/ Imagine a ukc where....
The pub/off belay used to occasionally throw up some interesting/fun topics, now it's just a long line of second ID's, people who've obviously been on ukc under another name long enough to know which buttons to press, arguing for the sake of feeling clever and too scared to use their own username.
A £1 sign up fee and one username per person would make this place a lot better.
ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit
Thats goingto press a few buttons ribbit ribbit, if only i wasnt so afraid i'd say RIBBIT RIBBIT RIBBIT TO YOU!!!
Its already dieing on its arse (compared to say 5 yrs ago). That would kill it.
> Its already dieing on its arse (compared to say 5 yrs ago). That would kill it.
We have this every 6 months.. its as healthy now as it always was.. well since JCT left.. that killed UKC.. well then Glyn Jones started posting.. and that Darren Jackson guy.. but otherwise we ave the 'its not the same' posts constantly.. no life changes.
Some of us are still the same old lags, eh Iain? ;-)
Imagine a UKC where ... people didn't moan about the lack of interesting/fun topics but instead contributed some themselves.
> Imagine a UKC where ... people didn't moan about the lack of interesting/fun topics but instead contributed some themselves.
Why would I want anyone here to know my name?
> Why would I want anyone here to know my name?
So that they would feel you were fully accountable for your posts.
Very good. Anyway you, stop posting as you are not fully accountable with that username.
Actually don't listen to me because I am not fully accountable either.
Not putting my real name on Here in public with a load of randoms. Too many mentalists out there.
That would be like when i stayed with a friend in their Flat in deptford high street. They announced to a whole pub in new cross at closing Time party at their Flat, and said their address. Didnt end well, very ugly scenes of violence.
> Imagine a UKC where ... people didn't moan about the lack of interesting/fun topics but instead contributed some themselves.
Interesting that out of your last 12 posts 0% of them have been started by you, not a criticism btw, just an observation that maybe you're not the best to criticise me for not starting enough posts.
The trouble is, starting topical posts often descends into abusive non-sense, especially when it comes to certain topics. There are a lot of smart people on here with views worth hearing but they get drowned out too often.
There are probably a small number of legitimate reasons for hiding your identity online but I think for most people the reason is just being able to get away with saying things they don't want people in their social circle being able to associate with them. It's not, as Choss said, to protect yourself from "the mentalists", all too often it's so that they can be the mentalists themselves.
> Interesting that out of your last 12 posts 0% of them have been started by you, not a criticism btw, just an observation that maybe you're not the best to criticise me for not starting enough posts.
Not interesting at all you pillock. I'm criticising you for whining. I've started plenty of threads - whether or not they are interesting, well others can decide tha.
Yeah, and bloody good riddance too. ;o)
And surely contributing to a thread is just as important. A post might start a conversation but someone has to continue it. As a metric post opening is pretty useless way of measuring how much someone contributes to the forum. Birdie num num for example doesn't seem to start many threads but usually is a good giggle whenever he posts :)
That's the problem with nostalgia, it's just not as good as it used to be.
> Yeah, and bloody good riddance too. ;o)
I don't miss him to be honest, I sometimes found him a condesending wanker
A valid point. but I also think that there a good many reasons for being anonymous.
1. You don't want current/future employers to know what you do on line. Plenty of cases where people have been sacked for criticising an employer or even just saying that they hate their job.
Or if you were a teacher say you would not want your pupils/students to read about you discussing sex, clothing, religion, politics or other subjects.
2. Whistleblowers might not blow their whistles and things that should be reported don't get reported.
3. People do not want family or friends to know what they do. Ie not believing in God if you come from a strict religious family for instance.
4. People may wish to speak about abuse but not wish to be identified.
5. People in less enlightened countries may not want those governments to know what they do on line.
6. What you say on line stays on line (maybe not on down the Pub but some tech savvy person will probably tell me that even deleted posts are recoverable) and can come back to haunt you.
on the other side anonymity does provide a cover for some people to be pricks and to be abusive.
Thanks Duncan, I was just waiting for an astute reply like yours.
As a suggestion, how about only allowing identifiable posters on the information/ technical forums?
Keep the anoms and idiots to Off Belay, Culture and the Pub.
How identifiable is identifiable? I post with my first name, and my full name can be found on my profile - or should I be posting with my full name?
I think it's more important that people have a posting track record, so that you can see that 'lovelypants' (or whatever) is an accomplished alpinist and is likely to know what he/she is talking about, rather than that person needing to be named directly in order to be trusted.
I only ever write in the pub/off belay. I like it there. It's boring on the other parts. What did you have for dinner? How do I cook a ferret? Should I leave my girlfriend? Have you climbed this? How do I choose a new rack? It's all bollocks.
I'd rather foment revolution by arguing with PostmanPat and Hoel Cellier.
All valid points.
I've been using this username for over ten years, but my name does appear in various place around the site. Either way I always taken the view that you shouldn't post anything online that you wouldn't say in public, or face to face with whoever I'm arguing with. But since my line of work isn't climbing related, and my surname is fairly uncommon , then I'm happy to be coy with my identity.
There have been a few occasions when I know people have had good reason for complete anonymity - and they often post as something like "regular poster anon for obvious reasons". However I can't see any good reason why anyone should be maintaining multiple profiles. And now that we know UKC can detect them, I'd like to see more action taken
Thanks Duncan for that. I have some comments on these though.
> 1. You don't want current/future employers to know what you do on line. Plenty of cases where people have been sacked for criticising an employer or even just saying that they hate their job.
Fair enough but I think a much more common reason is that people don't want evidence of them not doing their job during office hours to be time-stamped somewhere accessible.
I can see this one as well although there are some teachers I know posting on here who are not anon, they just don't write dodgy stuff.
This one I disagree with. UKC can be a lot of things but we are not wiki-leaks and never will be a place that can consider hosting anything like that, even on a small scale outdoor industry level. If you are thinking of posting something that falls under this category, then don't.
> 4. People may wish to speak about abuse but not wish to be identified.
I can see these although they are pretty obscure cases - these people could just avoid discussing these topics.
You can't post on UKC from China (or India for that matter) but there are other countries I suppose but it would apply to a tiny number of people.
This one in particular is irrelevant in my opinion, or just a different version of the reasons above.
