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Comforting Rain

Site Suggestion: Adding an anonymous section

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Comforting Rain

I've seen on some other websites a section where members can post as "anonymous" rather than as their usernames. I can understand how some might be scared of it being misused, some people might use such a place to be mean without having their name attached. But with heavy rules against such a thing, hopefully that can be prevented. An anonymous section would be more for people who wish to ask for advice about serious topics that they don't want people to know they are going through. I find sometimes I wish to make a topic about something I am going through in the "tea time and sympathy" section, but I don't want to attach my name to it because I don't want people to be concerned for me specifically. 

So if it's possible to make an anonymous section, I think it would be a pretty cool idea. 

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WünderBâhr

🤔 This is an interesting suggestion. Speaking for myself, I could see some merits to it, as I have hesitated posting some things, in the past, bc my sn follows me everywhere around AVEN. I can also think of some ways ppl might abuse it (like anything that allows for anonymity, online) so that it makes it "Report Central."

 

I'm not even sure it would be something that is possible with the software (so many updates and changes!), so I'm sure that would be a factor in considering whether this is doable. Also, how would it be moderated?

 

AVEN has a forum where members can go to discuss more personal topics, beyond T&S (information available, here). But it isn't anonymous, so that's a thing. Still, it's an interesting suggestion. 🤔

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Una Salus Victus

No, just not. Not only is it so open to abuse, which wouldn't be a surprise, but it'd make it oh so much harder to regulate and moderate, not to mention how many people cant get easily upset around here. Hell, Hot Box is tame as it is, and people still find excuses to complain about it.

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Homer

The only way I could see this implemented is if the software allowed for an account to post anonymously in public, but staff being able to connect it to an account. Everything else will turn into a shit show.

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K.I.N.G

I’ve been hope for the same thing though I can understand why you wouldn’t want to have to deal with that kind of risk.

 

Even if you could just post without it showing up on your feed that would be something.

 

What If there was some way that the public profile, name, profile-pic was anonymous but the admins could see and link it back to an account? 

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Una Salus Victus
1 hour ago, Homer said:

The only way I could see this implemented is if the software allowed for an account to post anonymously in public, but staff being able to connect it to an account. Everything else will turn into a shit show.

Even if IPB allowed it, it'd be the shit storm that brings on Ragnorak around here.

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LeChat

Since, (H)aven's already been mentioned, what about how--if you're not signed in--there's an option to post through using an email address (before registering for an account) at the bottom of every thread (unless that's still considered making a new account)?

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Homer
5 minutes ago, InquisitivePhilosopher said:

Since, (H)aven's already been mentioned, what about how--if you're not signed in--there's an option to post through using an email address (before registering for an account) at the bottom of every thread (unless that's still considered making a new account)?

There have been a few notorious sock creators in the past. This feature would make any effort to get rid of them pointless.

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.Lia

IMO the potential for abuse far outweighs the positives of something like this.

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Snao Cone

Interesting idea, but I don't think it would be as anonymous as intended. Some people would be recognizable by their writing, and it might turn this feature into a gossip generator as people try to figure out who posted what. 

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Una Salus Victus

 

9 minutes ago, Snao Cone said:

Interesting idea, but I don't think it would be as anonymous as intended. Some people would be recognizable by their writing, and it might turn this feature into a gossip generator as people try to figure out who posted what. 

It's only as interesting to the point for those of us that have a platform to get away with more shenanigans.

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Nevyn

The only reason to be anonymous is to hide yourself from criticism and responsibility. There's no good reason to do that here.

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WünderBâhr
3 hours ago, Nevyn said:

The only reason to be anonymous is to hide yourself from criticism and responsibility. There's no good reason to do that here.

Not necessarily. Don't get me wrong, I see the potential for abuse as being super high risk, and I know it's easy to see the worst application for any (possible) feature that would open floodgates of blargh. Years of moderating/adminning/forum-ing teaches you to be hyper-aware of potential ill-intent. 

 

However, I also see the benefit of having the outlet. Especially for anyone who may have had partnerships with anyone else on AVEN (where they can't discuss issues without that being in the spotlight), or any conversations that made them feel unsafe, but don't exactly cross the ToS.

