Morio & Buchholz (2009) separated this into three levels (visual anonymity, disassociation with real and online identities, and lack of identifiability.
- Visual anonymity – When individuals communicate without seeing each other. A good example of that is using text-based chatting programs over the Internet. People’s physical appearances are obscured in that scenario.
- Dissociation of real and online identities – A single individual can create more than one online identity using more than one screen name & avatars. Individuals then have the ability to become more than one person with dissimilar personalities. They also have the ability to adopt new genders & races.
- Lack of identifiability – This is the level closest to true anonymity online. When individuals cannot be identified, their behaviors are not distinguishable from others. An example would be an online forum in which people can post anonymous comments without attaching usernames to that post.