Anonymity

Aug 2018 | 64pp

Paperback
9781783303700
Price: £27.95
CILIP members price: £22.35

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Anonymity

Alison Macrina and Talya Cooper

In the virtual realm, anonymity means that such bedrock values of librarianship as privacy, free speech, and intellectual freedom coexist uneasily with the proliferation of fake news, sexist and racist sentiments, and repugnant ideologies. As trusted guardians of knowledge, libraries and librarians can fill a growing need for reputable information and open dialogue.

Macrina, founder and director of the Library Freedom Project and a core contributor to the Tor Project, along with co-author Cooper of The Intercept, discuss apps (Whisper, Secret) and forums (Reddit) that promote anonymity as a central feature, even as so-called true anonymity remains elusive because of pervasive user data tracking. They also examine how anonymous content has become valuable fodder for both news organizations and clickbait websites.

Will the rise of anonymity and the vulnerabilities it exposes, especially for governments and businesses, lead to a movement against it? Or have our society and its technology passed the point of no return? Bringing issues and viewpoints from outside the profession into the conversation, this book will encourage libraries to think about anonymity and what it means for the future of our institutions.

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