have been the "spiritual leader" of the 9/11 attackers, since they used Boeing's vehicles.

Am I right?

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Anonymous Coward

@jake

So you believe the validity of his opinions should be based purely on who you think he is.

Considering you're a complete nobody, how seriously should we take you?

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FAIL

Erm...

I think you may have discovered that you're in a very small minority. The comments made by Chris Poole actually address the concerns that many of us have about the approaches that Facebook and Google have towards users.

I find it amusing that you'll abuse Chris Poole but not make mention of Zuckerberg's now infamous comments about how his first customers who gave him their details were 'dumb fucks'.

Regardless of what content is on /b/ at least people can make mistakes or have opinions and change them without it being a matter of permanent public record. Social networking sites are going to create an absolute litany of misery come 10-20 years time, and alot of lives are going to be ruined thanks to their policies.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes

because unlike you, jake, he has serious, mature points to make based upon a thorough-going understanding of how people use anonymity on the Internet based on personal experience.

Anon, obv

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Anonymous Coward

@Jake

> We should listen to the ...

Because he makes a good point and his insights into the matter are gained from relevant experience.

> let the NYT and CNN know exactly what they are trying to report on

Both the New York Times and CNN have articles relating to 4chan and moot with levels of detail suggesting that they have actually been there.

> To coin a phrase.

You cannot coin someone else's phrase. Google for 'antisocial network' to see what I mean.

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Trollface

in this thread...

people getting trolled as though this was actually 4chan.

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Methinks ...

... I struck a very large nerve.

Shame it's energy is misplaced, rather like a toothache.

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More than that...

...you were rude, abusive, derogatory and WRONG. If you want to touch nerves that's exactly the way to do it.

And to top it off, you hide behind a veil of anonymity/pseudonymity whilst condemning someone for opining that you should be allowed to do just that.

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Black Helicopters

"Facebook and Google are forcing people"

Forcing?

Really?

Oh, must go, there's a knock at the door....

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Forcing

They do force you, to the greatest extent that they can. And, as the quote continues, they do evict you if they find you've not used your "real name" (they do this remotely - they have no need to know at your door). It's true.

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Anonymous Coward

Good comments...

Nice to see some common sense on social networking for a change.

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Anonymous Coward

thumb_up_32.png

Pretty accurate summary of why many people don't like the current set of identity systems.

Some people get around it by having Facebook for fun and Linked-in for business but that isn't the best of ideas.

Strangely enough, OpenID has this problem licked since there are a decent number of providers that let you setup aliases which you can use.

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NEVER

Was there a more true statement.

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Anonymous Coward

*like it*

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Anonymous Coward

Real name only.

"Facebook and Google are forcing people to use only their real name online"

Nonsense. A friend of mine is an actor and due to there being another actor who already has the same name, he as adopted a pseudonym. He has two Facebook accounts, one in his real name and one with his actors name.

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Anonymous Coward

Try changing your name to Percy the Paprika Pigeon and see how that works out. Even if your not trying to organise a coup your account won't survive long.

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Anonymous Coward

But try changing your name to Percy Postlethwaite and it'll let you. You'll still be anonymous, you just won't have quite such a fucking stupid name

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Federal offence

If they state in the EULA that you must use your "real name" then you would be committing what recently became a Federal Offence in the US by doing otherwise.

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Coat

"organise a coup"

Surely Percy the pigeon would "organise a coo"?

Mine's the one with the white down the back

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Happy

"But try changing your name to Percy Postlethwaite and it'll let you."

" You'll still be anonymous,

Not me.

" you just won't have quite such a fucking stupid name"

At least I don't mind showing people my true name you coward.

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Citation please.

Show me that law .

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Partially agree

I am not certain that complete anonymity is important, but having distinct, separate identities does matter to me, e.g. for business and friends.

I want to be able to post pictures of my holidays in a place that is not side-by-side with my business messages. Google+ circles is only the first step towards this; for instance, it does not (yet) allow to put different profile pictures for different circles.

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Agreed

That's pretty much what I thought, Google's circles feature was something I'd been waiting a long time for, the ability to share different things with different groups of people.

To say that someone's online identity is different from their real world identity is somewhat limiting in my view, given that I, and I'm sure others, have several different real world identities even though they might not realise it. For example, when at work, I behave differently around customers and clients than I do towards my co-workers. I behave differently again when I'm at home with my family, and differently again when I'm with my friends. Why should my online profile limit me to one view of myself? I might think that the video of a monkey trying to hump an elephant is strikingly funny*, and would share that with my friends, but I probably wouldn't with a client.

* Point of interest, I've never seen a video of a monkey trying to hump an elephant, nor have I ever sought one out so I cannot really comment on the level of humour contained therein. Sounds damn funny though.

