identity loss

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identity loss on the web is when someone loses their account(s), domains, and/or usernames for any reason, and one of the notions why it's better to focus on a presence where you are in control while treating social media only as an ephemeral distribution mechanism.


  • 2011 MailRight: How safe is your Twitter name? (archived) Here's our full interview with Morna Simpson of Girl Geek Scotland about her experiences having her Twitter name suddenly taken away from her.
  • 2018-10-15 Chris Gilliard: Friction-Free Racism Facebook's use of "ethnic affinity" as a proxy for race is a prime example. The platform's interface does not offer users a way to self-identify according to race, but advertisers can nonetheless target people based on Facebook's ascription of an "affinity" along racial lines. In other words. race is deployed as an externally assigned category for purposes of commercial exploitation and social control, not part of self-generated identity for reasons of personal expression. The ability to define one's self and tell one's own stories is central to being human and how one relates to others; platforms' ascribing identity through data undermines both.
  • 2021-12-13 Maddison Connaughton: Her Instagram Handle Was 'Metaverse.' Last Month, It Vanished. (archived) Five days after Facebook changed its name to Meta, an Australian artist found herself blocked, with seemingly no recourse, from an account documenting nearly a decade of her life and work.[…]In 2012, she had started an Instagram account with the handle @metaverse…[…]Early that [Nov 2] morning, when she tried to log in to Instagram, she found that the account had been disabled. A message on the screen read: "Your account has been blocked for pretending to be someone else."[…]On Dec. 2, a month after Ms. Baumann first appealed to Instagram to restore her account, The New York Times contacted Meta to ask why it had been shut down. An Instagram spokesman said that the account had been "incorrectly removed for impersonation" and would be restored. "We’re sorry this error occurred," he wrote.Two days later, the account was back online. Emphasis added. Restoring the account apparently required getting mainstream press to ask about it directly.

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