Anonymity: Superhero’s Mask or Villain’s Evil Ray Gun?

Think about Batman and Iron Man. The Dark Knight appeals to a higher calling, seeking no attention for his vigilante deeds to better Gotham City. His true identity is carefully protected in the interest of the people and he becomes a symbol or a beacon of hope. On the other hand, Iron Man boasts of his extraordinary ability and mocks his adversaries with steely confidence and a charming smile in their direction. What’s the essential difference between them? Batman is anonymous while Iron Man is not. Now, the real question is whether being anonymous can be considered a boon or a bane.

iron man

 On one hand, the perks of being anonymous are many, seeing as it can eliminate bias of all sorts. All that matters is the content and not face value. A blogger writing from India can be read in Pakistan without either of them knowing one another’s nationality and hence eradicating nationalist prejudice. After all, perception is in the mind and there are many extraneous factors influencing how we receive news or a piece of writing. The Voice features judges choosing talent based on just that, talent. It improves the quality of material and ensures that we can appreciate something without judging any particular individual.

However, the thorns to the rosy bed can be exemplified by the likes of cyber bullies circling the internet for prey. Plastic Bieber on Twitter, for example, is protected from facing the consequences of his or her extreme racial comments and controversial statements. When freedom is given to an individual it is certain that there will be those few who abuse it. Anonymity in such cases is like a protective cushion for those who spout abuse and couldn’t care less.

In the end, anonymity is like a shield for all of us and with it perhaps we are like caped crusaders…or the villains of the modern world.


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