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Author Topic: Hiding behind pseudonyms  (Read 8576 times)
Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #60 on: May 13, 2013, 02:40:23 AM »
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John, as I posted earlier, I do have sympathy with your position on this - but I think it should be a free choice.  The site owner already has the ability to close down an account if they wish.

In my amateur photographic life I have been a member of a local camera club for around 15 years, and we meet once a week.  It is customary for a fair size group of us to go round to a local pub at the end of the evening - the group varying from 5 - 15 or so.  We pull a few tables together and all sit around and chat (and have a beer).  Sometimes the discussions break down into smaller groups, and sometimes the whole table is sharing one discussion.  There are often quite conflicting views.  The subjects are varied, but many of them are about photography - mostly aesthetics rather than technical.  The characters present are very varied too - a good cross-section of local people.

When I participate in posting on this Forum, I almost imagine myself sitting around that table in a pub with a group of varied folk, discussing the issues.  I would never behave in a manner, or say anything that I wouldn't say across that table face to face.  Thus to sit and speak from behind a screen, anonymously, is not acceptable to me.  That is my personal benchmark.  Everyone has to make their own decision.  I can understand there may be some rare cases where  a person may need to keep their identity private, and I can accept that.  But if they do, I believe their online manners should be impeccable.  As Chris has just said, pseudonyms have a shorter leash.

As to the poster who worries about showing up in Google searches, don't say anything you don't really believe to be right.  And anyway, I did a search of my own name and despite having made hundreds of posts here, not a single one showed up in Google.  Only pages from my own website, and those of a writer with the same name.

So, like most areas of life, it should be down to personal choice and principles.  Are you an upfront kind of person who speaks their mind face to face, or would you rather hide from sight and comment from the shadows.  If the latter, just remember that we will be less tolerant of bad behaviour, and perhaps suspect your motives.

Jim
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stamper
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« Reply #61 on: May 13, 2013, 03:04:35 AM »
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Thanks for chipping in, and for for letting it run for a while before doing so, Chris. I'm all for minimizing extra effort, so what about moving from encouraging to requiring? I presume you approve every new member, so that would be no extra effort. Obviously there would need to be a route for people with a good reason for not using a real name - better than "I use this name for all forums".

You'd probably have to lock down the displayed user name too.

I wonder how a moderator "approves" a new member. Someone registers somewhere in Outer Mongolia. A background check would be a trifle difficult to accomplish. How do you set up a route for checking for people for not using their real name. It takes a few minutes to set up a free email address and register on any forum. Chris has pointed out it is very difficult - imo impossible - to check people out especially because this is a free forum and members don't have to give credit card details.




































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john beardsworth
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« Reply #62 on: May 13, 2013, 03:24:15 AM »
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John, as I posted earlier, I do have sympathy with your position on this - but I think it should be a free choice.  The site owner already has the ability to close down an account if they wish.
And that free choice is obviously a difference between us, Jim, which is fine. Although analogies often end up with the analogy becoming the topic, your pub wouldn't allow people to come in with balaclavas or scarves over their faces, unless it's a very rough pub.

John
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #63 on: May 13, 2013, 03:34:53 AM »
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And that free choice is obviously a difference between us, Jim, which is fine. Although analogies often end up with the analogy becoming the topic, your pub wouldn't allow people to come in with balaclavas or scarves over their faces, unless it's a very rough pub.

John

Well my point really was that it was MY benchmark for my behaviour.  And if they did turn up with masks on, everyone else around the table would view them and their views with some suspicion.  Consider the case of some religions and their veiled faces.  In a normal social setting I personally find that a bit disconcerting, but don't think they should be outlawed.  Within reason, freedom of choice is a good thing.  I don't like pseudonyms on this forum, but if those people behave in a civilised manner I am not too bothered.

Jim
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #64 on: May 13, 2013, 03:41:36 AM »
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I wonder how a moderator "approves" a new member. Someone registers somewhere in Outer Mongolia. A background check would be a trifle difficult to accomplish. How do you set up a route for checking for people for not using their real name. It takes a few minutes to set up a free email address and register on any forum. Chris has pointed out it is very difficult - imo impossible - to check people out especially because this is a free forum and members don't have to give credit card details.
Again, you're making the perfect the enemy of the possible. Setting up a fake email address is more hassle and raises the bar. Or for example, on another forum we have a big notice on the registration form which requests an email identifying yourself and asking for a sentence or two describing your interest in the forum topic. We don't do any more than accept someone who has jumped through that hoop, and all other registrations are dumped as they're either spammers or don't have the reading skills needed to be of value in the forum.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #65 on: May 13, 2013, 03:45:23 AM »
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Well my point really was that it was MY benchmark for my behaviour.  And if they did turn up with masks on, everyone else around the table would view them and their views with some suspicion.  Consider the case of some religions and their veiled faces. 
Ah, but they don't come in the pub! That's the trouble with analogies!
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KLaban
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« Reply #66 on: May 13, 2013, 03:50:16 AM »
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As to the poster who worries about showing up in Google searches, don't say anything you don't really believe to be right.  And anyway, I did a search of my own name and despite having made hundreds of posts here, not a single one showed up in Google.  Only pages from my own website, and those of a writer with the same name.

