This recent crime is just one reason anonymity is becoming one of the biggest issues in online social networks.
A Nebraskan man created a fake facebook account to lure his recent ex-girlfriend to a residence, and then proceeded to shoot her four times. On the rebound, the woman started connecting with a friend on facebook and they decided to meet. Little did she know, it was not a new friend waiting at the residence.
This definitely makes me think of who I’m actually talking to and connecting with on facebook, or any social network for that matter. Anyone can create an account under any name and basically dupe the world. I feel that with anonymity, a lot of responsibility is placed on the user. Sites can only do so much to monitor fake accounts being created and the social interaction people engage in with these accounts.
Networking sites have evolved into more than just an online social world, into a reality world that has a great potential to evolve in the real world. I feel there is more of a norm when meeting people on-line to actually meet that person off-line. Users take their own risks when meeting someone. Because facebook and certain social sites open up this risk to users, how accountable are they for the results, like a near murder account? Should they be required to educate users more on the risks that come with meeting someone online, and how to better decipher the legitimacy of the person on the other end?
Will the issue of anonymity escalate in the future into something that is an unstoppable force online that does more damage than good? Any ideas of how to stop it from happening?