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This may not be a good thing. Always remember that social media is used by industry as a means of carrying out background checks. What's this? One of our job applicants has a poor mental health rating? Let's pick the other one instead.

Anonymity for free expression is the only solution to prevent any of these social 'big data' problems. Tieing real ID to human data is not just bad for people. It is bad for business. Ad tech relies on a user base that doesn't filter themselves or find means to circumvent tracking.

De-anonymization is relatively easy. The only real solution is for users to not use online services. It's sad, but it's just how it is now.

This is why ephemeral identities and vanishing content shines; for example, on 4chan your post is only online for a few weeks maximum (as it's stored in a board's particular archive after it gets pushed off the end of the board). Only 4chan knows what your IP is. Archive websites collect posts from 4chan but can't see your IP.

So eventually, if you make a post with the name "Anonymous" on 4chan, the only record of your post will be on an archive website where they don't have your IP (so they can't semi-uniquely identify you) and your name is "Anonymous". That's virtually untraceable except with prior knowledge of posting habits (time of day and what board) and text analysis (which has shown to be quite effective in revealing authors behind pseudonyms).

When someone only has the content of your post, where you posted it, and at what time (the minimum amount of information 4chan lets you submit), we can express ourselves but quite effectively avoid employer snooping or otherwise.

...which is the right of the employer. They are free to discriminate based on social media contents, shirt color, or any other non-protected criteria they choose.

Too many misspellings or rageful comments on social media would be a clear NO HIRE signal for me.

Why shouldn't they be?

Depression is a disability and you're not allowed to discriminate people because they're depressed.



I thought you are allowed to discriminate based on disability, if it impedes work function.

Any depression that gets to the level of being qualified as a disability seems severe enough to impede work.

IIRC, you are allowed to discriminate if it impedes your ability to work. But you are required to provide them a chance (aka equal opportunity).

What about the knock-on effects of everyone doing that: a society where it's common knowledge that the 'wrong kind' of public speech can make you unemployable?

Isn't that kind of totalitarian?

>a society where it's common knowledge that the 'wrong kind' of public speech can make you unemployable?

This has always existed, and you're more okay with it than you think you are: would you hire someone who says "nigger" in public?

The above is a prime example of the 'wrong kind' of public speech that makes you unemployable, as it should. Free speech doesn't mean "speech without consequence".

> would you hire someone who says "nigger" in public?

Yes. Obama said it in public, after all.


In the US the n-word is part of common speech, especially for young blacks. If you refused to hire anyone who said it in public, that would be a form of racist discrimination against black people.

This all relates to the racial double standard over permissible speech, of course.

> Free speech doesn't mean "speech without consequence".

In that case it isn't really free speech, any more than you've got free speech if I'm holding a gun to your head and threatening to shoot you if you say something I disagree with.

I just said "nigger" technically, but as you well know, there's a difference between using the word in the first-degree and referring to the word to make a point about its semantics or cultural context. "Fuck you, nigger" is not the same as "The word 'nigger' has a lot of baggage", and that is still not the same as "that's my nigga over there". You know this, and I know that you know this.

Further, if you don't understand that "free speech" refers to governmental policy rather than social norms, and if you don't understand that free speech comes with limitations (shouting "fire" in a crowded place, blah blah blah), then there is no hope of a thoughtful discussion.

You are confusing free speech with the right to free speech. The latter, in the US, is a Constitutionally guaranteed right. The former is a description of your state of freedom, and the law saying you have the right to free speech does not necessarily mean that you actually have it. The government is not the only entity that has an effect on free speech.

Not all rights that you have on paper are enforced. A right to life is not the same as being alive. A right to free speech is not the same as actually having free speech. A society where saying unpopular things will get you attacked by a mob, instantly fired with loss of healthcare/housing, etc does not have free speech, even if the letter of the law says this right exists.

> shouting "fire" in a crowded place, blah blah blah

I've said this on the internet many, many times: That quote comes from a USSC case where the right to protest against the draft in the First World War was taken away, it was not upheld, and frankly, it's fascist.


I think we're already there - stand on a corner of your street and yell ALL BUSINESS IS EVIL!! and you're pretty much unemployable in nearby businesses. Do it publicly and under your own name on the internet and you're unemployable globally by businesses who bother to check. And why would they hire you? You consider them evil after all.

But how is this fair or moral?

If someone lived in the USSR, wouldn't it be right for them to protest against communism, even if they had to participate in the communist system to survive?

Would you tell them they should starve if they were against communism?

If you think all businesses are bad and go work in a grocery store and complain about "The Man" to customers, then you'll be fired. It seems reasonable to not bother with them in the first place. A better "communism" analogy would be: Someone who works for the USSR but protests communism. It's not good for business if your own employees are bad mouthing your company.

It isn't totalitarian.

There are countries where there may not be legally enforced death penalties for Islamic blasphemy, but defaming the prophet Muhammed will surely get you murdered by an enraged mob. I don't think this distinction makes a lot of difference to the blasphemers.

A society so averse to dissenting speech that it bears comparison with totalitarianism doesn't have to be state-enforced. The internet seems to do a good job of amplifying outrage and enabling witch hunts.

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