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Dog's avatar

How do you feel about having all your answers listed on your profile so they can be read like a book?

Asked by Dog (25132points) May 28th, 2009

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Will you be more careful what you post now that this feature is implemented?

I am interested in honest opinions and respect any given. Do you think it benefits Fluther as a whole or do you think the bulk addition of our comments lends to the possibility of privacy issues?

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68 Answers

Judi's avatar

If you are worried about privacy, don’t write it on the internet at all.

oratio's avatar

I like it. You can look through answers given, and you can easily look up a special answer you know a person gave before.

Also, privacy? I don’t know who any of you are, and I am not sure if I could. I just know your comments. Except for mattbrowne

I am not worried about privacy, and I am easily found.

wundayatta's avatar

I like the idea. I’m not worried about privacy. People have the option to remain anonymous here if they choose to. Their answers are available, anyway, although it’s harder to find them. It’s your choice as to whether this leads back to you in real life, or not.

Grisaille's avatar

What matter is it?

It’s the interweb. I stand by everything I’ve said thus far; anything less would be disingenuous.

Dog's avatar

Yes I know one should never type private information on the internet- however to add a tiny personal bit to an answer here and there should be harmless until it is collectively lumped together as this new feature has done.

Grisaille's avatar

If you are that scared or not confident in your ability to keep what should be private, private – don’t answer questions.

It’s silly.

Judi's avatar

Maybe we’ll be able to figure out who Jack79 is!

oratio's avatar

@Judi Yes, he hinted he’s somewhat of a celebrity, somewhere, somehow, didn’t he.

Aethelwine's avatar

I just don’t understand the need for it at all.

lazydaisy's avatar

I was at a site previously ( where this was also a feature. It was a catch-22. You could go back for reference to another person’s comments if you wanted to use a link they had previously provided or something like that. The downside was that it also promoted the ability to quote people totally out of context. What may have been a joke between two users many times ended up as mud slinging and hate wars.

But this says more about the integrity of the users than of the feature itself.

Grisaille's avatar

@jonsblond I do. Helps me give me an idea of what kind of person someone is if they make a particularly stupid statement.

And I expect people to do the same if they disagree with me.

Dog's avatar

Don’t you all think that if @Jack79 wanted us to know who he was he would have let us know?

Grisaille's avatar

@lazydaisy Like me, I guess.

I’ll never “sling mud” unless the situation calls for it. I say integrity is everything. If you are more afraid that people are going to read your answers and find that you’re a hypocrite, chances are that you shouldn’t visit a site like this – where mature debates happen in an open forum.

As for the privacy issue, if you can’t keep your mouth shut and keep dropping important (your favorite pizza topping does not count) personal details, learn to or leave. I just think it’s silly.

That’s all.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Grisaille Doesn’t the stupid statement speak for itself? Like @lazydaisy said, the comment can be taken out of context. It just seems stalkerish to me.

Harp's avatar

Personally, I’m not disturbed by having my answers regrouped. If I posted something to Fluther, it’s because it’s information that I don’t mind having out there in the public sphere forever. It won’t change the way I post at all.

But I can understand why some folks might be troubled, simply because this wasn’t the way Fluther was set up when they made certain posts. They may have been counting on the segregation of their posts to provide some measure of anonymity and so felt freer to reveal information. If that was the case, it’s understandable that they would now feel too exposed.

Grisaille's avatar

@jonsblond Nope. I’ll stand by my words, explain and fight my position.

If someone were to bring that sentence up, I have proof that this conversation happened. It isn’t like it’s difficult to link to the original thread, or copy my entire statement. It’s a non-issue.

Dog's avatar

@Harp said: “They may have been counting on the segregation of their posts to provide some measure of anonymity and so felt freer to reveal information. If that was the case, it’s understandable that they would now feel too exposed.”

Thank you Harp- that is exactly what I meant with this question.

shadling21's avatar

I am pleased that people can look at the answers I’ve composed here. I put hard work into some of them, and I am glad there is another way for people to find them. If a user holds those answers against me, I don’t care – the people I care about here are more open-minded. A user is more than their questions and answers…

Grisaille's avatar

@Harp I get your point.

But if it’s that much of an issue and the person is that scared, why not contact a mod and have them close your account? From there, if you still wanted to talk on fluther, make a few accounts.

This is getting silly, yes. But if privacy is that much of a concern, then there are ways of going about protecting it.

oratio's avatar

@Dog But exposed how? It’s your opinions and comments that are exposed, not your person. I am not sure how this threatens anyone’s integrity.

Grisaille's avatar

@oratio Actually, the only thing affected is integrity – if you happen to be a liar or hypocrite.

eponymoushipster's avatar

there all on here in one form or another, what’s the difference?

