Anonymity and privacy both involve some degree of information concealment. Such concealment or the failure to keep information anonymous or private can influence various assessments of reputation. Anonymity and privacy may be especially relevant in online settings, but they are linked to reputation in various offline settings as well. This entry defines anonymity and privacy and discusses how they relate to organizations’ reputations.


Anonymity is the absence of identity; to be anonymous means to be without a name. More accurately, it is the degree to which a message source is unknown—suggesting also that perceptions of anonymity by the different parties involved are quite relevant. In the United States, anonymity is seen as part of one’s basic right to free speech; however, there are also strong norms ...

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