"We are Anonymous." Anonymity in the Public Sphere – Challenges of Free and Open Communication

Sell, Saskia

Anonymity, the stealth mode of public communication, challenges different actors who deal with freedom of communication issues in their day to day life – be it professional journalists, information and communication scientists, technicians or political activists. This article aims to deliver theoretical background on the concept of anonymity on the macro-level, as well as to shed light on how different communicators deal with anonymity on the micro-level. Based on the example of the Anonymous movement, communicative actions are put in relation to media technological artifacts and their surrounding media environment with a focus on journalistic practice and public response to the phenomenon. The analysis concludes with the need for a preservation of options for anonymous public communication as a dimension of freedom of communication after carefully considering both the advantages and the potential risks connected to that mode of private-public communication.


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Sell, S., 2013. “We are Anonymous.” Anonymity in the Public Sphere – Challenges of Free and Open Communication. Global Media Journal - German Edition 3(2013).
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