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February 28, 2024 - @595.57 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: how private is the web revival?  (Read 710 times)
j
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« on: December 20, 2023 @228.76 »

i'm writing an essay exploring the collective affinity some folks have towards the Internet through the context of the web revival. i'm hoping to get some interactive sample data from this forum (though that's for another post after i work out what i'm doing and get the all clear - don't worry about this thread being used!) and i'm currently writing a section on ethics. it occurred to me that this forum is both publicly accessible and fairly big (as indie web spaces go), and that posts quoted in other places would be fairly easy to discover thanks to technologies like web crawlers, which in turn could lead to the discovery of personal websites that psuedo-identify individuals. and that got me thinking:

what will you do if the web revival "gets big", and your site (presumably amongst others) suddenly becomes the interest of hundreds of thousands of people?

how will this affect your perceptions of privacy? will you be less likely to reveal things like your interests on your site? will you talk less openly about your political views or share photographs of places near to where you live? will the opposite be true - will you share your views because they matter so much to you?
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larvapuppy
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2023 @339.55 »

If more random strangers see my stuff it's fine, but if my website content starts to connect me to my IRL self I won't be happy. I don't want my family members, coworkers, or classmates to know about my life online. I already try to keep details like my location, real name, and physical appearance out of my site as much as possible. So, if the web revival movement/community becomes a big thing I'd probably become hyper-vigilant and end up posting less photos and blog entries.
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2023 @524.46 »

I'm pretty scared of the idea of becoming "internet famous" ever since a random youtube video essay abt my special interest I put up mostly for my friend group at the time suddenly got picked up by the algorithm and I had a bunch of people harassing me in the comments. I suppose if my website "blew up" one day it would be a little scary but there's not as much I can do to control that. I feel like I would probably go back and cull some of my more personal blog posts and such though, which is a shame because I do like getting to express my thoughts about my life
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2023 @555.97 »

what will you do if the web revival "gets big", and your site (presumably amongst others) suddenly becomes the interest of hundreds of thousands of people?
Leave. Restart. Rebuild.

I've been somewhat internet famous before. I had a tumblr blog that had 14k+ followers, and every day was a bad day on the site. There's a certain point when gaining popularity online that starts to get uncomfortable and suddenly everyone dislikes everything you're doing, or at least it feels that way. In reality it's a case of: you can't please everyone all the time, but the anonymity the internet provides can turn followers into a vicious mob. My ideal "following" (of which I care not for) is under 100.

I got bullied off the site for "being too kind".

how will this affect your perceptions of privacy? will you be less likely to reveal things like your interests on your site? will you talk less openly about your political views or share photographs of places near to where you live? will the opposite be true - will you share your views because they matter so much to you?
I've since remade my neocities and changed hosts already because I didn't like having over 100 followers, but it hasn't changed how I interact with the online world. I still explore topics that might be difficult. I still enjoy talking about where I live. I still like to showcase my interests. I think it's just nice to be able to restart and try again, just without the normal audience.

People generally move on once I do too, except for a few special cases. I don't tend to worry about being followed and if I am then there are steps I can take against this, but I don't like the thought of allowing other users to dictate how I interact or experience online, if that makes sense? I can control things by restarting my experience, but I won't let anyone else control it through any other means.
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freaksaint
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2023 @692.27 »

tbh...I only think the web revival is going to continue growing as long as we have access to the internet in this way (assuming it doesn't get bought out by tech giants 0_o). but that's good news to me! i think the web revival is our ticket to freeing ourselves from mainstream social media and building something local, accessible, and homegrown. but i know that's not what you're asking. in terms of privacy, i think it's all very customizable. unlike social media, we have complete control over what we choose to reveal. i've seen tons of neocities sites where the person uses a psuedonym + a 'mascot' (character or otherwise) + either doesn't reveal their age or says something among the lines of (20s~). and you could reveal even less than that if you wanted. i've also seen the complete opposite of that where people basically reveal everything EXCEPT their social security number lmao.

from my perspective, i'm an artist/musician and it's cool that my site can serve as another way to get eyes on my work. that's not the goal of it, necessarily, and 'fame' is both a capitalistic myth and not something i'm interested in, but it's still cool. and with being known as an artist there is always a small surrender of personal privacy. for people to come to my shows, they obviously have to know the city where they're taking place lol. this is just a part of the gig for me and it's something i've come to terms with.