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Rather disappointingly...

...I can't find a video of a monkey trying to hump an elephant. But now that you've brought it up I really want to see one.

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Go

@gribbler

Yeah - I get the impression Ramases was hoping somebody might post a link to such a thing. Sadly the closest I can get is:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/guide/episodes/s01e05-an-elephant-makes-love-to-a-pig

As you will discover, the original title was less euphemistic.

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Facebook have not yet started to ask for state issued ID in the name of the person you open your account with but i expect it will come eventually. There are already millions of fake facebook accounts and i expect the number increases daily. Heck i know several friends who have set up fake facebooks just so they can give themselves extra crap in farmville, cityville etc (sad i know)

And how many jealous partners have created fake profiles to spy on their other half. Anyone who saw the documentary Catfish will know how easy it is to get a circle of fake facebook accounts hundreds of friends.

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Coat

Facebook != Law Enforcement

I suspect a hurdle might be having access to the Politburo's central databases to verefy them.

And my passport through Royal Fail? Might as well send it to the Centrol Cleerings State Banck Of Nigeria!

So it's an emailed scan, which is probably as risky as snailmail, but but at least there's the option of photoshop if you know what you're doing with with the code formats, checksums etc.

The trenchcoat with David Webb on the nametag, cheers.

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Anonymous Coward

Optional

I think I said something along similar lines here a couple of times, and I think a couple others did too. And no, not all of us who post as AC are one and the same, curiously. So not only do people have multiple identities, multiple people share one too. And not just this AC chap, no. Bourbakis for one. All in all, good to hear some dissenting voices protesting the corporate onslaught of monetising "identity". And the irony of the press not respecting the guy's wish to just go by his handle alone.

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Anonymous Coward

Tricky issue - free will - marketing - reality check.

I agree on the fact that you should be allowed to have as many *identities* as you see fit - this is how we interact socially in the real world. An example, I wouldn't speak to my Mom the same way I'd talk to my friends.

The issue I have with this kind of thinking in general, however, is the fact it seems to be coming from the angle that your forced to use something, or that it's your God given right that things should be as *you* want them, even though your under no obligation to sign up in the first place.

However, I should add, the *moving* of goalposts, as in changing the T's&C's and sneaky practices whereby data is collected without prior warning - not good.

Facebook has been guilty of this in the past and indeed still are.

Whilst you can choose by your own free will whether to participate in farcebook or not, the terms under which you signup should not be changable without prior notice and agreement.

Unfortunately, as with most services of this type, you'll find a clause somewhere along the lines of "I agree that fartbook can change their terms and conditions and take the blood of your firstborn child any bloody time they want"

Finally, however, I suspect either I'm just massively paranoid or this 4chan fella is missing the point - Frackbook and Poodle+ are just out for your data, the social side of things is the carrot. They are both in the business of profiling people and using it for marketing purposes in order to make vast sums of cash.

These are *not* benign, altruistic companies - and if my paranoia is correct, they've got their idea of online identity spot on - they want to profile you and they can't do that if you have multiple identities.

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Anonymous Coward

Missing an angle or two

The thing is that facebook is now just about the biggest player at least in the western world and is behaving much like the Chinese government except without as clear an idea of where they're going behind it.*

That is, they have considerable market power owing to network effect. And they're using it to couple your real name to your every move, even if you're not logged into facebook. If you don't believe me, check the recent 'like button' fracas in eg Germany and connect the dots.

In fact, they have automated systems that force you to 1) use exactly one first name and one last name, 2) adhere to their (unspecified) "acceptable naming policy" (ever change your name for facebook? blame your parents for their lack of foresight naming you? etc.), 3) submit government paperwork to "prove yourself" whenever anything goes wrong, 4) ..., 5) profit.

Anyhow. The point is they're imposing quite a lot through their virtual monopoly. It's not really their place. In fact, governments have traditionally kept the records, and they only give you one name, but even they are more lenient about what you can name your kids than facebook. While government name administration was usable and useful in its day, it's becoming increasingly outdated, and facebook is being quite the reactionary about it, arguably abusing its power.

Bottom line: We need a portable way of "proving" whatever we feel like "proving", without the need for government or facebook approval. Facebook will then have to be taught to shut up and like their customers. Through government interference if necessary.

* China does think long term, longer than USoA and EU combined. Facebook doesn't have much of a strategy at all; their privacy policies clearly suffer from chronic ad-hoc foot-in-mouth and public outcry. If they had a policy it would be to tire everyone out with their stupidity. I'm hard pressed to think that's deliberate, even if it is working. Sadly.

