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Multiple IDs on Frihost




A few months ago, a Frihoster wrote to me asking whether Bondings is Bikerman. Now that is of course completely ridiculous and provided me with plenty of giggles. But then afterwards, the idea of Frihosters having multiple IDs that have been established over a long period of time, did plant a seed in my mind. Up to that point, I had taken all of the IDs at face value. Never really thought about them much. But lately have come across IDs where there could be the possibility of double IDs or maybe even more than that. Could it be that a Frihoster with one established ID may use a second or maybe even a third ID for years to the extent that one could never know? They may feel uncomfortable for example to post as their main ID in the Phil&Rel of Faith Forums, and then develop an alter ID that has been created specifically for posts in the Phil&Rel or Faith forums. For some or other reason (perhaps logically) their original ID may inhibit them from participating in acrimonious type debates, or they may see it as putting a stamp on that particular post that may interfere with the interpretation of the content of the post by other Frihosters. So an alternate ID may provide them with a way of keeping their original ID anonymous?

And is that really wrong, as I see it as wise. During some pretty acrimonious posts in the "God is Perfect" thread recently, one of the posters and I were PMing one another and he was making the point that sometimes he needs to completely divorce himself from the ID of the post. As that ID may create certain presumptions about the content of the posting, that he may not otherwise have had if he had just looked at the content of the posting without knowing the ID. So I wonder whether it may even be a good idea, if one goes into acrimonious type Forums like the Phil&Rel, Faith and Political Forums, whether one could have the option of being able to select a random alternate ID, just for the purpose of that thread. It probably won't completely mask the original ID of the poster, and some may be immediately identified by their style of posting, but having more than one ID for me from that point of view, is actually about safeguarding the integrity of the discussion, rather than about being deliberately dishonest.

In short, if done judiciously, multiple IDs can be good for the discussions on the Board, safeguard the integrity of the discussion, and bring some variety to the Board as well. And it can enhance the anonymity of the poster. But it is of course against the rules as one is not allowed to have more than one account. So possibly has to be discouraged from that point of view?



8 blog comments below

You should post this in the suggestions forum.

To a certain extent, I agree. I don't participate in Phil&Rel forums too much, but I see how it could be useful. Something like what takes place in the Guest forum could be good. There a user can select their own name while posting. The problem with this is that you cannot establish your identity in this method. The same person could choose the name 'randomguy123'.
saratdear on Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:36 pm
I don't feel multiple IDs are a good thing. Be who you are no matter what forum. Multiple IDs would bring more bashing and trashing.
Also I see spammers using multiple IDs to keep their agenda going then if one ID gets banned, move to next ID.
standready on Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:27 pm
You could make a checkbox saying "Post anonymous", where it will appear as anonymous for members but Moderators (and higher) can still see the original poster somewhere.

Yet I doubt there would come such a function as it won't be used much and it takes some time to code. Maybe Bondings should invest some time in building a Dev. Team for Frihost 2.0. Smile

(I made Frihost 2.0 up by the way, this is nothing real (yet), it is the name that I use in my mind if I'm thinking of Frihost in the future or of a new Frihost)


adri
adri on Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:27 pm
@Saratdear, I think it may be a suggestion that will go counter to the rules, but if it is possible to have more than one ID per account, then it could work. I however don't feel that serious about it in the scope of things to suggest, as there are many other things that I feel much stronger about. Such as revamping some of the Forums.

@Standready. My position is exactly the same as yours. Problem is, the more we post, the less anonymous we get. For those who feel strong about retaining their anonymity I have an understanding if they should wish to have more than one ID, as well as that in certain acrimonious type Forums, where someone feels they would be able to speak more freely if they had an ID that would protect their regular ID, I'd be supportive of that. But not necessarily ask for it for myself.

There is of course always a good side to be familiar to others, in that it creates a sense of community, which I like.
deanhills on Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:27 pm
@Adri. Frihost 2.0, sounds innovative. Great idea about the tick box. Idea Very Happy
deanhills on Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:30 pm
Ghehe, thank Deanhills. I'm planning to post something about my view on Frihost for quite some time, yet time is spare on my hands so I never got/get to it. But no worries, I got everything thought out in my mind, so if I ever get some time and feel like writing 2000+ words, then I'll definitely get to it. Razz

adri
adri on Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:41 pm
deanhills wrote:
For those who feel strong about retaining their anonymity I have an understanding if they should wish to have more than one ID[...]

...if I'm completely honest here dean I'd have to disagree, and even go so far as to say I think it's a sly underhand tactic to ever use multiple usernames - especially over a long term timeframe. If one wishes to remain anonymous then they should keep the info released at a sensible and appropriate level, it's not difficult if we pause and think before we click 'submit'.

I wouldn't ever cry any tears if I found out a large group of active posters were actually only 1 or 2 people, but I would certainly regard the conspirators as deceptive untrustable folk, who, if in 'real' life, would probably regret acting in that way at some point.
watersoul on Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:02 am
Dean, How much more anonymous can one get than a screen name in a forum? If you don't feel you can be respectful of others and still speak freely, then just don't speak.
standready on Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:33 pm



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