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shilolo's avatar

Has anyone contemplated creating a fluther alias?

Asked by shilolo (18045points) June 21st, 2008

I have been here about two months, and, for better or worse, have developed an easily identifiable screen name and avatar. Now, once in a while I get the sudden urge to either ask a random question or answer “inappropriately”. So, I have thought that having an alter ego with an unknown jellyfish avatar and screen name might give me more anonymity to answer in whatever vein I feel like, but I am rather ambivalent about that. This idea was also prompted by gailcalled’s recent question.

Would people view having more than one screen name as a breach of the fluther code? Is this action disingenuous? Is it unethical?

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46 Answers

playthebanjo's avatar

I thought about it but realized that since my answers are generally not helpful and full of sarcasm I really didn’t have anything to gain. Just answer how you want to. Be human.

gailcalled's avatar

Shi: Human? Not with that avatar. I know that you can change your user name and avatar ad seriatum..as some of our more notorious users have done.. Whether you can be two people at the same time is something for the Founding Fathers to decide.

soundedfury's avatar

I’m against it on principle, but I know that some users do have alter egos. As long as you aren’t using it to artificially inflate your points, there isn’t a rule against it (yet). It’s probably frowned upon by the community, though.

sccrowell's avatar

To be honest, I too have thought about it recently, but that old coat I wear so often (ethics) won’t allow me to. I need nothing to hide behind. Like my grandfather always said as well as instilled into me, “live each day as if someone is looking over your shoulder.” I don’t wish to deceive anyone.

breedmitch's avatar

I’d say just man up and take the heat. If the collective doesn’t “approve” of a question or answer, so be it. I think you have proven yourself to be nothing but an asset to the collective, so I think you’ve earned the right to let your hair down now and then. There’s no need to do it under an alias. I’ve taken some heat here recently but I’ve owned up to it. I’d like to think that this site’s high opinion of you isn’t going to change based on some inappropriate comments. We still love johnpowell, right?

jrpowell's avatar

I think shilolo has the judgment to properly do something like this. Some people won’t. People would start to use different accounts to agree with themselves and inflate a score. I would avoid it.

Maybe having the ability to ask anonymous questions approved by the mods first would be nice. (I know.. Like ask.metafilter) We could ask why it burns when we pee without giving up our identity.

edit :: we should be held accountable for our comments.

sccrowell's avatar

I agree with @breedmitch!

shilolo's avatar

To all, thanks for your thoughtful answers. I certainly wouldn’t want to use it to “inflate” my own score, but rather, would use it to answer/ask questions in a way unfettered by my more “professional” persona. Why, just the other day I caught myself answering a “how to cheat at a drug test” question with a joke answer, The Whizzinator, but then reconsidered when I thought some people might take offense or be shocked that I would “recommend” a product like that. This is my “predicament”.

Edit: Can someone also tell me why I used so many quotes in one answer? Uggghhh.

breedmitch's avatar

That’s what I was afraid of. My opinion is: you’ve been so helpful medically; I’d like to see the other side of you that I know is there.

jrpowell's avatar

@shilolo

Sometimes people forget to login to the other account. I have seen people on other forums give up their identity by forgetting to change accounts before agreeing with the previous comment that they made. It is usually pretty funny when that happens.

I would just be careful. That one slip could let out what is being done.

bluemukaki's avatar

Yes, but then I realized that I never give decent answers anyway, so why bother creating another one?!

I think the only issue with this is that if you have to create two profiles online just to express different parts of your personality, then it shows just how easy it is for people to create a persona online which isn’t anything like them, or suppresses parts of their personality. If you can’t be joking with your current avatar, does that show that we all expect everyone else to be such two-dimensional personalities?

thebeadholder's avatar

Just go for it! We know a little more about the person behind the hazard suit now. The “armor” is off now, have some fun!

shilolo's avatar

Ok, then. I wonder if the screen name Zack is taken?

gailcalled's avatar

Perhaps preface your answer with either “Mr. Hyde or Dr. Jeckyl here.”

shilolo's avatar

@Gail. Great idea! RLStevenson it is. By the way, I am kidding about that screen name, in case anyone gets any bright ideas :-)

breedmitch's avatar

@bluemaki: Your first sentence is suspiciously similar to playthebanjo’s first comment. Hmm…

bluemukaki's avatar

muwahahahaha!

