Online Communities Essay

1061 Words5 Pages
Communities are all about groups of individuals who share something in common. This makes going on the internet seem like an odd way to find more communities, form new ones, or strengthen pre-existing ones. The internet however is full of communities. Communities can be based upon religion, location, ethnicity, an interest, or a personal matter. The internet itself is “a global distributed data communications network” (Kirmayer, Raikhel, & Rahimi, 2013, p. 166). This is what makes the internet so full of communities because communication is the key to putting multiple individuals with commonalities into communication, which is the basis of any community. Online communities differ from communities that exists off the web in a couple of…show more content…
This distinction of authority aids in creating a hierarchy within a community. With online communities, every member is often able to contribute equally, allowing their voice to be heard. This gives the impression that every individual is an authority figure on a subject due to their ability to be equally heard. (Cellary, 2008, p. 107) For example to post a video about cats on Youtube, it is equally as easy for one person as it is the next to post a video. They simply must own a camera, have a Youtube account, be willing to record something about cats, and post it on Youtube (How to upload videos, n.d.). A third and huge difference between the two types of community is that online communities offer up the chance to be anonymous. Online one can identify with the use of almost any name or image. The name doesn’t have to be a real one, and there’s not really any way for one to prove the image is truly theirs or of themselves (Cellary, 2008, p. 107).

However, this ability for anonymity within an online community doesn’t necessarily mean privacy. The study Internet social network communities: Risk taking, trust, and privacy concerns by Fogel and Nehmad (2008) talks about how much university students are willing to share on social media. Although the study does strictly look at one set of university students, it gives an example of how much individuals are willing to share personal information such as pictures of oneself, ones’ email address, instant messenger address,
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