A presumption of anomymity?

Is there a presumption on the SDMB, or on similar message boards, that posters’ statements, replies, and identities are anonymous? Is there a formal rule?
I know members have get togethers (Dope Fests), where they see each other eye-to-eye, but that’s voluntary.
If I were to post another members complete bio, would I be in trouble?
I wouldn’t.
BTW; who’s gonna tell us “There ain’t no similar boards?” :wink:

Not that I actually know the exact answer but you can set the amount of information about your person that is visible to everyone else on the boards so I would say from that that any external “leak” of information would be improper and possibly illegal due to privacy laws.

Someone will undoubtedly come around with cold, hard facts soon enough.

What I mean, mostly, is what if I recognize someone at work (or elsewhere) on here or (elsewhere :)), and put two and two together. Personally, I don’t think I’d even tell that person, but I’m not sure.
Etiquette, I guess. But one could do such a thing out of nastiness or revenge, I assume.

Well this would probably be more suited for IMHO then…

I had a very incident where I thought I recognised a doper in real life, and I asked and it turned out wrong so I don’t see any problem confronting someone person to person.

But saying “Hey mangeorge is really XXX and lives in XXX” on the boards is not cool.

I know it’s not cool. That’s my opinion.
What I’m asking is whether such a thing would be prohibited by convention, by rule, or even by law. Would there be any consequence. I would like a factual answer, if there is one. We can pretty much surmise where most opinions would lie.

From the Registration Agreement:

Since one is discouraged from making non-anonymous revelations about oneself, I would presume making them about others would also be even more strongly discouraged.

And certainly, if it was evident that you were doing such a thing out of “nastiness or revenge,” that would fall under the “Don’t be a jerk” Rule, and would presumably be grounds for banning.

I might have given the impression that I have some Ulterior Motive for asking this question. No, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a pulsating mass of curiosity, to tell the truth.
Every once in a while I read something here by a poster that sounds vaguely familiar, or at work someone will say something that makes me go “hmmm”.
I’m pretty sure that others have had similar experiences. I’m not that odd, am I? :dubious: I’m simply fighting ignorance since 1999.
If I really want to know about a member, I’ll email and politely ask.
Now, to get Colibri’s complete bio just click here.

Err…your link’s broken.


I think we all got woooosshed. Tell the truth Dopers…didn’t we all click the link?

I know exactly what it says.

If somebody wants to find out who you are, and your email address is on your profile (it’s mandatory, isn’t it?) then they can find out who you are. I’m told there are “whois” inquiries that can tell you who registered any address. I have heard of anonymous email services, “nyms”, that can hide you, but I have inferred that our administrators aren’t fond of members who use them.

As a matter of courtesy, we don’t get that nosy. Is every one of us that courteous? We don’t know. It would be nice to believe that none of you knows who I am, but I don’t believe I’m that hard to find.

I personally don’t exactly hide on here, and have probably dropped enough clues just by talking about certain things at work, etc. that someone at work could probably figure out who I am. I know a couple of co-workers read the columns, not sure if they read the boards or not. It wouldn’t bother me if they came up to me at work and griped about something I said on the boards, but that’s just me. I can see how someone else might.

I think it’s pretty much expected that anything you reveal, whether it be in your bio or in a post, is open to the public. If you don’t want peoepl to know who you are, don’t put personal info in your bio and be careful about what you post.

From the thread on ATMB " SDMB registration agreement as of 3/24/04"

A few weeks ago I made a thread on the ATMB questioning the violation of the privacy rule by a moderator.
I was reassured by Ed Zotti - on that thread and in private mail - that measures were taken to prevent a repetition of misinterpretation of this privacy rule in the future.
About your question

This can be answered with an other excerpt of the ATMB thread " SDMB registration agreement as of 3/24/04"

I think that makes it clear that posting personal information about other members without their conscent indeed would “get you in trouble”.
I think that when the staff is now asked to be more vigilant in observing all the SDMB rules all the time, the other members are surely expected to do the same.
Salaam. A

I hovered, just a little.

If anyone else is curious what this refers to, it is this thread. Beware, though, it makes for a long read with the option to open up further multiple cross referenced threads to boot. Interesting, though, and it does clarify a point with reference to user anonymity. Though, dang, Aldebaran, I opened this thread because it looked like it was gonna be a short innocuous read! :slight_smile:

No worries and, as you might say, Salaam.

p.s. I hovered also!

This has been interestinger than I expected.
Above, where I said “I wouldn’t”, I meant that I wouldn’t reveal anything. not that I wouldn’t get into any trouble. :slight_smile:
So I guess my answer is yes, I can get into trouble on these boards and no, I probably can’t get into legal hot water.
Thanks, Y’all.
And as I usually say;
Peace, Shalom, and Salaam.
Oh, and I am pretty proud of my “link”. :cool:

Why don’t we talk parameters of “get in trouble”?

Being overly rude can get you banned here, celebrating the joys of Nazism. So, I’m quite certain that posting personal data about other members with or without permission could get you banned.

Could you get arrested? IANALawyer or cop, but I doubt it. Maybe if you discovered somebody was in the Witness Protection Program and you outed them, you might be violating some law.

But I’m pretty sure you could get sued if some piecce of information you posted can be shown to have cause actual damages to the party you posted about. I imagine you could be sued for something like libel, but maybe other things as well. It might be that you post somebody’s SSN, and a third party comes along, reads it and uses it for fraud. I think there would be a pretty decent cases for recovery of damages against you, if the victim could show that the scammer actually saw the information in your post.

And having found out other members info,is it OK to stalk them?
If not,I’m in trouble…