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Regular posters with second "anonymous" usernames


Catwoman
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I don't recall having seen anything like this in the past, but lately there have been at least three people who have claimed to be regular posters who have started posting under new "anonymous" usernames to discuss sensitive issues.

 

Is that allowed?

 

Frankly, I feel sorry for anyone who is going through a rough time, but I'm not at all pleased with this new trend toward opening second user accounts here. How do we know that these posters are truly regular members here and not just brand new trolls?

 

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as unsympathetic, but I thought we were only allowed to use one username on this forum. People have posted about sensitive issues and problems here for years without having to resort to using a new name.

 

Am I alone in feeling this way?

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I don't recall having seen anything like this in the past, but lately there have been at least three people who have claimed to be regular posters who have started posting under new "anonymous" usernames to discuss sensitive issues.

 

Is that allowed?

 

Frankly, I feel sorry for anyone who is going through a rough time, but I'm not at all pleased with this new trend toward opening second user accounts here. How do we know that these posters are truly regular members here and not just brand new trolls?

 

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as unsympathetic, but I thought we were only allowed to use one username on this forum. People have posted about sensitive issues and problems here for years without having to resort to using a new name.

 

Am I alone in feeling this way?

 

You are not alone.

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I've wondered this myself. Quite a long time ago, DH tried to get an account and it flagged him. I had to email the moderator and ask why he couldn't have an account and they said they did that so someone couldn't have multiple accounts. They did let him have the account though but we had to have permission.

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In the past, people "asked Tibbie" to post sensitive things for them. 

 

That worked SO well on the Sonlight forums that I offered to do it here, years ago...not realizing that there are 25,000 users here...LOL

 

I passed it off during a busy period when I couldn't be here to monitor the discussions, but I don't know why it didn't continue to work. Nor do I remember who did it after me.

 

I don't like this new multiple-account system, either. Helping out each other is one thing, but agreed, they could just be drama queens and trolls. Not that we don't already have drama queens and trolls, but by golly, they're OUR drama queens and trolls!

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I know it's against board rules. Supposedly a few boardies who are on here with their spouses have been mistakenly suspended in the past because of the rule (same IP address and different user names). But I haven't reported anyone for it. Mostly because I sympathize. But it does make me uncomfortable. I like the idea of having a long time poster who is trusted to post for the person as an intermediary. I sort of remember Tibbie doing that a couple of times ages ago. It feels more vetted than the unverifiable claim that someone is a longtime member posting about a very delicate or out there situation.

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In the past, didn't everyone just post from their real profile then ask for it to be deleted once they have enough replies?

 

I think so.  Or it was so sensitive that the moderators deleted it on their own after 36-48 hours or so.

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I know it's not allowed, but I don't mind. Sometimes people want things to be private. I am sure that someone who knows me IRL could figure out who I am by things I've posted here, and if I had something super-secret to talk about I might not be comfortable posting here. If it seems trolly to me, eh, I don't care. I see trolly posts here every day--it's just the posting style of some people. 

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I don't recall having seen anything like this in the past, but lately there have been at least three people who have claimed to be regular posters who have started posting under new "anonymous" usernames to discuss sensitive issues.

 

Is that allowed?

 

Frankly, I feel sorry for anyone who is going through a rough time, but I'm not at all pleased with this new trend toward opening second user accounts here. How do we know that these posters are truly regular members here and not just brand new trolls?

 

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as unsympathetic, but I thought we were only allowed to use one username on this forum. People have posted about sensitive issues and problems here for years without having to resort to using a new name.

 

Am I alone in feeling this way?

It is not allowed. If someone really wants to post about something that personal, they should go to a different forum. These are the rules. We agreed to these rules when we signed up.

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The thing is, we're already supposed to be somewhat anonymous under our user names  Some people have supplied more personal information over the years but most of us protect our full names and that of our family.  But I also realize that over the years some boardies have gotten to know each other in-real-life.  (In that case, for me, that has meant that my board friends already trust each other with sensitive information  much more so than I have ever posted online.)  So going more anonymous really only protects your board persona?  Perhaps?  (I'm just "typing out loud" here.)  At the same time, I am very sympathetic to people who feel like they have no one to turn to.  But it does make me uncomfortable to have the extra anonymous element to it. 

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I've also post for help for board members who needed advice but (for whatever reason) didnt use their own profile.

 

I have great sympathy for people in trouble and who have no where to turn.

 

I don't know what the answer is. It seems like the people who have started "anon" posts in the last few weeks are in pain and reaching out...however, that doesn't mean someone can't come along and just be trolling for kicks.

 

The MOST concerning part is, what if some regular poster posts "anon" and it is truly a crisis...like an abuse situation or feelings of suicide, and then no one knows who it "really" is???

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I've also post for help for board members who needed advice but (for whatever reason) didnt use their own profile.

 

I have great sympathy for people in trouble and who have no where to turn.

 

I don't know what the answer is. It seems like the people who have started "anon" posts in the last few weeks are in pain and reaching out...however, that doesn't mean someone can't come along and just be trolling for kicks.

