A note about AMG's anonymity policy - feedback requested

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AMG
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A note about AMG's anonymity policy - feedback requested

I would welcome AMG user feedback on the following:

A user contacted me recently with a complaint that his anonymity had been compromised. Apparently another AMG user posted a link to his Facebook page.

Two important points:
1- The user posts to AMG using his actual first and last name
2- The user leaves his Facebook page open to public view, instead of setting his profile to private, as many Facebook users do.

Because the user had no anonymity on AMG, it is my position that his anonymity has not been compromised. The user made the choice to post under his name.

Further, I am not deleting the link to his Facebook page, because again- this is a publicly-accessible webpage that could be made private by the user, but it isn't.

I think it's a little bit ridiculous to have to explain that when you post under your real name you are not anonymous, but perhaps I am missing something.

I would appreciate the opinion of the AMG community on this one.

Bruce Libby
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I had an issue in past while

I had an issue in past while posting under rmy name , a fellow poster
started to devulge my address specifics etc..
This was dealt with via a pm after consultation with owner.
It was considered bad form.

This is fairly new concern given that FB has really expanded the last few years.
I cannot remeber anyone even posting about FB much previously.

I think a prohibition on posting FB links would be wise . If I want to share my FB activity I can do that
individually separate from AMG public square .

    The anonymity policy shoulld remain and be respected regardless of a posters feeling about the choice
    made by others.

Roger S
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Two thoughts:

Two thoughts:
1. If you post under your real name, don't expect anonymity
2. Someone creepy enough to engage in stalker behavior of looking up another posters' info on the web and then sharing it probably shouldn't be welcome on AMG..

Watcher
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I agree 100% with AMG

I agree 100% with AMG

mainemom
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AMG is correct that the user

AMG is correct that the user has control over privacy on FB.
Nonetheless, if the user asked for the link to be removed, why not remove it?
No harm to AMG or anyone else in removing it.
Seems quite a benign request.

Thomas Carter
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It was I who complained.

It was I who complained.

I use my real name on here, as my views on AMG are my own and I have nothing to hide. I expect my views to be challenged, commented on, and ridiculed, and I wear big boy panties and can take any and all criticism fairly well.

I would expect any debate to remain here, and not spill out into my social media accounts. If you wish to look me up to confirm whatever voyeuristic intentions you may have about me, have at it. I have a Twitter account also.

What I don't expect is traffic directed to my Facebook account out of spite by a fellow poster. It's...creepy. There are thousands of people with my same name in New England, and according to the rules, "any AMGer who gives a public positive identification of any other AMGer without that AMGer's knowledge and consent will be banned from AMG for life".

I did not give my knowledge and consent, neither verbally or in writing.

How far can I go? Like Bruce said above about addresses, it wouldn't take me but a few minutes to gather an AMG poster's address, phone number, Facebook link, family member's names, employer, employer's address, and photographs - then post them on here. As a former fraud investigator, I could take it a step further and easily obtain someone's date of birth, mother's maiden name, and eventually their social security number and post it on here. Who would like that? Any volunteers?

All I wanted was the link removed...and maybe a warning not to do that again. Like Bruce stated, maybe make it part of the rules. I surely wouldn't do that to someone else. Although some of you will never agree with me, and vice versa, debate here should never spill over into our personal lives.

Unless, of course we have a get together/dinner thing (I'll bring the brownies).

David Allen
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I posted here for a few years

I posted here for a few years using a pseudonym for professional reasons. Then I switched to using my name. I wish more posters would use their real names, but I understand why some don't. Unfortunately, anonymity leads some people to be less civil than they would be otherwise. That goes for me, too.
That said, it's despicable and downright creepy that someone would try to stalk a poster by tracking him down on Facebook because of things he posted on AMG! Even worse is posting things on someone's Facebook page uninvited where friends and family can see it.
I'll continue posting using my name - for now - but if that happened to me I'd either stop posting (probably the stalker's intent) or ask to use an alias.
To answer the question at hand, once I decided to post under my own name, I had no expectation that AMG would "protect" me from unwanted intrusions into my privacy on other sites. I would ask, however, that if someone was low-life enough to go after me outside the forum, that the owner would allow me to start posting anonymously if I chose to continue to participate.

