New research on Cyberspace behaviour

According to last Thursday's Guardian (Technology) new research that looks at anonymity and bloggers throws up some interesting contradictions.

For instance, it is often claimed that if only people would use their "real" names when commenting on blogs and sites, everything would be sweetness and light.

The study suggests bloggers who were familiar with each other took more liberties on screen, not fewer.

In some cases, where names were clearly available, abuse flowed.

A further piece of research noted in the article went on to claim that certain types of individual are attracted to the net precisely because it allows them to behave in a way they are less likely to offline.

So, generally speaking, it seems, that the possibility of anonymity in the blogosphere may reduce levels of abuse.

For more details of the article, details of the research authors, and links to the research itself see Removing anonymity won't stop the online flame wars by Laura Marcus.

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