Would it be possible to announce name changes?

I know in some cases, a Doper changes a user name to escape an online stalker, in which case, they don’t want to be identified as The Doper Formerly Known As.

In those cases where it’s just a personal preference, as in “I’m tired of being known as X, I’m now Y” can an announcement be made?

I second this request.

Also, as i just pointed out in another thread, it takes about 30 seconds to track down the former identity of someone who merely changes their name on this message board. If someone was seriously worried about online stalking, i would think that a simple name change is hardly likely to be of much use, so i can’t even see wariness of stalkers as a reasonable exception to the rule.

If someone really is worried by an online stalker, then more serious steps, like leaving the boards altogether, would seem to be much more logical step.

As it currently stands, the policy of not announcing name changes serves no purpose except to confuse Dopers who suddenly realize that there’s a member with 5,000+ posts that they’ve never noticed before.

I third. Ideally, the former identity shows up in the name-changer’s sig but an announcement here would be useful if the relevant sig was not updated in a timely fashion (if at all).

My original goal with tiny ham was to honestly start over as a new poster with no preconceived notions or hatreds. When I did so, I was instantly banned as a sock seeing as my name came from the ISP. A quick meeting of the mods resulted in Tuba telling me that the only way I could come back was to keep the jarbabyj post count and post history, only the name would change.

I figured I’d be found out, but I didn’t count on the poorly timed “Departed Dopers” thread that was started today and caused people to look for it.

I originally joined the SDMB in 2000 and that was six years ago. I joined because I’ve had the SD books since I was a teenager and read them until they fell apart. I was happy to see fans. I was a very different person, younger, more idiotic and much more attention seeking, validation seeking and undiagnosed with depression.

I developed a ton of great friendships, got great advice and learned so many things, I probably got addicted and devoted too much time to the board.

I made enemies, and apparently some are bigger than others. Off board incidents and private issues made me leave the board for good. But I missed it terribly.

I thought I’d be able to come back quietly, which I did for about three days…but so much for that.


I hope it’s not against the rules to ask, but I don’t understand at all how that works. I mean, certainly multiple users on the SDMB use the same ISP. How can a name be banned based on that? Or is it by IP?

Whether to announce a name change is entirely up to the poster who requested the change. We usually suggest that they use a sig file to announce their new name, but they can certainly post a thread about it.

Note that, when a name is changed, all prior posts appear under the new name. So, it’s usually not a secret.

We’re trying to build some sort of community here. That means, we don’t want people using multiple names, sneaking back in trying to erase the past. The past happened, and it can only be “erased” by common consent – apologies, atonement, promises to do better, whatever. What kind of community would it be if, every time Fred I got mad at someone and threw a hissy fit, she could sneak back in under a different identity?

So, we do allow name changes, but we don’t allow one user to have multiple names. That’s counter to what we’re trying to build here.

BoBettie, on how we track socks, obviously, we look them up in Hose Who.

You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m glad you’re back. You were missed. All of us are a lot more mature than we were six years ago. :smiley:

tiny ham, i’m sorry if i seem to have made you the focus of my complaint. That wasn’t the intent at all; you just happened to be the most recent person i’ve noticed. Unfortunately (or not), when i see a name i’ve never noticed before, and that person has over 7,000 posts, it comes as something of a surprise and i go off in search of an answer.

I’m glad you’re back, and i hope you can ignore anyone who tries to make your life here difficult. I know there are people on this board who think i’m a dick, but there are few enough that it doesn’t interfere with the enjoyment i get from the place.

I now want to answer a comment made by Batsinma Belfry in the Dearly Departed Dopers thread, where this issue came up earlier:

That’s true, which is why i would like a sticky thread in ATMB. It could be a closed thread listing name changes, and when someone changes their name the Admins/Mods could simply add that name and then relock the thread. (i assume vBulletin allows for that?)

Sorry, but i completely disagree.

As Dex said, the community of people is one of the things—hell, it’s the only thing—that makes this board what it is. If you participate in the community, then you’re doing your fellow members a disservice by attempting to start over and pretend you were never here.

I understand the desire of tiny ham (and others) to start with a clean sheet, where no-one else has any pre-conceived notions or enmities, but i’ve always thought that the best way to get over these things is to break them down through conversation, not get a new identity.

The strategy of entering with a new identity also has some other potential problems. For example, if i decided that i wanted to start with a completely new name because some people’s dislike got too much for me, one thing i’d consider doing is emailing the people i did get along with and telling them who i really was. This makes for a situation where i get some of the benefits of long term membership (the camaraderie of those whom i like) with none of the drawbacks (ongoing battles with those i don’t).

