Best practice

Accounts and social pressure

August 11, 2021
2 min read

I recently wrote a post about online user accounts. There have been developments since then.

“Vote for my thing!”

Have you ever been asked to vote online for something? I have, and I’ve also asked others to vote for me. Beauty competitions, recipes, convention proposals, and more - it’s one part of having peers online, and crops up more often than I’d like.

Today I was asked to cast a vote and leave a comment on someone’s online post. I happily obliged - until I realised I’d need to create an account with the voting platform as well as a social network in order to do so. I politely declined, but felt pressured to register anyway. It’s a difficult decision for me, because I’d really like to cast a vote (it was something I strongly supported). However, as I’ve said before, I already have an issue with the number of online accounts I have, and I certainly wouldn’t want to create any more. Creating and deleting an account is all very well, but it’s not often as simple as that. Online accounts are difficult to get rid of at the best of times, and remnants of your data are often left behind. There’s also no guarantee that deleting my account would not delete the vote too.

I opted not to vote, and I wanted to write about that. We all need to respect boundaries - and that includes our online privacy. Please remember that not every internet user has the same feelings toward creating online accounts, and if you’d like to invite your peers to cast a vote or comment for you, invite them all publicly - don’t single them out, pressure or shame them.

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I'm Ben Wilde — a developer who works with startups looking to push digital boundaries.