Some key research:
‘People who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends’.
(La Nausée/ Nausea, 1938) – identity is socially constructed. Our sense of our self comes to us reflected by the people around us. The evidence on the constructive nature of identity, and the mirror metaphor of the reflection back to ourselves is mediated by society, by the people around us. We understand ourselves in context of society in which we live.
Closing down citizen journalism website Stomp may not solve the inherent issues in the social media era, as similar platforms will sprout up to take its place (“MDA responds to anti-Stomp petition”; last Thursday).
Also, the gripe with Stomp is that it promotes “voyeur vigilantism”, where people, through a distorted sense of self-righteousness, indiscriminately post photos of others in compromising situations. Their “victims” lose their privacy and become the subject of heated discussions.
Additionally, the anonymous nature of such sites puts some netizens on guard. While some sites are upfront about the people running them, others are not.
Key words: anonymity, self-righteousness, vouyeuristic.