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Re: Once again ... is it time to get rid of the Anonymous Monk?

by davies (Vicar)
on Mar 18, 2013 at 16:04 UTC ( #1024095=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Once again ... is it time to get rid of the Anonymous Monk?

I'm going to get my say in before Leveson makes it illegal. I'm deeply opposed to abandoning anonymous posts. I can't for the life of me think why postings should in every case be attributable to someone. I can't see the value of verifying email accounts. I think mine is still valid, but what if it isn't? Are you going to ban me as a user? You don't have an email address at which to contact me, so how are you going to tell me there's a problem? Either you let me log in, in which case I won't care about your problems, or you're not, in which case I can't find out what's gone wrong without breaking site rules & opening a second account. The third option is that you create some sort of restricted account which can tell me I need to jump through hoops. I'm most unlikely to, so this is much the same as banning me. My snail mail address is, I think, on something I once posted here, so you could try writing me a letter, but are you going to do that for everyone who has changed email address since they first logged in?

Some people have differing attitudes to privacy. I have posted a genuine photo on my home page and use my real name. CountZero has given me in /msgs information that I believe would enable me to find him if I wanted. BrowserUK, OTOH, gives out no information. If you remove the options, you will also remove from the user base those for whom the options are important.

Recently, I cleared my browser history - something I do occasionally - and found I had logged myself out of PerlMonks. Every page presented me with a login dialogue box and I immediately realised what had happened and logged in again. However, I accept that some people may not notice what to me seems an obvious difference from my expectations, making this the only point where I find myself agreeing with you about a disadvantage of allowing anonymity. However, if it is a general problem (as I've indicated, it isn't for me), I think there are better ways of dealing with it. One might be to have the "Create" button changed to "Post anonymously" when not logged in, which I would expect to be enough. Another is to require anonymonks to "log in" with the password "guest" before posting. A third might be to use a captcha for anonymous postings. All of these would in some way mitigate the problem that you perceive but I do not.

I mentioned Leveson in my first paragraph. Some explanation of this may be needed for people outside the UK. This is a report into some of the more egregious excesses of the gutter press that has proposed statutory regulation of journalism. The Scots Nats have gone even further, proposing that even Twitter should bow the knee to their censor benign supervisory authority. Boris Johnson, a man I despise, wrote a sensible (for once) article in today's Daily Telegraph about the need to avoid restricting the press. I don't liken your proposals to Leveson et al, but there's too much restricting going on for my liking. Cites available if wanted.

Please, please, dear sweet Gods, don't abolish anonymity.

Regards,

John Davies


Comment on Re: Once again ... is it time to get rid of the Anonymous Monk?
Re^2: Once again ... is it time to get rid of the Anonymous Monk?
by marto (Bishop) on Mar 18, 2013 at 16:17 UTC

    ++, but..

    "I think there are better ways of dealing with it. One might be to have the "Create" button changed to "Post anonymously" when not logged in, which I would expect to be enough"

    I just tested this by attempting to reply to your post via the .com domain, rather than the .org to which I'm currently logged in. It shows:

    You aren't logged in.

    Login, Create a new user, or hit "Create" to proceed in posting your node.

    And I had to scroll down to see the post and it's associated buttons. Perhaps you're right in so much that there's some more HTML/CSS fu which could be used to make this seem more obvious, though people may still miss it, for example browsing using a text based browser. On a related subject. I use the (poll winning;) Perlmonks blue theme. The site looks a lot different before I log in, so it's much less likely (if not impossible) for me to think I'm logged in when I'm not. I don't think the site has ever logged me out in all the years I posted.

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