I wish more people would post under a proper identity and stand up for what they say. Only last week we had a debate derailed by someone hiding under dual identities and posting in support of himself.
If it was possible to instigate a system whereby we at least got proper names from people when they registered then I think that would be good, and the more that posted under them the better. The problem is that it would be completely impossible even if you did a Facebook style thing of only accepting registrations that look like names, people will still find a way round it.
They are not that easy to spot though and usually require quite a lot of detective work looking at different things ie. there isn't a single 'find duplicates' command we have available.
I am sure it is easier for UKC readers to spot them and let us know.
What would you count as a 'vicious' troll then? I've certainly never seen any on UKC.
I'm not sure if you're an old poster with a new name, or a new poster, but there have been some pretty vicious folk pop up on here over the years.
I think ukc should trial an annual subscription, a fiver say first time then three quid thereafter. F*ck all really for what you get but would make people think twice about setting up loads of profiles. I think they should leave the L plates on for six months too.
A bit risky though if it turns loads of people off.
Old lurker with a new name. I guess how 'vicious' you see it as really depends on your internet experiences outside of UKC, as briefly discussed here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=567140&v=1#x7549739
But certainly compared to a large proportion of internet content, nothing on UKC comes close to being vicious or unpleasant.
I think that very much depends on your experiences - various things have happened on UKC then moved off the boards to continue into 'real life'. I can think of a couple of harrassment cases that have had the police involved, and at least two or three situations where offline interaction starting here has become very unpleasant, interfering in workplaces and relationships.
I might be very innocent, perhaps, but all that is vicious enough, to my mind.
Facebook accepts anything - it doesn't have to look anything like a real name.
Also, I could post on here at Stephanie McInlock and would that make me more accountable? I choose not to use my own name here for the following reasons:
1. People know me by my name on here, which I don't change, so I am accountable.
2. I don't want anything I say kept permanently in a public place. I might disagree with myself in the future.
3. There is a difference between being thoughtful in your posting and using your real name. They are not the same thing.
4. There are people that I don't want to read stuff written by me or to be in contact with me
5. When I use my real name on the internet, I keep all content very dry and professional - it is rather boring stuff to read.
My comments were really about the internet in general rather than just UKC. Although I have to say that once you post something be it here or anywhere, on the internet, you do not know where it will end up. Even a down the pub comment may be copied and posted elsewhere. I have seen plenty of posts with links to other forums in the UK and beyond.
Now the above two are worthy of discussion.
1. What is "dodgy" stuff? Sure there are the obvious ones like things you did when drunk or whom you had sex with but even seemingly innocuous things like a love of horse riding or opera might not be advisable to disclose if you taught in a "rough" school. And besides should people be afraid of discussing what they did of a weekend or more importantly afraid to seek help from a community because they can not remain anonymous. Should someone who is being beaten up, by their husband say, avoid discussing the topic to advise? Or even to give advise to others?
Granted that is annoying.
> If it was possible to instigate a system whereby we at least got proper names from people when they registered then I think that would be good, and the more that posted under them the better. The problem is that it would be completely impossible even if you did a Facebook style thing of only accepting registrations that look like names, people will still find a way round it.
Until biometric registration becomes the norm then you are right.
I agree it is very frustrating when a sensible argument gets swamped by anonymous inane posts or when a reasoned argument is met with abuse but there is value in anonymity.
It would be an interesting experiment to split a forum into two sections an anonymous one and one where real names and identities had to be used.
Which would get more posts and which would be more interesting?
it has to be said, I'm agreeing with a lot of your comments on this thread.
The one thing I hate about the UKC forums is the long posting history it holds - if the whole history was restricted to a week, or a month max (or you could clear it out yourself), I'd post with a profile, and possibly even my real name.
In real life, if I say something daft or embarrasing one day, I like the fact it's in the past and gone. On here, its stuck with you.
Any time you have a heated debate on some stupid subject you don't really care about, it's left here...
Any time you say something, that with hindsight you shouldn't have, that stays on here too...
My personal friends in real life are that way because I've got to know them and remember their good parts and forget their occasional bad parts, not because I have a log of everything they've ever said, so I can judge them that way.
As regards subscriptions- I'm not an office worker and don't depend on UKC to give me something to do while I'm at work ; )
UKC is a good site, but the core group of 9-5 posters is quite small already and some kind of subscription would likely kill the site dead.
So for that reason- I'm out.
Really. I thought it was laughable
i have no need to know peoples real names, and i find it fine if people want to be multiple users. i actually find that interesting.
people can find out my real name if they want, but i like the degree of separation. i use ice.solo in other walks of life too, hes the nicer version of the real me.
its climbing for f*cks sake, not national security.
oh, and 'accountable'??? for what?
'ice.solo says dumb shit about korean girl bands and central asian geopolitics on the internet'....my god dont tell the papers!
just like in real life, when folks say idiotic things, ignore them. maybe if a little more of that went on, rather than flaring up over obviously antagonizing comments things would settle.
its not the identities and 'accountability' here that matters, its the inability to intelligently debate, trading insults for decorum.
my ideal UKC would allow people to be whoever they want, but would rate them by their presentation abilities, across a spectrum ranging from 'waffler' to 'informed' for various categories.
Certainly a thumb up/down feature would be pretty illuminating :)
Obviously you're fully entitled to your opinion. However, on a technical basis, surely his explanation was conceivable.
More importantly, because his integrity was on the line, and he's always seemed a decent guy, (like Offwidth?) I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. As I would you.
I really struggle to believe that anybody could accidentally post numerous times on the same thread and not notice they were doing so under different profiles. Surely you scroll back through to see who has replied to you. Surely you scroll back until the last post under your name.
However, maybe I might have been more prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt had it not been for the nature of the posts, and previous posts he has made
> A valid point. but I also think that there a good many reasons for being anonymous.
> 1. You don't want current/future employers to know what you do on line. Plenty of cases where people have been sacked for criticising an employer or even just saying that they hate their job.
Moreover, I don't want to be too easily googleable by potential employers who want to check me out before an interview.
