I don't mean to be speaking for anyone here, but I believe the point was that it'd be nice to have your real name next to your user name so people who are unfamiliar with you can know who it is they are talking with.
Re: it'd be nice to have your real name next to your user name
The subject line above is quoted from the post by "macwas16".
[Brad: Please move this post (and any direct replies to it) to the "politics / management" bulletin board whenever and as you deem fit. I posted it here for easier initial access by those following the "Why Lasers?" thread.]
In my opinion:
This is a PUBLIC FORUM.
In a public forum, we take the floor stand, we get on a soapbox, and let the public know our opinions and feelings about various topics. As a general rule of thumb, one does not - and should not be allowed to - address the PUBLIC anonymously! All participants of a public forum have a right to know who
all other members are, and whom they are listening to in any given post. Especially in such unedited, unmoderated, free media.
The "right to privacy" does not exist in PUBLIC media. For private correspondence, we have private communication means, such as sending personal e-mails.
Legally and ethically, there is only one exception to this: IF your or someone else's well-being would be endangered by the disclosure of your identity, then a Forum Owner can grant you a ONE-TIME (or limited time) right to express your thoughts without identifying yourself, ONLY IF the topic of that message is related to the matter that endengers your or other parties' well-being. Think about this forum as a newspaper!
This does not mean that the right of the public to know all participants' true identities hinders a participant's "freedom" to LIE about his/her identity. Goonie is free to LIE about his identity, too...
but he must have an identity, and if he lies about it, that must be his PERSONAL CHOICE. And he must then accept to live with the consequences of misrepresenting his true identity if he ever gets involved in any public conflicts.
Just imagine "anonymous" criticism or allegations of misconduct directed againts, say, the ILCA World Council. Just imagine an "anonymous" subsciber disclosing sensitive information. Both have happened before. (e.g., an anonymous subscriber had announced "drLaser" passwords to the world on the List, nullifying all efforts to promote ILCA Class Membership worldwide.)
Consider this: Wouldn't it be easy for ME to register with a yahoo e-mail address and with a ficticious real name to post a message saying "Hey, people! This 'Goonie' is actually Seth *******"??? (Last name is blocked by me.) I didn't do that!
We must accept responsibility for what we write here.
Prof. Shevy Gunter