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09 Feb

The best would be real names

"I do it quickly online". This saying is now a matter of course in everyday life. We buy everything for household and hobby in the "net". Our banking business is done conveniently at home on the screen. We even find "friendships" online at any time with a click of the mouse. Thanks to the social networks. The World Wide Web continues to change our lives. But with the disclosure of our data, we make ourselves “naked” every day. That is why many surf anonymously via "nickname".

A radio reportage on Southwest German radio about the pros and cons of anonymity in social networks made me think: A free internet promotes the cooperation of all social groups with reach and speed. Hardly anyone can escape the network of networks without disadvantages.

Sometimes only digital communication is possible. Tax returns in Germany are now transmitted online. Disadvantage: The more processes in the state and society are carried out digitally, the more expensive services rendered analogously become. The "web" also requires an "internet-enabled society". In social networks, users can easily reach ranges that were hardly imaginable in the analogue world a few years ago or were very time and cost consuming.

In the meantime, everyone in the news sector can get involved at any time and tell the world what he likes. In this flood of information, messages and opinions often mix inadmissibly. For the recipient that often is barely distinguishable. Even worse: unchecked statements, gladly without citing the source. They quickly become “fake news”. If everyone can get involved according to their own taste, it often leads to disinformation.

All topics of human existence are dealt with on social networks. Here the phrase "The Internet forgets nothing" applies particularly. Unlike in the past at regulars' tables or in events, everyone can say “about God and the world” anonymously, uninhibitedly and comprehensively.

Bullying and hate messages such as false reports spread as effortlessly and safely for the anonymous "writers". Their “nickname camouflage cap” makes it almost impossible for those affected to defend themselves. On top of that, platform operators often lack interest or understanding and name the perpetrators.

A proven tradition of newspapers, magazines and magazines could be helpful here: Anonymous letters to the editor are not published. The German President of the Bundestag (German Parliament) Wolfgang Schaeuble and others therefore suggest that posts on social media may no longer be distributed anonymously, but only with real names. Perhaps one or the other "brisk feather" would then go into itself again before sending the evil message - and instead would rather press the "Remove" button.

With Best Regards

Walter Thieme
WTH Managing Director