Making bad decisions anonymously.

There is a certain forum of “investors” that will not be named, but this forum introduces and praises ludicrous betting on the stock market. I’ve seen many on that forum claim if the technology didn’t exist to do these ridiculous bets through their phone, and they had to call up their brokers like decades ago, they would never place these risky bets at all. They would feel too stupid for having to tell someone.

Does this really mean that people will use anonymity to make bad decisions for themselves?

Doesn’t this mean that making people accountable leads to better outcomes?

I’m not sure what parts of society we can flip this phenomenon on, but I’d like to find some. For example, where are people using anonymity to make terrible (but legal) choices? How can we build systems to make their choices better?

The trick is, while many of these people are losing money, some of them enjoy the thrill enough that the monetary loss is worth it. Seems crazy, but that’s their own life choice. Instead, I’m talking about the one that loses their life savings and needs therapy. How could that be prevented?

Extrapolating this to your job or your company, are you making bad decisions because you aren’t accountable in your work? Are others doing it? How can you change the systems so that’s not the case?

Systems can have powerful effects on culture. Don’t look at either in isolation.