"This discussion is now outdated due to RecentPosts."
- Do not understand why outdated. See rest of my edit later on.
It still has various backlinks, though.
Take a peek at RecentChanges
. Anywhere from 1/2 to 9/10 people doing editing are not wearing their UserName
Does anyone know why this is?
Is this a troll? The UserName feature was heavily abused by a handful of individuals (like TWO or THREE) earlier this year. This abuse included SockPuppets and spoofing. One of those individuals made frequent threats of legal action, which deterred additional users. That same individual purposefully and repeatedly defaced WikiHomePages associated with some UserNames. While recent modifications may be improving the situation, it will be a very long time (if ever) before the openness that formerly characterized this community returns. The use of RealNamesPlease is particularly troublesome, given the ease with which the UserName mechanism can still be abused.
Some actual explanations:
- They know about the feature, but don't know that they're not cookied at the moment
- I recently bought a new computer and I'm playing with several different browsers (IE, Mozilla, OmniWeb?, Chimera). I forget which machines have cookies set and which ones need it. When I decide on my 'usual setup', I'll set the cookies again and once again I'll be -- SeanOleary
- Usernames can be easily faked, but IP's less easily (SunirShah posts as an IP for this reason)
- Some of us use multiple browsers on multiple machines in any given day and it's too much effort to synchronize cookies on all of them. If identity is important in something I write, I'll sign it. Like so. -- AdewaleOshineye
- They've got their web browser set to discard cookies. (Current Web browsers do not make it easy to enable cookies only for specific sites. It's even more of a problem for those of us who use one or more proxies. See the user stories at AboutCookies -- TinFoilHat)
- Microsoft Windows replaced the user's profile, so that Netscape cannot find the cookie.
Here are some potential explanations:
- They don't know about the UserName feature
- They know about the feature, but can't remember where the page was to set the cookie
- They know about the feature, but don't want to bother to set it
- They think anonymity best serves the purpose of wiki.
- Cowardice (?)
Some steps that could encourage increased use of UserName
- Display both UserName and IP in RecentChanges and RecentEdits (allowing victims of fraud to say "That's not my IP!"
- Add a "Do not show my UserName" checkbox to the editing page, allowing users to post anonymously occasionally.
- You can do that now, by changing your UserName, doing the edit, and then changing UserName back.
- Put a UserName field on the editing page, showing what its current setting is and allowing the user th change it before saving.
- In the "Thank you for editing" page, provide a link to the UserName page if the user does not have their cookie set.
- Require logging for editing capability
An algorithm I use (more and more frequently, it seems) to determine who is behind the IP:
Both excellent reasons to never sign your name and not make any personal contributions. Since the ability to be "mostly anonymous" has been destroyed, the major alternative people seem to be choosing is to be always anonymous. Is making a personal contribution to this wiki worth the potential of crackpot litigation against you? I, for one, don't think so. Of course, the next logical step would be to simply stop contributing completely...
- Copy their IP to the clipboard.
- Go to RecentChanges or RecentEdits
- Ctrl+F, paste
- Look at every page, checking the diffs
- See if I can find:
- A case where the author signed the page using that IP.
- Enough about them to reverse engineer who they are.
In the whole history of wikidom, I am aware of exactly one lawsuit, but that had external circumstances. DefendAgainstParanoia
. You are more likely to be in court for what you do and say at a bar, and when was the last time you were? -- SunirShah
In my view, it isn't the actual threat of legal action that mitigates against RealNamesPlease. Instead, it is that the one or two people who make such threats are so obviously disturbed that their behavior is entirely unpredictable, and so they may take any number of other actions. While it's true that few people are sued over what they do and say at a bar, it is also true that a far greater number of people are followed and beat up, or have their cars vandalized, or find their homes robbed based on things they do or say at a bar.
Is having a user name displayed in RecentChanges
really that important? Why not do the simplest thing and get rid of the name field altogether. If people want to sign their contributions, that's fine. If they don't, that is fine as well.
People who are doing deletions, or any sort of wiki-maintenance, should definitely take it upon themselves to have their UserNames set. Increased accountability to go with the increased responsibility. -- fh
- It's important to me. There are certain authors whose writings I want to read, and others I know to avoid (or at least to approach with a different set of assumptions). User names help me focus on content that is of value to me, and to filter out that which is likely to not be of value.
- That's interesting... I do that with page topics but I almost never ignore based on the editor. You can't anyway, because you'll end up reading their work after somebody else's edit.
- I find that when certain people are involved in a discussion, it is usually worth reading. And when certain people enter a discussion, its value starts dropping. User names are a much better indicator of RecentChanges quality than are page names.
- DeletionIsNotSigned?, therefore please consider where the deletee (!) is left when someone semi-anonymously deletes, as mentioned in DeletionConventions.
But I gather SunirShah avoids their use for good (spoofability) reasons. Therefore providing both seems useful, as someone suggests below. -- mca
- For pages without edit activity for long time and are being considered for deletion, then use of UserName can help to see whether the person has left the community, giving more reasons to proceed with the deletion.
- maybe the above paragraph is no longer true? Recent Posts does expose IpUsername as well
mechanism improves observability, one of the WikiDesignPrinciples
. People here discover what is and isn't acceptable behavior by watching others. When the community was smaller and domain names more recognizable we all had a sense of who was who in RecentChanges
. I've intentionally kept user names out of the permanent record. That means setting a user name is a personal declaration to the small community of regular observers. It says, I'm proud of what I do here, I'd like you to know it is me. -- WardCunningham
p.s. I'm interested in improvements that increase UserName
's utility without me entering into an arms race with vandals.
- Emit both the UserName and the IP/domain:
- Password-protect each UserName before it is vended
In the interest of avoiding the ArmsRace?
, consider providing IP address and ReverseDnsLookup?
since the latter may be forged. My apologies for a) explaining how to use eggs like boiled sweets and b) not taking the time to look up why the reverse lookup is sometimes no used when it is available. -- MatthewAstley
I'm generally proud of what I do, and am happy for people to associate my edits with my name. However, after some "interactions" I'm unwilling to have people trash my home page and effectively stalk me. The IP address isn't anonymous, but it's certainly less obvious. I no longer set the UserName cookie, I rarely sign my work anymore. Consider the EgolessWiki.
"The above illustrates why it was a good idea to make the UserName
optional" -- DonaldNoyes
(Discussion moved to WhoAreYouReally)
was broken awhile in early 2005. See UserNameFaq