Panel Discussion: Anonymity and the Internet

A session at SkepTech

Saturday 6th April, 2013

3:00pm to 3:50pm (CST)

This panel will explore the conflict between online anonymity and harassment. In a world where absolute freedom is practically possible, what shall be permitted? Anonymity is a double-sided coin; it can be a great generator of content, activism, and community, but also provides a safe space for blatant racism, sexism, homophobia, hate speech, and death threats. Is moderating any more “self-policing” than the violent comments policing who creates content? How far should self-policing go—should we go troll hunting into meatspace, causing commenters to face serious, “real life” repercussions? How far is too far, or not far enough?

Moderated by Chana Messinger

About the speakers

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Tim Farley

Research Fellow for JREF; Creator of whatstheharm.net

Tim Farley is the creator of the website What’s The Harm?, a resource where stories are documented and categorized about the damage done when people fail to use critical thinking skills. Farley was also instrumental in the apprehension of spammer “David Mabus“. He is a Research Fellow with the James Randi Educational Foundation. Additionally, he blogs at http://skeptools.com.

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Chana Messinger

3rd year college student. Liberal, political, scientific, mathematical, rational, excitable. bio from Twitter

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Kate Donovan

Sarcasm, derpfaces, & real good trouble. Anarch@fem. Blogs about mental health on FtB. VNC of @SecularStudents for Military Academies. Opinions are my own. bio from Twitter

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Zach Weiner

Creator of the web comic "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal"

Zach Weinersmith is the author and illustrator of the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, two time winner of the Outstanding Single Panel Comic award. Weinersmith has launched a side project linked with SMBC called SMBC-Theater, featuring skits and short videos put up on YouTube.

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Beth Ann Erickson

Beth Ann Erickson is a Freelance Writer from Central Minnesota. bio from Twitter

Next session in Room A

4pm Putting the Fun Back in Infrastructure by Maggie Koerth-Baker

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Time 3:00pm3:50pm CST

Date Sat 6th April 2013

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Books by speaker

  • Augie and the Green Knight
  • 2^7 Nerd Disses
  • Trial of the Clone

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