 

So, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the possible need for something like this as a suggestion. That being said, the OP did acknowledge the potential for abuse and so on, so it's a pretty reasonably written suggestion for what it is, imo. Whether or not it is worth the hassle or feasible with software, remains to be seen. 🤷🏽‍♀️ If it gets a hard no, we can all just go back to our regularly scheduled forum-ing. 

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Nevyn

Does this site still have Haven or did that go away with the new paintjob?

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WünderBâhr
4 minutes ago, Nevyn said:

Does this site still have Haven or did that go away with the new paintjob?

It still does. I linked to the information about it in my earlier post. :)

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Nevyn

Great. I'm still going to keep my opinion on this.

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Kimmie.

Based on how few active members AVEN actually have it would not be hard to figure out who anyone is unfortunately. 

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Comforting Rain
13 hours ago, Homer said:

The only way I could see this implemented is if the software allowed for an account to post anonymously in public, but staff being able to connect it to an account. Everything else will turn into a shit show.

That's kind of what I was hoping was possible, that way if there is abuse, abusers can still be punished. I have seen it work on other sites. 

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Comforting Rain
9 hours ago, Nevyn said:

The only reason to be anonymous is to hide yourself from criticism and responsibility. There's no good reason to do that here.

No, not true at all. I've seen this work on other sites, and while I am not sure how heavily it is moderated, it did not turn into a shit show. It wouldn't be for posting political opinions, or anything like that. It would not be to hide from criticism. 

It would be for people to ask for advice and support for their problems they don't want people to know they are going through. Because sometimes you have problems that are so personal you can't open up to your friends. But you still want to ask for advice. You just don't want people to know it's happening to you, because you are afraid of how they will react. They could over react, tell people you don't want them to tell, etc. So instead of opening up, you just suffer in silence. Unless you had a safe way to open up and ask for advice without connecting your problems to your name. 

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Sally
12 minutes ago, Transformed said:

No, not true at all. I've seen this worked on other sites, and while I am not sure how heavily it is moderated, it did not turn into a shit show. It wouldn't be for posting political opinions, or anything like that. It would not be to hide from criticism. 

It would be for people to ask for advice and support for their problems they don't want people to know they are going through. Because sometimes you have problems that are so personal you can't open up to your friends. But you still want to ask for advice. You just don't want people to know it's happening to you, because you are afraid of how they will react. They could over react, tell people you don't want them to tell, etc. So instead of opening up, you just suffer in silence. Unless you had a safe way to open up and ask for advice without connecting your problems to your name. 

But there's a limit to the level of advice that can be given by people you don't really know on the internet.  If the issue is so personal that you don't want it to be connected with you -- as you are known on AVEN -- it  seems to me that that issue should be addressed with a professional.  

 

And as someone above mentioned, this could become a game of "see who can guess who that is", which could be very unexpectedly hurtful to the person who posts, and would drive mods nuts trying to monitor that game.  .  

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Comforting Rain
5 minutes ago, Sally said:

But there's a limit to the level of advice that can be given by people you don't really know on the internet.  If the issue is so personal that you don't want it to be connected with you -- as you are known on AVEN -- it  seems to me that that issue should be addressed with a professional.  

 

And as someone above mentioned, this could become a game of "see who can guess who that is", which could be very unexpectedly hurtful to the person who posts, and would drive mods nuts trying to monitor that game.  .  

Not everyone has access to a professional, they aren't cheap, and contrary to what some believe, they certainly aren't free. And believe me, sometimes talking anonymously online really can be a big help, because at least you talked about it, even if advice given is more general. And it's not just about your name on AVEN. It's the way people see you in general. People who might know you outside of AVEN but also on here might see what you post and ask advice for, and you don't want them to know what you are struggling with.

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Sally
10 minutes ago, Transformed said:

Not everyone has access to a professional, they aren't cheap, and contrary to what some believe, they certainly aren't free. And believe me, sometimes talking anonymously online really can be a big help, because at least you talked about it, even if advice given is more general. And it's not just about your name on AVEN. It's the way people see you in general. People who might know you outside of AVEN but also on here might see what you post and ask advice for, and you don't want them to know what you are struggling with.

I can understand why you feel this might be good for some people.  But AVEN is not a therapy site, and the difficulties mentioned above by mods outweight, I think, the good that this could provide to some people.  Over my years of reading AVEN, I've seen people -- under their own AVEN names -- disclose very personal/uncomfortable situations, and I've not seen them mention that they've suffered any bad effects from being that disclosive.   