i like awhe's words - 'leave. restart. rebuild.' it's something i used to do all the time when i regularly used social media and got flighty after receiving too much attention. but that's getting harder for people on apps like tiktok who FORCE you to provide your phone number and instantly link all the contacts in your phone to the app. anddd you can't turn it off. gotta love modern social media.
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2023 @772.20 »

The web revival is as private as you make it, and not more or less anonymous than any social network or site, depending how you use them.
The important thing is to be conscious about possible links between your identities, and also be aware that there are risks that you do not or can not see currently (for example, it could be possible to match separate online identities by automatically analyzing the writing style in the not so far off future, or databases could leak, government agencies could collect your data illegally and leak them, etc.). If you don't want something to be connected to your IRL-personality, either take strong privacy measures (different mails, different names, maybe even TOR or even Tails to access the net), or more secure: don't share it on the internet at all.

Personally, I don't share any info or don't make any statements here that I wouldn't make in public in real life; but I don't have the desire to do anything else, and if I would have it, I would just use a different account (and probably another platform: This place is so nice, I refrain from saying some things I would say in public here :D).

In the end, chances that you get read by somebody who actually cares are low enough. Getting somebody boiling so hard that you get into trouble is - in my opinion - rather unlikely (still: it happens). Nearly everything in life comes with some amount of risk, and using the internet is no exception.
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2023 @816.03 »

tbh...I only think the web revival is going to continue growing as long as we have access to the internet in this way (assuming it doesn't get bought out by tech giants 0_o). but that's good news to me! ... unlike social media, we have complete control over what we choose to reveal.
i pretty much agree with you here!

i can't see the web revival ever being as widely engaged in as big social medias like instagram or tumblr due to coding being a barrier of entry. even doing the most basic HTML and CSS can be challenging compared to the easiness and convenience of setting up a social media profile... but i also think this barrier may be slowly chipping away thanks to website building tools and pre-made layouts :-)

i don't think i will change much about what i share regardless of how big it gets. i might be more careful about how i say stuff but i already try to be a bit careful about that so it wouldn't be a huge change. i have always been a very open person. i've tested the waters of what i'm cool with sharing and experienced the consequences of oversharing, or sharing in an inapt way, and i think at this point i have found a relatively safe and comfortable "Sharing Level" - and, like others have said, if you find yourself in an uncomfortable spot, it's pretty easy to disappear and restart.
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2023 @877.48 »

i can't see the web revival ever being as widely engaged in as big social medias like instagram or tumblr due to coding being a barrier of entry. even doing the most basic HTML and CSS can be challenging compared to the easiness and convenience of setting up a social media profile... but i also think this barrier may be slowly chipping away thanks to website building tools and pre-made layouts :-)

i don't think i will change much about what i share regardless of how big it gets. i might be more careful about how i say stuff but i already try to be a bit careful about that so it wouldn't be a huge change. i have always been a very open person. i've tested the waters of what i'm cool with sharing and experienced the consequences of oversharing, or sharing in an inapt way, and i think at this point i have found a relatively safe and comfortable "Sharing Level" - and, like others have said, if you find yourself in an uncomfortable spot, it's pretty easy to disappear and restart.

i agree with this, i think a lot of people don't really have the patience or will to invest time into learning how to code, of course i myself was one of those people for a long time, not due to ignorance but simply lack of self confidence. this belief doesn't stem from a superiority complex or something, i would love if more people felt compelled to engage in the movement but i don't think that will happen simply because of the nature of the average person (stick to what is easy, safe, and commonly acceptable.)
social media comes with this accompaniment to do things "perfectly" and "right". it offers a comfortable amount of restriction for people who are anxiously conditioned to overthink whether they should post a selfie or a picture of food on a given day... a whole website might instill a feeling of paradox of choice for someone more often than not.
i think web revival attracts a very niche kind of person, one that puts individual freedom in self expression above all. ideas of fame are sacrificed for a tighter sense of community and sincere interaction, in smaller circles. :transport:
i think there'd have to be a major shift in global values for "over saturation" or "degradation" of the web revival to be a genuine concern.
but speaking in the hypothetical here, yes, i would most certainly "close up" more if my website had more eyes and attention. i had around 6k of followers on twitter when i came here and, i didn't like that the more people that followed me, the more apprehensive i felt trusting my intuitions on what to share or how to present myself. so i am in the process of weaning myself off social media. (difficult to abandon it entirely when, there are lots of artists i love still on there.)

