Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

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  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:06pm

    #17
    ckessel

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 178

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    Re: Here we go

Well said jrf29. I agree totally. For gosh sakes, people like Krogoth may want to be anonymous and so be it but don’t drag down the rest of the group by posting disparaging remarks about those that show true valor and are willing to stand up for what they believe in. Chris, Eric, Michael and all those who selfishly contribute deserve a commendation, not the kind of crap Krogoth has put up about it..

 If you can’t at least say a simple "thank you" or "good on ya" then please keep quiet. Krogoth, you need to reconsider your statements and I think you owe an apology to those that are working their butts off to make this a better world for you, your wife and your kids and everyone else.

For anyone concerned about this issue, Edward Griffen addresses this exact issue on his DVD presentation. He makes the case for being willing to stand up for what you believe in.We wouldn’t be in this mess if more of us had done so logn ago.

 What the hell is the big deal anyway, all you have to lose is your life and your honor is way more important that that. Look around at the culture that surrounds you and learn something.

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:15pm

    #18
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    Posts: 5219

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    Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

[quote=cmartenson]

I operate under my real name and with my real picture because I want
this site to be more than what I’ve found through several long years in
the internet. Anonymous discussions are good to a point, and that’s
about it.

I think we need to go beyond that point. I believe we both need and deserve the very strongest and best on-line community we can forge.

I
have a local community and I have an online community and both are
important to me. A few of my very best friends were met on the web and
I think it’s critical that we leverage the web to be our extended
family and community while we build critical mass in our towns and
cities.

So would I prefer everybody use their real name and picture? Yes.

But
this is a personal choice so I don’t require it (and haven’t even
pushed it before…I was waiting to introduce the concept under
different circumstances, but here we are).

There can be many reasons for people needing to preserve anonymity from family, peers and colleagues.

Anonymity and the net

Since we are on the topic of "safe, anonymous posting", anybody who wants anonymity from the government should immediately stop using the internet.

Everything is recorded and logged. Everything; and you should know that.

Honestly, it is quite naive to think that using a screen name vs. a real name affords some measure of protection against prying government eyes. It does not. If this is a real concern of anyone’s my strongest advice is that you really should not be posting anything anywhere, or even using the internet at all because much can be gleaned from the sites you visit, how long you dwell there, your scroll rate, links clicked, etc.

The level of sophistication affording the government complete access to
all levels of the internet was achieved and surpassed a long, long time ago.

I guess if anybody is afraid of their government associating what they
post with their names, then they really shouldn’t be posting anything
that would or could make them nervous.

So if we can agree that anonymity does not really exist, then I wonder what the actual objection is?

For example, I can find a significant number of the posters here on
Facebook where real names, pictures, travel plans, likes, dislikes,
employment and you name it all there for the world to see. Again, if
you think that somehow your information is private to your "friends"
you need to spend more time investigating how computers work.

So I wonder why it’s "OK" to use real names and picture in one place but not another? Perhaps the real issue is not actually anonymity, then, but the perception of anonymity at some sites and not others?

In closing

What we are facing in terms of the challenges of the three "E"s requires nothing less than breaking the status quo. If we cannot even break out of a simple habit like using anonymous screen names to post on a chat board, then perhaps the big stuff is out of reach. I don’t know, but this is a sometime late-night concern of mine.

I look forward to meeting each of you in person some day, and I can guarantee you this will happen in many cases. We can wait until that day to exchange words using our real names and identities or we can start here.

I’ll whoop all this up into a proper post for the forum at some point, as I planned.

[/quote]

I’ve moved my post over here to where it belongs.

I stand by these words, I’ve re-read them, and I do not see anything in there that I consider to be a mistake. I will own up to mistakes, readily, but I cannot control how people react to written words.

My actions and reactions are mine, they belong to me, and I take ownership of them and for them.  How other people react is up to them.  We each can, and should, control our own responses and actions, that’s where the responsibility lies.

My ownership here is in not getting a few key items out early enough.

  • I erred in not getting the site rules and posting guidelines up earlier than I did.  Things were going along so swimingly that I simply attended to other things first until a problem arose.
  • I have been remiss in not sharing the complete vision and strategy for what I am hoping to acheive here.  I think with some more guidance over what the mission is and how success will be measured, more attention could have been directed to the right activities.
  • I should have laid out my concept of what this is site can be and what it can’t be. Putting some sort of box around things would ahve been helpful.

