Anonymous vs Real Name, or members option to decide?

  • Anonymity helps prevent racism and bigotry and sexism.

    On the contrary, I think it promotes expressions of these things. This is one of the reasons KKK members used to cover their faces. When no one knows who you are, you tend to be bolder and meaner. This has been widely noted since the internet become widespread. This is why, for example, newspapers did not allow anonymous letters in the pre-internet era.

    Anonymity might prevent sexism against an individual woman if no one could tell from her screen name that she is female, but it will not prevent expressions of sexism, racism, and so on.

    I have mixed feelings about it. I myself would never think of posting a comment anonymously. Nor would I ever say something online that I would hesitate to say in person to anyone, including a person I am criticizing. In my opinion, if you would not have the guts to say it the person, you shouldn't say it at all. Of course exceptions must be made for whistleblowers, people reporting corrupt officials, or people ratting out drug dealers! I mean in ordinary, non-dangerous online discussions.

  • It does appear that way Alan. Pretty apparent from the lackluster response that there is not much interest in changing. Still though, the soul searching has led to some ideas which may help those who dislike conversing with a no-name. If you wish to engage a particular person, and want to know their identity:

    1. First check their profile. You can find that on the "Toolbar" above the comments under "Members", or just click on their pseudonym/avatar/mick. They may have put a real name there. If not....

    2. Ask them right up front who they are, and many will tell you.Or...

    3. On that same Toolbar, there is a "Conversation" feature. Many of us here use it. Very handy for many occasions. Open it up and type in the members avatar, put a subject, say what you have to say, then hit submit. That person will be notified 2 ways: by LenrForum email, with a message that there is someone wanting to talk with, and the Toolbar "Conversation" will have a red message logo only you can see. Click on the red, and ask away. This feature is totally private. Even we Mods and Admins can not see who is contacting who, or what is being said. Even the email addresses are protected.

    On a side note, when that toolbar "Forum" feature has a red message signal, it is saying you have some unread posts. Just click on them to find out which. Since the front page only shows the 10 most recent topics at a time, that comes in handy.

  • I have mixed feelings about it. I myself would never think of posting a comment anonymously. Nor would I ever say something online that I would hesitate to say in person to anyone, including a person I am criticizing. In my opinion, if you would not have the guts to say it the person, you shouldn't say it at all. Of course exceptions must be made for whistleblowers, people reporting corrupt officials, or people ratting out drug dealers! I mean in online discussions.

    I can understand our academic/university prof/student members -who we have many of here, wishing to remain anonymous. In their shoes I would not want word getting back to my colleagues at the Physics/Chemistry/Engineering Departments, that I was interested in LENR, unless I were playing the role of critic. Going by ones real name may not cause a problem, but then again it might, so why risk it? This is just a forum after all.

  • I can understand our academic/university prof/student members -who we have many of here, wishing to remain anonymous.

    Yes, I said something similar earlier. Those people would get in hot water. They would be treated like someone who rats out a drug dealer, only more politely. As Woodrow Wilson said, academic politics are vicious because the stakes are so low.

  • There are personality types that need social reinforcements from other people. When a person thinks that he has accomplished something that is significant, that person's self worth is amplified by the approval of others. That is what applause is all about. For example, people who want to lose weigh or get out from under an addictive behavior are well served by group therapy. Such people are motivated to increase their own power and influence or to draw attention to one's own importance within the social group. The human ego usually needs this approval. This need to interact with people who are revealed, known, and familiar is rooted in this social need.

    There are some people who can derive self approval in their own accomplishments. They don't need social aggrandisement. These people can operate in the world of ideas without ego reinforcement. Their persona can evaporate after the job is complete without any loss of self worth.

    When interacting anomalously, social approval or disapproval has no impact on the ego. Motivation such as approval or rejection that is derived from the support or injury of the ego does not interfere with the anonymous development of ideas.

    It is not appropriate for social pressures or needs to force anonymous behavior to curksy or bow to the needs of the ego support of others.

  • A desire to remain anonymous on a forum like this one is a sign of a serious problems with either ones life or mental health.

    In mental case you have a second you you are ashamed of and hiding under the nick.

    In another case if there is something which can seriously affect your life after what people normally say on this forum, I am sorry.

  • Alan Smith these days everything insulting even staying quiet doing nothing sometimes, is it not?


    With all due respect, that may be how it is in society, but not here. No one here is asked to "stay quiet", but civility is enforced (with the exception of the Rossi thread :) ), and politics and religion are discouraged. Seems like a good thing to me.

