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Bang The Table


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#1 Condobloke

Condobloke

    Outback Aussie @ 54.2101 N, 0.2906 W


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Posted 27 August 2015 - 06:54 PM

The case for anonymity in forums....I have quoted liberally here from Matthew Crozier....Matthew co-founded Bang the Table in 2007 and is currently the CEO

 

http://bangthetable.com/2009/09/20/the-case-for-anonymity-in-online-forums/

 

 

 

All our users have the option to be anonymous. At the outset there was some debate about this. There seemed to us to be a lot of merit in the argument that an individual should be willing to own their opinion rather than hiding behind an anonymous label. However, with time and experience (we have now run over 100 public forums) we have come to believe that anonymity in a public forum is important for a number of reasons:

  1. Anonymity removes a major barrier to entry for most people. How do we know this? Because the proof is in the pudding… over 95% of our forum users choose a username that protects their anonymity.
  2. Anonymity breaks down power relationships between interlocutors. We have observed conversations between 50 year olds and 13 year olds that would never take place in a face to face environment.
  3. Anonymity allows an individual to express an opinion without the fear of intimidation. Cyber bullying is a serious issue but is a personal matter. Anonymity greatly reduces the ability of anyone to bully or humiliate anyone else within a forum.
  4. Anonymity allows an individual to express an opinion that may be contrary to that of their employer.
  5. Anonymity allows an individual to express an opinion that their position may not otherwise permit.

Many of the arguments I have heard for identifying participants in a forum or other online participation event revolve around the issue of personal responsibility reducing poor behaviour. In the 100 or so forums we have moderated I have seen little evidence of this. The truth is that most people behave well no matter how they are identified. As moderators we can take care of the few who don’t.

The other key issue is that we have no way of showing that people are who they claim to be unless we demand credit card details. That would seriously limit participation.


Edited by Condobloke, 27 August 2015 - 06:55 PM.

Condobloke

Outback Australian  

 

fed up with Windows antics...??

 

LINUX IS THE ANSWER

 

I USE LINUX MINT EXCLUSIVELY... NO DUAL BOOT, NO VIRTUAL MACHINE

 

 

 Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your Microsoft product.

 

 

 


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#2 mjd420nova

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 11:30 AM

Having been on bulletin boards before most users today were born, I have used the same user name.  I have always taken care to separate any real name from the user names.  A little digging and one could come up with the right info but don't count on it.  Having only been fingerprinted once when I entered the NAVY in 1968, Do I need anonymity?  No but the less personal info not only on the internet but within my own machines leaves less to be gained by an intrusion.  But don't think that any process that creates this illusion is not going to get a little extra scrutiny and just suspicion as to why the user needs this process.  If you are a law abiding citizen you have nothing to fear.  If you need to hide you identity so you can spam the net or just act a flamer, either way, most have learned to ignore the idiots.



#3 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 06:40 PM

I cannot remember what info I gave BC when I joined but I don't have a recollection of it being onerous - I must have a look at the registration process again.

 

I would say the majority of posters on BC are virtually anonymous and I would agree most of them adhere to the forum rules virtually all of the time. I use my name because it is my name but most don't and I have no problem with that, but the lack of information is sometimes a problem. It would be useful if posters at least included their country along with their avatar. Questions relating to trading law and warranties come up from time to time and local regulations differ so much from one jurisdiction to another. I wouldn't wish to compel it, but it would be useful.

 

However it is worth bearing in my mind that anybody who is a frequent poster on any forum creates a fair amount of information about themselves, just by casually giving it a way.

 

As for the spammers, trolls and flamers - it is their behaviour that gets them banned, not their identities. On BC we do get returning spammers, trolls and flamers and they usually repeat the earlier behaviour and get banned again. Sooner or later they give up, normally only to be replaced by another crop. Doubtless it is exactly the same on other forums.

 

By strange coincidence as i just posted this my internet connection went down and back up and I had to sign in again. Took the opportunity to look at the registration - User name, e-mail and solve a captcha. Anything over and above is voluntary.

 

Chris Cosgrove


Edited by Chris Cosgrove, 29 August 2015 - 06:46 PM.
Late breaking info.


#4 mjd420nova

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 08:17 PM

Many never offer real info anyway.  I belong to several professional organizations I access online, but never from my home units.  There everything including the computer name and MAC address has to match.  Many web site forums lack from any moderators or timely response to the hazards before they wreak havoc. 






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