Yesterday afternoon Christopher Poole dropped some pseudonymous knowledge on the audience at the Web 2.0 Summit. The founder of 4chan and Canvas revisited speeches on online identity he gave at TED or event SXSW earlier this year, but this one “hit harder” says ReadWriteWeb.
In fact, it hit Facebook and Google.
“Google and Facebook would have you believe that you’re a mirror,” he told the crowd, “but in fact, we’re more like diamonds.”
Online identity: Ur doin it wrong.
ReadWriteWeb has more on that multi-faceted diamond in the rough analogy:
“The portrait of identity online is often painted in black and white,” Poole said. “Who you are online is who you are offline.” That rosy view of identity is complemented with a similarly oversimplified view of anonymity. People think of anonymity as dark and chaotic, Poole said.
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.”
According to GigaOm, “The crux of the speech was that Facebook and Google+ were mishandling the way they allow users choose to identify themselves, and that users need a choice between the need to authenticate but also to make mistakes.”
“Facebook and Google do identity wrong, Twitter does it better,” Poole said. “But I want us to think about what the world would be like if we did it right.”
So would that mean one side of your super special diamond is a verified account, one side is just pimping out the links you want people to click on, and one side is exposing the conversations in your employer’s elevator?