If you have a hidden profile it is more difficult to follow your arguments

Continuing the discussion from Why do Dopers start contests regarding grave matters?:

I said it is hard, not impossible.

The interface may be different for you because you are a moderator, but this is my experience.

Doing a search is about ten times as difficult as a filter. You only see a preview of each post. You have to click on each one to see the full text, at which point the search results are hidden. To jump to the next post you must first click the search icon again to show the results. That might involve moving the mouse across the screen if you were expanding replies or otherwise navigating around the topic for context. There’s probably a hotkey to search but my hand is on the mouse, and it will have to be on the mouse again to click the next search result.

The search results are in a scrollable list, but because the list is closed after you look at each post, you have to scroll from the top every time. Which means you have to memorize the post numbers so you don’t lose your place in the topic. (ETA: Also you can only scroll the search results by having your mouse within the search results, otherwise you just scroll the topic. I guess you could drag the scrollbar but… forget that.)

It is easier to actually scroll through the entire 200 post topic, quote all 50 of Acsenray’s posts, and then fullscreen the edit window so I can browse the preview pane on the right. That’s how bad the search in topic function sucks. Now, if you’re searching for a phrase or something search in topic rocks. But just using it to filter all the posts by one member? Sucks.

With a normal poster whose profile isn’t hidden - and to my knowledge back on vBulletin nobody’s entire profile was hidden - you simply click their name, then the little filter icon. Then the entire topic is pruned so it only shows his or her posts.

I don’t understand why hiding your profiles removes the inline filter function from other users. That seems like a design flaw.

Similarily, if you aren’t signed in to Discourse you don’t even have the filter function. This just makes it more difficult for lurkers to read the conversation and provides a disinscentive to participate. It makes no sense.


Open in New Tab.

Still, I agree that Discourse should allow filtering for posts that people made in each thread, regardless of their profile status.

Yeah, I prefer just quoting all 50 posts to have a scrollable list over opening 50 tabs. If you’re working on a draft you can’t have more than one tab open of the same topic or Discourse freaks out.

(I’ve tried both ways.)


Testing this…

I opened the thread in a new window, and the edit box was open there, too. I closed it there, and now I have the thread in both tabs, but the box is only in this one. Let’s see if I can submit…

You have to type something in the edit box or Discourse doesn’t care.

Even if you open multiple tabs and then start the draft, after a certain amount of time each tab will call home to Discourse and then say “Draft is being edited in another window. Please reload this page.”


I specifically asked for that not to be a modal, and just let me keep typing while warning me on the side (like other warnings). But they didn’t do that. I agree it makes having multiple tabs open for the same Topic more difficult.

And many have pointed out not having a profile shouldn’t really change anything about the interface. Heck, since you can just leave it blank, it probably shouldn’t be possible. Only messaging should be able to be disabled.

There is a separate option called “Only allow specific users to send me personal messages” that you can enable even if your profile is not hidden. It’s under Notifications->Users.

ETA: You could argue that presence stats like “last seen” and “last posted” and “time read” are hidden by hiding your profile, like it says in the profile page, but they aren’t. Anyone can get that info from the global users page (boards.straightdope.com/u/).


More and more, it seems the only actual utility of hiding your public profile is to make it more difficult for people to follow your arguments. I’m not saying people who hide their profile are intentionally doing it for this reason, but that seems to be the only actual effect.

Everything else on the profile page can be either removed separately (such as your name, location, or birthday), or accessed elsewhere (though not necessarily so easily).


Your experience is similar to mine, except i click on posts to view them, and then use the back button to return to the list of posts.

I use it all the time, and find it pretty user-friendly.

I’ve literally never used the profile the way you describe, and honestly wasn’t aware it could be used that way. It sounds like a neat feature, but not one that i would have expected to be linked to a profile on any way. As you say, it doesn’t make any sense. I would expect hiding the profile to hide stuff like where i live and when i last logged on from other posters. And if i were signing up for a new board, i would probably pick “hide” just to be on the safe side, to without thinking about it much.

I don’t think it’s appropriate to act as if someone hid their profile to prevent you from reading their posts. That’s just weird and paranoid. Take the search feature up with the discourse people, not with users who are probably as confused as i am as to why you are berating them.

That’s been going on for a while now. I had my activity blocked on the vBulletin board, and a few users here wanted to make an issue of it.

So, speaking as a moderator, i have just learned that there’s a cool filter feature that works at least some of the time that’s even better than the search function. It’s a feature that could be useful when moderating.

So… How do i access this? If i wanted to look at all the posts someone had made in this thread, what buttons would i click? What would i type?

Click Max’s name. The card that pops up will have a button with a filter symbol and ___ posts in topic. Click it.

Cool. Thanks.

That doesn’t look like a filter to me, but I managed to guess it; and yes, at least for the people it’ll work for I think that’s massively better than the search-by-name-in-the-thread technique. Thanks, @Max_S!

I don’t think people hide their profiles to purposely make it harder to read their posts, just that that is the actual effect.

One step ahead of you. [points to this topic]


This doesn’t seem to work if you are searching for posts within a topic, as in this screenshot.


This is incredibly naive. If you try to check previous posts through the Activity button you’ll find an unmistakable pattern of posters who hide their profiles.

It is not a certain tell, by any means, and I am not accusing all posters who do this. Nevertheless, denying this reality is dismaying to read from a mod.

By all means, if I were a troll I would hide my profile because it literally makes it harder for people to realize that I’m a troll. (They would have to jump through extra hoops to access my posting history.)

But I won’t assume someone is a troll due to the hidden profile. A legitimate member may (mistakenly) see utility in having a hidden profile.


Having never used that feature, and having routinely hidden my information from other users on chat sites, i think you are making a lot of unwarranted assumptions.

I dig into posting history to build a case of trolling, but generally, trolls present themselves in other ways. “Lots of posters angrily replying” is a good tell, for instance.

Posts starting with “I have never used/seen/done” that and you have, but you are wrong nonetheless never work out the way the poster wanted.