But this site isn’t about me, it’s about us.  It’s about you.  It’s about what you want to do and create.

My role was to create the site and my job is to keep it neat and tidy and running.  Like any worthwhile building or structure, this takes time, money and dedication.  If it is valued, it will persist, and if not, if won’t.

In this context, I feel like people will value something more if it’s their time, money and dedication on the line.  For me, using my real name tempers my thoughts and actions, leading them to be more careful and considered than they otherwise might be.  I see that dynamic at play in my own life and project that this will be true for others as well.

Perhaps I am over-projecting, but that’s where my thinking is. 

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:20pm

    #19
    switters

    switters

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 435

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    Re: switters “comes out” as Chris Kresser

After reading all of the comments on the recent Heroes in Action blog post, and thinking about this further, I’ve decided to use both my real name and picture on this site.

My reasons have been discussed by Chris, Erik and others, but in short they are as follows:

  1. I believe that using real names and pictures will contribute to building a stronger and more authentic community.
  2. When we use avatars and screen names we are more likely to "speak" in ways that we wouldn’t if we were having a face-to-face conversation.  Using real names encourages a more respectful dialogue and invites us to be accountable for what we say and how we say it.
  3. We are at a crucial turning point in history.  The time has come for us to take a stand and speak our truth if we wish to be effective agents of social and political transformation.  Using our real names shows that we are willing to stand behind our beliefs, even if there is risk involved.  By my calculation, there is ultimately much more risk involved in not speaking out.

While all of these reasons are important to me, I will say that #2 was probably the most significant in my decision.  I have invested a lot of time and energy in learning how to communicate with people.  And I place a high value on maintaining an open mind, listening to others and making an effort to understand and relate to different points of view.  In face-to-face conversations I am – for the most part – able to maintain these standards.

However, I feel somewhat ashamed of how I’ve engaged in conversations with certain people on this site.  I’ve behaved in ways that I wouldn’t if another human being was sitting right across from me.  I’ve lost sight of my intention to understand and empathize with others, even when they don’t share my beliefs.  I think that using a screen name and avatar at least partially enabled this behavior.  Because I was not accountable for what I said, I did not consider it as carefully as I would have otherwise.

These are my personal reasons for revealing my identity.  I recognize that there are many other reasons why someone would wish to preserve their anonymity, and I respect everyone’s right to make their own choice.  Thank you to Erik, Chris, Michael and others for leading the way on this issue.  I am grateful.

To everyone here: hi, I’m Chris.  Nice to meet you.

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:28pm

    #21

    Erik T.

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 05 2008

    Posts: 213

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    Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

Chris,

Thanks both for your gesture of support, and for making a decision I think you’ll be satisfied with.

This is great… Should we organize "coming out" parties like they used to have in the gay community? Just kidding…

Erik

 

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:37pm

    #22

    Erik T.

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 05 2008

    Posts: 213

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    Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

[quote=joe2baba]  it was a mistake to bring up the issue the way you did chris and erik. this fact should be quite obvious by now. i would hope that you would in the future use as much care in the the crafting of future posts as went into the crash course. if you felt that it was important to have a totally open forum then that should have been stated a long time ago in a separate post. [/quote]

Joe,

I don’t want to fan the flames any further, but I’m honestly very confused by this statement. Joe, you are a very highly valued contributor to this site, and if the original post really offended you, I’d like to understand why. After re-reading my own statement in the original post, I continue to feel it was entirely appropriate:

[quote=From the original post, here is what I]

Aside from his extraordinary generosity, Michael immediately impressed
Chris by registering as a user on the site using his own real name and
uploading a real photo of himself for his profile. While we respect
everyone’s right to use screen names and avatars if they choose to do
so, we feel that the topics discussed at PeakProsperity.com are serious
issues confronting society, and we always appreciate when people
participate using their true identity, rather than an anonymous screen
name. 

[/quote]

I intentionally went out of my way to be clear in saying that we respect everyone’s choice to use a screen name and/or avatar if they choose to do so. All that I’ve done here was to compliment Michael for making a personal choice that both Chris and I respect. I simply do not comprehend why you, Krogoth, or anyone else would take offense to that, and I welcome enlightenment on that point.