Judi's avatar

@Dog ; I was just reacting to a previous post

Lupin's avatar

I don’t mind at all. Like Horton, “I meant what I said and said what I meant…”
Does anyone know if you can flag a GA from that view?

Grisaille's avatar

@eponymoushipster HINT: There is none.

If someone is psychopathic enough to want to e-stalk you, they’ll look through every post on here and dig up details about you, regardless if this answer feature existed or not.

Or just hire a hacker to crack the site, get your email address tied to your account, look you up on facebook or myspace, get your real name and other such personal details and hand it off to a personal investigator or person-finding service to find your address and telephone number. Whoops.

Aethelwine's avatar

If there is no difference what is the purpose then?

Grisaille's avatar

To check if someone’s being disingenuous. Or see the quality of their answers.

Aethelwine's avatar

I could do that before by looking at the persons answers. I didn’t need to look at a list in their profile.

delirium's avatar

I am always equally cautious, and am excited now that I get to see some of the responses my friends, who I talked in to joining, are giving.

dynamicduo's avatar

I’ve expressed myself in that blog post, so I am of the same opinion that I had yesterday.

Oh, I really like how you illustrated the point, @Dog, with that example.

I would feel more comfortable having my comment archive limited to those in my Fluther, or at least those with accounts older than a month. Honestly though, it’s not going to change my posting behaviour. I’m always cautious to not leave a big enough trail for crazies to find me with.

eponymoushipster's avatar

well, i know people want to e-stalk me. i’m pure sexual magic, with a side of awesome. so that’s understandable.

casheroo's avatar

dammit, i should have never told @eponymoushipster about the stalkers wet dream. lol

I don’t mind it. I think it’s a cool feature. I think it makes it much easier to find certain responses, because I remember trying to find one from a particular user and it took forever! This makes it much simplier.

janbb's avatar

I have a question. Will your comments show up if someone from “the outside” Googles you? If so, I do consider it invasive and will probably quit. I do censor what information I give out here, but still some of my comments are information I do not generally want available.

I didn’t read the new policy so I apologize in advance if this was covered. I’m getting ready for a trip and have limited Fluther time right now.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I like the feature for a few reasons:
You can look at a user’s past responses to others and get a feel for them, overall. Someone who is consistently instigating, belittling, or dropping nonsense- I might choose to skip interacting with them.
Someone who leaves answers I get pause for thought, great advice, interesting subjects- I can more easily find what posts they’re on and read up or jump in. On a previous site I belonged to, I knew there were a handful of people I could look up their activity and find great posts of interest to me I would have otherwise missed. I like to look at people more interesting than I think I am.

Dog's avatar

@janbb It will be available to anyone with a fluther account but not on google.

oratio's avatar

@janbb Yes and no. But that’s internet.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Damn, someone let the cat out of the bag. Now eponymoushipster knows I am stalking him, just to sample that pure sexual magic.

Seriously though, there is no such thing as privacy anymore. Privacy is a flawed and outdated concept. I have seen software that is cheap to buy, so that all I need is $40 and just about any information on anyone to find out everything about them that is available.

I have posted some unusual things here, and someone with a quick mind and too much time on their hands will easily figure out that I am an alien life form from the Moun Tendoo planet in the Upper Quadrant of the Soda Licious galaxy.

Grisaille's avatar

@eponymoushipster I lol’d.

I still find “the lack of privacy” argument ridiculous. You’re on the internet; you are never anonymous. Ever. Everything leaves a trace.

If you think that Fluther showing your responses to the questions you answered is your idea of danger, then don’t visit the site anymore. And don’t ever use your personal email account for anything, never pay by credit card on the web, cancel your accounts to various websites across the internet, destroy your computer and get a new IP address.

There is always a way of finding someone.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Wow! I really like what Dog just said about fluther being available to jellies and not up for grabs on Google. That’s tremendous, yay fluther team!

dynamicduo's avatar

@Grisaille just a side note, if you are going to type a lot of content which is also on topic, you can make it larger instead of whispering, it’s much easier to read. The issue about the ‘lack of privacy’ argument is simply that this feature was not established prior to thousands of comments being added in, and now it is and retroactively links all comments together. Sure, you could always find them through google, but most people are dumb and don’t know how to do that. This feature make it easier to harass users with their previous comments. Whether that will be done or not is yet to see.

And your arguments about IP address don’t really factor in here, as that is not publicly available to any user.

Dog's avatar

I was under the impression that Fluther was not supposed to be a social site. This new feature seems to contradict this.

@dynamicduo is correct regarding establishment of this feature. If it would begin recording posts as of the date of implementation (yesterday) I would be duly warned and would be certain any answers henceforth contained no information of a personal nature whatsoever.