Also, the person who changes his or her name then comes to the board with an advantage, because while a name change might wipe away other people’s preconceptions, the person who’s changed identity still knows all the flaws and foibles of other members and, much as they might try, will not be able to discard their own preconceptions.

And all that is why i don’t agree that the decision to announce a name change should be left up to the individual. If it’s not announced and the person makes an attempt to hide it, we’re being duped.

I think adding a note to the sig is ideal (even better than a thread or a sticky). It is right there by your posts as a reminder. And even if you forget to attach your sig or the reader has sigs disabled, your old name is just one click away in View Public Profile.


The question is whether that will be popular. Not to bring up bad places, but for whatever reason (and this all predates my membership on the boards so I’m wholly clueless) there’s a crew of people who seem to have kept the faith alive all these years, dedicating surprising amounts of their lives to their dislike for this poster. It’s insane and grossly unfair - but some people are going to do their absolute best to make her return an unpleasant one. I think when there’s an actual cabal of people who’ve decided to hate one person irrationally, it seems reasonable that they should be able to come back under a new identity. I know this place is a community and all, but online communities are different from real life ones in that it takes far less effort to make one person’s existence within that community unpleasant on the internet. It’s pretty ridiculous to suggest that jarbabyj is getting her just desserts from the little cabal of people who’ve dedicated years to hating her - it’s not ideal, but wouldn’t letting her come back under a different identity make more sense?

Who’s got that kind of hate for tiny ham? Maybe there is something I don’t know about, but I can’t imagine what it might be.

If some Doper is going to do that much to make her return unpleasant, ban 'em.


Obviously, I don’t know who they are. And like I said, I have no idea why; it may just be one really, really noisy person, but someone or some tiny group has an absolutely psycho obsession with tiny ham; I’m not comfortable talking about it more than that for fear of breaking the rules, but I she’s right at least that some people won’t give her a fair shot. I only hope that either they confine it to off-board or get in trouble here; some people have a certain skill in skirting the rules while still being dicks.

Well, it wouldn’t be fair to ask you to name names.

But I have been here for a bit, and I was not aware that tiny ham has those kind of enemies. She always struck me as being like Guinastasia, someone who has a million posts and never seems to offend anyone significantly.

As I say, I might be wrong, or maybe projecting. But cyber-stalking tiny ham is like Pitting Polycarp or Tamerlane or someone like that. If I did that, it would be more an indication that there was something wrong with me than with them.

But I haven’t been paying much attention. Still, welcome back, tiny ham, from someone who would prefer that you be given a fresh start, if that is what you want.


We do try to foster a more community spirit around here.

We also believe that simply allowing any old poster to abandon a name and start fresh once the going got too hot for them does not foster community, just the opposite; it’s a destabilizing force.

“By their posts shall ye know them.”

I note that tiny ham has been a poster in good standing, was before this started. That means that on this board she played by the rules. That should mean something to people. She played by the rules with her name change as well.

As for what might have happened outside of here, we prefer you keep your outside fights well outside of here; we got enough as it is.

As for announcing changes, that’s your business and none of our own. It’s your choice to make and not ours to publish.


This is, quite frankly, a load of dogs’ bollox.

To first claim that members of this community are known by their posts, and then to disclaim any responsibility for informing members of name changes, completely abrogates the board administration’s responsibility. What you’re effectively saying is:

“By their posts shall ye know them…as long as you are lucky enough to work out that there was a name change in the first place. And we’re not gonna help you with that.”

By not announcing name changes, you are enabling the very sort of destabilizing force and lack of community that you claim to be worried about. Because it is highly likely that some people with fewer posts than tiny ham could change names without anyone noticing, resulting in the same practical result as if you’d allowed them to start over completely.

I want to emphasize again that all this comes out of no animosity to tiny ham. When i found out her identity, i was actually pleasantly surprised as i’d always found her a valuable member and a fun person to have around. If there are people on these boards who have some sort of vendetta against her, and they cross the line, they should be put in their place. But i still don’t think unannounced name changes are appropriate.


Oh, no, there are people out there who hate me too. I find it amusing, myself.

Please elaborate for the curious. How?

Funny how some people just want to know all and control everything, innit? :wink:

Do a search on their posts, and go back to their very first ones, including threads they’ve started. People will refer to them by their original names.

Nobody irrationally hates me. Nobody follows me around waiting for me to lance them with my rapier wit and expose to the world how little life they have. Nobody spends their time online wondering where I’m posting now and how best to marshal their fallacies to attempt to make me just a little bit angrier than usual.

I feel left out! :smiley:

Seriously, welcome back jarbabyj. I liked you in the old days and I’m glad you’re posting again.