Friday, February 19, 2010

Risk and the Internet

Thoughts on Chapter 11, by Zimmer and Hunter.

The anonymity hosted by cyberspace works wonders for many people, gender switching and nicknames are becoming common. Over cyberspace you can pretend to be anyone or anything you wanted to be. A person can make an alternative identity that is totally detached from reality. The opportunity to separate one's actions from the real world is one definitive way to feel less vulnerable and powerful. However, I also think that this anonymity provided by cyberspace is what also makes such technology to become an easy target for exploitation by people who wish to do harm. Because cyberspace is vast and an open landscape, many people tend to use these characteristics of such technology to take control of it. How many times have we heard of fraudulent crimes perpetrated in cyberspace? Many times, and such activity over cyberspace is growing incessantly every passing day. It cannot be denied that to be concealed, which is willfully given by cyberspace, while everyone else's identity is visible amplifies the perspective that anyone do not have to own their behavior over the cyberspace nor do they have to take responsibility with their actions. Also, when one communicate through cyberspace, through email or discussion group, most of the time your words are written. Chances are those written communication are stored somewhere, where a person has no control over them. There is a good chance that these communication can come back to haunt this person. The disadvantages of such technology should be taken into consideration as it could impact not only the communication process, but the many facets of the society as well. In the long run, humans are still the ones who will determine whether this technology would be advantageous or not.


  1. You make a really good point Mai. I take a lot of objections to cybersapce but nothing in it really sacres me because I am aware of the dangers involved. The one thing that does make me a little bit nervous is what you mentioned. No matter what gets sent on the internet, whether it is an instant message, a blog, or an e-mail, they are all stored on some external server that we can not get into or even know where it is. I'm so weary of putting anything really serious on the internet for just this reason. It's so easy for technicians and even just tech-savy individuals to find out what you have been wrting on the internet. True, the work you do want public is never really lost, but what about the things that I do want to go away? Are they never lost as well and how long will they be able to catch up to me? Excellent observation

  2. But what do you say to the point made in the chapter that our sense of risk is vastly out of proportion to the actual risk that exists?