Please see my example on the comments on the blog on how little drops of information can create a personal profile when they are put together.

Grisaille's avatar


I think the argument is silly, regardless. People are worried that someone might bring in a comment they said earlier in their history? If it’s false, it’s false. The same way that person brought in the statement, you, under attack, can prove to the collective what you meant and why your current argument is different. If it’s correct, however, it just proves that you were contradicting yourself. Why is that a bad thing? Are people worried that they might be called out on their bullshit, or am I missing a larger argument?

As I said, if you can’t stand by your points, why are you even on here? I dunno.

As for the IP address argument, that was meant when I thought that that the whole “lack of privacy” meant something different – as in people can now know where you live because they can read your answers all in one place. I used the (extreme) example earlier that if someone really wanted to find you, they could.

shilolo's avatar

@Dog Your point is well taken, but anyone willing to do a quick Google search of “Dog” and “Fluther” will pull up all of your quips anyway (plus any quips having to do with dogs, I guess). It might be a bit more onerous to sift through, but really not that far different. As others have said, there is little to no privacy on the internet. That said, I understand the concerns of people who have been here a while. New users (as the site grows) will be made aware of this feature, and their decision about a user name and release of personal information will likely reflect that.

This is a difficult problem for Andrew and Ben. How do you grow the site and implement new features without disturbing your base?

skfinkel's avatar

I like it. All this material is already on the web, so it doesn’t seem like any kind of loss of privacy to be able to read it and see a body of work. This is also how you can determine who you want on your own “fluther”—not just from the questions they ask, but from their answers.

Dog's avatar

@shilolo actually with a name like @Dog I am more anonymous and the search is filled with the Fluther questions on pets. ;)

Regarding how to implement new features- give an option of turning on or off or starting the logging of comments in the feature on the date implemented might be a good compromise. Or having your comments only available to those in your Fluther would be very good.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I didn’t know this was a new feature
it’s fine by me

janbb's avatar

@Dog I like your idea of an opt in or out feature or having the feature start listing comments going forward. Maybe I’m naive, but I still believe in the “outdated” notion of privacy and while I don’t give a damn if someone finds out what I ordered from L.L.Bean, I do care about people other than Flutherites reading comments I have made. If they don’t come up on a Google search, I don’t have a problem with them being posted with my profile, but I had the impression that your profile does come up on Google.

We lost one great member already over the issue of privacy….

janbb's avatar

BTW, just Googled “janbb” and got all my questions, comments and posts so I guess if anyone knows I really am a bookreading penguin, I’m in trouble!

essieness's avatar

I like this idea.

ru2bz46's avatar

Sounds good to me. That makes it easier to get a feel for somebody you just noticed. On, they were listed like that, and when I saw an answer or a question that intrigued me, I’d check the person’s profile and see what else they wrote.

Ivan's avatar

This was a (missing) feature that crippled a lot of users as they switched from to Fluther. I’m very happy that it was implemented.

mcbealer's avatar

Per Ben, it looks like it got tabled for now, will be released again as a feature for those within our own fluthers.

Jude's avatar

Not crazy about it, but, I made the choice to answer the way I did and what I did. It’s just the way it is…

janbb's avatar

@Ben Sounds like a good solution to me.

Blondesjon's avatar

I don’t care one way or the other. I don’t see what good or bad a bunch of random, non-contextual quotes could do.

I would have preferred to see the code spent on putting up our own music play lists.

we’re turning into myspace anyway…thanks

oratio's avatar

@Blondesjon You know, I was a member of for a week before it died, but from what I can tell, it wasn’t much different from fluther. It was the same discussions as here. Interface design was a little different. I don’t understand your aversion against that site or the inflow of new members from there.

Ivan's avatar


You will realize what good they can do after you start using them for a while.

Myspace? lol. The hostility remains.

casheroo's avatar

wow, I can’t believe some people threw such a fit about it, that they took it away. Lame

eponymoushipster's avatar

@casheroo fluther is the new facebook? ;)

hearkat's avatar

I had wished for this feature for a while, because my participation in the collective is more than 95% Answers.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Blondesjon, if fluther is the new facebook, then I’m the fuck out of here. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are all the things WRONG with the Internet. I was hoping Fluther would be better than that, but perhaps it is just about the numbers.

augustlan's avatar

I’m very happy with the compromise that’s been worked out. The feature is off the table for a while and when they bring it back, only those people in your personal Fluther will be able to see your answers all in one place.

shilolo's avatar

I still think it is much ado about nothing. Anyone with half a brain can do a quick Google search and BAM! there it is. No difference.

essieness's avatar

Ok after reading the blog announcement, I like the compromise. I had thought about the privacy aspect, but didn’t plan to make any complaints. After all, I don’t run the site. I’m just a person lucky enough to find it.

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