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Suggestion: Enable anonymous login


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  • 2 weeks later...

If I am to chip in, personally, I think only devs and team members have a valid reason to want to be anonymous. I.E to stop customers knowing when they are online, as I am sure it's very common for them to be PM'ed about things.

As a regular member, I personally don't see the need to hide myself not even for privacy reasons.

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3 hours ago, JoeyM said:

If I am to chip in, personally, I think only devs and team members have a valid reason to want to be anonymous. I.E to stop customers knowing when they are online, as I am sure it's very common for them to be PM'ed about things.

As a regular member, I personally don't see the need to hide myself not even for privacy reasons.

That's an interesting and insightful perspective.  

In general, the only time I see it applicable to our community is if you want to make an anonymous complaint. Why hide behind anonymity? If you're going to talk trash about another user, do it standing in front of the person with confidence, with facts, and with the understanding that you bear all repercussions. My personal philosophy on anonymity is that the internet could use some more real world accountability. 

There are weird, unusual behaviors that people exhibit when they become anonymous.  In psychology, anonymity has been shown to reduce self awareness and a detachment from your actions.  In other words, you care less about what you're doing.  You also care less about other people. 

Lets Fight GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Trust is a hard thing on the internet, and trust factors are more important than ever in building stronger relationships.  

I have ambitious goals for Invisioneer, and part of that requires a baseline foundation of trust.  I am open to more feedback from @Serval on how you think anonymity can improve communication and trust, but this isn't a feature that I plan to turn on for the sake of turning on.  Would love to understand more about how you think this feature can offer value.  

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On 10/7/2023 at 7:13 PM, JoelR said:

That's an interesting and insightful perspective.  

In general, the only time I see it applicable to our community is if you want to make an anonymous complaint. Why hide behind anonymity? If you're going to talk trash about another user, do it standing in front of the person with confidence, with facts, and with the understanding that you bear all repercussions. My personal philosophy on anonymity is that the internet could use some more real world accountability. 

There are weird, unusual behaviors that people exhibit when they become anonymous.  In psychology, anonymity has been shown to reduce self awareness and a detachment from your actions.  In other words, you care less about what you're doing.  You also care less about other people. 

Lets Fight GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Trust is a hard thing on the internet, and trust factors are more important than ever in building stronger relationships.  

I have ambitious goals for Invisioneer, and part of that requires a baseline foundation of trust.  I am open to more feedback from @Serval on how you think anonymity can improve communication and trust, but this isn't a feature that I plan to turn on for the sake of turning on.  Would love to understand more about how you think this feature can offer value.  

I do think in general it's a more negative thing than beneficial.

Also, I am not saying it's connected to this example but keep in mind, some will think it will allow them the freedom to share resources with those dodgy communities where they make people's hard work available for free.

"They can't see me" - therefore they won't know.

12 hours ago, Cedric said:

Anonymously posting is in fear for reaction. I don't see how this would benefit here. If it were a debate forum, that I could understand.

I think it makes more sense to avoid posting if you fear repercussions for stating your beliefs. These days things can become heated and annoying over very simple things, sometimes people don't want to hear the truth.

But posting discretly, I don't think it's productive personally.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are reasons why anonymous login is a standard IPB option and used by most forums.
Since you apparently don't want to enable it, I have asked why. So far without getting an answer.
Respecting members privacy should be top priority for a forum administrator.

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2 hours ago, Serval said:

There are reasons why anonymous login is a standard IPB option and used by most forums.
Since you apparently don't want to enable it, I have asked why.

Respecting members privacy on the back-end is a top priority for me.  I don't share or sell your information, and I take reasonable precautions with your member data.  

But logging in anonymously is a different kind of privacy - that's privacy on the front-end.  I really need to flip the conversation back to you and ask why YOU feel the need that logging in anonymously is useful or even worthwhile? 

I've shared my thoughts above on anonymity, and I guess I'm confused as to what value you think it brings. Just because "other communities do it" is not a sufficient reason to me; i think every community should be thoughtful about what features it implements for its specific purposes and goals.  Why do you think it's valuable to hide that you logged in or didn't log in a week ago?  

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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/20/2024 at 1:12 PM, Serval said:

It's a mystery that people, even the forum administrator, don't give this more thought.

To be clear: do you mean to have your login status hidden? 'Anonymous login' is suggestive of being able to post anonymously - I think this is causing some confusion here.

As has already been mentioned in this thread, as a forum operator, having my login status hidden is helpful for avoiding casual Personal Messaging about matters which should be posted to the forums or by contacting the team (at our dedicated forum).

But allowing members to have their login status hidden will serve to lower activity, as fewer members will appear active - an apparently busy community will attract more members and greater activity. (A positive feedback loop.) Perhaps this does not matter much for larger communities, but allowing hidden login status will have more have larger negative effects for the small-to-medium sized.

Being able to ascertain if a fellow member is online is also helpful when we might wish to catch them in the moment (same effect as I wish to avoid as a community operator or admin, but with different desired outcome). We are not going to send in-the-moment / since-I saw-you-are-online messages if our corespondent appears to be offline.

At the end of the day, the decision is for the community operator. They generally know what is best for their website and its members.

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2 hours ago, Como said:

To be clear: do you mean to have your login status hidden? 'Anonymous login' is suggestive of being able to post anonymously - I think this is causing some confusion here.

As the topic title says, this is about login, not posting.

Apparently the forum admin is not willing to disclose the reasons for disabling this option.

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1 hour ago, Serval said:

As the topic title says, this is about login, not posting.

Apparently the forum admin is not willing to disclose the reasons for disabling this option.

Why the mystery? Unwilling to disclose... Is it a secret? Is it conspiracy?

Or, perhaps, your question was a little unclear and the reasons for not enabling hidden login status are various and/or obvious and/or already addressed.

How does enabling hidden login (Online Status) protect privacy? Alternatively, anonymous posting might promote privacy, but it would invite a whole host of potential problems.

Instead of repeatedly referring your interlocutors to the thread title, why can you not simply state - for clarity - that you refer to 'hidden login status' (if this is indeed to what you refer). Because 'anonymous login' is not really a thing.

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  • Providers

It’s ridiculous trying to reverse the burden of proof on that. If you have good reasons to have it enabled, explain them and you might be able to convince others and possibly the admin. Just throwing in the word “privacy” doesn’t make a case and the case also isn’t made by demanding an explanation for having an option turned off. This shouldn’t be hard. Just finish the sentence: If cannot login anonymously here, the harmful result for me is that  …

If you can’t explain it, then you can’t convince anyone and you won’t get your wish. The ball is in your corner. 

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Anonymous login has been an option since the dawn of Invision. And used by most forums, including Invision's own community.

I asked why it is disabled here. The administrator prefer to keep this as a secret, instead wants to know why I'm asking....

He, and other contributors in this thread, should ask themselves why the anonymous login option exists.
 

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It's not something I have a strong opinion about (and it's certainly not a feature that I care to die on the stake for), but I don't see the benefit of an anonymous login.  I literally do not see any benefit for allowing yourself to not show up as an online user.  This community is so small at this point, nobody cares if you're online or not 😀.  

If you have specific use cases where you feel like this might be a benefit, I'm more than happy to take them under consideration.  

While I understand your point that IPS website offers anonymous login themselves, the IPS website is also unique to it's own audience and members.  I wouldn't actually consider the IPS website to be best practices, they are a community, but not necessarily a model community.  (This is not a knock on the IPS community. It's well run for its intended purpose)

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