 

The MOST concerning part is, what if some regular poster posts "anon" and it is truly a crisis...like an abuse situation or feelings of suicide, and then no one knows who it "really" is???

 

The one time I know of where there was a suicide threat, SWB knew the information and reached out to the person to get help.  That may have been on the old board (I can't remember). 

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The one time I know of where there was a suicide threat, SWB knew the information and reached out to the person to get help. That may have been on the old board (I can't remember).

Right, bc she posted under her regular user name, if it is the situation I'm thinking of.

 

My point is...what if someone uses an anon, new profile and things go really bad like that? And there's no way to contact them.

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I read several of the anon posts. I am me on here, I don't hide, and I've shared some really hard stuff-and deleted some really hard stuff. But anyone who cares to remember, or to search, can find those things about me. But somethings? I wouldn't want anyone, real or online, to connect to me. Too personal.

I understand the board rules-and I agree.
I've never heard of "Ask Tibbie" and I've been here several years. Maybe they didn't know either? Having that info published would be helpful (Maybe as a Sticky?)

 

 

ETA: And if the goal is to weed out trolls, those anon posts could lead with "I know all about Kilts, Cupcakes, and TeA" to verify their long time status :)

Edited by athomeontheprairie
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Does it matter?  If a post is troll-y, it's troll-y, even if it's from a regular poster.  If I think a thread isn't worth my time, I don't post or read beyond the OP.  Something like "my dh is having a mental illness episode, can you give some advice" doesn't have to be from a regular poster for us to give thoughtful answers if we have the time and inclination.  And I don't feel like I'm entitled to know that kind of thing about anyone IRL, let alone someone on the internet, so the anonymous posting doesn't bother me.  I don't need to match up the poster's dh situation with what math curriculum they're choosing for high school.  Of course sometimes the more you know about someone's life the better your advice can be, but that's the risk the OP takes when posting anon.

 

The only concern I can see is if there is a serious concern where IRL intervention would be called for, but that's rare, and that kind of post could just as well come from a legit newbie as from a seasoned boardie.  

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It is not allowed. If someone really wants to post about something that personal, they should go to a different forum. These are the rules. We agreed to these rules when we signed up.

Well, that seems crass though. If I had a really heartbreaking and also personal situation to deal with, why the hell would I go to a different community where I didn't "know" anyone? If I wanted help with a situation, I would want to ask my "friends" here, such as they are. It's the only way I would have some contextual understanding of the responses I would get, because I know the persona of a lot of members here and their responses to me would make sense according to what I already know about them.

 

I'm not really defending the practice; I'm not even a big fan of the new ability we have to change our UN at will, but I also can't see saying, "Welp. Sorry. You have to suffer in silence, risk exposure, or else go to a forum where you aren't a known poster."

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My concern is due to the rule of no duplicate accounts, and in the old old days, iirc there was a rule that you couldn't use "anon/anonymous" as your board name. I'd hate to see someone who could benefit from an exchange here getting kicked off before getting that help, as a consequence of breaking the rule. Or losing lots of helpful feedback from a thread being deleted.

Edited by Seasider
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On another forum I used to frequent users could ask to borrow an "anonymous" account and they had 24 hours to use it.

I am not sure how I feel about 2nd anonymous accounts because I wonder if we're being trolled, but I get wanting to be anonymous if you're an active long-time user asking for help on an extremely sensitive subject.

Edited by DesertBlossom
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I know it's not allowed, but I don't mind. Sometimes people want things to be private. I am sure that someone who knows me IRL could figure out who I am by things I've posted here, and if I had something super-secret to talk about I might not be comfortable posting here. If it seems trolly to me, eh, I don't care. I see trolly posts here every day--it's just the posting style of some people.

I totally agree. It doesn't bother me at all.

And I agree about the style of some posters.

 

 

On a board I was on many years ago, the mods would let people have a temporary anonymous account (they would message a mod for permission first) for situations like this. It worked well.

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Gosh, why the hunt?

I'm not sure what you're talking about. :confused:

 

I posted because there seems to be a new forum practice of opening a second user account to post about sensitive issues, and I'm wondering if people are actually allowed to do that, as well as how people feel about it.

 

I'm not "hunting" anyone; I posted my opinion and asked how others felt about the situation.

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I can see both sides of the situation. I agree with what everyone has already said about trolls and multiple accounts, but when you're dealing with a spouse with mental illness, for example, you're always a little bit worried that CPS is going to come and take your kids away if anyone finds out. There's a lot of shame and guilt involved, and you might not want that to spill over into the parts of your life that feel otherwise safe and normal. And sometimes you just want to talk about kilts or books without feeling like everyone is thinking of you as "the chick with the nutso husband" or whatever.

 

Obviously, I have no problem with laying my own stuff out there for everyone to see, lol. But I can see the other point of view, too.

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I knew it was against the rules, and I wondered why it was being done and being allowed.

 

I am not sure how I feel about it.  I understand why one would want to post anonymously.  But I also understand the need to prevent people from having multiple user names.  I wasn't about to report anybody because they came across believable and it would feel like kicking them while they were down.

 

Maybe someone could figure out a compromise in this world of advanced technology.