  • The question of anon behaviour is far from a simple 'social or anti-social media' issue, the operators and volunteers of forums such as this one are legally liable for postings from anonymous and identifiable trolls. They don't have to lose in a formal court hearing to suffer as their time and legal costs to simply reply appropriately to claims by those who take action as being victims of defamatory slander by anon posters will cost them personally thousands if not tens of thousands in vital defensive legal bills. Rossi for one might have as a 'money making retirement strategy' the filing of scores of such legal actions as it is perfectly clear he is regularly and routinely liabled with malice on and with the support of this forum and many other forums by named and anon defaming posters and posers.

    From a UK lawfirm specializing in such work. "You have good reason to be concerned. Under UK law the position is rather complex but the starting point is that, not only authors of defamatory content, but also "secondary publishers" who store or disseminate information, such as website hosts or operators of website forums or other websites with user generated content ("UGC"), can all be held liable for website / online defamation." This legal risk is identical around the world so residency is hardly a protection.

    A business niche is appearent for the founding of businesses to provide an AI Slander Legal engine that might press claims on behalf of the defamed with incredible economic efficiency. The term 'click bait' is very likely going to be changed in the near future to 'clip bait' ;)

  • Shane D. I think you and Alan Smith are overcomplicating things in this case. Everything can be reduced to few simple categories and before acusing me of insulting, maybe it worth to wait when an actual insultee will come forward with its reasoning.

    One more thing, It is insulting to me when somebody keeps blatantly denying an obvious fact that annonymity is a bane.

  • Russ,

    Yes, there is a legal risk to running a forum. A very low risk, but it is there nonetheless. Thank you for that information. I do not see though where the law separates anonymous posters, and trolls, from those using their real names, as you appear to be implying? As far as I know, they are both treated equally in the eyes of the law. In other words, an anonymous poster is just as liable for what they say, as is one who goes by their real name.

    The purpose of this thread is to discuss the pros and cons of requiring full disclosure, or continue on allowing the option to remain anonymous. It was not intended to be about the risk of libel, as it pertains to trash talking Rossi. But since you brought it up, I am almost certain no one here has a thing to worry about. I am surely not worried, and will not be losing any sleep over it. Even with someone who has a clean record, suing for libel is difficult, with the odds of winning low. Then there is always the risk of a countersuit after losing.

    In the case of Rossi; with his felony arrest in Italy, followed by his well documented shady actions at Doral, the chances of his suing and winning are almost nil. With his growing real estate empire, he would put that in jeopardy with a countersuit. No, it won't happen.

    BTW, in his early era (2011-2013) he threatened to sue fairly often. I think he even claimed to have hired an investigator to track down and sue the elusive Gary Wright, who was pestering him with his "ShutDownRossi" website, and lodging complaints against him with the state (Florida/North Carolina) agencies. Then he talked a few times about how he was in the process of suing the "Snake", who was Krivits. He never followed through of course, because he knows there is a not a chance in hell of his ever winning.

    Going after one of way. Ignore the fear grenade just thrown your way LF members, and bombs away.

  • Why don't you apply same logic to downplay pro-annonymity people's arguments?

    Those deciding to remain anonymous do not need to hear anything more from me. They have heard the arguments, decided to stay anonymous, that is their decision to make and I respect that. Who knows, maybe some want to switch over to their real names after hearing both sides, but realize we would not know who they were if they made the change now. That would be a bummer, having to reestablish themselves all over again. Anyway, I think there have been some good suggestions that came of this. I mentioned some of those earlier in this thread, and would like to offer a couple more:

    We have new members joining almost every other day. I would urge them to either use their full name if short enough to fit in the members ID block when making a post, or full last name with first initial like MMckubre does. Or full first name with last initial like ShaneD., StyephenC, BruceH. do.

    Another is to accept that there are those whom do not like arguing with an anonymous poster, so don't start an argument with them. To be honest, in their shoes, after spending a lifetime toiling away doing the work, to then have some nameless poster tell me my conclusions are wrong, or I screwed up...well, that would be irritating. I would tell them to shove off. Now, on the other hand, if an anon has something good to say, a :thumbup:'s up, or is making an argument for, then I am sure even the most grumpy of anti-anons would accept the compliment, and the back-up.

    The same could be said of those providing valuable support such as *Can* has done. No reason why an anti-anon should have a problem with graciously accepting the help, and even offering a thank you in return.

    There are some things the anti-anons could do also that would help. Ease up a bit for starters. Understand there are legitimate reasons some people stay anonymous. One such example was Tom Clarke, who went by his real name, and had his job threatened by another member, and was forced to erase all his posts, and leave us. Then, as I said in another post, we have many members from the universities who may jeopardize their standing, or future in the case of students, were they outed as believers in LENR. Then it may surprise you to know, but many of our anon members, are researchers in the field. Most will sign their post just to let you know, but many are simply shy.

  • I would like to change my userid to my real name, but the last time I checked this was not possible, and instead I would need a whole new account.

    Is there a way for an admin to permit account name changes, or is creating a new account still the only way?

    -Bob Ellefson, aka bobeson