AstroChuck's avatar

JP, if it burns when you pee you probably should have that looked at.

jrpowell's avatar

That is what shilolo is for. Who will I ask about my painful urination if he is off using another name making fart jokes?

AstroChuck's avatar

Excellent point.

marinelife's avatar

I would love to see more of the humorous shilolo. You could always preface your serious medical posts with “The doctor is in.”

Last I checked doctors are still allowed to be human.

AstroChuck's avatar

Unless it’s a doctor of dentistry.

jrpowell's avatar

I have had my prostate checked.. Please keep, “The doctor is in.” to a minimum.

nikipedia's avatar

I’ve definitely had the same thought, doc. In fact, I think it would be nice if we had the option of asking or answering a question anonymously once logged in, although I’m sure moderators (and maybe others who were savvy enough?) would be able to figure out who was talking.

Oh, and, to answer your initial questions—yes, I would think it a bit dishonest, but perfectly forgivable. Take a risk; ask your goofball questions. See what happens. Life’s too short to care that much what other people think of you—especially nerds on the internet.

AstroChuck's avatar

Well, I for one have no alias.

AstroChuck's avatar

or do I? Bwaahaahaa.

Riser's avatar

This is the problem… Alter-egos destroy unity. The beauty of fluther is its unification of cultures, backgrounds and eccentricities. We find our answers through these characteristics. Without that unification found in trust, we would never have the thriving community we have today.

margeryred's avatar

I have thought of having an alter ego because I am too damn honest and I know that what I say may come back to haunt me someday… however, I have been too lazy and I usually just say what I mean right then and there…

(I’m one of those people who don’t have a sensor on their mouth… could you tell?) LOL

Breefield's avatar

I assume Fluther has IP tracking in place to catch trolls, etc. So aside from the fact that I have thought of doing that. I doubt you’d actually get away with it for long.

richardhenry's avatar

[Fluther Moderator:] Although it isn’t what we consider ideal, provided you’re not spamming the site we shouldn’t be too fussed. We won’t go around ‘outing’ anyone unless they’re doing something nefarious. Happy Fluthering.

Knotmyday's avatar

Having two logins would be tiresome and time-consuming, man. Keeping up with this one is enough…maybe because I type poorly…;^)

gailcalled's avatar

Richard Henry: Please define “nefarious.” Some answers that I think are hilarious have other people querulous..The more gregarious choose various answers that leave me feeling lugubrious..

AstroChuck's avatar

Ow! Gail, your 25 cent words are making my brain hurt. That’s a five yard penalty and loss of a down.
Me think you no talk such big words.

gailcalled's avatar

OK. “EGO REPRESIO UT ILLIC EST HAUD FORSIT” was recently shouted out by whom? Hint

I would bet that my rhetoric was a field goal, soaring over the heads of the 9 (10, 11?) members of the opposing team.

scamp's avatar

I thought about having an alter ego, but the voices in my head said it wasn’t a good idea. ha ha!!

gailcalled's avatar

And no one is owing up to the Latin? (How many men on a football team, anyway?)

richardhenry's avatar

@gailcalled: Nefarious is posting swear words all over the place, insulting other people, and referring to the mod team as the ‘Fluther Fuckerators’. (The only thing I’ve ever giggled at before removing it.) Anything less isn’t going to get us all worked up.

gailcalled's avatar

Richardhenry; One amungus* just coined the word “Fluthstration.”

*attribution on request.

breedmitch's avatar

It was I! It was I!

playthebanjo's avatar

I think that Babo is Gailcalled’s alias~

gailcalled's avatar

@Play; interesting. Reasons? (And a serious flutherer has threatened to have an alias similar to gailcalled in order to post urm <fill in blank.>)

And who is Dr. Phil, who pretends to write all that perfect text?

playthebanjo's avatar

My reasons are simple – I think that sometimes you MUST get tired of all those well thought out responses. Babo’s are so nice and simple. How refreshing to be able to answer a question with “Babo loves you”.

Isn’t Dr. Phil the real Dr. Phil? Don’t rock my world too much by telling me that it’s not the real Dr. Phil. Oh God- I hope he doesn’t get that really personal PM I sent him! How embarrassing! : 0

gailcalled's avatar

@Play; I often don’t think too much; just pound out something. But I was educated in the “complete and clear thoughts and sentences” school. And also have done a ton of writing like this to earn a living. See Gail. See Gail feed Milo. See Gail say “Good night.”

threekings's avatar

i hate to be identifiable on the net, but there’s hardly any way around it these days.

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