Do you self-censor on the net?

With all the intrusiveness of surveillance and maintaining privacy, do you find yourself self-censoring on the net? That is, are there thoughts you would put out there if you knew you weren't being watched, but since you can never be sure, you stifle them, for fear of your (or potential) employer(s), government, law enforcement, friends, family, etc. finding out? If you do self-censor, why; are there only certain sites you censor yourself on, or is it all over the web?

What the--why was my post moderated?


I'm not completely sure exactly what you mean by self censor. I generally try to sound nicer than I want to be to a person, and generally refrain from foul language, unless either have been begun by another.
If you mean personal information, then I withhold as much as possible, I am of the mindset that you should treat all on the internet as public record.
If you refer to personal opinion, then I do not. I believe in argument and debate, I will be happy to argue with any mindset assuming the discussion can stay intellectual and not degrade into insults.


I'm not sure I like to think of it as "self-censoring" in my case. Sometimes I'll say something inappropriate like "shit" in a bad settling. Instead of saying "shit" I'll catch myself midway through the "s" noise and say "sssugar!" (sugar) I consider that "self-censoring". Mostly I just try to act within the guidelines of any given situation. To over-simplify there is a time and a place for everything. Obviously not "everything" but you know what I mean.

One must also consider the context in which someone gives advice. "Always tell the truth" HAHAHAHAHAHA! When I was new to the bar scene I was dealing with approach anxiety. I started chatting with this loudmouth smart-ass for a few minutes about how everything is stupid or whatever. Anyway, she says "What do you like about me?"

I pause then say "Well considering I've known you for about two minutes I can say that I like the way you look." I figured she was just pushing the conversation along. She says "No what do you really like about me really?" I was completely puzzled. After about five seconds she starts to give me the cold shoulder. I say "Well... I suppose if you ended up being my girlfriend I would probably win alot of fights"

She says "What!?" I said "You seem to think I could know you after only two mintes" She was PISSED! So, I guess the moral of the story is that all advice must be relative to a situation. Use discretion, don't be afraid to be human, but there's a time and place for everything.

censoring language? fuck no, I speak my mind

censoring my identity? The most I will ever put in public view is my first name (look at my profile) and the area I live in, Detroit.

Because really? Do you think I fear someone on the internet when I drive through the second most violent city in america on my way to work?

nah, and I only hang out at chill places like TS anyway

If you find my facebook profile (good luck with that), congratulations you know how to use a search bar

But personal opinion is in a way personal information. One could learn a lot about the type of person you are, if they knew what subjects you are willing to debate at length over.

I'm referring to the self-censoring of ideas, thoughts, not profanity or some stupid shit like that.


I can relate when I am googling things...

Not at all I search All kinds of fucked up shit just hoping someone else has to look at it Google image search spider futanari sometime.

I'm actually open and speak more online. In person I tend to be in the back corner avoiding people. Generally I stray away from anything that would cause an argument.

I pretty much say whatever I want. I'm both loved, hated, and always in trouble for it:)

I attempt to be more articulate online, as it's easier for me to write said articulation than it is to speak it in person.

Great question. I do, but not in the sense of stifling "thoughts you would put out there if you knew you weren't being watched". Rather, I've developed different tiers of communication through which those thoughts get filtered and then distributed. It used to be that I had one e-mail address and one social media account, all tied to my real, meatspace identity, and that everything would come in and go out through those. These days, I have multiple accounts, multiple browsers, multiple machines, and so on. Some stuff is just out there for everyone to see, log, analyze or whatever, whereas other things are at least hopefully kept more private with technical and social means. I have one throwaway e-mail account for the world to see where I register contacts that require an address but to which I have zero allegiance, another account for work contacts, another for acquaintances, another for close family and friends, etc. If I were a dissident or had something really sensitive to communicate, I would use end-to-end encryption on a locked-down OS, on disposable hardware, with networking ninjitsu, the whole shebang. The same thoughts go out as before, but they are filtered through tiers of privacy.

People bemoan these sorts of developments, and it is less convenient to be sure, but I don't see it as necessarily a cumbersome or unnatural thing. Even in the physical world, we all filter what we say and alter our appearance depending on the context we're in. William Jones may be "Mr. Jones" in public, "Bill" to his coworkers, "Daddy" at home, "Billy" to his mother, maybe "Mr. X" to his drug dealer or in his church confession box.

Here's the thing, though: Google knows more about Bill than his coworkers, more than his children, more than his mother, more than his priest. That does give me pause. The Tek crew also goes back and forth about Google--I think the general consensus is that they've got a ton of data on all of us, but that they haven't egregiously abused that data so far. These days, I worry less about government than corporate surveillance.

Another funny thing is that most of this has been done in the name of saving us money. Facebook, Google services, Windows 10--these all cost us nothing, so we pay with our data and have to play these privacy games. I, for one, would be willing to pay to get the privacy back. I'm not a rich person by any standard, but if I could pay a small fee ($10 USD?) a month to go back to that "one account, one browser, one machine" model while keeping my privacy, I would. What if Google or someone else could offer to give us full access to a robust suite of services for a monthly fee that would guarantee privacy? I wonder if that could work.

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I think we all self-sensor, to either not sound too racist or sexist, or too crazy when we're talking about government related things.

90% of what I say or think at work is self-censor. On the net, it's like 25%.

You bring up some very interesting things about duality...or would it be multiplicity(?) I have no idea what the would would be for multiple identities.

If you have people paying to remain private, then you have to protect the list of those people paying to keep their privacy. That opens another can of worms. I'm not saying it's not a good idea, but we must always keep in mind the law of unintended consequences. Of course, it doesn't sound much different from paying to keep your number out of the phone book, but this analogy can't compare to what we're trying to protect ourselves against now.

And really go to lengths for protecting your privacy. How do you keep track of all those accounts?

Edit: Redacted

Governments are great and simple folk like us need them.

I try not to talk about any illegal shit I do with this username.

Have started to recently think more my few years old joke that if these job search sites utilize data similar to Twitter, like shave off the "B-grade" citizens by some background standards from things you havent even told your best friend. ..and I think I should test it with different emails and names with my friends by using the same application.

Like its enough proof for me if there are any similarities with the choices if I'm lying same ages and hitting random addresses within same city.

Wel I do. Definitely jumping through extra hoops when I want something to be private. I.e. to make a simple google search about something that may be either frowned upon or what I don't want on my track record being available 30 years from now I almost gotta use tor, vpns and temporary virtual machines. I don't feel private and safe at all when using the web, I literally feel like someone is standing right there looking over my shoulder. So self-censoring is a thing I can relate to, not only when surfing the web on the pc, but also when using my phone. Hate not being able to trust a simple device.... yeah I'm paranoid lol.
I guess the reason behind it is that we're the first generation in mankinds history to be trackable throughout our lives and we can only wait and see what the future brings without knowing how it's been dealt with in the past.

For lack of a better pic

Well okay maybe I don't literally feel like that when surfing the web, maybe a more accurate representation would be having the curtains open lol.

So I dont know how many of you were around when the internet was just starting out and people were dialing into it. But When dialup was common I didn't know a single person who didn't protect their identity on-line.

Protecting your self by self censoring was common. that didn't mean not saying what you wanted. It meant segregating identities, segregating parts of your personality to those identities, etc.

For some reason the thought of having multiple handles and multiple emails and controlling what you do on those is really uncommon today.

If anything i censor myself less online, but what i do do is segregate information between identities to minimise whats linked to what.

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