The ambiguity of the Internet allows complete anonymity, providing the user with the ability to create false and misleading profiles and identities online, thus hiding their true identity.
· gender-swapping online
· with men playing women
· Adults posing as children etc
· lies or exaggerations of
· one’s physical appearance
· personality or characteristics
· or even slight exaggerations of a genuine characteristic such as denying being a smoker, drinker, etc.
One can have ‘as many electronic personas as one has time and energy to create’ (Donath, 1999).
CASE STUDY ON DECEPTION ON FACEBOOK
· The University of Texas at Austin suggests users express their true personality – not an embellished identity – over online social networks such as Facebook.
· The Texas researchers collected 236 profiles of college-aged users of Facebook in the United States and StudiVZ, the equivalent in Germany. The users filled out questionnaires about their personality and also about who they’d like to be. Strangers browsed and rated the online profiles, and the study authors compared the ratings with the users’ questionnaires.
· Networks such as Facebook are more “genuine mediums for social interactions than vehicles for self-promotion,”
· But whether honesty on Facebook comes naturally or is necessitated by your audience is up for debate “You don’t have full control over it. Other people can write things on your wall and tag you in unflattering photos. etc.” Stated Professor Hancock