Poll: Should non-anonymous posters be allowed usernames which are not their full names?
This poll is closed.
Yes
44.00%
11 44.00%
No
56.00%
14 56.00%
Total 25 vote(s) 100%
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Username Discussion
#41
Donald's suggestion seems a good'un.

Is it possible to setup different discussion forums with different rules such that one could require the use of the full name, and another does not?
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#42
I have to say that I am very disappointed in the decision that has been reached. The poll on use of initials was 50/50 so really saying a clear majority agreed with you is incorrect!

I don't accept the argument of user security. When a user registers they should provide their full name, e-mail address, PNUM etc so I don't really see how you could be confused with a legitimate user and one which is not. I registered on the board within the first day so I am not sure how the registration process is now, but the easy way to stop this problem is simply to make it that each registration requires manual approval before they can post. This is hardly much extra work considering there are only 60 users and hardly any new in the past week.

You say you have received a few private messages about the issue, well this just goes to prove the point that some people don't want to express their opinions in public when they can be identified. Surely you can see the affects of forcing people to use real and complete names, if you remembered the old board you would know just how much activity has suffered because of this policy.

I also ask why now? Many of us used initials on the old board for 4 years and now suddenly we are being asked to change. For many of us our usernames date back even further to 2003. Why should we change them now after using them in some cases for around 8 years.

You say " Having a topic to map ambiguous usernames to their users, as a method of identifying posters, is confusing and an unnecessary use of our time to administer. With this method you get neither anonymity nor clarity, and therefore it has little or no merit whatsoever"

Really? It takes a lot of time to look up a list of around 10 people with initials? I know who everyone with initials are on here and have known for a long time. The way you are talking you would think we had 1000's of users here!

I find this policy lazy and badly thought out and ultimately the only consequence of it will be to adversely affect user participation, which is very sad.

You seem to have made your decision though, which is fine. I will have to accept it! Sadly though I don't think I can post here anymore, so can I please request that my username is deleted from the database if possible.

Happy posting!
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#43
J*R Wrote:I have to say that I am very disappointed in the decision that has been reached. The poll on use of initials was 50/50 so really saying a clear majority agreed with you is incorrect!

The first poll which was carried out: "Do you think posters should be identifiable by their username?" 64% answered Yes, 36% answered no.

The second poll which was carried out "Should non-anonymous posters be allowed usernames which are not their full names?" 48% answered Yes, 52% answered No.

64% and 52% represent a clear majority. The second question was also referring to full names, which the final decision doesn't even demand; and so it's feasible to imagine that many of the 48% who voted "No" would actually be in favour of non-full names (i.e. JBloggs).

J*R Wrote:I don't accept the argument of user security. When a user registers they should provide their full name, e-mail address, PNUM etc so I don't really see how you could be confused with a legitimate user and one which is not. I registered on the board within the first day so I am not sure how the registration process is now, but the easy way to stop this problem is simply to make it that each registration requires manual approval before they can post. This is hardly much extra work considering there are only 60 users and hardly any new in the past week.

Currently the users who are registering do supply their PNUM, but nothing more. I will create fields so that they can enter their full name and whatnot, but despite doing this it doesn't show these fields in the admin control panel; which adds extra steps for us when trying to intercept users that we do not recognise. I could program it to show the full names, but that would require me to actually modify the phpbb code, which I don't have time for at the moment.

J*R Wrote:You say you have received a few private messages about the issue, well this just goes to prove the point that some people don't want to express their opinions in public when they can be identified. Surely you can see the affects of forcing people to use real and complete names, if you remembered the old board you would know just how much activity has suffered because of this policy.

But your argument is not for anonymity. With your method people would still know what the above individuals were saying by looking up their names in some sort of crosstable. It's even possible that your way implies anonymity, when it actually isn't, which could put some people into difficult situations. At least my idea provides clarity. Besides, there are other reasons for them sending a PM, other than a desire for their views to be anonymous, but I can't go into those.

J*R Wrote:I also ask why now? Many of us used initials on the old board for 4 years and now suddenly we are being asked to change. For many of us our usernames date back even further to 2003. Why should we change them now after using them in some cases for around 8 years.

Well I'd turn it on its head and ask, why not? There are real and practical reasons for us being able to identify you from your usernames, which you may dispute, but it's a fact nonetheless. If ever there is such a time to introduce a policy then surely the switching of forums is the best time, don't you think?

J*R Wrote:You say " Having a topic to map ambiguous usernames to their users, as a method of identifying posters, is confusing and an unnecessary use of our time to administer. With this method you get neither anonymity nor clarity, and therefore it has little or no merit whatsoever"

Really? It takes a lot of time to look up a list of around 10 people with initials? I know who everyone with initials are on here and have known for a long time. The way you are talking you would think we had 1000's of users here!

You may know, but as you pointed out in the previous paragraph; you have been using the forums for many years. I've been using the forums since 2008, and I still don't know who some of the regular posters are, so what chance does someone who joins the forum for the first time have? It doesn't take long to look up a list of names, but it takes longer than just looking at the name next to a post, instead of requiring to interrupt your whole browsing experience to refer to the list. And for what? Just so you can have a username that looks good? It's not a veil, because your name can be revealed by looking at a list anyway; so what's the point in it?

J*R Wrote:I find this policy lazy and badly thought out and ultimately the only consequence of it will be to adversely affect user participation, which is very sad.

