Mattia Thibault

The Mask and the Lock. Techniques of Concealment and Secrecy in the Peripheries of the Web

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Secrecy, Peripheries of the Web, Anonymity, Hacker, 4chan.

In this paper we propose an overview of several types of secrecy in the peripheries of the Web. First, we focus on the semiotic understanding of secrets, considering them as part of the strategic management of information. In particular, we draw a simple typology of different strategies related to hiding and revealing information online based on four strategies: masking, unmasking, locking and unlocking. After defining the peripheries of the Web according to their main media ideologies, practices and textualities, we proceed to an overview of these strategies by identifying thematic roles (the hacker, the anon, the troll), practices (doxing, leaking, astroturfing), mythologies (the darknet, the deep web) and types of texts (memes, posts, profiles).

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