Is it possible to disable "search by username" ?

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.

Even if it is possible, I hope it is not done.

Sometimes, with the voluminous data set we are gathering here, it is convenient and necessary to limit a search by including the user name when known. That’s a feature, not a liability.

Just remember, anything you put on the Internet is there forever. It’s not just the SDMB forums. True anonymity is not possible, so think before you post.

It does?
If you’re geniuninely concerned about this, you should stop posting here, rather than suggest restrictions to solve a problem most of us don’t seem to recognize.

Look, even if we did restrict searches by username, I don’t think it would do much good; if someone really wants to get the goods on anyone here, they’ll keep at it until they locate it.

Quoting from the membership agreement:

I dunno how much more we can caution people about what they put here, or what we can do to save posters from their own actions.

your humble TubaDiva

The “search by poster” is very useful…to search for your own posts. I’ve been using it quite often lately, because I’ve a tendancy to post a lot and never come back to the thread when it doesn’t appear on the first page. Now, I often search my own posts to see if there has been some response I should adress.
It’s true that’s it’s an inconvenence not to be able to post anonimously in some rare cases, but as far as I remember, there has been only two cases when I would really have wanted to do so.

Generally speaking, assuming that your words are here for the world to see and avoiding to mention to people you know you’re posting over here seem like good ideas (though there’s now at least one lurker I personnally know).
I must admit that I sometimes checked the posting history of some dopers…

[del]You mean like this?[/del]

[del]your humble TubaDiva[/del]

Well isn’t that just the keenest thing since [del]baked[/del] sliced bread!

[del]Strikeover Underline[/del]


It would have been even nicer [del]if I had put it in the right thread.[/del]


your humble TubaDiva

I agree.

While the Internet’s still “new” in the grand sense, it’s been around long enough that people using it should know what the deal is. Once something is online, it is instantly accessible to millions of people all over the world, who can then re-post it without any security filters, keep it forever, print it and post in in the bathroom of the OP’s local bar, whatever. The onus is on the OP to determine what they’re comfortable sharing to that extent. The SDMB shouldn’t have to babysit us.

Uh, they already do.

Agreeing with the majority, here! I think the fact that we’re all kinda accountable for our past comments keeps us honest … or at least consistent in our lies. :wink: Some of those who’d use the SDMB for fraudulent or nefarious purposes may be marginally less likely to do so, knowing their history is visible to all.

Besides, removing that part of the search form wouldn’t do much, since it still leaves the other, more convenient method of searching for all of someone’s posts. (By clicking on a username within a post, we get a dropdown box with the option to find all posts by that member. I’ve plugged in my own userid as an example.)

Even if the Dope doesn’t let you search, there’s nothing that says Google or one of Google’s competitors won’t index the threads.

Except this.

What does that mean Pleonast?

Actually, I entered a sentence from this thread into my Google search bar.
It pulled up this thread.
If you have Google desktop installed, you may wind up with the results, assuming you’ve seen the thread in question in the past.

That’s because it’s searching YOUR COMPUTER. Of course this thread exists in your computer’s cache!

Got a sentence from this thread that can be searched thru the Internet on Google? That robots.txt should prohibit that from happening.

How? What is that thing and what is it doing to block Google?

Decision by Reader management; they feel they should have control over the content and where it is archived. The site is not being archived at The Wayback Machine either, though we were there for a while.

your humble TubaDiva


No need for the caps. I know everything that you just said, and knew it all before my prior post.

Robots.txt is an HTML convention/code; an instruction/request to search programs (robots) to act differently on a particular web page or site according to the web designer’s special wishes. There is no legal requirement that they do so, but it is followed by well-behaved robots.

Sorry for the caps, Jonathan Woodall, I thought perhaps you didn’t understand that, with the toolbar installed, your search results would be different from others’ and you were claiming that google indexed SDMB for the general public.

However, I recall that Yahoo! is starting a search service that WILL include subscription sites, so there is nothing impossible about the concept.

Isn’t the Wayback Machine dormant at the moment anyway? I thought they ran into some problems with copyright and suspended operations a whileback. Last I checked, they had stopped spidering any of my sites, too.