Categories: Internet Health IRL

On the internet, no one knows you’re doggo

For decades, the internet has come with its own cloak of invisibility. To quote The New Yorker’s famous cartoon, and one of the longest running jokes online: “On the Internet, no one knows that you’re a dog.”

Every day, in small and sometimes extraordinary ways, we benefit from the ability to choose our identities online; to share and explore things we might not be able to share and explore in public. But increasingly, our online and offline lives are intertwined. We leave traces of our real selves across every app we sign in to. We use our Instagram handles as our phone numbers. We reveal ourselves out here. But it’s not always by choice.

By permission of the artist. Originally published in The New Yorker July 5th, 1993.

By permission of the artist. Originally published in The New Yorker February 23rd, 2015.

On this week’s episode of IRL, Hafeez and Peter Steiner discuss the evolution of dog memes and digital privacy. SoSadToday talks about the value of anonymity for women online. Jonathan Hirshon shares his personal battle to keep his face off Facebook. And Alison Macrina and Morgan Taylor reveal what’s underneath the surface of the deep web. Listen up.

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“Remember, when, on the Internet, nobody knew who you were?” New Yorker cartoonist Kaamran Hafeez’s work has been tracking our shifting, and sometimes strange, relationship with online anonymity since 2015. Below, we asked him to illustrate his take on the subject in 2018. 👀

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Original cartoons courtesy of Peter Steiner and Kaamran Hafeez.

3 comments on “On the internet, no one knows you’re doggo”

  1. Avi Goldsteen wrote on

    Firefox’

    I really liked your cartoon barbecued it sounds like you wire telling to update and upgrade my ,ab top to preventing hacker and blockers and finally theirs from stealing our information if i have an error on the blocker with the inter net I shall contact you and The Elmhurst College Front Desk for advice and assistance tom maker s sure that this doesn’t happen again and so far i am doing good with the technology and thanks again for sharing this impressive Firefox carton operation system

    Sincererly’

    Avi Goldsteen

  2. John Evans wrote on

    Not being funny, as we Brits say. Been with FireFox since early 1990’s. How do I know that that which you say can really benifit me. The only way I can see, at the moment, before committing to Focus, is to change my Email, etc. etc. etc. and end up with countless mails to my old E.address saying I owe them money. Thanks. G7CEC.

  3. Vincent wrote on

    All right for dogs, but not for the rest of the world, which suffers from criminals and terrorists who can hide. In the traditional village, where every child could be nurtured and chided by anyone, evildoers were publicly shamed.

    We don’t want governments, police and big corporations to dictate what we can and cannot do. Nor do I like the indoctrination of “God can see what you do” that may restrain those with religion.

    Having said all this, I am still grateful for a certain amount of anonymity. I keep a blog in which every word of every post I write is available to search engines. I’m conscious of what I tell to the world and don’t tell them what street, or even what town, I’m writing from.

    The point here is trust. I’m glad to trust the online companies I use, such as Mozilla, which has never charged me a penny for its services. So I’d just like to say thank you, & that I don’t think everyone who craves anonymity is some kind of dog.