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Interview questions

Here are all the questions I covered in my interview with fellow anonymous web user, “Noko:”

1. How did you first find out about anonymous web communities?

2. What initially inspired you to use them?

3. What- would you say- are the most positive aspects of sites like 4chan and SomethingAwful?

4. Do you think more communities like these will exist in the future? If so, why?

5. Given the popularity of many forms of anonymous web use, what do you think motivates people to use anonymizing web services or be a part of anonymous web communities?

6. What has made you stay? Do you think that’s a popular reason in general? If not, what aspects of these communities retain members in your opinion?

7. How do government surveillance revelations from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden influence your opinion of anonymous web use? Can you think of anyone else you know who might feel the same way?

8. Do you think that it was wise for Edward Snowden to publicly reveal his identity versus remaining anonymous? Do you feel that it protected him in any way?

9. How do you feel about anonymous spaces like Noise Bridge and Burning Man? Like anonymous web communities, do you feel that these environments inspire people to express themselves even more openly than in first-world, “free” societies?

10. When- if ever- did you begin to feel like you were truly a member of an anonymous web community? Do you feel that it added any value or purpose to your life?

11. What would you say to people who aren’t sure or who may be skeptical about using the web anonymously? What are they missing, and what might be some detractors for prospective anonymous web users?

12. Obviously, it’s scandalous that ISPs sell our personal data and internet activity to marketers and surveilling governments. In light of this, many people have become interested in private web search providers and services like Tor. Are there any tangible benefits from these services that stick out in your mind?

13. Do you feel like 4chan’s creator- Moot- has done a public service by creating and defending an anonymous web community?

14. Do you feel like anonymous web communities foster or hinder the current worldwide debate regarding privacy, freedom, and the 4th amendment of the U.S. Constitution?

15. As outlined in the 4th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, citizens in a free society must be free of unreasonable search and seizure. When considered with the 1st amendment of that same Constitution, U.S. government surveillance is not only an affront to civil liberties; it also seriously degrades the validity of a document from which the U.S. derives its power as a free society. In your opinion, is it a basic human right to express yourself freely and without fear of retribution if you have no intent of hurting someone else? How do you feel this idea fuels interest in anonymous web use?

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