Vikingstar
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I think I'm with Mr. Carter

I think I'm with Mr. Carter on this one. Stalking is creepy, and continuing to link to FB after being told not to is a violation of the spirit of the AMG policy, if not the letter.

pmconusa
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If you don't want people to

If you don't want people to know who you are don't post anywhere. If you don't want people to post information about you that you post on another site don't post on that site. As Lincoln was quoted as saying, "if I was two faced do you think I would be wearing this one?" No one is anonymous and people will know who you are regardless of whether you use an alias or not. Even if you have an unlisted phone number the robo-callers still find you. The post office has made a fortune delivering mail to "Occupant". AMG gives us a forum to communicate with each other regardless of whether we use our real name or not. The only thing I would object to is allowing one person to post under two different identities.

AMG
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These are all good points.

These are all good points. Although it doesn't really pertain to the anonymity policy, I don't think it makes sense to chase people outside of this site like that.
I've removed the Facebook link, and would encourage others to refrain from that kind of activity going forward.

I'll note one exception- public figures, politicians, etc. will not be given the same courtesy. A public figure's public activity is 90% of what this forum is mean to explore.

I appreciate the input from everyone.

Tom C
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I don't think I post using my

I don't think I post using my "real name," however, my personal information has put out there maliciously for all to see by liberal trolls, if anyone wants to look for it.

At one point I was even identified by an AMG regular in a newspaper forum as "Tom C from AMG". I passed the info along to the site owner asking that it be considered a violation of the anonymity policy, but never heard anything about it.

Robert Reed
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I believe I may be the guilty

I believe I may be the guilty party...I believe Mr. Carter made comments on FB post which seemed odd compared to what he posted here, and that post happened to come up on my threads on my personal FB, probably common friends or businesses, but I was NOT nor do I have time to stalk anyone, but I have been a victim of someone stalking me here (and yet I didnt complain)....I noted that I believed the two people posting were one and the same and thus copied his posts from here on the subject. It was relevant and important given the arguments being made...It seems daily we see things posted here that are copied from other sites (for example mention of ones wishes to see someones wife raped) ...no sure why Mr. Carter would be concerned that his views here that were NOT posted anonymously would be worried that they would be shared in another forum, but hey any idiot with a computer could easily do a search of Mr. Carter and find the exact same comments I did - whether they are a member or not of this forum....so if it is me, I only apologize for not realizing the person would not want their own comments shared with others outside here and suggest that perhaps in the future they either use an alias or post disclosure not allowing anyone to use their own words elsewhere..... If the owner really thinks that banning me because of this will really stop it from ever happening than I'd like to introduce him to my friends at Google, Bing & Yahoo...as Paul Harvey would say "and now you know the rest of the story"....

Gerald Weinand
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I have to agree with pmconusa

I have to agree with pmconusa.

pmconusa. aka Dr. Fred Blanchard, recently advertised his book The Real Economy on this site.

I've also found that some AMGers just aren't terribly clever. Tom C, for instance, posts comments to articles at the Bangor Daily News using his own name, and since they are often verbatim what he posts here, it wasn't that hard to make the link. I didn't use anything more sophisticated than memory to deduce this. Should Tom C have his identity protected when he doesn't even try to protect it? My answer is no.

Keep in mind that at my own defunct blog I allowed anonymous posters. They were not anonymous to me, of course, just like Lance knows the identity of every poster here at AMG. I have never disclosed their identity, nor confirmed when asked about them. My guess is Lance does just the same.

We all leave tell-tale clues about who we are on the internet. I understand that for a variety of reasons many want to remain anonymous, and I respect that. But said anonymity cannot be used as a shield to hide behind while hurling insults and vindictive statements - and we all know, this is often the case. In my mind, when you cross the line, you give up your right to anonymity. Be a man - show your face if you want to post such things.

Gerald Weinand
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Either Tom Carter is stupid,

Either Tom Carter is stupid, or he lives in a world that no longer exists. Really:

I would expect any debate to remain here, and not spill out into my social media accounts.

Why would anyone expect anything posted here to "remain here"? Last I checked, AMG was not Las Vegas.

Gerald Weinand
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Lastly, I'll remind AMG

Lastly, I'll remind AMG readers of "The Distrubitist". The previous owner, despite complaints, allowed him to post abhorrent, anti-religious, misogynist rants here, all while being employed by a candidate for public office and the State. Said candidate is now our de facto education commissioner.

Rebecca
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Just a simple question. Why

Just a simple question. Why would anyone expect anonymity when one maintains and opens a page on Facebook? A place where all of your private information is available for the world to see. Next question. Why do people open up their lives to strangers when there is so much deceit in the world that by doing so one opens themselves up to nothing but problems and possibly criminal behavior?

Bruce Libby
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GW

GW
I will remind you that ,the telling part of your post is "former owner".
Do you mean "state employees" shouldn't be free to post on a forum ?

