Read an Interview with Matthew, the owner of CathInfo

Author Topic: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum  (Read 791 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jaynek

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3003
  • Reputation: +1399/-742
  • Gender: Female
Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
« on: November 02, 2017, 11:24:32 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!3
  • Over the years, I have seen many comments and complaints about abuses of the Anonymous subforum.  It is a haven for trolls and people without the courage to put their name to their opinions.

    As Matthew has explained the intent, it was primarily meant for people who want to discuss sensitive and personal issues without identifying themselves. This is a legitimate and even praiseworthy goal. A look at the topics under discussion, however, shows this to be a minority of the threads there.  The other day, for example, somebody started an anonymous thread to discuss baseball, of all things.  I can't even imagine what he was thinking.

    For those of us who try to discuss things there while using the option to include one's username, it is a constant source of frustration.  Not only does one need to remember to select that option in the first place, if someone else posts before one sends one's own post, the naming option is cleared and needs to be reclicked.

    I was wondering if a bunch of people here tossed ideas around we might come up with some suggestions that would be acceptable to Matthew.  He understandably does not want a method that requires more work from him,  but perhaps something could be done to make the subforum less annoying while still allowing for its original purpose.
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is

    Offline Marlelar

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3475
    • Reputation: +1808/-222
    • Gender: Female
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 12:28:47 PM »
  • Thanks!2
  • No Thanks!0
  • I'm fine with it the way it is. I just ignore the ignorant comments when they are made.  I also ignore topics that do not interest me. 


    Offline Nadir

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 5204
    • Reputation: +2909/-111
    • Gender: Female
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 09:03:35 PM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!1
  • I'm fine with it the way it is. I just ignore the ignorant comments when they are made.  I also ignore topics that do not interest me.
    But that doesn't stop the confusion of having any number of people who all "identified" as anonymous. You don't know who is saying what to whom. It's getting worse. And people tend to be more unpleasant when anonymous. 
    Anonymous section has its necessary uses, but I think some of the threads should be moved to appropriate section. It would mean more work for M & M, but I wonder if it wouldn't be worth the effort.

    Offline Marlelar

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3475
    • Reputation: +1808/-222
    • Gender: Female
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 12:16:22 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!2
  • I think if people are confused or offended then they just should not visit the anonymous forum.  There is nothing said there that cannot be re-opened on another forum if a person really wants to know what identified posters think about a specific topic.  We are all really "anonymous" here anyway as we just pick a forum "handle" to be known by.  No one knows your real name.

    Jaynek could be an 18 yo boy from Germany IRL, I could be a 94 yo women from South Africa, Nadir could be a 64 yo man from Japan for all anyone truly knows.  Matthew is the only one we know is "Matthew", and I suppose that could even be a pseudonym, IRL he might be Henry Abercrombie from Texas.

    And after all we don't really NEED to know someone's name, we can still post back and forth w/out that information.


    Offline Jaynek

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3003
    • Reputation: +1399/-742
    • Gender: Female
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 05:12:31 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • But that doesn't stop the confusion of having any number of people who all "identified" as anonymous. You don't know who is saying what to whom. It's getting worse. And people tend to be more unpleasant when anonymous.
    Anonymous section has its necessary uses, but I think some of the threads should be moved to appropriate section. It would mean more work for M & M, but I wonder if it wouldn't be worth the effort.
    I don't think that we should be considering solutions that mean more work for M&M.  I am sure they have more than enough already.  If that is the only way, then we should just put up with it, but I'm wondering if there are other alternatives.

    For example, what if there were a way to set up an extra level of registration for getting access to the anonymous section.  For example, to access the women's subforum, one must be a forum member and also select "female" in one's profile.  If there were an extra step to get into the anonymous subforum and part of that step were reading an article on its purpose and guidelines for use, maybe it would function better.

    I have no idea if something like that is possible, but that is the sort of thing I am thinking of.  Is there something that can be done about the way the sub-forum is structured to decrease the amount of misuse and confusion?  Even the ability to set one's default setting to posting with one's name, rather than check off the box each time, would be an improvement.
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is


    Offline DZ PLEASE

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 2928
    • Reputation: +736/-775
    • Gender: Male
    • "Lord, have mercy."
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 05:39:53 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!0
  • ... Even the ability to set one's default setting to posting with one's name, rather than check off the box each time, would be an improvement.
    Perhaps one of the less technically chimpish could post setting up a script to automate this.

    While not ideal, for people that it really bothers it is a potential fix.

    I believe that there are browser extensions/add-ons that "watch/record" repetitive tasks and build a script accordingly.

    I had such a ways back, but it wasn't very user friendly, and my current browser doesn't support it.

    If memory serves, that platform was "Firefox" for any interested in pursuing such.

    Also, I don't know if the platform is built for this, but perhaps the "vote/thanks" function could be utilized to dump the thread/topic (not the user/IP) after a pre-set negative threshold was breached.

    That would put more on the CI "Community" to self-correct/police. 

    Finally, delegates/mods, which has it's own set of problems.

    Always a trade-off in systems/design. 

    Odd mirror of IRL society. "Freedom v Security", that sort of thing.
    "Lord, have mercy".

    Offline DZ PLEASE

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 2928
    • Reputation: +736/-775
    • Gender: Male
    • "Lord, have mercy."
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 05:54:24 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • But that doesn't stop the confusion of having any number of people who all "identified" as anonymous. ...
    Which is a very handy system "exploit" for hostile / foreign elements.