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The point being made is (I believe) that no-one is FORCED to sign up for FB or G+. And that those companies are not under some sort of moral obligation to cater for the needs of confused and experimental teenagers, because they exist to make money, not shepherd adolescents into adulthood.

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Mushroom

No-one is forced?

Yes, you bloody are being forced to use their service, if not now then you soon will. I read an article on here a few weeks ago (can't be arsed looking for it now) where they were discussing requiring people to use Facebook logins to access certain online government sites and services. Then there's the Spotify fracas just recently. I've noticed increasing numbers of sites and blogs where, in order to comment, you have to login with Facebook. If you want to participate in the Internet on any meaningful level, it's becoming more and more vital to have that all-encompassing Facebook account. And this shit will just spread and spread.

So to those idiots saying "nobody is forcing you to use Facebook" - YES THEY FUCKING ARE. And ignorant fools like you with your heads up your arses are letting it fucking happen.

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Anonymous Coward

Has a point

I read this initialy wanting to make a comment that kids upset they can't post penis pic's anoymously anymore, but he did make alot of sence.

Clearly g+ and fb need to cater for people with multiple personality orders more.

--

Anon becasue I read the article

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He makes a good point

One thing missing from the big socials is the ability to present different profiles. Same core identity, but Fred Bloggs to your family, SkiFreddo to your winter-sports community peeps (booze party pics to share!), and RandomActivist to the political stuff you don't want scaring your boss, mum or ski mates.

Profiles aren't hard to do: have a default and then have the option (in G+, for example) of an alternative set of info items, including pic and visible emails.

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I agree with him, I have three "identities": one my family and real-world friends know me as, one my gaming friends know me as, and one for the furry community. As you can tell from that short list I wouldn't want them getting mixed up, but I don't really want three separate Facebook accounts either!

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Stop

...and one for the furry community.

I'm torn between asking what that means and wondering whether I want to know.

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Anonymous Coward

They not only force you in the best way they can to use your real name and details, but in the facebook plataform every app you use, you need to grant this 3rd party access to your email, friends list and everything else. Ofc you can deny access, but then again you wouldn't be playing Farmville, Mafia Wars or any other crap

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Anonymous Coward

I've been saying just this for a while

My name is not my identity - this is exactly the fundamental mistake that FB and Goop make. My identity is what I do, how I present myself, what I say and so on - and as Moot says, that's not a flat or static thing.

If Goopbook wants to be an identity service, it can authenticate me (alhough I'd rather it was done elsewhere, perhaps somewhere a bit more regulated and transparent) but it needs to respect my need to present different parts of me under different names, and sometimes no name at all.

A/C, just because I can.

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Anonymous Coward

identities online are no different than real life

Most people, In real life have a work life, a public life, and a private life in bed or at home.

I agree with the 4Chan founder for the most part, but I don't think he goes far enough, as he doesn't give a solution. Well the solution is to block facebook, stop using google, get a real ISP, a real pop3/smtp server, a real domain, and real webhosting be it an unmanaged rack or shared hosting.

Half the people complaining can't even code basic html, let alone type a full sentence, so part of this problem is pure laziness on the part of the people bitching. Learn TCPIP, gather tools to watch your connections, learn from it, I ain't saying you are going to be some reverse engineer guru for virus's, but you can find things when you LOOK, problem is people don't look. Another thing, don't go cheap, jesus tits, every time people buy the cheapest fucking crap, you get what you pay for, you want to be operating on the cheapest crap (albeit free always the goal) expect to be treated like someone operating on the cheapest crap.

You like using that yahoo or mailinator email? Expect it to be blocked in places.

You know, its funny, I came from fidonet and bbs's and there were identities back then as well, it isn't until this fucking war on terror that I started hearing the dirty greedy filthy talismanic language of "profile" or "customer profile"

Since then, BBS (bulletin board system), went to message board, and message board went to CMS (customer management system) another filthy greedy talismanic word.

My websites were a planned COST LOSS on purpose from the start. Just like my security plan was a COST LOSS plan from the start. You can ultimately only afford as much security as you have the monetary capability (along with technical intelligence and time) to continuously support. By putting up a website I provide anonymity to others.

How many idiots bitching that the 4chan guy is wrong, spent more than a year reading +Fravia 's searchlores.org ? You would already know what Google is about, likewise you would have known what facebook was about before it even existed. They are there to make money.

If you had enough money, you could hire half the population to fight the other half.

So, Here we are.

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jesus tits

The only part of this post worth reading.

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Facepalm

you dont *have* to facebook

if you dont wanna use your real name , dont use faceb of the google wotever it is , those are apparently for people secure enough to use their real name.

If you think back to the original social networking site - "Friends Reunited" - what would be the point if your friends didnt use their real names? same with facebook, the entire concept requires people tell people who they are.

simples

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