Honesty in anonymous places when talking about personal things

How honest are you about yourself in an anonmous online environment?

  • Always truthful

  • Mostly truthful

  • Mostly lying

  • Always lying


Results are only viewable after voting.

Andy Kaufman

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Browsing anonymous imageboards for the better half of my life, I am very accostumed to the anonymous side of the net. Places where everyone can post everything without an account or name, mostly imageboards but also special forums or textboards.
My observations on these (sub)cultures have been going on for more than a decade and I am intrigued by many of the cultural dynamics such an environment develops.
One of the most interesting aspects of interactions in these types of places is the question of honesty and good faith.
Aside from breaking a site's rules, nothing you post about yourself can be held for or against you, oftentimes not even in the same thread, so posting anything is essentially free of consequences. Now there's two possible philosophies:

"I can and will tell even the most obvious of falsehoods because there are no consequences to what I say."
or
"I can and will tell even the harshest of truths because there are no consequences to what I say."

To be a little less abstract, consider a hypothetical thread in an anonymous place where anons share their body height or amount of sexual experience: Assuming your reality is not commonly considered to be ideal: Do you embellish your numbers because it's impossible to disprove or are you honest because your post can't be connected to your person and the thread will vanish into the void in the next few hours anyway?
It is basically impossible to tell if most posts you encounter where people share info about themselves are truthful or not, but most of us learned to assume most claims to be false until proven. However there is a margin in where it's really up to the person to believe a claim or not and here I believe that what we choose to believe or not might tell something about ourselves. When you browse an anonymous imageboard for example, you probably have an average or other kind of stereotype in mind and you will be distrustful to anyone who deviates from your gut feeling on how the average user's situation should be but what shaped that average in your head? The posts you read where you can't be sure if even a simple syllable is honest? Or do you project your own self into the average?
"I am nothing special, thus most here are probably like me"
Or do you believe yourself to be extraordinary and think
"I am special, most here are different from me"?

Aside from comedic effect, I tend towards being bloody honest with all my post because I don't see a reason to lie. I also assume most to be not too different from me because I always rationalized it like this "When me, an ordinary person posts here, why woudln't others like me post here too?"
Obvious doxing aside of course.
 
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FalseReality

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I find that I'm not amazing at telling if people are lying without more evidence or needing a chance to think about it. I presume it's because I dont feel the need to lie without a reason so I assume the same about others. On an internet thread there is little to gain from lying so it can catch me off guard
 
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Its like pro wrestling. Pretending to believe is part of the fun. But in reality everything on the internet is fake unless proven otherwise. Regarding my own posting, I don't go out of my way to lie but generally avoid topics that could yield personally identifiable information.
 
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ignika98

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In general, people only tend to lie or embellish the truth if they feel that doing so would benefit them somehow. Usually by making other people see them in a positive light. If you have anonymity, no one can see you therefore no one can judge you. So whether you lie or not, it doesn't matter. And telling the truth is always easier than lying.
 
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Altghost

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1. If everyone told lies, there would be no point in being on (whatever site). Because we'd all inherently understand that "this is a place where everyone lies". At that point it loses its purpose and becomes a shitpost.
2. If everyone is as harsh as possible and doesn't treat others with courtesy and basic respect, there's no point in communicating. Unless your goal is to engage in fights.

Our actions have a real effect on other people, and on the internet itself. If you want a site to be a pointless waste of time where everything you read is bullshit, then do your part today and be a spreader of bs. There are subs on >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk that have been completely ruined because people make up fake stories and pass them off in a context where the entire premise is to ask for opinions on personal experiences. Such as /r/amitheasshole.

And if you want to get a bit deeper-- everyone is reading all this bs every day, and it changes their perception of what's normal. And that really isn't good for anyone, when topics come up that matter (such as body height or amount of sexual experience!).
 

SolidStateSurvivor

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t5zyi4wn0j881.jpg

Typically I'm truthful on anonymous imageboards. I don't really disclose personal information however, but if I have a chance to share true info on something I'm autistically knowledgeable on then I'll take the chance.

Only time I bullshit on them is when I bait people with NPC talking points regarding current events, but mainly because I like hearing their counter arguments.

