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 Post subject: Anonymity
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:06 pm 
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Years ago, I naïvely participated on a now-defunct board on Mormonism using my real name. Thank goodness that occurred too long ago to be archived anywhere. Within a short amount of time, a lurker – not even someone who participated actively on the board –recognized my name and “tattled” to my then-husband. Well, it wasn’t a big deal in my life, because my then-husband didn’t believe in the church, either, but it was a “wake-up call” as to how some unfriendly people might try to do me real-life harm. I have never posted with my real name since that time.

Not too long ago, on this board, Eric’s identity was recognized by DCP and crocket, and, of course, “tattling” ensued from that episode, as well. Unlike me, Eric’s relationships suffered some damage.

One of the reasons I’ve continued discussing religion on the internet is because it provided a way for me to freely express my opinions on the matter. This is not a freedom I afford myself, in general, in “real life”, with the exception of my intimate relationships. I know that religion is a sensitive topic, and I have no desire to stir up pointless cans of worms in real life. At the same time, I live in an extremely religious community and am constantly exposed to religious exhortations and expressions, even - in fact, especially - at work. It’s nice to have one avenue in which I felt I could safely express my opinions on religious questions.

But, of course, the only way I’ve felt that safety is to believe that, if I choose to remain anonymous, I can remain anonymous. I believe it is important to an internet community like this one to feel confident in that belief. I no longer feel that confidence.

That is a loss I deeply regret.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:46 pm 
My name is Paul Osborne. I live in Dallas Texas, city limits. Anyone who tries to harm me will be very sorry. You will pay a price.

I am armed and my back is watched. I will shoot. Don't even try it!

Paul O


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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:27 am 
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I don't usually use online anonymity. Using my name makes me more careful about what I write online, which is a good thing for me.

Paul Osborne wrote:
My name is Paul Osborne. I live in Dallas Texas, city limits. Anyone who tries to harm me will be very sorry. You will pay a price.

I am armed and my back is watched. I will shoot. Don't even try it!


Paranoid little?

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:01 am 
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Paul Osborne wrote:
My name is Paul Osborne. I live in Dallas Texas, city limits. Anyone who tries to harm me will be very sorry. You will pay a price.

I am armed and my back is watched. I will shoot. Don't even try it!

Paul O


My name is Fronzel Neekburm and I live. Anyone who tries to harm me will probably be very happy. The price they will pay will be inconsequential.

I have no weapons and my back is always to the door. I will run. Try it and see.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:06 am 
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beastie wrote:
---- snip ----

But, of course, the only way I’ve felt that safety is to believe that, if I choose to remain anonymous, I can remain anonymous. I believe it is important to an internet community like this one to feel confident in that belief. I no longer feel that confidence.

That is a loss I deeply regret.

Beastie, is there something in particular that has made you feel that way?

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:43 am 
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malkie wrote:
Beastie, is there something in particular that has made you feel that way?


viewtopic.php?p=333931#p333931

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:21 am 
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Paranoid little?


Not at all, really. I'm just warning any crazy cyber-creeps out there incase they get the wrong idea and actually go after me in effort to commit harm. I believe in self defense as you likely do too.

Have a great day!

Paul O


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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:10 am 
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beastie wrote:
malkie wrote:
Beastie, is there something in particular that has made you feel that way?


viewtopic.php?p=333931#p333931


I'd like to know exactly what the mods are supposed to do, besides what was done?

What changes would people like to see made?

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:23 am 
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beastie wrote:
But, of course, the only way I’ve felt that safety is to believe that, if I choose to remain anonymous, I can remain anonymous. I believe it is important to an internet community like this one to feel confident in that belief. I no longer feel that confidence.

That is a loss I deeply regret.

Just so I'm clear, you no longer feel confident in the belief that if you choose to remain anonymous, you can remain anonymous?

One thing I've always been aware of in my online posting life is that name hiding is not enough. I don't really say much about myself either. Superficial stuff, no more. I live in an area where there are very few Mormons (and I don't know any of them), so I'm not really worried about what Mormons close to me will say, but that really doesn't matter.

The point of my posting isn't so people get to know me (I don't do Facebook because having people online know me couldn't be less important to me). I post on these boards strictly to express myself and to see how people will respond to certain thoughts I'm tossing around. That's it. They don't need to know anything about me for me to accomplish that aim.