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Nevyn

Hasn't there been a few people on AVEN that were given a second account to post from before? I don't seem to recall it working out very well. 

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LeChat
18 hours ago, Transformed said:

Not everyone has access to a professional, they aren't cheap, and contrary to what some believe, they certainly aren't free...

Certainly. If it helps, some therapists have written articles, with advice on their blogs for things like depression, abuse, etc. They're free to read, and I've found it helpful and healing, more helpful than previous health professionals I've tried to see in person (who didn't act concerned or as though they really wanted to help me).

 

There are also online support groups, where others who've been through things like abuse discuss how they're therapy is going, the times when they struggle with PTSD, etc.

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Skycaptain

@Nevyn, yes there have, in circumstances involving stalking, harassment etc, where, even if the perpetrator has been banned, we have genuine reason to believe that the victim needs a new account for safety reasons. Such issues are dealt with on a case-by-case basis but the numbers involved are very low. 

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Cheshire-Cat

One suggestion that could work that was done on a forum I used to be a member of was to have an anonymous account and forum. When a member wished to post something anonymously they asked an admin if they could have access to the account and were given the log in details for it. They were then only able to view and post in the anonymous forum whilst using that account. When they had finished with the account the password was changed so it could be used by another user.

 

The advantages of this were that the admins always knew who had access to the account at any given time, and should there be any issues the password could be changed so the member could no longer use it. Also by only having access to the one forum they were unable to post anonymously elsewhere on the site, thus reducing the ability to troll. 

 

From my (admittedly limited) knowledge of AVEN's technical abilities something like this shouldn't be hard to set up and trial.

 

Edit: Personally I'd be very much in favour of having an ability to post anonymously as, like others, there have been times I've wanted to post things on here but haven't as I don't want them attributable to me due to their personalness.

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Comforting Rain
4 hours ago, Cheshire-Cat said:

One suggestion that could work that was done on a forum I used to be a member of was to have an anonymous account and forum. When a member wished to post something anonymously they asked an admin if they could have access to the account and were given the log in details for it. They were then only able to view and post in the anonymous forum whilst using that account. When they had finished with the account the password was changed so it could be used by another user.

 

The advantages of this were that the admins always knew who had access to the account at any given time, and should there be any issues the password could be changed so the member could no longer use it. Also by only having access to the one forum they were unable to post anonymously elsewhere on the site, thus reducing the ability to troll. 

  

From my (admittedly limited) knowledge of AVEN's technical abilities something like this shouldn't be hard to set up and trial.

 

Edit: Personally I'd be very much in favour of having an ability to post anonymously as, like others, there have been times I've wanted to post things on here but haven't as I don't want them attributable to me due to their personalness.

From the sounds of it though, it sounds like only one person would have access at a time. How is one supposed to view replies? 

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Philip027
Quote

I find sometimes I wish to make a topic about something I am going through in the "tea time and sympathy" section, but I don't want to attach my name to it because I don't want people to be concerned for me specifically. 

What difference would it make if a name were there or not?  Anyone who bothers to look and respond to your thread is probably going to be concerned for you if it's concerning enough.

 

I'm not seeing the point of this.

 

Not to mention the fact that changing your name, avatar, and signature is something this site already allows and will make you look like a totally different person to anyone who doesn't bother to check the name history on your account, which will be most people.

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Cheshire-Cat
3 hours ago, Transformed said:

From the sounds of it though, it sounds like only one person would have access at a time. How is one supposed to view replies? 

The anonymous forum would be open for anyone to view and respond to posts, however, the anonymous account can only post in that one forum. Admittedly it does mean only one person can use the account at a time, but there's no reason you couldn't have multiple anonymous accounts if the demand was there.

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Comforting Rain
2 hours ago, Philip027 said:

What difference would it make if a name were there or not?  Anyone who bothers to look and respond to your thread is probably going to be concerned for you if it's concerning enough.

 

I'm not seeing the point of this.

 

Not to mention the fact that changing your name, avatar, and signature is something this site already allows and will make you look like a totally different person to anyone who doesn't bother to check the name history on your account, which will be most people.

I have friends irl that know I use this site. I don't want them to look on the site, look at my post, and know what I am going through. Because it could cause irl drama and potentially affect how much privacy I am given in my own home. That's why I specifically can't be too open and have my problems attached to my name. But that may not be the only reason a person would need anonymity. 

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