I am thinking of starting a GD thread: “This board would be better if true anonymity was possible–i.e. no searching for past threads by user name”
But first, I have a techie question: is it possible to set the software to allow searches, but not “search by username”
the ability to search usernames ( and thereby identify an individual) represses honest dialogue.
Individual threads come and go, but when you know that your words remain permanently open to all, you have to be more careful. This may not be entirely bad, but I think it does limit conversation.A single strongly-worded post on politics may embarrass you if a co-worker sees it, but you can at least apologize if necessary. . But if you have a dozen similar posts easily searchable, you will (like me) never even let your co-worker know you read this site.
Many Dopers admit to falsifying their info, in order to protect their own privacy. So they do what I do–refer to a non-existant brother in law, instead of their actual brother, or change their date of graduation by a year or two. This is okay, and pretty harmless–but would be unnessary if we werent worried about the cumulative details adding up, and eventually making it possible to identify ourselves.