I don't go to great lengths to conceal my identity on here from people who I know in real life - I think most of the people I climb with who read the forum have figured out who I am from noticing that I've logged the same climbs as them on the same days as them, for instance - but I'd rather view the level of conversation on here as "stuff that you'd be happy to say in the pub with your mates" rather than "stuff that you'd be happy to be pulled up on in a job interview."
> he's always seemed a decent guy, (like Offwidth?)
I'll just add that despite our frequent disagreements on here, Offwidth is indeed a thoroughly decent chap and if it was his integrity in question I would have no qualms about backing him.
Although I'm sure if he's ever forgiven me for a meeting in the Dolomites when I was drunk.....
Ah, I wasn't suggesting Offwidth was (or wasn't) a decent guy. Obviously he is. I was merely pointing out that, like Offwidth, I was prepared to give Colin the benefit of the doubt.
Without wishing to sound a pedant (probably failing!) there was a crucial comma in my post.
Mick (yeah, OK, pedant)
I'm not sure thats entirely fair, their are some quite large groups of people at risk of being targetted by mentalists as a result of their work, for example the Forces, Police, Teachers, Oil Industry employees, Bankers, Social Workers, CSA staff etc. etc.
All of these groups are actively encouraged to be anonymous online wherever possible in order to make it harder for the mentalists that target them to track them down in real life.
Not to mention this rings true for some:
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
I'd certainly stop posting here if UKC mandated real names. It would be an unnecessary infringement of my privacy which other climbing forums do not impose.
I don't need nor want people or groups googling for information about me and learning things about me. It doesn't matter if it's something seemingly minor, it's information about me that I do not want released into the never-forgetting database of the Internet (today it doesn't matter, tomorrow it probably won't matter, but 40 years from now who can tell what that information will be used for.)
From a real name, it's not overly unlikely that an address, phone number, list of friends, date of birth and photographs can be derived. One can go further, into finding out a persons interests, personality traits, family, work, associates etc.
(Damn those online phone books, facebook and other social media, events and organisation websites that post your name and photos and information about you without asking.)
I believe that by using your real name you're not making the internet a safer place.
(On a side note I've had threats of violence against me posted in replies in the pub before. I can't say I overly care but I might if everyone knew where I lived and it was just down the road.)
Remember also that the community may be more diverse than you imagine, for some people in some places advocating a non-conformist religious belief is dangerous. For other people even such simple things we take for granted as equal rights across genders is something that is against the local customs.
I used to post stuff on a motorbike forum under my real name, but after a few mates joined I did tone it down a bit.
I now hate it when an old thread rears it's ugly head & even I can't get my head around some of the semi pissed shoite I wrote.
Another bike forum I frequent with a different name & say what I like, and get it back just as hard ... it's just a good laugh & everyone kisses & makes up in the end.
The occasional "me & you pal, just name the place" thug that takes it too far are just ridiculed until they flounce off the planet.
I think most of us have to do as new are told too much in life, and being out of character on the internet is just release from the drudgery of life!
Anyway, enough of my waffling as I want to throw my niner up Kelly Brook before flying that Concorde to JFK.
I work in a politically restricted job, a degree of anonymity on here allows me to speak openly. My identity is no secret, but you don't get to my username by googling my actual name.
And the 'ban anonymous posters'... I'm sure I could dig out threads going back to 2001... and usually having arguments as to why anonymous posters weren't really that big a problem.
I think my profile says something about anonymity, and that text dates back to when I first created my profile, or when email addresses became hidden.
There is a relatively stable community here, and user names pretty much equate to people's real names.
Is that a joke?
> Is that a joke?
If so, it's not very funny.
More likely just daft.
i understood his comment to mean that some usernames are so familiar that we have a good sense of what the person behind the username is like. You would be a good example of this - I haven't met you, I'm not sure what your real name is, but I know that you're a guidebook/routes expert, particularly low grade peak rock, you work in academia, and you have a pretty no-nonsense approach. I know what I'm likely to get from 'Offwidth', whoever Offwidth is.
> i understood his comment to mean that some usernames are so familiar that we have a good sense of what the person behind the username is like. You would be a good example of this - I haven't met you, I'm not sure what your real name is, but I know that you're a guidebook/routes expert, particularly low grade peak rock, you work in academia, and you have a pretty no-nonsense approach. I know what I'm likely to get from 'Offwidth', whoever Offwidth is.
Thank you Clare, I was going to expand on what I meant but got drawn away to do something more interesting.
> The one thing I hate about the UKC forums is the long posting history it holds
Really? I thought this was a climbing forum. There is useful information on here that was posted over ten years ago.
I'm surprised that anyone is willing to use their real name in a publicly searchable forum, unless they're promoting themselves professionally and as a result are restrained in their posting. As far as I'm concerned it's basic internet safety. If a forum did find a way of enforcing the use of real names (no idea how they'd manage that), then they'd have to lock it down so that only registered users could search it. I very much doubt a policy like this would improve UKC.
I agree about the impossibility of enforcing real names.
On the subject of posting under your real name: has it occurred to you that some/many people post under their real name because they are confident in what they write and have no problem with it being findable?
..or just naive ;-)
> I agree about the impossibility of enforcing real names.
> On the subject of posting under your real name: has it occurred to you that some/many people post under their real name because they are confident in what they write and have no problem with it being findable?
Do you think the forum would be rather bland if people posted under their real names, only posted what they were happy for their mum, wife, children, vicar, employer, future employer etc to see, and only when they weren't at work?
I'm guessing that this scenario, which you seem keen to advocate, would dramatically reduce traffic on the site and by extension, your revenue.
> I'm guessing that this scenario, which you seem keen to advocate, would dramatically reduce traffic on the site and by extension, your revenue.
I am happy to acknowledge that some people probably need to be able to use pseudonyms because of their circumstances.
I don't subscribe to this paranoia about my words being found in 10 years time coming back to haunt me.
I do think that having something that makes people think a bit more before they post (like and identity) isn't a bad thing.
PS. as a pedantic point, but one which does occasionally show up a misconception about how this site is funded; increased traffic doesn't equate to increased revenue, it actually is a cost to us initially (or it can be). We can use the figures to encourage advertisers onto the site but that is a long process requiring a lot of work.
> I'm surprised that anyone is willing to use their real name in a publicly searchable forum, unless they're promoting themselves professionally and as a result are restrained in their posting. As far as I'm concerned it's basic internet safety.
