momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)

ashkatom:



because I’ve used the same password system since 2004 and I finally downloaded a password manager like it’s 2012


and oh my god, this is exhausting. I’ve been at it for about four hours now and I’ve still barely scratched the surface. I’m going through and slowly eradicating my last identity from the internet, and separating ashkatom-the-internet-presence from ashkatom-the-real-life. I’ve closed so many old accounts, changed others to random gibberish, gotten rid of the last vestiges of two old projects, locked down my facebook as much as one can


and the internet? the internet is forever. the internet is designed to revel in the fact that it is forever. one of the most forward-thinking communities I know a) requires you to ask the mods to change your username and b) has no account deletion procedure. there are communities I signed up to when I was thirteen with my old identity that cannot be deleted, the password can’t be changed. my situation is complicated by how tightly I’ve interwoven this username with my real life, but at this point? I don’t think I could disappear. not without burning everything to the ground and salting the ashes.


the thing that makes me angry is that it’s so simple. like, I feel like rule one of user-friendly, anti-harassment web design is give someone the gosh-darn autonomy to delete their account so they can control their information. I know, in my history on the internet, all my identities have become inextricably linked, but - you don’t realise how daunting it is until you face it. there’s so much information, and the internet is very good at cataloguing and cross-referencing that information. 


I can’t imagine trying to lock my own information down after a breach. it terrifies me. I didn’t know, when I was 13, the kind of climate the internet would grow into. ‘don’t use your real name and don’t tell anyone your address’ was my “internet safety” lecture, and that - that’s not enough. I don’t know what is, anymore - throwaway emails for every account you sign up to, since often the account management/deletion policy isn’t obvious until you’ve already signed up and had cause to go looking? how far do you have to fudge the details of your day-to-day life in conversations with the people you meet? what’s the tradeoff between ‘being able to establish yourself an identity’ and ‘being safe’? where’s the point where safety measures are Enough and the social engineering starts instead? how the fuck do people ever trust anyone.


I am very privileged to be able to ask these questions academically.


I guess what sits most uneasy with me about being confronted with the breadcrumbs of my own life like this is that I have always been an open person. I’ve done good by being an open person, I’ve helped people. I feel very strongly about being an open person, in exposing the details I choose of my life, good or bad. it’s just become obvious to me how easily it could not be my choice.


like I said, it terrifies me.


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August 2017

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