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I don't really have a problem with it; like it's kind of a parenthetical break from the normal things that person would post, and they don't want to be defined by it. And maybe this really is the only place they feel they can ask for help. I understand the reason for the rules, but my heart goes out to those who are reaching for help.

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I just want to say that if there is a ruling on this from the forum administrators and it happens to be against this practice, please do not blame Catwoman for bringing this up.  I brought it up long before she did on another thread where silly me didn't even realize that the person was a long time poster.  It was confusing to me.  (In that case, I don't believe that the person made it clear in the original post but just had anon in their new user name.)

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On another forum I used to frequent users could ask to borrow an "anonymous" account and they had 24 hours to use it.

 

I am not sure how I feel about 2nd anonymous accounts because I wonder if we're being trolled, but I get wanting tobe anonymous if you're an active long-time user asking for help on an extremely sensitive subject.

 

I like that idea.

 

One of the "drawbacks" to homeschooling is that you can exist in an isolation of sorts.  This board often fills a gap. That's not it's purpose, but I think that is how it's morphed - at least in my mind.

 

I know the risks of posing on a forum like this, and I still post some personal information and situations, perhaps because so far, the trade-off has been worthwhile.  Sometimes, life hits you with such staggering bloopers that are so far out of your realm of existence that they may very well be outside the realm of existence for your family, friends, and neighbors too.

 

There is a lot of collective wisdom and kindness here that can be very helpful when you've been side-blinded. You were all very gentle when a family member nearly died. You prayed and kindly explained about pancreatitis. Man, am I glad I didn't have that conversation with anybody in my real life. I was clueless.

 

I didn't know we could have second anon accounts because "only one account" has been drilled into me and I never want to lose my board privileges.  My thought is that while these may make us uncomfortable, give it the benefit of the doubt.  Mental illness, legal issues, marital issues are all uncomfortable and often it can be difficult or next to impossible to discuss them with people we know.

 

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I'm torn on this. Several years ago we regularly had trolls and some just weird seeking attention types.

 

There was funny: the person with 1000 DC who was building a house on a lake where each would have there own room. I think that was a DD of a poster who got some unsupervised computer time.

 

Then there was the person who said her 12yo DD got pregnant at co-op. That thread went on pretty far.

 

Then there was a time when one poster was banned when seemed to be on a vigilante bid to out trolls.

 

Most of the trolls I can think of were a decade ago. It seems like there are less now. But I do remember a time when I'd regularly come across a thread and wonder "is this person bored and posting here for kicks (attention or just to rile us up). So, if anonymous posting is permitted I could see problems starting again.

 

But I am sorry for the post that triggered this thread. It sounds so painful. And sometimes we need to read out.

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Well, as a representative of anon, I guess I should reply.

 

I had sincerely forgotten about the rules.  I saw others doing it a couple weeks back and when I had my own crisis moment, I thought of how others handled it. Board rules are not at the top of my mind right now, and it's been a while since I read them. 

 

I'd never heard of the Tibbie thing, but I've only been here maybe 2 or 3 years. 

 

So, why not use my real username?  I guess a couple reasons.

One, even though my particular situation isn't my fault, I still feel like it reflects badly on me.  Shame, reputation, etc. It's the same reason I'm not talking about this with my neighbors or my family: I am ashamed of it, and I don't want others to think badly of me, I will want to interact with later them without that stigma. 

Two, I don't want this to be my life, and it is easier to pretend it isn't happening to me if "I" don't admit to it. This is a way to put a small barrier between myself and my situation.  

 

I didn't mean to make anyone feel weird or irritated at this, frankly I didn't think about how others would respond/feel about it.  I put that I was a regular on my post...I'm not really sure why. I'll have to think about my motives on that. I can add my real user name I guess, or delete my post. I'll probably delete the post, given the choice.  I do appreciate the replies I did get, though.

 

eta: after reading through other responses, I can see why this could cause a problem, and why others would be put off by it. Sorry for that.  

Edited by AnonWife
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I wonder if we could just encourage a culture of asking someone to post for you in general. It doesn't have to be a single designated person. Or Tibbie. If you've been here as a regular poster for a couple of years, then I'd think you'd have at least a couple of people who you could pm and say, hey, would you mind doing an anonymous post for me?

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((((AnonWife))) please understand that there's a reason why this convo is happening in THIS thread and not in YOUR thread.

 

That reason is that people care about you and your feelings! So those who can contribute something are doing so, in your thread, and those who are bothered are staying away. That's how it should be, IMO.

 

Please, take whatever comfort comes until threads are locked, or in spite of what we're talking about here, because this discussion is not really about you. It's about what seems to be a change in posting that makes us wonder if the mods and admins have had a change of heart.

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I am more bothered when Sue, who we all know lives in XYZ town with two daughters, a striped cat and her crazy MIL, has a serious, private marital issue and needs advice. I always think "yikes, this forum quickly shows up on a google search". Twice, I've googled an issue and been brought to a thread on this forum where I was discussing the issue. That bothers me. I constantly remind myself that this forum is absolutely in no way private.

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