Quite the reverse. I think that people should have the courage to stand by what they say and believe in. Using a real name also forces one to behave in a civil manner, as in real life; whereas user names often encourage a certain type of person to resort to extremely offensive language and downright nastiness. (I've always regarded hiding behind a cloak of anonymity while dishing the dirt as the resort of cowards with a psychiatric problems.)
There's a certain irony that some of the more provocative (good *and* bad) posters have historically tended to use their own names.
I think it would be more responsible.
Using your full name hasn't stopped this personal attack on all those who don't :(
One of the great things about this site, which may be as much luck as design, is that your profile doesn't just contain your posting history. It contains your photo gallery, your logbook, articles you've written and crags you moderate - a good indication of how keen a climber you are and how much you contribute to this site.
Having an extensive profile shows that you are prepared to let people know who you are, without leaving yourself open to the powers of google
I'm confident in what I write and am happy to stand by it. I'm not happy to have anyone put my name into Google and read everything I've ever posted, then contact me through the forum messaging. I've had a nutty ex do this in the past, it was a disturbing experience and I don't want to repeat it. I also have another person who must not find out where I live, not even the town. I'd rather post anonymously and freely than worry if a post might reveal something. If you think I'm paranoid, then maybe I am a bit, but the small risk is just not worth it.
Of course you've not experienced this. But if you ever do, all the old posts that you put under your real name will still be there for the nutter to read. It will be too late to change your mind about anonymity then.
It's always seemed a very old fashioned viewpoint to assume that a real name makes one somehow less anonymous on an Internet forum. If you know who you're talking to, in the sense of dealing with someone with a static username, an established posting history, an existing rapport with other posters and that sort of thing, I don't see what the label you apply to that persona really matters. If I'm nasty and abusive or helpful and informative online that attaches to "me" regardless of what I'm called.
I think if I had a connection with the outdoors, in that someone might look at AJMs profile and think "oh, that's coming from an author/guide/manufacturer/whatever" there might be a relevant link between my online persona and my offline life, but since there isn't I'm not sure why anyone should view my posts differently than if they came from a username that looks like a real name (since we all agree that enforcing posting under the actual name on your birth certificate isn't plausible)...
> It's always seemed a very old fashioned viewpoint to assume that a real name makes one somehow less anonymous on an Internet forum.
Wrong there, if you know someone's real name then it is much easier to find personal details about them elsewhere on the web.
By the way, when I wrote about promoting yourself professionally, I was specifically thinking of you. I bought your book after reading about it on here, and very good it is too :-)
I think building up a history of posts is far more important than using a real name, that's how you show you are not out to abuse.
What I'd really like to see on the forum is a 'hide all posts from this user' button. That way it's easy to ignore the twunts, and the moderators could use the number of blocks as a guide to who the twunts are.
Im not sure if you're saying that as a benefit or a curse.
I'm pretty sure if someone wants to find me for a legal reason then they can probably get a court to force Alan to give up enough technical detail to track me down. And I'm pretty sure if someone is dedicated enough to tracking me down for more nefarious reasons then there's plenty of information littered around me posts over the years. That's why I don't think the label that's attached to the persona is terribly important.
> I'm confident in what I write and am happy to stand by it. I'm not happy to have anyone put my name into Google and read everything I've ever posted, then contact me through the forum messaging.
Very much agree with this. I don't try to conceal personal details on here, a lot of the people who know me in real life have made the connection on here fairly quickly, and someone who didn't know me in real life might be able to track me down from my posting if they did a bit of sleuthing. I'm happy to stand by what I say on here in real life as far as climbing friends and acquaintances are concerned, but I'm not happy to have to worry about whether I'm saying anything that could be used against me if I ever got into a serious real-life dispute with anyone capable of using google.
You mean like?
A woman - fired from her teaching job for posting a photo of herself holding a pint of larger
A man - fired for racist comments
A soldier - dismissed for comments on Kate Middleton
13 Virgin airline hostesses - for saying that cabins were infested with cockroaches
A woman - Sacked for a photo of her smoking a joint
A high school guidance counsellor - fired after 17 year old photos of her in lingerie re-surfaced
A teacher - suspended fro criticising Christianity (ok it was in the USA)
It is a grand and noble thing to stand up and be counted and to have the courage of ones convictions but do you really want to put your job in jeopardy over your general views?
> Very much agree with this. I don't try to conceal personal details on here, a lot of the people who know me in real life have made the connection on here fairly quickly, and someone who didn't know me in real life might be able to track me down from my posting if they did a bit of sleuthing. I'm happy to stand by what I say on here in real life as far as climbing friends and acquaintances are concerned, but I'm not happy to have to worry about whether I'm saying anything that could be used against me if I ever got into a serious real-life dispute with anyone capable of using google.
> ..or just naive ;-)
> Im not sure if you're saying that as a benefit or a curse.
A benefit if you're looking for the details of someone who's annoyed you, and a curse if you're the one who's being looked for, of course. :)
> I'm pretty sure if someone wants to find me for a legal reason then they can probably get a court to force Alan to give up enough technical detail to track me down. And I'm pretty sure if someone is dedicated enough to tracking me down for more nefarious reasons then there's plenty of information littered around me posts over the years.
I don't disagree with any of this, but it's still much easier (perhaps I should have said quicker) to dox someone if you know their real name, especially if they don't post much so haven't revealed details about themselves.
If anyone on here wants to know my real name, then just PM me. I always sign replies with my name.
I have no problem with UKC users knowing who I am, I do have a problem with random internet users finding my posts on UKC.
> By the way, when I wrote about promoting yourself professionally, I was specifically thinking of you. I bought your book after reading about it on here, and very good it is too :-)
> I think building up a history of posts is far more important than using a real name, that's how you show you are not out to abuse.
Well, of course, taking part in forums is a form of networking, but I primarily did so, particularly at the beginning (I first joined UKC 11 years ago), because the discussions interested me ... most of them, sadly, were rather more interesting then than they are now. That was 6 years after my previous book had been published, and ten years before my next book, so there was no way I was 'promoting' anything. Since my last book has been published I've posted less and less. And I don't think I've even mentioned my next book ... certainly not by name.
