Anonymity & Human Behavior

SIGH – positive intent gone wrong. If you’ve ever spent any time with the Nextdoor App, you’ll know exactly what I mean. I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet that the founders of the Nextdoor App started their venture with community, connection, problem-solving, and maybe even a nice financial gain in mind when they started the company.

Surely, they didn’t intend to create a cesspool of toxic complainer culture, but here we are. I’m blown away at how potent and consistent the negativity is on the app. There are far less lost dogs finding their owners than there are fights in the comments about any and everything one could complain about.

Complaining lacks skin in the game.

When environments (like the internet) are built with norms that remove skin in the game like anonymity and distance between those communicating, the worst of humanity bubbles up to the surface. Road rage works the same way. There is a remarkable uptick in road rage (words, gestures, threats, etc) from car to car in massive metropolitan cities because the underlying assumption is 1) you don’t know the person in the other car and 2) you’ll never see each other again.

Living in small towns requires more skin in the game than being on the internet does. This is true because part of having skin in the game is facing consequences. At DEUCE, we share language internally that addresses the lack of skin in the game of complaining by asking what the complainer is committed to instead. After all, a complaint without a commitment to that which would make things better is a downward spiral conversation.

What, then, do we do with this information? The way I see it is this: build in both agency (the freedom to act) and accountability (skin in the game) into the system. It might not be a panacea, but I bet life would feel a lot less like the comments section.

4/7/23 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP




Every :90 for 5 sets, complete the following complex for load:

1 Power Snatch

2 Hang Snatches




5 Pull Ups

10 Push Ups

15 Squats