Funny enough I prefer to shit up and troll sites with usernames/upvotes systems like >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and YouTube. The reactions to trolling those are way more enjoyable to me since people tend to be more gullible there. Going onto YouTube livestreams and getting people to react to ridiculous bullshit comments in real time never gets old.
 
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Andy Kaufman

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View attachment 24683
Typically I'm truthful on anonymous imageboards. I don't really disclose personal information however, but if I have a chance to share true info on something I'm autistically knowledgeable on then I'll take the chance.

Only time I bullshit on them is when I bait people with NPC talking points regarding current events, but mainly because I like hearing their counter arguments.

Funny enough I prefer to shit up and troll sites with usernames/upvotes systems like >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and YouTube. The reactions to trolling those are way more enjoyable to me since people tend to be more gullible there. Going onto YouTube livestreams and getting people to react to ridiculous bullshit comments in real time never gets old.
All of this post is false btw.
 
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InsufferableCynic

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My rule is generally: I tell the truth unless doing so would give away some aspect of my identity, then I lie. But it depends on the site. On forums etc, I usually behave. On sites like >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk, I like to troll and talk as much shit as possible.


Only time I bullshit on them is when I bait people with NPC talking points regarding current events, but mainly because I like hearing their counter arguments.

Funny enough I prefer to shit up and troll sites with usernames/upvotes systems like >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and YouTube. The reactions to trolling those are way more enjoyable to me since people tend to be more gullible there. Going onto YouTube livestreams and getting people to react to ridiculous bullshit comments in real time never gets old.

Holy shit, I thought I was the only one who did this.

I guess it's more enjoyable when the trolling results in mindless meltdowns - normie insults, downvotes, and even getting blocked. Repeating a cringe talking point and getting a serious response is usually pretty boring because usually you just hear people repeat the same refutations you already know and believe. There's no drama in it.

My ultimate favourite trolling is going onto random comments by women (usually the most degenerate of ethots) on Facebook and just randomly replying with "See, this is why women should never have been given the vote". Always ends in hilarity.
 
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Iommi Fan 420

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Lying is bad for the soul. If I don't have a very good reason to lie I won't. I find it very cathartic to be honest about things on 4chan screaming in to the void. I just avoid >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk altogether to be honest, there is 9 times out of 10 literally nothing to gain by going on reddit.

You guys should check out the dating app plenty of fish if you want to troll. It has this weird livestream feature and it's very easy to get a rise out of the dregs of society and the men who simp for them. Fun to just join some bogan ladies stream and post sneed until I get screamed at.
 

Dinny

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My feeling has always been that total anonymity tends to make people more truthful re: their personal life and experiences - nothing to be gained from embellishment and lies in a place where your anecdotes can't be counted against you because there's nothing identifying you in the first place. Trips and avatars aside (obviously, because they're defying the spirit of anonyminity), imageboards are usually a pretty ego-free experience, for better and for worse.

I think people mostly lie/exaggerate when they're engaging somebody and trying to convince them of something. Embellishment happens during arguments.

To be a little less abstract, consider a hypothetical thread in an anonymous place where anons share their body height or amount of sexual experience: Assuming your reality is not commonly considered to be ideal: Do you embellish your numbers because it's impossible to disprove or are you honest because your post can't be connected to your person and the thread will vanish into the void in the next few hours anyway?
It is basically impossible to tell if most posts you encounter where people share info about themselves are truthful or not, but most of us learned to assume most claims to be false until proven. However there is a margin in where it's really up to the person to believe a claim or not and here I believe that what we choose to believe or not might tell something about ourselves.
100% agree with second statement. I never thought about this before, but being asked to examine it, I think I generally take things people say about their life/experiences/etc on the internet at face value because I can't see the merit in discussion otherwise... Besides just wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt, I think if I took a "presume people are usually lying and most things are false" mentality, I think I would just flat out not participate in such forums at all.

What's with the concentration of Australians here? Me too.
 

proto

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The fuck is a Newey
 
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h00

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In a world where it's dangerous to express your views honestly, a place that allows you to do so safely will have more honesty than not.
What's the point of lying? Clout in the void? Maybe an ephemeral reaction? Like ignika98 said, people only tend to lie or embellish the truth if they feel that doing so would benefit them somehow
When being honest, valuable discussion can be had, maybe discussion that provides insight.
I think most of us here feel most free, feel most open, when we're (pseudo)anonymous.

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth" - Oscar Wilde
 
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