Did I meantion that my new CD comes out next week ;-)
I mean mention (tsk spelling Mr Bourne)
I guess personally I'm not sure I'd feel the need to track someone down just for annoying me!
I wonder whether someone like Gordon, who sees this distinction but I assume is someone who I've not annoyed to the point of wanting to track me down to demand satisfaction, sue me or stalk me, could elaborate on why its more meaningful to be addressed by an arbitrary persona with some sort of gibberish username as opposed to the same persona labelled with the name of someone they have never (knowingly) met and is therefore on the surface more familiar but which is actually equally meaningless.
I mean, if you've no need to take the online discussion offline, and have no need to track someone down in real life, is it just a cultural conditioning that makes you think the poster with the real-sounding name is the more solid and reliable one? Or is it there as some sort of reassurance that you could hunt them down if you really wanted to? I just don't get it.
Well, yes, signing your comments hopefully prevents you from doing something so stupid and reprehensible as making racist comments, or derogatory remarks about the Duchess of Cambridge. Of course, I am freelance, and if I was working for an employer, I'd probably be even more circumspect.
gordon, i don't need to have the threat of google-powered sacking from stopping me making racist comments. i just don't do that, pseudonym or not.
and given that one of the most inflammatory posters ever on these pages was a certain N. Muir, i dont think the argument that using real names forces civility necessarily holds.
as for your comment to the effect that ukc aint what it used to be, people have been saying that for as long as ive been coming here, which is 7 years now. i can see no evidence of that, it remains as entertaining, and on the whole civil, as it always has been,
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you were only on here to promote your books! But, you do have an incentive to post quality material under your real name. Most of us don't.
By the way, although I'd be very much against trying to enforce real names, I do agree that generally disallowing multiple identities except under special circumstances (eg people legitimately asking for advice on stuff that could get them in very hot water personally or professionally if anyone associated it with them) would probably be a good thing.
So what you are saying is that you should only air your views if they square with the norms of the society you live in? What if you passionately disagree with the role of Royalty? should that be a reason for sacking? To be clear I am not condoning racist behaviour but I follow the old adage "I may not accept a persons particular view but I will defend their right to express it".
So should someone be sacked for being anti-religion or posing for a sexy advert or getting drunk or at the weekend or voting for UKIP?
We live in an age when our most off the cuff comments travel the world in an instant and can be there for ever. It is a debate for future society that as we put more of ourselves on line we need to rethink how we treat such information and perhaps become more tolerant of the indiscretions of others.
> By the way, although I'd be very much against trying to enforce real names, I do agree that generally disallowing multiple identities except under special circumstances would probably be a good thing.
I simply see ice.solo as a characture of the real me, a puppet on strings. The name is not all of me, just the bit that posts about climbing on ukc.
Id hope people look at the content of the posts, not the stupid name.
I dont like people i dont know here using my real name. Weve not been introduced, they may be as much a pseudonym as ice.solo is. My real name is for friends and people who i have personal contact with, not the public sphere of infotainment.
I take you all on the content of your writing, just as in real life i would of any of your other actions. I dont care what your names are.
> So what you are saying is that you should only air your views if they square with the norms of the society you live in? What if you passionately disagree with the role of Royalty? should that be a reason for sacking? To be clear I am not condoning racist behaviour but I follow the old adage "I may not accept a persons particular view but I will defend their right to express it".
I'm not saying that at all. One can surely put forward a rational argument for a republic without being offensive about the Duchess of Cornwall, or any other member of the Royal Family, for that matter.
Of course not, unless you are working for an association that promotes the very views you are attacking. Well, of course you can do that, if you're prepared to be sacked for doing so.
> We live in an age when our most off the cuff comments travel the world in an instant and can be there for ever. It is a debate for future society that as we put more of ourselves on line we need to rethink how we treat such information and perhaps become more tolerant of the indiscretions of others.
I don't believe in tolerating intolerance.
> gordon, i don't need to have the threat of google-powered sacking from stopping me making racist comments. i just don't do that, pseudonym or not.
But the fact remains that it is much easier for unscrupulous people to say libellous things from behind the protection of a pseudonym.
its not really that much of a protection is it though...?
anonymous trolls still get their collars felt, and a criminal record to boot.
and, in the other direction, using their real name didnt stop Norrie, or Bruce, from dishing it out!
Wish the media would learn what trolling is before they attach the label of troll to people. Trolling is not sending threatening and abusive messages to people, it is posting things to try and get a rise out of people or cause an argument, for example by posting obviously stupid advice or generally being obnoxious.
I doubt anyone has got a criminal record for trolling, flaming is more the word they want.
It makes you less anonymous in the world. And our climbing world (a tiny subset) is socially very small indeed - no more than a couple of degrees of separation between most climbers?
In my view, posting under your own name on climbing forums shows a far greater degree of responsibility than not doing so.
If I remember correctly, a couple of years ago I asked you (and others) to give your real names in a thread on here in which I was being attacked by lots of people. Nobody would.
> In my view, posting under your own name on climbing forums shows a far greater degree of responsibility than not doing so.
I'm sorry but I remain to be convinced that this is a serious question (as distinct from a seriously provocative one).
But just in case it is... I'm not sure I could improve on the reply Robert Durran gave further up the thread.
So that they would feel you were fully accountable for your posts.
P.S. A slight correction to the example I gave above of people not divulging their real names: if I remember correctly, Clare did.
But again, unless you want to stalk me or sue me, why does my offline name make the posts I make any different? I've never met a Mick Ward offline, so are you basically saying if you knew my real name you'd start trying to track me down through friends of friends to find out more about me? That's fairly creepy!
I've got an established presence on here that has a reputation (good or bad) and I'm happy with that, the reputation I've got online is relatively important because I know that people judge me on it (both friends I've met in real life and those I've only corresponded with online). Comparing someone like ice.solo to a newly registered poster called Jan Graham, say, and it is obvious to me at least which one i "know" more about because ice.solo has got the backstory on here to be judged on.
