Home > Microblogging, Social networks, Web Communication > Chased by (virtual) strangers

Chased by (virtual) strangers

Humans have been paranoic about being chased by a stranger for a while. But it got worse since the internet was invented (you don’t even have to be “physically” chased!). And what is even worse, nowadays, there is no need to be involved in any kind of secret organization or to belong to the upper echelons of society to be pursuing someone. Unfortunately, this paranoic ideas go together with some other problems such as the reputation or the image others get from us in the net.

This interesting topics have of course been investigated and analyzed by several experts whose opinion and articles will be taken into account so as to get a whole vision about it.

We will start by quoting a phrase written by Dave Birch:

Some day, not so far out in the future, there will be a parallel web that you can only enter by signing up with some form of id, a credit card for example, a verified by Visa web.”

This shows us how incredibly weak can our digital identy be, and, that obviously, that this whole digital world we have created is starting to fracture because of the lack of confidence. Even though, and as Mr. Birch says, we do not have to panic before time.

We need to develop a proper policy toward privacy and then use that policy to set strategies for commerce, crime and chat. Let’s not put the cart before the horse no matter how great the panic.” But, the main question is: where is the border between what is legal and ethically inappropriate? Time will say.

Our second point of discussion will be a list of ways to get rid of what can makes us have a bad reputation on the web. Meghan Beresford explains us how difficult and frustrating this can be. First of all, and, in Mrs. Beresford’s words, we should protect our most personal and drammatic tweets so that we are the ones who decide who reads them (relatives, friends…). Another important point in Meghan Beresford’s list is that:

“Your best bet is to make sure that there’s lots of good information about you on the internet.”

This will make strangers get a good (or at least, better) opinion about us. For example, if we only have three search results for our name, and two of the make us look like a psycho, whoever sees that will have a bad impresion about us. These are some of Mrs. Beresford’s most important advices so that we can have a good reputation among the net.

Our last  relevant topic would be the propper choice of accepting friends on social networks, and the difference between getting to know people in social networks like Facebook and in microbloggs like Twitter.

In the first case, we ought to choose our “friends”  more carefully than in the second one, because, among other reasons, we are way more exposed, and there is a lot of personal information shared. This information, as we have began explaining before, could turn against us by both, generating a bad reputation or stealing information. And, as Antony Mayfield says, we must choose our Facebook friends really carefully so as to protect our privacy, and not having a bad reputation on the net.


  1. Meghan Beresford (13,11,2009). Bad reputation: Doing damage control on your internet profile. In Tech Coguette. Retrieved November 17, 2011 from http://techcoquette.com/2009/11/bad-reputation-doing-damage-control-on-your-internet-profile/
  2. Meghan Beresford (4,11,2009). Mirror, Mirror. What does Google tell people about you? In Tech Coguette. Retrieved November 17, 2011 from http://techcoquette.com/2009/11/mirror-mirror-what-does-google-tell-people-about-you/
  3. Dave Birch (29,9,2011). Let’s not panic about online identity. In Media. Retrieved November 17, 2011 from http://www.chyp.com/media/blog-entry/lets-not-panic-about-online-identity
  4. Juan Freire (2009). La forja de una identidad digital. In red.es. Retrieved November 19 from http://www.red.es/reportajes/articles/id/3545/forja-una-identidad-digital-.html

  1. December 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Esti, I find your post completely interesting! I think it’s pretty enthralling, and I think you really get to the point when talking about the digital image we have on the web. Really nice. Really liked it!

  2. December 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I think you are completely right when talking about choosing correctly our “friends” on the net. I find impossible that a normal person has 600 “friends”. Moreover, why do we want so many “friends” on the net? Is it to get some kind of social reputation?

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