Lifehacker: Why You Need an Anonymous Social Media Account. “Being online has never been more embarrassing. People are renting 10 minutes of time on private jets for the ‘gram. The most innocuous and best-meaning of posts can spark outrage. You can’t talk to someone on a plane without it becoming a viral story that leads to harassment. The president tweets. But there’s a lot of good stuff too, of course, which makes it hard to log off completely. That’s why I humbly suggest creating anonymous accounts—Instagram and Tumblr are my preferred platforms—to escape it all.” As the article notes, this is not anonymity for the sake of being a jerk. This is anonymity so you can enjoy and reblog what you want without being joy or culture shamed.
Wired: Twitter’s vast metadata haul is a privacy nightmare for users. “Metadata is everywhere. Everything you tweet, every picture you take, and every status update you post on Facebook. It’s used by police and security forces to identify people who try to hide their identities and locations, while associated metadata in selfies can inadvertently ensnare criminals unaware that the data can destroy their alibi. And metadata on Twitter can also be used in extremely precise identification each and every one of us – according to a new paper by researchers at University College London and the Alan Turing Institute.”
WUOM: Anonymity drives ‘dark patterns’ of social media behavior. “A new study by a Michigan State University researcher probes the mechanisms behind the spread of mass online harassment and fake news by looking at the ‘dark patterns’ underlying the technology platforms. In the science of user experience, dark patterns are psychological tricks incorporated into technology interfaces that are designed to get a user to do something they normally wouldn’t do, like buying a product or signing up for a newsletter.”
TorrentFreak: Which VPN Services Keep You Anonymous in 2018?. “In response to a growing threat of Internet surveillance and censorship, VPN services have surged in popularity in recent years. Encrypting one’s traffic through a VPN connection helps to keep online communications private, but what more does your VPN provider do to keep you anonymous? We take a look at the logging policies and other privacy features of dozens of VPN providers.”
The Star: German court rules Facebook settings violate data protection laws. “The Berlin state court ruled in a suit brought by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations that Facebook’s ‘real name’ clause violated the country’s regulation that providers of online services must allow users to remain anonymous.”
TechRadar: The best free privacy software 2018: top tools for anonymous browsing. “If you’re looking for the best free privacy software to help you browse the web anonymously, then you’ve come to the right place, as we’ve listed the top choices to help protect your privacy.”
Wired: The Grand Tor: How To Go Anonymous Online. (Fifty points for the headline.) “Earlier this month, Tor announced an update to its so-called onion services, which use Tor’s anonymizing features to hide not just individual people on the web, but servers too, allowing for so-called dark web or darknet sites and other services that can’t be physically traced to any locatable computer. Beyond merely covering your tracks as you visit websites, the new feature has opened Tor up to a new range of applications, enabling a new generation of whistleblowing platforms and new forms of untraceable messaging…. Here’s how you can use Tor today, whether you want to want to browse controversial sites in peace, or send messages the NSA can’t peep.”