In terms of your point below, I remember it differently - you spouted nonsense, broadly speaking, and a large group of posters called you on it. Some of them were rude about you as a person rather than your argument, although I remember you confirmed I wasn't one of them. Nevertheless you tried to suddenly turn it into a discussion about anonymity and me as a person (half way tthrough, and about the point your argument came unstuck), and I wasn't the only poster who realised that this was because you couldn't back up your aargument so were trying to change it to being about the people instead. Online, your name doesn't matter and it's the persona and their argument you have to deal with, and in tjat case you just couldn't back yourself up. If you'd had a principled case against anonymity you were consistent about, never replying to them or never replying to abusive ones or what have you, then I could see some principle in action. But you only developed principles about not talking to non abusive anonymous posters when you came unstuck.
im just not seeing the process by which using a real name or a pseudonym affects accountability or credibility.
people are saying it does but as i asked - how? you didnt answer anything, just quoted another reponse that didnt explain how either (to which i also asked how at the time).
or put it the other way round - am i less accountable because i use a pseudonym? if theres an accident, say, because of a practice i advocate does me using 'ice.solo' have me less accountable or credible. what could the process be?
The search facility on here is pretty good, I found it in about 30 seconds:
You claimed you were being subjected to a "vitriolic attack", but reading through that thread I really can't see it. People disagreed with you, some were mildly sarcastic, it's all pretty tame.
AJM's point regarding real names was the same then as it is now. As someone who doesn't know either of you other than as the source of some posts on here, "AJM" means exactly as much to me as "Mick Ward" does.
Oh, and just as an example of what I mean, take your link back to our earlier discussion - I've got a static username, my posts are a public record, anyone can go back and check what I said in exactly the same way as they can go back and check what you said. I don't hide from my posting history, some of it might well be silly, alcohol induced, or from an earlier era in my climbing and views, but I don't try to dissociate myself from it. Its a reflection of who I was when I was posting.
If I wasn't responsible for my postings I would shift usernames regularly, I'd avoid making personal connections (no climbing with UKC people under a username I wanted to be irresponsible under, or letting friends associate my online and offline worlds together) or leaving personal information in my profile or postings, and I'd never bother to check the email associated with the account and it wouldn't include my name it would be some alphanumeric gibberish.
That's a good one sentence summary of what in trying to say, thanks.
Theer are some who jump names constantly and to be honest I find it kind of psychotic, like they think they can switch personalities, lives.. and just leave that one life/username.
CJD has had a few names but its always been very easy to know who she is...
I can understand not banning anonymous posters though, there are reasons people want to post anonymously, but at least just one profile.. no switching usernames.. no double personalities.
I remember a somebody posting a libellous comment about Lord MacAlpine, was that ok because you posted it under your real name? I also remember a late night offering of violence. Is what is said somehow altered by having a "real" name attached to it?
1. Reasonable posts by real-name users
2. Reasonable posts by pseudonym users
3. Malicious posts by real-name users
4. Malicious posts by pseudonym users
Of these, 1 and 2 are clearly not an issue and there are sometimes valid reasons why relative anonymity may be necessary or desirable.
3 and 4 are where the problem lies and here it seems that 4 is somewhat more common than 3.
The only question is whether the advantages of 2 are sufficient to justify the disadvantages of 4. I think they are, even though it does piss me off to read snide or timewasting infantile comments almost invariably written under pseudonyms, often registered specially for the purpose.
Just thinking aloud I wonder if there would be any mileage in a system of apparent anonymity (to prevent searchability) but backed up with a verified user identity with a strictly limited policy on identity release. That way at least it could be clear which users have recorded their real (but hidden) identity and any second username from the same person would need to be from a clearly unverified account. Doubt it would be possible except via some kind of national ID verification system (so a bit of a challenge for UKC!) but there could be some mileage in exploring a referee system whereby a user can get others to confirm their identity, I suppose a bit like a club getting existing members to propose and second new ones.
Anyway, just thinking aloud ...
Even if we take that as true, it would depend on your name since some names would give more away than others eg
> Quite the reverse. I think that people should have the courage to stand by what they say and believe in. Using a real name also forces one to behave in a civil manner, as in real life; whereas user names often encourage a certain type of person to resort to extremely offensive language and downright nastiness. (I've always regarded hiding behind a cloak of anonymity while dishing the dirt as the resort of cowards with a psychiatric problems.)
What constitutes anonymity? I don't use my full name here. Does that mean I'm a coward with psychiatric problems? Is that really what you mean?
Alternatively, are you demonstrating that it's possible to be highly offensive while using your real name?
I'm afraid I find your argument both sly and manipulative. If I was going to 'basically say' something, then I would simply say it. If I don't 'basically say' something, then I'm not saying it. I'm a very straight person. I don't do innuendo.
Re the thread in question, because of the level of personal attack, I felt (and feel) that it was appropriate to have true names. Whether I was spouting nonsense remained to be seen; we never got that far. (We could re-open it but would it feel like Groundhog Day? Probably.)
At the risk of being boringly repetitive:
'It makes you less anonymous in the world. And our climbing world (a tiny subset) is socially very small indeed - no more than a couple of degrees of separation between most climbers?'
I'll do my best...
Let's take some real names drawn from real threads recently: Alan James, Dave Pickford, John Redhead, Colin Struthers. If they get shit slung at them in the internet, can they say, 'Well it's just the internet, it's not real life, it's virtual reality?' I doubt it. They're real people and real shit sticks to them - or has to be scraped off.
Contrast with many of their attackers who hide under cloaks on anonymity. They can lob a grenade and fade back into the crowd, change identities, do it again... and again.
For me, the fundamental aspect of accountability is moral accountability. I'm not a lawyer so I'm not competent to discuss legal consequences re your example of an accident.
Often when people come on here asking for suitable route recommendations for grade breakthroughs (e.g. my first HVS, my first E1), among the good advice lurk blatant sandbags, some of them potentially lethal ones. Invariably the latter come from people not using their real names.
Something like that would be nice but is probably impractical other than on an informal basis (which is sort of what happens on UKB backed by karma keeping people better behaved in the very different terms of that site). Duncan's list was great but the top reason is that your average professional in todays world is going to struggle justifying their posting history to their boss. The retired, the self employed and people working in climbing wont normally face these pressures. If Moff's boss and my boss had put two-and-two together not only would my (hopefully mainly useful) contributions to UKC have dissapered, Froggatt would have been done by someone else.
