Request for allowing one sock puppet per poster

Not sure if vBulletin has the tools to allow this, but it would be good to have an alternate posting name, in addition to your regular one, so that you can ask questions of a more personal nature.

e.g. I may want to ask a question about hemorrhoids or marriage problems, and while it’s not the worst thing in the world if my real-life friends and colleagues found out about these problems, I’d rather they not.

Sometimes I want to show my friends some interesting thread that I am participating in, but, if I do, they can quickly figure out which username is me, in which case they can figure out all the other things I have posted, which could include personal stuff I’d rather they not know (yes I know I should treat everything on the internet as not private and possibly-discoverable, but I’m not talking about super-sensitive stuff that I would never want anyone to find out, and also, there is no reason to make it super-easy or super-obvious for people to find out this info about you even if it is not super-sensitive stuff)

As the rules currently stand, I can either ask questions about personal stuff and not tell my friends about any of my SDMB discussions, or I can tell my friends about some of my SDMB discussions and not ask any questions about personal stuff.

Having another posting identity, tied to your account, which the mods would know about, would eliminate all this.

Also, if the issue is that we don’t want people posting in the same thread under two different posting identities, so that they won’t be cheerleaders for their own arguments, maybe there is a way so that if you post in a thread using one of your two identities, your other identity is not allowed to post in that thread. Is this possible with current board software?

Anyway, the most likely answer to this request is ‘No!’, but I thought I’d throw the idea out there to see what people think.

We have no plans to change the sock puppet rule. As we have said many times, we strongly advise against posting any information that may come back to haunt you.

The fact that I may have, say, hemmorhoids will not “come back to haunt me”, if my friends and colleagues happen to find out about it. That doesn’t mean I want to make that info easily available to them.

There is a large category of things between “I want to share this with my friends” and “This will come back to haunt me”

I’ve often wished for a anonymous-optional forum where one could ask embarassing or revealing questions and/or give embarassing or revealing replies. You could select whether your username is revealed to the masses on a per-post basis.

This would be in a single (new) forum and board admin would be able to recover the username (maybe with a requirement that 2 or more mods/admin need to authenticate a legitimate reveal-username request).

I’m not saying it’s reasonable or even doable but it would be nice. Frankly, there’s must be all sorts of juicy, unmentionable questions that have gone unasked.

Don’t you think that the moderators are busy enough without this additional bit of bureaucracy?

Are you joking? I may not have the most active imagination in the world but I can’t fathom something too unmentionable to not to have been discussed her at sometime or another.

Just PM me and I’ll post whatever you want. I have no shame.

If you load ‘hemorrhoids forum’ into google you get piles of hits.

The word is hemorrhoids. To your point, I’m not about to parse degrees of embarrassment. If there’s information you want some subset of your acquaintances to know and not the rest, mail it to them. Whisper it in their ears. Commune with them telepathically. Don’t post it on a bulletin board visible to everyone on the planet with a computer and an Internet connection.

You’re being rude and disingenuous. You can do it because you are the administrator. Congratulations on your position of power.

By the way, as I mentioned in the OP

So, I knew that the administrative answer would be no. I just wanted to see what regular posters thought of the idea.

Oh, please. Don’t be so easily offended.

Suit yourself. However, the no-socks rule dates back to the early days of the board. Its purpose, broadly speaking, is to make users responsible for what they post. What you propose is at cross purposes with that goal, and would be an administrative nightmare besides, so we’re not likely to seriously consider it.

Now play nice. It is not about being offended. It is just clear that you have made your mind about this and instead of trying to communicate your ideas for the other to understand, you are just trying to put him down.

His concern is fairly understandable, I think. If your kid wets his bed, that is not the stuff that will ruin your life, but you would want a way to ask others for advice without putting yourself out there. It is not a biggie, but privacy would be a nice plus.

I can see how you might think this is more trouble than it is worth (and I am sure that, to the OP, there is no automated way for the software to handle this) but that doesn’t give you a green light to ridicule the poster or the question. Just say no and leave it at that.

You’re quite right. My apologies to Polerius. In any case, what he asks would greatly complicate the administration of the board.

Think of the hamsters!

Okay. It’s already an anonymous message board. What you propose sounds like a real headache, and for not much gain.

Plus you would probably forget who you were posting as and give it away to these “friends” anyway if they’re that nosy.

I completely agree with Polerius about wanting such a feature, but understand the diabolical nightmare of enforcement/worm-putting-back-in-the-can. I generally have two filters that I post through. First, no personal or identifiable information gets through, and second, no information that I’d find embarrassing if a friend read it (note, embarrassing, not incriminating). Basically, forget about anything of the haunting variety, I’m quite unlikely to post something I wouldn’t want GranDvl to read.

However, this self-imposed censorship is clearly not universally implemented by board members, and the self-imposed lack of freedom is quite worth the price – the strict no-sock rule keeps things much cleaner here than on other boards. I’ve been to other boards. It’s scary out there.

We have discussed this ad infinitum in too many threads to bother pulling up. The answer is no. It’s no now, it’s no later, it’s no so long as those who run this Board continue to do so.

Posting threads to see what the members think about something that you know won’t be implemented is simply, in my opinion, a prime example of being a jerk.

Not happening, and just not a good idea. Totally destroys any credibility in any factual question, for one thing. We occasionally advise people here not to post anything you wouldn’t want written on a 25-foot billboard next to your house. I can’t say I observe it exactly that closely, but it’s a decent guideline. If you’re that concerned you can ask for a screenname change, but generally, discretion’s important. The anti-sock rule is a very important one as far as I’m concerned.

Here’s a bit of discussion about this topic when from ATMB a while ago. This was before free posting but most of the discussion still applies. And the OP started off with a different rationale but others quickly moved to your rationale by the end because it was easier to justify. It was amusing how many socks got in on that discussion and how disruptive they were. I think they were just trying to prove the point. . . inadvertently. :stuck_out_tongue:

Could there be consideration for a registered sock?

How many were there?