From Sock Puppets to the First Ammendment to the Constitution

2290 WordsFeb 25, 20189 Pages
Recommendations Using and managing a sockpuppet is an endeavor that necessitates vigilance, training, and proficiency. The role of the sockpuppet is still developing across the Internet, and it is important to recognize the historical significance of pseudonyms and anonymous speech. Additionally, it is critical to remember the unique, primarily autonomous nature of online communities, and the negative impact that mandated identification could have on free speech. The value of anonymity found in the use of a sockpuppet is profoundly connected to the establishment of the United States of America. Although John Hancock and several others signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with their real names, pseudonyms forged the journey to the freedoms outlined in those documents. These early examples of sockpuppets disseminated publications which united colonizers to fight for independence. The question of anonymity was not as important as working together to fight persecution. The Silence Dogood letters, Common Sense, The Federalist Papers, and other writings exemplify an author's purpose for anonymity. This initial use of sockpuppets during the American Revolution carved a precedent for the importance of anonymity and pseudonymity in the United States, and, therefore, led to the First Amendment of the Constitution. As the world continues to struggle with the pressure to challenge authority anonymously, sockpuppets in online communities present a new playing

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