Piotr Siuda: Gender-Switching and Virtual Communities

The goal of the text is to characterize gender-switching which can be best defined as changing gender on the Internet. Article shows how gender-switching affects virtual communities that exists in cyberspace? Author of the article describes which areas of the Internet are most suitable for gender-switching and gives reasons for this suitability. Is gender-switching a common thing, what are differences between gender swapping on the Internet and swapping it in reality? Description of this phenomenon leads author to consideration about influence of gender-switching on specific web entities - virtual communities. How changing gender influences their formation and functioning. Virtual communities, just as real ones, are based on trust and stability of membership and identity. Gender-switching that occurs too often can have very bad influence on Internet communities. It can even threats their existence. Author considers if the threat is real and serious, and if not, what restrains Internet users from gender experimentation that occurs to often and for long periods of time.