I also try to mix up my writing style from time to time, just for fun. Keep 'em guessing!

And that's why when people attempt to insult me, it never bothers me. They don't know me at all. They're insulting a phantom, not me, so it's actually pretty amusing. I couldn't take it personally if I tried. Of course, I'm not really one to take much offence in real life, either.

Anyway, I say, just stick to the facts and opinions, and leave the majority of your real life out of it if your anonymity is important to you. Nobody needs to know.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:40 am 
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harmony wrote:
I'd like to know exactly what the mods are supposed to do, besides what was done?

What changes would people like to see made?


This is Shades's board and he has to decide how he wants to run it. I know that his style has been "hands off" as much as possible, and there are benefits to that. All I can say is that most other internet board communities that I've participated on are very strict about revealing real-life information. On Z, for example, not only would it get you banned from ZLMB, but the mods were supposed to report it to the larger host site and the person would banned from any board on the host site.

I understand that is probably not conducive to Shades's vision of this board, but having a strong, severe reaction to "real life" issues is pretty much the only way to make other posters feel confident that it's not going to happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:44 am 
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Some Schmo wrote:
Just so I'm clear, you no longer feel confident in the belief that if you choose to remain anonymous, you can remain anonymous?

One thing I've always been aware of in my online posting life is that name hiding is not enough. I don't really say much about myself either. Superficial stuff, no more. I live in an area where there are very few Mormons (and I don't know any of them), so I'm not really worried about what Mormons close to me will say, but that really doesn't matter.

The point of my posting isn't so people get to know me (I don't do Facebook because having people online know me couldn't be less important to me). I post on these boards strictly to express myself and to see how people will respond to certain thoughts I'm tossing around. That's it. They don't need to know anything about me for me to accomplish that aim.

I also try to mix up my writing style from time to time, just for fun. Keep 'em guessing!

And that's why when people attempt to insult me, it never bothers me. They don't know me at all. They're insulting a phantom, not me, so it's actually pretty amusing. I couldn't take it personally if I tried. Of course, I'm not really one to take much offence in real life, either.

Anyway, I say, just stick to the facts and opinions, and leave the majority of your real life out of it if your anonymity is important to you. Nobody needs to know.


These are good ideas. The horse it already out of the barn for me, as far as revealing too much personal information. However, I'm not just concerned about my anonymity, but the anonymity of any poster on this board.

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We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:45 am 
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Given the nature of Mormon closed society, the use of malicious gossip, the unemployability of people who are known to hold anti-Mormon sentiments, and the nature of the paranoia that all this engenders, I am all for supporting the anonymity of those posters who want to remain anonymous. Not knowing who to trust, in a society which enforces conformity, it becomes difficult for the individual to ask those first serious questions. The internet becomes a safe place for this to happen.

I know how much I lost when people stereotyped me as an anti-Mormon simply because of my ancestry, and I don't want to inflict that on anyone.

Who knows how much you have to lose by being open about it?

Quote:
having a strong, severe reaction to "real life" issues is pretty much the only way to make other posters feel confident that it's not going to happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:59 am 
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I can tell you why anonymity is important to me: my job. Hey, I may be a little overly paranoid about it, but that is what I am concerned about. It is not that I am quaking about the regular board participants being able to figure out who I am. (And, by the way, I find it rather bizarre that people should think that this was my point.) What I want to avoid is placing my information out there in a way that connects me with my employer in a way that my employer may not like. In my business, that employer is, indirectly, any one of my colleagues, and they get to vote on whether I get to keep my job after a six-year trial period. Anyone who has been in my position, particularly in such a difficult job market, would appreciate how tense that position is. It is not something one plays around with.

I find it especially egregious when people who have made considerable effort to cover their own identities are cavalier with the desires of others to control IRL information about themselves. And I am sorry, but the fact that they have done more to cover up their identity is not a free pass to misuse the information of others.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:03 am 
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I'm still trying to figure out what you think the solution is.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:06 am 
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It also has a taste of using Mormon-like underhanded control techniques in the anti-Mormon effort. Surely we, with freer minds, can be more creative.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:15 am 
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I have it on good authority from a reliable source that Crockett has tattled on more than 1 regular poster...

