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Recently, the anonymous account is mostly one infamous user, one detractor who seems to think that every anonymous post (other than his) are by that infamous, and an increasingly-rare useful post.

I understand the desire for an anonymous account -- it lowers the barrier of entry for one-off questions, and it probably helps with GPDR.

But often, especially in the last year or so, it seems to me to be more trouble than it is worth. It allows infamous monks to hide behind a cloak that sometimes (but not always) masks who they are and how dangerous their "advice" is. But it also allows angry monks to carry out vendettas against the infamous monks any time there's a non-zero probability that an anonymous post might be from that infamous monk. And, on those rare occasions when the AM isn't one of those two, it makes it hard to follow questions, "no, I'm not that AM, I am a different one, the one from id://...."

Most forums I've visited don't allow any anonymous posts. Do the negatives here outweigh the positives? And if TPTB don't want to disable AM, could we at least add a non-identifying identifier to AM posts?

Something I've thought of before, I finally suggested in CB after today's anonymous-edit, and am now reiterating here: I would suggest a one-way hash on the IP address -- so it wouldn't tell us who or where the person is, but it would say "this is likely the same AM as from that other post". For the useful AM conversation, it would help other readers follow which AM said what; and for the infamous and his detractor(s), it would make it easier to confirm or deny whether it is likely the same monk or not. Both seem like "wins" to me. I understand that IP addresses can change or be behind big corporate blocks, so it's not a foolproof identifier in either direction (same IP might feasibly be used by good AM and bad AM, or a single AM's IP might change between posts) ... but it might help some. As long as the particular hash is not also applied to logged-in posts, I wouldn't think it would run afoul of GPDR (but, IANAL, so take it for what it's not worth).

Anyway, just an idea I've had, and since there was some support in CB, I finally decided to suggest it officially.


In reply to Anonymous Identifier by pryrt

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