Anarchist dating service

(also called serial pseudonymity), in which abusive users continuously discard their old identities and acquire new ones in order to escape the consequences of their behavior: "On the Internet, nobody knows that yesterday you were a dog, and therefore should be in the doghouse today." Users of Internet communities who have been banned only to return with new identities are called sock puppets.

The social cost of cheaply discarded pseudonyms is that experienced users lose confidence in new users, System operators may need to remind experienced users that most newcomers are well-intentioned (see, for example, Wikipedia's policy about biting newcomers).

A pseudonymous user who has acquired a favorable reputation gains the trust of other users.

For example, true anonymous remailer enables Internet users to establish unlinkable pseudonyms; those that employ non-public pseudonyms (such as the now-defunct Penet remailer) are called pseudonymous remailers.For example, in 2000, a Welsh teenager obtained information about more than 26,000 credit card accounts, including that of Bill Gates.Sites that offer pseudonymity are also vulnerable to confidentiality breaches.In a study of a Web dating service and a pseudonymous remailer, University of Cambridge researchers discovered that the systems used by these Web sites to protect user data could be easily compromised, even if the pseudonymous channel is protected by strong encryption.Typically, the protected pseudonymous channel exists within a broader framework in which multiple vulnerabilities exist.

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A more modern example is all of The Federalist Papers, which were signed by Publius, a pseudonym representing the trio of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.

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