When Krogoth responded bitterly to this, it triggered an emotional reaction inside of me that I sincerely regret. "Taking the bait" and responding to Krogoth as I did in the comments was counter-productive and only contributed to making the problem worse. If that’s the part you were put off by, I understand and agree with your objection. As you know, I’ve already apologized for those actions both publicly in the other thread and privately in an e-mail to you. But if you were really offended (as you say here) by the way this was brought up in the original post, then I’m completely baffled to understand why you feel that way, and would appreciate a little more explanation of how you see things.

Thanks,

Erik

 

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:43pm

    #23

    tom.

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 18 2008

    Posts: 197

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    Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

No Problem Here

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:58pm

    #24
    switters

    switters

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 19 2008

    Posts: 435

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    Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

[quote=Tom Loftus]No Problem Here
[/quote]

Tom,

Who were you previously?  Might help to put your old username in your signature. 

 

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 06:58pm

    #25

    Ray Hewitt

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2008

    Posts: 277

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    Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

Being that I operate my own website, I know first hand that one cannot run a website and and remain anonymous. That lesson stuck when I had a phone call to my home from an angry reader. This is not something I gave any thought to either way. Now you’re going look at my face every time I post.

 

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 07:00pm

    #26

    Keith Wilson

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    Joined: Oct 07 2008

    Posts: 8

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    Post moved to this thread.

I had suggested last night that this discussion be seperated from the kudos for Michael.  Following ChrisM’s lead, I am posting that message below, and moving my post from there to here.  I will replace this message in that thread with the appropriate and deserved kudos to Michael.

My backchannel message:

Just a thought, although I have commented in this thread, it bothers me that the comments are so far from the original intention of the thread.  Perhaps the original post could be closed to comments, and the comments moved to a new thread?  Or the original post snipped in this thread, and reposted in a new thread, separate from the discussion which has little or nothing to do with Mr. Hohne?  I appreciate the candid discussion of safety vs speech, but hate to see them detract from the kudos that was the thrust of the original post.
Thank you (all) for the forum, and the course.  If you would rather that I post this in the forum for any reason, I’d be glad to do so.

My original post, on topic in this thread:

[quote=kwwilson]
I certainly am not wishing to take a side in any disagreement, but in this case I am more than willing to support those who fear that their freedom of speech may not be all that it should be.  In all reality, it hasn’t been in a long time, and it is a small step from ‘expressing displeasure with the banking establishment’, valid free speech of course, to ‘inciting violence against the banking establishment’, which would of course be hate speech, therefore punishable not only for the speech, but also possibly as conspiracy/treason/etc.

I have shared quite freely in this forum, enough so that anyone who wanted to could quite possibly actually track me down if they so desired.  That is my choice, and entirely contrary to my normal inclinations.  To each their own, but I doubt that any revolution ever occured that was begun in the full sight and presence of the powers that be.  Given known and rumoured internet monitoring, I consider any public (that is not encrypted) forum to be in full view of TPTB.

Peace.

[/quote]

  • Sun, Dec 14, 2008 - 07:02pm

    #27
    ckessel

    ckessel

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 12 2008

    Posts: 178

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    Re: Anonymity versus openness of identity in forums

[quote=ErikTownsend]

Chris,

Thanks both for your gesture of support, and for making a decision I think you’ll be satisfied with.

This is great… Should we organize "coming out" parties like they used to have in the gay community? Just kidding…

Erik

 

[/quote]

Eric,

I think we face an underlying "confidence" issue  when we attempt to put forth a message and yet remain anonymous. How would  the CM" Crash Course" be received if it had been written by "anonymous"?

Our media uses this method on a regulr basis to leak false and misinformation to the public. America is full of people willing to present opinions or data as long as they do not have to be accountable. This is part of our problem, not the solution.

The signers of the "Declaration of Independence" confronted this very issue and when they penned their names to the document. They knew that if they failed in their efforts, their lives would be on the line. Seems I recall a saying …. who was it that stated, "GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH"?  An american I believe who helped get the job done!!!!

I think what we face at this time no longer simply applies to a country or nation, but the whole planet and life as we have known it. Is there really anything to lose in this? I think not. This is much less about a financial crisis than our survival as a species.

I will be donating to the CM site to help get the message out and my name is Cooper J. Kessel. Sorry but I reserve the right to keep my SS # private. (For all the good it will do me!)

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