#geowebchat transcript, 9 August 2011

@mappingmashups Hello everyone & welcome! Today’s topic: Is anonymity possible or desirable on the geoweb? Are “real name” policies inevitable? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 17:59:56 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Optional readings: http://bit.ly/o9NUPF http://bit.ly/p4j0Cz http://bit.ly/ndNqjp http://bit.ly/nlO5JX http://bit.ly/q5sDfS #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:01:32 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Perhaps we could call this the #nymwars and #londonriots edition of #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:02:31 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Google+ has sparked controversy by deleting accounts that do not use a “real name” (although their position is softening a bit) #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:03:27 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 Hi all, Ryan checking in here #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:03:49 +0000 2011

@geoplace #geowebchat You may be interested in a blog post by my officemate @blurky: Real name sites inadequate for free speech http://bit.ly/oZIgbT Tue Aug 09 18:03:49 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Big part of the argument is that real names make more civil dialogue if people have to stand by their statements. Fewer “trolls” #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:04:44 +0000 2011

@joeeckert Hi all, checking in to #geowebchat. @mappingmashups are we speaking about nyms in relation to the geoweb, or just in general? Tue Aug 09 18:05:11 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert Trying to prime the pump by thinking about nyms in general. But certainly interested in geo aspects. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:08:18 +0000 2011

@counti8 And now my twitter stream comes to life for #geowebchat ; topic is real names and the geoweb! My thoughts last wk: http://bit.ly/n3pCZb Tue Aug 09 18:08:44 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @geoplace nice blog post – some good points in there. Geospatial anonymity is a tough nut to crack though #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:09:14 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups i think there’s some interesting implications when geo is added – privacy argument becomes more important #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:10:19 +0000 2011

@PlaceSpeak Checking out #geowebchat. Topic: Is anonymity possible or desirable on the geoweb? Are “real name” policies inevitable? Tue Aug 09 18:10:26 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @mappingmashups @joeeckert i think it’s important to consider (case-by-case?) the terms on which location+nym is required #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:10:28 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups and at the same time, geo attracts the tech savvy, who already have norms in mind regarding nyms on the net #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:11:10 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @geoplace @blurky Good link re inadequacy of real names. A lot hinges on supposed offline/online divide. Geoweb relevant there. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:11:17 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 e.g., locational data + identifying info being extracted without user’s knowledge or with the ability to opt-out #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:11:22 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups @joeeckert how to reconcile geo-visibility with the desire for web anonymity. Conflicting goals? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:11:49 +0000 2011

@counti8 #geowebchat fwiw I realize my thinking on this topic is still somewhat muddy due to fuzziness on “privacy” and “anonymity”…all in context. Tue Aug 09 18:12:05 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 lol, sorry for my tweets being 30 seconds behind everyone else’s :) #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:12:46 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Me too. Online/offline are bifurcating a bit. RT @burnsr77: lol, sorry for my tweets being 30 seconds behind everyone else’s :) #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:13:49 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson lots of power in rejecting nym. Can 100 visible people create more change than 1,000 nym people? #geowebchat Thinking of civ rights protests Tue Aug 09 18:14:17 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @geoplace loved @blurkly’s piece, saw it on danah’s g+. context specificity is the reason i use handles. thanks! #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:14:17 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @counti8 Good point re nuances between privacy/anonymity. And I’ve been sloppy using “anon” when sometimes I mean psuedonymity. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:15:51 +0000 2011

@bricker Does a nym matter if the data produced is consistant quality? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:16:16 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Readjusting my location in hertzian space, gimme a moment. Keep chatting! #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:18:02 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @peterajohnson interesting. and would it make a difference if they could become “visible” at a moment of their own choosing? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:19:09 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups MT @burnsr77: @peterajohnson and would it make a difference if they could become “visible” at a moment of their own choosing? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:19:43 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 like at a rally or petition?Problem with web is that there is a record. Nym isn’t the problem, 24/7 record keeping is #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:19:49 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker I don’t think so. I met a ton of people going by their handles at SotM. Nym consistency might be important tho #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:21:03 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @bricker It probably shouldn’t, but it will. Data may be of good quality, but represent certain agendas. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:21:35 +0000 2011

@chronomex @bricker IMO, nyms/handles/legal names are equally valid if used consistently. But then, I grew up using a handle online. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:23:45 +0000 2011

@counti8 One word I don’t hear a lot in nym discussion so far is reputation & the difficulties of managing it, in all its pos/neg senses. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:24:17 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert nym consistency: important point. A nym can build reputation, anonym can’t. Often w/ realnames that’s what we value. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:24:48 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @chronomex @bricker except legal names have…umm…legal aspects/responsibilities attached to them. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:25:10 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert Also with nym consistency, is 1:1 rel btwn nym and “human” req’d/enforced in a given context? Must avoid sockpuppets. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:25:59 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson how does that play out in the generation of geo content? not sure there are legal responsibilities there? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:29:42 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson @chronomex @bricker But persistent nyms in context of #osm or @creativecommons also have legal aspects. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:30:02 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups I’m blasé because I’ve made use of sockpuppets to launch projects. They have use. Do they here though? geospec #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:31:03 +0000 2011

