Soundbite: Hypothes.is explores pseudonimity, personas and reputation
People with enough privileges don’t have to worry about their public identities and reputations, but marginalized or vulnerable people around the world face real danger for speaking out online. They still need the ability to participate fully. That’s why a truly Web-wide reputation system cannot be subject to any company’s “real names policy.”
We learned in the workshop that the best kind of online identity is one that is pseudonymous but expensive.
Paul Resnick proposed the idea of “expensive pseudonyms” via an identity-issuing authority that could release “once-in-a-lifetime” pseudonyms and protect the real identity of individuals while making it costly for them to forge multiple identities. Kaliya Hamlin, on the other hand, stressed the importance of “Limited Liability Personas” to allow users to keep multiple personas (and their attached reputation values) in different contexts, and allow them to dump a single persona if for any reason it got screwed up (without affecting the reputation of other personas).