From usernames to profiles: the development of pseudonymity in Internet communication

  title={From usernames to profiles: the development of pseudonymity in Internet communication},
  author={Emily van der Nagel},
  journal={Internet Histories},
  pages={312 - 331}
ABSTRACT This article traces the development of Internet communication by examining online names and pseudonyms. I argue that choosing a username, as the first interaction a person has with a platform, sets the tone for how communication and content flows through platforms. By focusing on pseudonymity as an enduring, if contested, affordance of online communication, I consider the sociocultural conventions of naming in early computer terminals and operating systems, email, bulletin boards… 

Undisciplined Performativity: A Sociological Approach to Anonymity

Anonymous social media platforms comprise sprawling publics where users, untethered from their legal identity, interact with other anonymous users to share and read user-generated content. The

Naming the Ghost: Self-Naming, Pseudonyms, and Identities of Phantoms on Zimbabwean Twitter

In Zimbabwean online spaces, especially Twitter, use of phantom names is widespread. It is arguable that this is partially a result of the country’s repressive political environment. It is the names

“How a Facebook Update Can Cost You Your Job”: News Coverage of Employment Terminations Following Social Media Disclosures, From Racist Cops to Queer Teachers

Social media posts and profiles have become a key part of hiring and firing processes, producing a “hidden curriculum of surveillance.” When hiring, employers routinely engage in “cybervetting” job

(Dis)connections in anonymous communication theory: exploring conceptualizations of anonymity in communication research

ABSTRACT Anonymity has sparked the interests of scholars studying a broad and diverse range of communication phenomena. The collective body of research that has accumulated, however, remains

Young Women’s Mental Illness and (In-)visible Social Media Practices of Control and Emotional Recognition

What “counts” as a mental illness–related image matters. Most research attention has focused on distressing or recognizable mental illness–related visual practices, yet this offers partial insight


  • Sex and Social Media
  • 2020



Contexts of uninhibited online behavior: flaming in social newsgroups on Usenet

Recent research on uninhibited behavior in computer‐mediated communication (CMC) systems have suggested that flaming is social‐context dependent and not a media characteristic of CMC. This study

Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age

Social media technologies such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook promised a new participatory online culture. Yet, technology insider Alice Marwick contends in this insightful book, "Web 2.0" only

In Face on Facebook: Brooklyn's Drag Community and Sociotechnical Practices of Online Communication

It is argued that by analyzing online communication practices of drag performers, it becomes possible to identify gaps between embedded ideologies of mainstream social media technologies and the localized values of outsider communities.

Social Media Affordances and the Capital of Queer Self-Expression: Facebook, Ello, and the Nymwars

This chapter presents an overview of the September 2014 controversy surrounding Facebook’s enforcement of their “real name policy,” the disproportionate targeting of drag performers for profile

Trading Sexpics on IRC: Embodiment and Authenticity on the Internet

Cyberspace, the internet and vituality are widely understood in terms of poststructuralist or antiessentialist expectations that when identity is separated from physical bodies it is experienced as

Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet

From the Publisher: A Question of Identity Life on the Screen is a fascinating and wide-ranging investigation of the impact of computers and networking on society, peoples' perceptions of

Why Taiwanese People Do Not Comply with Facebook's Real Name Policy

I explored the naming practices adopted by Taiwanese users of Facebook in relation to the website’s real name policy, with the aim of identifying the underlying reasons for choosing not to comply

Gender and sexual identity authentication in language use: the case of chat rooms

In this article, I investigate the linguistic practices by which participants in online dating chats become authentic gendered and sexual beings in the virtual world. This process of authentication