I had a close female friend, let’s say her name is Julie. Julie and I spent a lot of time together, shopping, dining, and going to various parties in the city. I thought our friendship was just mutual enjoyment of one another’s company, but it become quite clear that I was being studied and begrudged for my own identity. The peculiar thing that alerted me to her strange obsession was on numerous occasions when dining out and splitting the check, both placing our cards outside of the waiter’s view. She would voice her irritation that the waiters always handed her card back to her and my card back to me correctly and without asking which card belonged to whom. She once remarked with annoyance, “Why don’t they think my name is Alexandrovna, how do they always know my name is Julie?” It dawned on me this person was not a friend, she wanted to wear my skin and since that wasn’t an option being physically close was good enough and parroting my personality. I have a generous spirit but its psychedelic to observe someone try on your identity. I have never thought why aren’t I being called by someone else’s name, why am I not mistaken for them etc. It is madness…
I have been thinking about this experience regarding some of the social changes in the last couple of months. Instagram rolled Threads out and along with your newly minted Threads account you’re given a serial number which supposedly just corresponds to what number your account is in the lineup of Threads accounts. It seemed like it could be a number that could be used as a verifier for real identification or social credit at some point. Zuckerberg also started a subscription service to increase authenticity and security across Meta's services by verifying users accounts with a government ID. He said this will create extra protection against impersonators, he is also looking to launch his own currency. X, formerly known as Twitter owner, Elon Musk is also planning on launching ID verification and a platform-based currency. Then there is Worldcoin, which is described as providing a World ID, a privacy preserving identity protocol that enables people to digitally prove their uniqueness and humanness online, ushering in a new era of humanity and “financial stability.” Using orbs to scan a person’s irises the Worldcoin login promises security and is unlinked to other information like a user’s email, name, or photograph. It will use zero knowledge proof tech; zero knowledge proof is a method of proving the validity of a statement without revealing the statement itself. If the zero-knowledge proof aspect of the tech works properly, Worldcoin would allow ID holders to log into a website without that action being traceable by other people or any government. The technology aims to characterize between humans and AIs. If all humans online prove that they are, in fact, humans, then scams and imposters should greatly decrease, translating into a more authentic digital community. Worldcoin would allow World ID holders to log into a website without that action being traceable by other people or any government. But maybe everything you do becomes even easier to trace, who knows? LOL
I think it is interesting that social media and AI interfacing platforms are at the helm of thrusting everyone into a possible social credit system. I suppose those at the helm of these social media platforms have been tasked with the initial voluntary phase of verifying people under the pretense of personal online security. However, state, and federal governments have been gently pushing this for several years with the rollout of the REAL ID, which starting May 7, 2025, will be mandatory to fly within the United States if you do not have a passport. I suspect non-REAL ID compliant licenses will be phased out completely by 2030. Online scams are pretty much a norm of the digital landscape now. Most people are moderately astute at detecting them and at detecting bots. Of course, all of this is being done under the auspice of protection from the supposed omnipotent AI, which sidebar, I thought AI was promised to be pro humanity and end suffering etc., so why do we need new and more invasive measures of validating identity for protection from impersonation by it of us? But, whatever…. That can’t be the prevailing and only reason in my opinion.
We have had over a decade now of sensationalized stories in the media of trans racialism, gender fluidity, trans sexuality and many new terms and entire careers launched on being pro or anti those examples. Rachel Dolezal and countless others outed as not being the race they identify as etc. People identify as animals as well and have an entire Furry community to participate in. We live in a time where many things that were once regarded as fixed states are now regarded as fluid or left to personal interpretation. We are all familiar with identity theft, that’s been a dynamic in real life and in the digital space for a long time and usually easy to clear up and manage. Retuning to the story I started with, I wonder if in the very near future if one does not have a REAL ID or has not signed up for verified identification online if they are not leaving themselves open to someone deciding that they are now “fluid” as you. If you aren’t verified, how would you prove you are you and they are NOT you? How in this new landscape whilst trying to protect your identity and stay as “off-grid” as possible do you protect yourself from someone else verifying your identity for themselves? Humans are far trickier than any AI could hope to be…. What do you do about the people that want to wear your skin?
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