    "Anonymous/Guest 1"

    "Anonymous/Guest 2"



    Last four IP? (I wouldn't like this, for various reasons, but this is a "brainstorm", so "dis/like" at this phase is a detriment.)

    Alt: to play off of Jay, a quick registration as "anonymous/guest 1... 2..." etc. that would be thread specific, otherwise they may as well just have a username.
    "Lord, have mercy".

    Offline Peter15and1

    • Jr. Member
    • **
    • Posts: 278
    • Reputation: +105/-23
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 09:05:20 AM »
  • Thanks!3
  • No Thanks!2
  • I must agree with Marlelar.  This is a solution looking for a problem, rather than the other way around.  While the anonymous subforum can be confusing, and often is a waste of time, it is also very easy to ignore.  There are countless other threads on CI, and if Jayne doesn't want to get confused or waste her time, then she should stick to these other threads.


    Offline Ladislaus

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 15656
    • Reputation: +8260/-2595
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 09:17:24 AM »
  • Thanks!3
  • No Thanks!0
  • For those of us who try to discuss things there while using the option to include one's username, it is a constant source of frustration.  Not only does one need to remember to select that option in the first place, if someone else posts before one sends one's own post, the naming option is cleared and needs to be reclicked.

    I completely agree; this behavior causes tremendous frustration.

    Offline Mithrandylan

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3379
    • Reputation: +4010/-203
    • Gender: Male
      • The Trad Forum
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 09:22:24 AM »
  • Thanks!3
  • No Thanks!0
  • I don't see how a script could fix the problem.  It would have to be very advanced.  Even when a topic is legitimately discussed anonymously, it may be worded in such a way that it would elude the definitions in the script.  A great example of a legitimate anonymous topic would be someone who is struggling with some sexual problem.  But they might be ashamed of it and describe it in very traditional, distant terms-- perhaps not even using the word "sex."  If the script was built to just make that post non-anonymous due to it failing to meet some definition or another, it would fail to do so and the person would be "outed." 
    .
    I think it's more serious a problem than others let on.  The whole point of a discussion forum is, well, discussion.  Discussion supposes, at bare minimum, the ability to distinguish one idea from the next, and one communicator from the next.  The problem of the anonymous forum isn't feigned outrage over its "unjust use," it's the fact that it's impossible to discuss things.  Now, the challenges of discussing a topic which warrants anonymous discussion are of course "worth it", but when we're talking about any old thing, it's just a usability nightmare.  It leads to tempers running hotter and general confusion.  Both of which are antithetical to any constructive discussion.
    .
    There is really only one solution (short of just getting rid of it).  And that's moderation.  Matthew or Mater (or another person that they appoint specifically for this purpose) should just MOVE any thread that doesn't meet the requisite criteria to belong.  A script might have to be written in order that when such a topic is moved, the anonymous posts are made "non anonymous."  I'm not sure if that's possible. 
    .
    Some might say that a solution lies in checking the "do NOT post anonymously" box by default.  The problem with this is that it would run the risk of someone posting and forgetting to uncheck the box when they really should or want to post anonymously.  I very much appreciate the intent and value of the anonymous forum's purpose, so I wouldn't want to see a solution which caused that type of risk for those who use it legitimately.
    More Catholic Discussion: http://thetradforum.com

    Offline Jaynek

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3003
    • Reputation: +1399/-742
    • Gender: Female
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 09:57:45 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!0
  • Some might say that a solution lies in checking the "do NOT post anonymously" box by default.  The problem with this is that it would run the risk of someone posting and forgetting to uncheck the box when they really should or want to post anonymously.  I very much appreciate the intent and value of the anonymous forum's purpose, so I wouldn't want to see a solution which caused that type of risk for those who use it legitimately.
    Do you think it is technically feasible to set up a "do not post anonymously" that remains in effect for the entire thread rather than a single post? This would address your concerns, I think.
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is


    Offline Jaynek

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3003
    • Reputation: +1399/-742
    • Gender: Female
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 10:19:18 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!2
  • I think if people are confused or offended then they just should not visit the anonymous forum.  There is nothing said there that cannot be re-opened on another forum if a person really wants to know what identified posters think about a specific topic. 
    Using this reasoning, Matthew should not have made any of the improvements that he has made to the forum.  After all, anyone who did not like things exactly the way they were could just not visit CI.

    It is precisely because he has shown himself interested in constantly making his forum better, that it is helpful to identify areas for improvement and give constructive suggestions.  Matthew is, obviously, free to ignore it if he wants.
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is

    Offline Marlelar

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3475
    • Reputation: +1808/-222
    • Gender: Female
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 11:23:59 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!1
  • As someone else has already said, this idea is a "solution in search of a problem".

    Offline Mithrandylan

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    • Posts: 3379
    • Reputation: +4010/-203
    • Gender: Male
      • The Trad Forum
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 11:35:26 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!1
  • Do you think it is technically feasible to set up a "do not post anonymously" that remains in effect for the entire thread rather than a single post? This would address your concerns, I think.
    Probably.
    .
    But you'd also need to be able to "turn it off."  At which point, it's easier just to leave things as they are.  Which, as we've noted, sucks.
    More Catholic Discussion: http://thetradforum.com

    Offline Clemens Maria

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 880
    • Reputation: +642/-124
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Brain-storming about the Anonymous Subforum
    « Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 12:11:24 PM »
  • Thanks!2
  • No Thanks!0
  • The easiest technical solution to the check box problem is to make it possible to go back and check or uncheck it at anytime after posting a comment.

     

    Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16