I'm not attempting to be sly, I just don't get your worldview. So if you knew my name you might have a friend who knows me (as we found out in the previous thread, we have at least one, I am 99% sure I could name another one, so in total there's probably at least half a dozen). But why does that help you? Would you send me a message via them? Ive got a perfectly good email account for that if you want to say something in person you dont want publically viewable. Would you ask them about me? My online persona really isn't terribly different to my offline one, so I don't know how that helps you further? Would you try and come and confront me? If so, that sounds like a very good reason for you not to have my real name because as I say that's downright creepy. So why not try and answer my question - how would it benefit you - rather than dodging the issue by saying I'm sly, manipulative or whatever (nice to see incidentally that rudeness is coming from the real name to the "anonymous" one in this case) why not actually try and put down in words why you feel it makes me more responsible or whatever. What would you do if you knew my real name that you wouldn't do without?
Well, lots of people challenged you and you left without providing an answer. That's certainly not winning the argument, although if you want to claim that you left it at a stalemate that's your viewpoint; it certainly isn't mine. There's no point in going over it again, you are entirely right - unless you've come up with a response since then the argument would still be left at the same point.
I guess I just find it astonishing that (based on my interpretation of your view at least) you find my arguments less credible because they come this profile. I could go away, register a new profile as the Jan Graham I mentioned above, ask you exactly the same questions, and you'd somehow be more willing to answer? As Alan has said, there's no practical way of enforcing people actually posting under their real names, so essentially the distinction is whether someone posts a name that's clearly made up or whether they post under one you imagine being real. And if you're posting under a name which appears to be real, the only way it gains credence (ie the way that people come to trust its your name rather than simply a name you picked out of a hat) is through your actions, your posts and the people who know you. Your online persona, essentially.
Re the thread in question, what personal attack?
The "rant" you complain about, posted by 2PointO really doesn't qualify as far as I can see. It's a bit sarcastic, that's all.
How would it change anything if I were to tell you that 2PointO's real name is Marco Franklin?
I think John's list and view is closer. Sandbags also sometimes come from names. One thing where I am more sympathetic is in the grey area of acceptability. I think the site should give more lee-way to named posters (and established identifiable posters). Simply zap anything from those with no profile that doesn't meet site guidelines and leave the rest of us unless there are complaints or really blatant breaches.
> I'm not sure I could improve on the reply Robert Durran gave further up the thread.
Sensible posts under a pseuonym are not really a problem, but, all other things being equal, I would always tend to take posts under a pseudonym with a larger pinch of salt. When people post bollocks, I certainly feel freer to, shall we say, be more frank with those posting under a pseudonym; I just don't feel the need to show as much respect to people hiding behind a pseudonym as I do to those who are, yes, fully accountable for their posts.
> I'll do my best...
> Let's take some real names drawn from real threads recently: Alan James, Dave Pickford, John Redhead, Colin Struthers. If they get shit slung at them in the internet, can they say, 'Well it's just the internet, it's not real life, it's virtual reality?' I doubt it. They're real people and real shit sticks to them - or has to be scraped off.
Although given that Redhead and Pickford were recently notable for some internet shit-slinging involving accusations of misogyny and people being compared to the Taliban while Colin was engaged in a series of sustained and vitriolic attacks on UKC and Rockfax, I think I'll take the anonymous trolling from the likes of ice.solo, Tall Clare, deepsoup, AJM etc for now...
There's also a fairly important difference between (say) John Redhead and me (in fact, there are several...) which is that John's name means something to people outside his immediate circle of friends. Mine doesn't, and because I'm generally relaxed about putting reasonably personal stuff on here, most of my immediate circle of friends have spotted me anyway. So I don't see that my full name would give anyone much more information.
Like AJM said upthread, I'd give more credence on relevant topics to ice.solo than to a newly registered Jan Graham.
They can't "lob a grenade", they can post some words on the forum. If they're anonymous and without a posting history, those words don't carry much weight. You're probably a bit too sensitive to be posting on UKC (let alone more flamey forums) if you're going to lose sleep over some mildly sarcastic comments from a relative stranger.
You've put words into my mouth and then pronounced judgement. That, in my opinion, is sly and manipulative.
I've been posting here for quite a while - more than 10 years, I guess. And I've been climbing for nearly 50. You call me creepy - based on your specious inference. Any other evidence? If so, please produce it.
Our worldviews are different, that's for sure.
You telling me wouldn't change anything for me; him telling me would have.
I've noticed that most people who do this are either retired, work for themselves, or are older. I don't say things on here that I wouldn't be happy for people to know that I said. However, I like a distinction in life. If an employer or potential employer, or a client is searching for my name on the internet, then I want to give a different impression from the one that I give when chatting with mates.
When I use my real name, I most certainly wouldn't discuss the pros and cons of using real names as freely as this. I wouldn't discuss climbing at all, and would just read and not post. I only tend to post work based stuff under my real name.
Interesting. I'd give credence to who a poster was (as in, their posting history, their logbook, things like that) rather than simply how they had chosen to label themselves.
As I've said, In my eyes I'm more accountable as AJM than I am if I opened a new account and posted the same comments as Anthony Jack Michaels, Andrew John Missel, or Andrea Jane Morrisey. One of those might be my real name. None of them might be. You've no way of knowing. If I wanted to satisfy some of the folk on here I could change my username to be one of those - it might make you happier but it would make no real difference to my level of anonymity, or to the quality (or lack of) of my arguments. You'd be kidding yourself if you thought it did.
As someone said earlier:
It wouldn't make me feel better - or worse. It's not about feelings - it's about integrity.
Oops, looks like you haven't got any integrity.
There you are you see - oversensitive.
He did not call you creepy. He pointed out that if you wanted to seek him out and confront him face to face (and made absolutely no inference that you would) then that would be creepy.
Just being a thoughtful person is enough to prevent me from making those sorts of remarks. The name I use wouldn't get me to change that. The name doesn't make the man - the man actually makes the name.
> Just being a thoughtful person is enough to prevent me from making those sorts of remarks. The name I use wouldn't get me to change that. The name doesn't make the man - the man actually makes the name.
THIS! (or, for argument's sake, the woman :-) )
Well said tlm. I'm struggling to understand why some posters above don't get this point.
and yet you are intolerant?! Hmmmm....