There is nothing lazy about it. The lazy option would be to leave the issue and let everyone get on with it. Andy and myself have other things outwith Chess, including work/family etc, and I think trying to make our live's easier on something we essentially do free of charge is fair game. Whether it is badly thoughtout or not is a matter of opinion, I don't think it is. All opinions were considered, and I deviated significantly from my original proposal because I realised that it was going to be a bit too far. I think we have reached a fair compromise, and I'm surprised such a big deal has been made out of a relatively academic issue.

I also doubt that the population of the board will be adversely affected by it. If you compare our board to the ECF forum then you'll notice that theirs is thriving, despite having a similar policy. I genuinly don't think people care much about this issue. Even many of the people who have posted in support of your principled argument, will still accept the decision for what it is and continue posting. I also intend to market the forum more in the coming seasons, in order to get more players, parents etc on the forums and hopefully increase the popularity and diversity of discussion. I've had several reports from a variety of sources implying that many people were being kept away by the lack of accountability that existed before. Your opinions are at odds with all of these things.

J*R Wrote:You seem to have made your decision though, which is fine. I will have to accept it! Sadly though I don't think I can post here anymore, so can I please request that my username is deleted from the database if possible.

Happy posting!

You can indeed. I'll make the necessary changes to the usernames tomorrow evening. I really hope that you reconsider though Joe, because it's not worth it. I don't believe you really want to leave, and nobody else wants you to leave. Please let me know if you change your mind. If I don't hear from you then I'll assume your decision above stands, and I'll respectfully deactivate your account.

Regards
Andrew
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#44
Thanks for the reply.

I think it is clear we are not going to agree on this issue!

I can't back down though on something I feel so strongly about so I will say goodbye and wish you all the best with the noticeboard in the future.

Cheers,

JR
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#45
Donald Wilson Wrote:At the risk of being tagged a wishy-washy liberal, can I suggest a compromise?

We could allow Chess Scotland members to post under initials or pseudonyms, but require non-members to post under a usual form of their name.

The right to post initially or pseudonymically then becomes a benefit of membership. It may not be enough to persuade many non-members to join CS, but it's a small safeguard against misuse of the noticeboard.

I don't think there is anything wishy-washy about being a liberal...but I suspect you knew that.

I thought this was a good idea when I saw it last night. I'm not sure it is entirely appropriate, but the phrase that came to mind was "iacta alea est".

Thank you for your, and others', support.
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#46
Andrew McHarg Wrote:The first poll which was carried out: "Do you think posters should be identifiable by their username?" 64% answered Yes, 36% answered no.

The second poll which was carried out "Should non-anonymous posters be allowed usernames which are not their full names?" 48% answered Yes, 52% answered No.

64% and 52% represent a clear majority. The second question was also referring to full names, which the final decision doesn't even demand; and so it's feasible to imagine that many of the 48% who voted "No" would actually be in favour of non-full names (i.e. JBloggs).

I've made these comments before but I fear I can't let the above remarks go unchallenged. Such polls must be considered of dubious validity, in particular because the sample polled exhibits such self-selection (and is relatively small) but also because the results are capable of "spin" or misinterpretation.

The first poll appears to be in favour of identifiablility (which we already have, in my view). Whilst not strictly comparable, the second (with a current majority of 1) reminds me of the "Guns and Butter" episode in the West Wing which I've referenced elsewhere.

Like J*R I enjoyed the delicious irony of anonymous correspondents being used to justify the new policy. Perhaps they were afraid of people knowing their opinions in the public domain? I don't have a problem with that - as far as I am concerned, they have every right to remain anonymous and for their reasons to remain a secret. It is however difficult to debate or counter an argument when that argument is unknown (unlike the case when it is only the proponent who is unknown).

I am pleased that we appear to have won a number of arguments, and that the revised proposals mean fewer people will be enslaved by conformity, to coin a phrase. I am still sad Sad that the likes of Lulu or Cher may be discouraged from posting (I suppose the former could, but presumably she'd have to post as Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie Kennedy-Cairns (or somesuch) to satisfy the "clear majority").

Finally, what happens if someone's account is deactivated? Do their posts remain, or do they disappear? Am I (or anyone else) going to look like I'm having a conversation with myself? Which is what it feels like, sometimes... ;P
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#47
AWIC Wrote:Finally, what happens if someone's account is deactivated? Do their posts remain, or do they disappear? Am I (or anyone else) going to look like I'm having a conversation with myself? Which is what it feels like, sometimes... ;P

Their posts will remain. =)
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#48
Quote:Currently the users who are registering do supply their PNUM, but nothing more. I will create fields so that they can enter their full name and whatnot, but despite doing this it doesn't show these fields in the admin control panel; which adds extra steps for us when trying to intercept users that we do not recognise. I could program it to show the full names, but that would require me to actually modify the phpbb code, which I don't have time for at the moment.

Now this does make sense to me! I have a lot of sympathy for this arguement; but it does still concern me that noticeboard debate will be weakened.
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#49
What is Adam Raoof's pnum? He is not as far as I know a CS member, rather he is an ECF director. Adam does not have a pnum.He still managed to become a member of this board. The statement Andrew made would suggest that only people with a CS pnum could become forum members, this is not, nor should it be, the case.
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#50
Andy McCulloch Wrote:What is Adam Raoof's pnum? He is not as far as I know a CS member, rather he is an ECF director. Adam does not have a pnum.He still managed to become a member of this board. The statement Andrew made would suggest that only people with a CS pnum could become forum members, this is not, nor should it be, the case.

It's not the case, and will not be. It does highlight one of the issues with PNUM, but it's not a mandatory field when registering. Douglas suggested that we could create PNUMs for these people, but I don't think that will be necessary, certainly not at the moment. Big Grin
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