« Last Edit: December 20, 2023 @880.88 by dust » Logged
neoratz
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2023 @971.96 »

so i am in the process of weaning myself off social media. (difficult to abandon it entirely when, there are lots of artists i love still on there.)
i hope this isn't getting too off-topic from the thread, but i have had the same exact problem with twitter! :tnt: i really don't like twitter functionally, i just don't find it fun to use. but having an account there is the only way for me to easily keep up and interact with many artists :-( the easy answer to this is that i don't HAVE to keep up with all the artists i enjoy, which is true, but i feel like i am missing out if i don't... which i suppose is another barrier to enaging in the web revival (people want to be where their people are, it's hard to keep up with multiple websites, etc...). but, from another perspective, this could all seem pretty silly because you can't feasibly be on every website and you will always be missing out on something, somehow.
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2023 @73.23 »

what will you do if the web revival "gets big", and your site (presumably amongst others) suddenly becomes the interest of hundreds of thousands of people?
first, the web never died. i used to be of same opinion but my insights have changed. small personal web has always existed, hidden, and well, small. the whole revival movement, may, in an ensance be the "influx" some people may fear, as more people make their own site, more people to potentially link to you, and therefore, potentially more people will see it. maybe even someone you know irl, as world is so terrifyingly small. i find people from my small ass country online all the time, in english-speaking spaces, and not our "native" spaces.

my website becoming "popular" would not bother me.. although i can be "paranoid" at times, people SEEING my stuff would not bother me. i dont have a website to "hide" from other people or to "hide" from the internet, i just want to have my own space, in case everything else goes south.

how will this affect your perceptions of privacy? will you be less likely to reveal things like your interests on your site? will you talk less openly about your political views or share photographs of places near to where you live? will the opposite be true - will you share your views because they matter so much to you?

im so tired of 'hiding' irl, of hiding my interests, except "acceptable" ones like technology. so no, that hypotethical scenario wouldn't change anything. so being less open is not an option. i just started my current website, but i kinda hope to blog a lot on it :)
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2023 @159.27 »

I think I'm pretty open on my site about some things (e.g. interests, etc.) but I do try to be as unspecific as I can with regards to my school, what town I live in, etc.—I don't think I've ever mentioned that by name, and I doubt that I ever shall. My first name is on my site, and I've talked a bit about the part of the country that I live in and how far I've made it through school, but beyond that I haven't really revealed any personal info—my face has long since been wiped off of any public place I posted it to. But I want to be a little less afraid sometimes of stating my opinions, because what have I got to fear? This isn't Twitter, where anything a little controversial is the END of the WORLD—people can have proper conversations here, y'know? But I digress.
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2024 @402.03 »

I kind of want it to be private for me. Only using handles, no identifying information. Sort of reminds me of how the web used to be. It's cool getting to know people just by their username and not worrying about real names, information etc.
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2024 @626.01 »

Great question!

Hmmm....I think I differ in that I like connecting my irl self to my online self (though maybe that's unwise). I figure if someone has a problem to me that's their issue not mine. I do this because I find that a "splitting" of my personality causes me to have some dissociative mental health challenges. I think though I could pull it off as I get into a better headspace, if I'm able to connect my irl friends with me online.
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2024 @253.98 »

I doubt the web revival will ever “get big,” but I still think it’s wise to use internet safety. I do not have my real name, my location, or any sort of photo of me on my site, not even my clothes. My about page is descriptive, but it is no way identifying. While I’m very candid in my website’s writing, I still don’t say anything that I couldn’t say in front of others IRL, nothing regrettable. I think as long as we stay cognizant of the possibility of someone linking our sites & projects back to us, then we can go about our web activities in peace.

On the very, very slim chance that my site somehow became popular & lots of people were to see it, I don’t think that I’d mind in the face of the precautions that I’ve taken. I don’t think that I’d change anything at all.
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2024 @798.00 »

Call me a weirdo but at some point, things that grow often get bigger. If you do not want your content to be seen, then do not post it. Don't take it the wrong way but keep in mind that in today's world everything can be instant, viral or memetic even if it's an obscure thing pulled from the dark corners of the InterWebz. I went to NeoCities mostly because I wanted my stuff to be in a place that wouldn't force my readers to see a ton of pop-ups or them being asked for cookies, newsletters, etc.

Remember that once it's posted online it can be seen, saved and shared by anyone. I have this kind of issue IRL with everyone being granted an access to social media at their fingertips and anything you do can haunt you forever. Online at least I can decide what I'm posting or not and I like it that way. Never forget that if you want something to be hidden, there's often a reason so do not push it out if you don't feel safe.
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