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:17 am 
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Scottie wrote:
I have it on good authority from a reliable source that Crockett has tattled on more than 1 regular poster...


I think the current miscreant is Scratch.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:36 am 
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There are excellent points made by other posters here. Posters desire anonymity for various reasons - all of which should be respected. Many of our posters live in areas heavily influenced by the LDS church, and being "outed" as a critic can have serious real-life consequences. And yes, Scratch is the current offender, but he's not the only offender.

Part of this does have to do with problematic boundary issues that are created by Mormonism, IMO. Mormonism has a history of even encouraging tattling (see: polygamous period, BYU episode), but even when it is not outright encouraging it, the culture creates an atmosphere in which people feel they are "stewards" in some way over others, and that position entitles and even obligates them to intrude into others' lives. Now I'm not saying that anyone here believes they're a "steward" over someone else, and I'm not saying Mormons are worse at this than exmormons. What I am saying is that the culture of Mormonism may have a tendency to create people who have difficulties respecting personal boundaries, and that difficulty may extend into exmormonism as well as Mormonism.

Harmony, you're asking me for a solution. I responded that, in my experience, most other boards have a severe and immediate consequence for people who reveal real-life personal information about others: permanent banning. I don't think that's a perfect solution, because it will still happen occasionally, but it does assure posters that admins and mods view protecting personal information as the highest priority, hence giving a confidence that doesn't exist on a board like this.

I am not willing to say "Shades should start banning people who reveal personal information," because it's his board and he has a vision for the board, and that may not be compatible with his vision. I'm also not saying "Shades should ban Scratch" because that would be a retroactive punishment, plus, it's his board and he has the right to follow his own vision for the board.

I am saying that, given this latest episode, along with the previous two (or three, according to Scottie), I do not feel confident that anonymity is being protected in the most stringent manner possible.

If it were my board, which it isn't and I would never want the responsibility of running/owning an internet board (hence my repeated affirmation of Shades's right to conduct the board according to his own vision), I would follow the former standard at ZLMB, and, at that time, the entire ezboard community. Any poster who revealed personal information about another poster would be immediately and permanently banned. I think that's the only way to send a strong, clear message about zero tolerance for that behavior.

Of course I am only stating my opinion, which is relatively unimportant in how this board is run. But I wanted to express how uncomfortable I am with this latest episode, and disappointed that some others do not recognize the significance of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:51 am 
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beastie wrote:
(or three, according to Scottie)

I should clarify that Crockett did not find out this persons IRL info from the message board. AFAIK, nobody has ever posted this persons IRL info.

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:56 am 
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Beastie, speaking as a poster, I couldn't agree with you more. I have long been a proponent that we need SOME rules here.

And, it's not like posting IRL info is some kind of subjective judgement call. If you post it, it's pretty cut and dried that you posted it. There should be punishment for it as a deterrent.

I also agree that retroactively going back and punishing someone for a new rule would be wrong.

And, Scratch, WHAT IN THE HELL were you thinking??? I would have expected you to be one of the posters here with good common sense!!

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If there's one thing I've learned from this board, it's that consensual sex with multiple partners is okay unless God commands it. - Abman

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 Post subject: Re: Anonymity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:57 am 
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Scottie wrote:
beastie wrote:
(or three, according to Scottie)

I should clarify that Crockett did not find out this persons IRL info from the message board. AFAIK, nobody has ever posted this persons IRL info.


This emphasizes my point even more. Whether or not posters are in denial over it, the reality is that there are posters - sometimes even just lurkers, as in my case - who WILL use information from internet boards to intrude into someone's real life. I think it's usually for malicious intent, but sometimes the person will convince him/herself that it's for the poster's own good, or to protect family members, but regardless of motive, most internet posters do NOT welcome this kind of real-life intrusion.

So knowing that there are some people who will do their best to ferret out the identity of posters with malice or misguided intent: why should any of us make that "detective" work easier, by revealing personal information about another poster, even if the revealer doesn't think it's a big deal?

I'm sure that almost every poster here would agree that it's wrong to reveal real life information about other posters, but the question is: are we justified feeling some confidence that it won't happen when the only consequence when it does happen is a deletion of the information?

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