I'm not sure if you are referring to me, but my wish that my posts here don't swamp google searches for my name or website has nothing to do with what I write here and everything to do with making sure the links that are important to me and my business get priority.

Try doing a google search for folk here who publish their web address in their LuLa signature and you can find thousands of links to their posts.
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stamper
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« Reply #67 on: May 13, 2013, 03:59:00 AM »
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As well as posting under your real name does providing your real age a requirement? Wink Smiley
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2013, 04:07:34 AM »
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As well as posting under your real name does providing your real age a requirement? Wink Smiley
Mental age might be more appropriate....
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kikashi
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« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2013, 04:10:11 AM »
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Try doing a google search for folk here who publish their web address in their LuLa signature and you can find thousands of links to their posts.
That's a separate point, though. There's a big difference between providing a real name as a login ID and putting a URL or email address in your signature, isn't there?

As well as posting under your real name does providing your real age a requirement? Wink Smiley

Real physical age or real mental age?

Jeremy
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stamper
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« Reply #70 on: May 13, 2013, 04:32:42 AM »
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Is there a difference? Sad
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #71 on: May 13, 2013, 04:36:19 AM »
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Often, but both are irrelevant. I know it's difficult, but try to be constructive....
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #72 on: May 13, 2013, 04:36:37 AM »
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I'm not sure if you are referring to me, but my wish that my posts here don't swamp google searches for my name or website has nothing to do with what I write here and everything to do with making sure the links that are important to me and my business get priority.

Try doing a google search for folk here who publish their web address in their LuLa signature and you can find thousands of links to their posts.

I was referring to you - but I had perhaps not appreciated the point about having your web address in the signature.  Doesn't seem to be a problem with using a real name though.

Jim
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #73 on: May 13, 2013, 04:50:26 AM »
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Ah, but they don't come in the pub! That's the trouble with analogies!

John, it is amazing how things get misunderstood here in forum land!  The analogy is not meant to be an analogy.  I did not call it an analogy.  It is how I actually think of myself here on the forum.  I don't say anyone else needs to think the same as I do, it just governs my personal behaviour.  If a masked person actually came into the pub I think everyone else would just leave - including me!  If Schewe came into the pub with a mask on I would be fine, because I think having seen a few of his tutorials I could recognise him.

Anything I say here I would be happy to say to say to your face (or anyone else's).  You are right in a way though, because I do speak to anonymous people here, whereas in the pub I would not speak to a masked man!  It's amazing though how the personalities shine through when you read lots of posts.  Despite never having met any of the other Forum members, I know the ones I would enjoy sitting in the pub with, and the ones I would not.  Probably many others I wouldn't like to decide on just through their posts though.

Jim
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #74 on: May 13, 2013, 05:02:14 AM »
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It is an analogy though, Jim, but I was more amused by being invited to "consider the case of some religions and their veiled faces" and wondering what they were doing in a pub.

John
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kencameron
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« Reply #75 on: May 13, 2013, 05:21:50 AM »
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I think the LuLa approach, as explained in Chris's post, is about right. Maybe the encouragement could be strengthened.  I choose to use my own name, albeit with a misleading photograph, and I suspect that doing so is a force for the good in my case, but if there is a correlation between outrageous behaviour and anonymity on LuLa, I don't think it is that strong. I also don't think behaviour on LuLa is that bad and that we don't need a problematic solution to a non-existent problem. As well as the impracticality cited by Chris, I would be concerned that enforcing an own-name requirement might drive some good, polite and reasonable people away from the forum for various reasons that seemed good to them.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #76 on: May 13, 2013, 06:27:07 AM »
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It is an analogy though, Jim, but I was more amused by being invited to "consider the case of some religions and their veiled faces" and wondering what they were doing in a pub.

John

Good one! Smiley
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nutcracker
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« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2013, 06:42:54 AM »
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I think it unfortunate that the term "hiding behind" is used.
It is to be expected that professional photographers and photographic industry merchants would use their own or trading name on this and other sites

However, many of the amateur enthusiasts may be members of professions that discourage or even prohibit public activities that might be construed as advertising, even if not directly related to the specific profession.

Members of some professions, such as the Judiciary, prominent lawyers or medical doctors may need to protect their privacy when pursuing their interests away from professional work.

There can be perfectly legitimate reasons for using a pseudonym.
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KLaban
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« Reply #78 on: May 13, 2013, 07:08:52 AM »
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That's a separate point, though. There's a big difference between providing a real name as a login ID and putting a URL or email address in your signature, isn't there?

kikashi, Jeremy, or whoever you are... I could care less how folk choose to provide their identity, that’s up to them, each to their own, but I do prefer to know who it is I'm talking to.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #79 on: May 13, 2013, 07:12:35 AM »
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I think it unfortunate that the term "hiding behind" is used.
It was deliberate.

I agree that there can be perfectly legitimate reasons for anonymity, and I said as much in the original post.
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