Social media and identity

Parents in the United Kingdom upload approximately 200 images a year of their children to social media sites such as facebook. By the time a child turns five years old, there will be over a thousand images of the child online, establishing a digital identity that is undesired, unwelcome, and immutable. When the child turns eighteen, they have legal control of their identity, but it will have already escaped their control.

In a digital age identity, personhood, and the age of majority are all concepts that need to be more tightly defined.

In law of evidence, identity is about sameness. Is the person present the person they claim to be? But society considers identity in a far more nuanced manner. Not only who we are, but how we present ourselves to the world.

As the generation for whom digital identity is something we have to establish is overtaken by the generation for whom digital identity is something they are hold from birth, it is vital that we consider what the consequences of digital identity are; how it is established, how it is maintained, how it is managed.

“Personhood” is a concept that historically has been wrestled with when contemplating abortion rights, but as our digital identities become inseparable from our physical identities, increasingly, it is becoming an issue that needs to be considered.

Stance is re-thinking identity, personhood, and personas in this new world.

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