@jeremycrampton Is anonymity politically necessary for a democracy? Eg WikiLeaks @mappingmashups #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:31:23 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert @peterajohnson Well, in planning consultation, legal names are attached to ownership of parcels in real world… #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:31:24 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert if I upload licensed gov. data to geocommons, I break copyright. Real name = much easier to track down #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:31:30 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups can you give us an example? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:31:40 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert @peterajohnson …so a real name links to a legal right to have an opinion. Here @placespeak’s project is relevant. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:31:58 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups @joeeckert real ID indicates an investment in the process from a jurisdictional POV. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:33:48 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups ah, but the legality of property has nothing to do with OSM/CC…they’re not authoritative. so still unsure? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:33:55 +0000 2011

@counti8 @mappingmashups But I think there are also legally-binding alternatives to public deputation in conveying opinions IIRC? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:34:13 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups @joeeckert and that ownership carries more weight with planning staff that anon. posts. #geowebchat > change potential w/ID Tue Aug 09 18:34:50 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson if the gov’t wanted, couldn’t they just do an IP trace via the ISP? name alone wouldn’t be enough evidence. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:35:00 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert I’m not a planner so should be careful… but people who own land in a nbhd have right to notification by city… #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:35:05 +0000 2011

@counti8 @mappingmashups @joeeckert @peterajohnson I lack knowledge of @placespeak – nyms publicly shown or avail only to dec-mkrs? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:35:51 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert – they need a warrant to do that. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:36:33 +0000 2011

@bricker #geowebchat Must bring up pride. Goodchild 2007 claims this is one of the top reasons people contribute VGI. Pride comes with a real name? Tue Aug 09 18:36:35 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson “@jeremycrampton: Is anonymity politically necessary for a democracy? Eg WikiLeaks @mappingmashups #geowebchat” probably helps! Tue Aug 09 18:37:32 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @joeeckert Oh, I see Joe, I wasn’t trying to link OSM/CC to ownership of property offline. Two separate examples, 2 subthreads. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:37:50 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @bricker I disagree. I’ve put too many initials into arcades, spent too much time gaming by nym. Pride = recognition. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:37:59 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups RT @counti8: Real-life trolls use their real names too, even in FB. Nym policies do not discriminate on quality of contrib. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:38:35 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @bricker good point – pride/respect in community probably matters, which would be tied to name used in community. So depends. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:38:49 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @mappingmashups ain’t twitter grand? ;) #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:38:55 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups MT @counti8 just to complicate matters, many renters don’t rcv notification re: changes b/c staff often contact landlords. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:39:07 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @counti8 @mappingmashups @joeeckert @placespeak depends on context. Big dif between official consultation/engagement and Twitter #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:39:43 +0000 2011

@counti8 Willingness to take ‘pride’ using a real name is a decision that may change over time. An upfront policy assumes it is static. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:40:39 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups @counti8 but how would staff have contact info for renters? Need to go door to door? Not very efficient. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:41:04 +0000 2011

@counti8 @peterajohnson afaik that is, in fact, the value prop of @placespeak or n-hood based SNS like @kinjoe – augment city infos #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:42:30 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson @jeremycrampton Maybe anonymity isn’t needed for democracy per se, but crucial to prevent tyranny of majority. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:42:33 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @counti8 @peterajohnson Yeah, the idea is that somebody has to make that link between “real person” and their online id / nym(s) #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:44:18 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups @jeremycrampton Anonymity is required for democracy – imagine if there was no blind voting? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:44:33 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @counti8 @peterajohnson …but, whoever is the provider of this online/offline identity layer has immense power. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:44:59 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson “@jeremycrampton: OK refining Q: is citizen anonymity essential (and transparency essential of those in power)? ”#geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:45:38 +0000 2011

@PlaceSpeak @mappingmashups @counti8 We will allow for notification of any person attached with an address, owner or renter #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:45:48 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @peterajohnson “imagine if there was no blind voting?” but imagine if you could vote as often as you wish. Some id verif exists. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:46:43 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @jeremycrampton More anonymity would help to decouple influence peddling. Imagine if every citizen request to gov was anon? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:46:45 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @jeremycrampton More anonymity would help to decouple influence peddling. Imagine if every citizen request to gov was anon? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:46:45 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups hah, right. Good one! #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:47:10 +0000 2011

@PlaceSpeak @peterajohnson @mappingmashups @jeremycrampton Voting is anonymous, but verified. You still need real name/address to register #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:48:31 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 sorry if way off-topic. what would a real-name policy do to osm? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:49:17 +0000 2011

@jeremycrampton At moment there are “information asymmetries” ie gov knows more about citizens than vice versa @peterajohnson @mappingmashups #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:49:58 +0000 2011

