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identity theft is normal

The idea that identity theft is normal arose in large public wikis when contemplating the "problem" of a lack of a standard wiki identity that could be reliably used to identify a single person across many forums. If a participant in one project would use some form of their name in all projects, it would be easier to track who had said what, where, when, and presumably to assemble a complete edit trail of their works.

Those who considered this desirable were vocal in their assertion that only a use real names policy could work. This view has come to be known as Panopticon.

There was a less vocal but more determined minority however that believed that so-called "identity theft" is only a problem when it involves contract, and the use of commit verbs. And that only if an impersonator made commitments on behalf of someone who was impersonated, had a "theft" actually occurred. This was part of a general view that reputation is bad, common among trolls.

To enforce their view, and force acceptance of identity theft as normal, some known trolls employed means such as:

Combined, these tactics gave them plausible deniability in all but the most serious legal matters. According to trolls, these are the only matters in which one should reveal identity anyway.

A more organized approach to alleged and collective identity was to organize into factions which had their own rules to discipline what was said per voice. This remains the only compromise between those who are insisting on tying every word to a body they can kill, and those who believe that words are more mutable and less associated with body identity than commitment.