Vikingstar
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Seems to me that Gerald just

Seems to me that Gerald just provided a great deal of evidence why anonymity is beneficial. Especially if people like him have any real power to affect somebody else's life. And didn't he just openly violate the AMG policy?

Ugenetoo
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Just a simple question. Why

Just a simple question. Why would anyone expect anonymity when one maintains and opens a page on Facebook?

It's that fifteen minutes of fame that some crave.
"All the worlds a stage" and such

Gerald Weinand
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How so Vikingstar? By naming

How so Vikingstar? By naming the author who is openly hawking his own book on this blog? Believe me, it didn't take much internet sleuthing to find Blanchard - I simply looked up the title of his tome, something I never would have done had he not posted about it and commented to this thread.

AMG
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Gerald is correct about this.

Gerald is correct about this. pmconusa did out himself as the author of this book, on this forum.

pmc_0.jpg

He also hasn't asked for any kind of special treatment or anything, so I assume he is fine with people knowing who he is.

Thomas Carter
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Gerald sounds like a stalker,

Gerald sounds like a stalker, which is...creepy.

Anywho, Mr. Weinand, though I may be "stupid" and live in a world which doesn't exist, I won. The link to my Facebook account was removed from AMG. Gone. No more. Erased. The AMG moderator (thank you) saw it my way.

I was right.

Tom C
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Gerald has admitted to outing

Gerald has admitted to outing AMG posters, and deliberately flouting the "no exceptions" anonymity rule.

I guess the anonymity policy applies to some people, but not to others.

Thomas Carter
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I agree with Tom C.

I agree with Tom C.

The rules state:

AMG's Anonymity Policy

Anonymity is protected on As Maine Goes. Any AMGer who gives a public positive identification of any other AMGer without that AMGer's knowledge and consent will be banned from AMG for life. No parole. No appeals.

One can use any name they wish, even their real one. According to the rule, however, knowledge and consent must be given prior to any "outing", whether a real name is used - or not.

Tom C
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"Outting" people is a form of

"Outting" people is a form of intimidation, a common tool the left uses to attempt silence those who oppose their views. Gerald and Mike Tipping are big advocates of this tactic, using their muck-raking machine to look back decades to find something a political opponent may have said - that can be twisted around and used to embarrass them.

The Larry Lockman "supporting rape" claim that they came up with in their (failed) attempt to bring their own man into the Lewisiton mayoral office is a perfect example of the complete lack of honesty or ethical or moral standards of these vermin. Their own supporters latched on to this and parroted it endlessly in the shrinking liberal echo chamber, (even though they must have known it was a lie) getting whipped up into a frenzy, even threatening rape against Lockman's wife.

As we saw in Lewiston, happily, the public no longer buys this sleaze.

However, for some reason, this failed tactic continues to be a mainstay in the modern political "consultant" book. They've been left behind, and don't know it.

But, make no mistake, these people are disgusting.

Gerald Weinand
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One thing I did not allow on

One thing I did not allow on my dumb little blog were sockpuppets.

Tom C
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My sense is that you and GRM

My sense is that you and GRM have teamed up against the LePage crowd, and are communicating and coordinating attacks, since there seems to be some common messages being disseminated by each party here.

Based on the spectacular failures of these efforts, I consider Hanlon's razor, and so I certainly don't want to confuse incompetence with conspiracy, however, the question is haunting...

Just curious - Is the Tipping/Gerald faction directly or indirectly coordinating its efforts with the GOP-e crowd?

Robert Reed
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Who cares, its clearly not

Who cares, its clearly not working, Is ay props to them for helping the Conservatives

Tom C
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I suspect Tipping is the

I suspect Tipping is the mastermind behind it all - an avid hard-core conservative who has stealthily worked his way to the top of the Maine liberal establishment, and shrewdly guiding the mush-headed gullible lefty crowd to liberal disaster.

Perhaps he's the Stuxnet virus buried in the liberal political machine, carefully cultured and nurtured in the conservative think-tanks, patiently planted to cause disorder, disarray and failure in the Maine Democrat party.

Of course, that's only a theory. He could just be an idiot.

Melvin Udall
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Why? Hey, look at me, over

Why? Hey, look at me, over here! See, I'm better, I'm different, I'm edgier.

Social media is the next generation of piercings and tats.

Jasper
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Mel, as you are a known sock

Mel, as you are a known sock-puppet who has conversations with himself (thoughtful and substantive as they may be) on various comment sections, it's a bit hypocritical of you to judge how others use social media, don't you think? Just sayin'.

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