@counti8 @peterajohnson now we tread on anon/privacy definitions :) how do you mean – anon to the public? anon to the central authority? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:50:05 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson Moving away from voting – does +ID of contributors help VGI be taken more seriously? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:50:14 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @burnsr77 Not sure what realnames would do to osm, but interesting that osm banned anon in favor of nyms. Wikipedia hasn’t. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:51:49 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 good Q. Would biggest contributors still contribute? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:52:14 +0000 2011

@aga_l sorry to pipe in late on this conversation (just got out of teaching), but there is a whole gender politics to anonymity #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:52:56 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @jeremycrampton And when gov does expose info, citizens aren’t equal in ability to take advantage/act on it. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:53:11 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups @burnsr77 Is simple registration (with ability to suspend and block) enough to dampen trolls? #geowebchat I think it is. Tue Aug 09 18:53:47 +0000 2011

@aga_l and reasons why women, in particular, choose to remain anonymous online – or at least want to reserve the option of doing so #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:53:56 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @peterajohnson @burnsr77 my experience was that many of the “top contributors” knew the name associated with the nym #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:53:59 +0000 2011

@counti8 @aga_l glad you brought this up! I’m very interested in these aspects but know very little about it myself #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:54:47 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups @jeremycrampton which is itself a product of government priorities in disclosure #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:54:51 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @jeremycrampton that asymmetry also exists along the corporate/government dichotomy as well — in favor of corp #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:54:55 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Yes, and class, race… MT @aga_l: sorry to pipe in late on this conversation, but there is a whole gender politics to anonymity #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:55:09 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @aga_l Don’t mean that dismissively… #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:55:45 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @aga_l i think this is spot on! i also wonder if women’s participation in geoUGC is affected by similar processes #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:56:09 +0000 2011

@counti8 having flashbacks to tech-related online sexism now that we’re talking gender and name policies #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:57:14 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @aga_l @joeeckert @mappingmashups re:gender, race, class, OSM nyms — very good points there #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:58:01 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @aga_l + and – of anon. change in each context (individual and online/offline situation). Flexibility in ID is best? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:58:21 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 anyone have geoUGC data parsed by these characteristics? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:59:02 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 e.g., who contributes what? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:59:21 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups @counti8, how do these diffs play out in offline planning consultations? Is it something about the net, or public fora in gen.? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:59:26 +0000 2011

@counti8 ooh, and can’t forget “hollaback” – akin to riots wrt socially accepted/sanctioned “outing” http://ow.ly/5Z41r #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 18:59:28 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @aga_l this assumes that user can control the way their ID is expressed. Google (+ others) taking that away, but other options? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:00:05 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Sadly, I have to run, but please keep chatting! Next week I leave you in the capable hands of @peterajohnson to moderate. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:00:14 +0000 2011

@joeeckert @burnsr77 not sure that demographics are part of the metadata. ;) starting to think that they might benefit from that….#geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:00:20 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 “Nope, because they were anonymous” lol #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:00:26 +0000 2011

@mappingmashups Thanks everyone, this has been great! #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:00:52 +0000 2011

@aga_l might #google+ mandate that you can’t be anonymous be turning women away from signing up, for example? http://t.co/ponEKIA #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:00:55 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @burnsr77 if contributors are anon, how could you do that? If contributions aren’t verified, how could you be sure? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:01:00 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 thanks @mappingmashups!! #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:01:20 +0000 2011

@michalisavraam @burnsr77 Check the Google Map Maker Pulse page. Real-time data on who edits (doesn’t specify gender shows user name) #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:01:21 +0000 2011

@counti8 @mappingmashups imo particpt’n in public engmnt req’s amt of generalized trust/faith in process, which is unevenly distributed #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:02:06 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @mappingmashups Thanks Alan! err….I mean “Mapping Mashups” or whatever you want to be called. ;) #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:02:30 +0000 2011

@joeeckert thanks, @mappingmashups! see y’all next week. @peterajohnson do we have a topic? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:03:51 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson @joeeckert @mappingmashups No topic as of yet – I’m open to anything if there are suggestions (privacy could see a round 2?). #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:05:11 +0000 2011

@counti8 @aga_l To give credit where it’s due, G+ launched requiring gender but did rescind on it after complaints… #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:05:18 +0000 2011

@peterajohnson Thanks everyone, I need to run too. But look forwards to next week. Nice to see some new Tweeters – privacy hit a good spot. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:07:57 +0000 2011

@jeremycrampton Eye-opening experience I had.. I entered a female sounding handle in public forum.. was immediately and crudely hit on @aga_l #geowebchat Tue, 09 Aug 2011 19:09:03 +0000

@counti8 @jeremycrampton Ironically you’re reminding me that I pretty much avoid online public fora like the plague. #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:11:25 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 @jeremycrampton not too surprising, unforch! wonder how this has influence in geoweb apps? #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:12:22 +0000 2011

@burnsr77 also heading out. nice chat, see ya next time! #geowebchat Tue Aug 09 19:12:48 +0000 2011

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