So if someone already feels that I am fully accountable for my posts, then they wouldn't really care which name I used?
It also strikes me as far more honest to use an obvious pseudonym, rather than a name that might look like a real name, but which no one has any way of checking...
...but we all already know Clare's name!!
How do you know that's my real name?
<tries to look shifty>
So the virtual world is not part of the real world and can't have offline consequences?
Some years ago on here, there was a real kangaroo court (this place at its worst) directed at a fairly well known climber. At one point, someone suggested everybody boycotting his business. (As it happened, he was blameless, which nobody but me could be bothered to check out.) If his business had been destroyed, would it have just been 'some words on the forum'?
I know someone (non-climbing) who's probably world-class in what he does and (in my estimation) is of unimpeachable integrity. If you google his name, you will get his website. Right beside it are copious references to another website where he's slagged off as incompetent and a con-man. According to him (and I believe him) his primary accuser is a very nasty criminal who is currently enjoying Her Majesty's pleasure, as it were.
Do casual readers know this? No. Has my friend any legal comeback? No. Does it affect his business adversely? Yes.
And you say it's 'just words on the forum'...
How so? Of course it's not really his name. If I knew it, obviously I wouldn't presume to post it here without his consent - that'd be extremely poor (n)ettiquette.
I got the name Marco Franklin here: http://random-name-generator.info/random/?n=10&g=2&st=2
> Oops, looks like you haven't got any integrity.
But you wouldn't know that. If someone posts with a 'real name', do you actually know it's their real-life name? No, of course you don't, but you seem to be suggesting that the use of a 'real name' confers some intrinsic element of integrity. That's seems a bit daft to me.
See - the trouble is that you are lumping together all those who use pseudonyms and seem to be saying that anyone who uses a pseudonym is engaging in this type of behaviour. I find that pretty insulting.
Why not say that you don't like that bad behaviour, rather than going on about how much you hate pseudonyms? Or maybe you really aren't that bothered about whether or not people's behaviour is responsible or not?
Funnily enough I actually hesitated to post the link to that earlier thread above, because of your post "outing" yourself. :o)
'I've never met a Mick Ward offline, so are you basically saying if you knew my real name you'd start trying to track me down through friends of friends to find out more about me? That's fairly creepy!'
I'm sorry; to me it was a distinct inference. That's the text; people must decide for themselves how they would interpret it if it was directed at them.
To me, it's a 'now you see it, now you don't' attack, another grenade lobbed, another person ducking away.
Sorry, but that's how I see it.
I'm sorry you feel that way. If you put some words into your mouth to explain things I wouldn't have to make inferences. And so far there's someone who seems very keen to find out the sort of information that would tell him more about my offline life, identify if we have friends in common, and that sort of thing, but who seems a little reticent as to exactly why he wants that information. So, I ask again, what would you do if you had my real name that you can't do without it? I've asked about 4 times now, on this thread and the previous one, and you've still never answered.
I think my profile was registered in 04. I posted for a while before that and signed posts off as AJM, but the search box doesn't seem to go back far enough to let me identify the first one. So you've got the best part of 10 years of accumulated history to judge me on. That's more than you'd have if you met me in the pub. Depending on exactly when I define starting climbing, I've probably been doing it for 10-11 years, that sort of ballpark. Again, you already know more about me than if we met in the St Govans or whatever.
Well, quite clearly. But I really would like to try and understand exactly what it is about my real name that means so much to you. Its a common name. It won't instantly mean anything to you, as far as I'm aware (we have never knowingly met). You've already identified at least one person we both know, and I'm sure he will provide some sort of "glowing" character reference if you're really that keen. You've got 10 years and thousands upon thousands of words on which to judge me. You've got a commented logbook of my climbing successes and failures. You've got my warbling analysis of my own inner psyche from the last 6 years or whatever of fit club posts. You've got the circle of friends that my posts will identify to add to your picture of me, should you choose to judge me by the virtual company I keep. I am really, truly and genuinely baffled as to what extra my name adds that you don't already get from that.
> ...but we all already know Clare's name!!
Is it Clare?
For God's sake, I take people as being honest.
As Clare says, this is the bit I wish other posters would get
Uh? I don't get that? Tall Clare posts under a pseudonym, yet many people on here have met up with her in real life, and know her full name, address, contact details etc. She uses a pseudonym, but she doesn't hide behind it? Likewise with me - plenty of people on here know who I am, so I wouldn't say I was hiding by any means?
My full name is on my profile and has been for some time - it's the name of my photo website!
I used to be much more concerned about putting my full name on here, because I'm very easy to Google. I think there *is* something to be said for self-employment in that sense...
The climbing world is a lot bigger now, especially when you take into account those mostly indoor climbers.
I have a fairly uncommon name but there are at least 2 other climbers in London with the same name (based on the biscuit factory checkin asking me which one I am).
So if I use that a)which one of us gets to use the name without adding 1,2 etc and b)which one gets the blame?
It's not a true pseudonym - my name *is* Clare and I am reasonably tall. It just doesn't include my surname, which is easy enough to find.
I didn't feel particularly like I was 'hiding' when I was CJD though.
... and I don't feel the urge to show as much respect to people who don't show respect for others - I'm not that interested in what someone posts as.
> How do you know that's my real name?
I sneaked a look at your driving licence...
This is really no better than what you were describing above as a "vitriolic personal attack".
yes he does.
Oh. So it is! I hadn't looked.
Gosh, don't I look silly now? Good job I'm anonymous. ;o)
To take a slightly different, yet related, tack, should all posters have profile pictures in which their face can be clearly seen?
Is that more 'useful' than a full name?
So you accept it was an inference.
Am I 'very keen' to find out who you are? I haven't the faintest idea who you are. I've had two years to find out. How long would it take me to cross-reference routes you've done in Cheddar or whatever and ask friends who've done 'em? Not long, I would have thought. I've never done it. I've no interest in doing it.
>...I ask again, what would you do if you had my real name that you can't do without it? I've asked about 4 times now, on this thread and the previous one, and you've still never answered.
I'd respect you.
> For God's sake, I take people as being honest.
Ah. That might be a problem in this context.
I'm still here. The post is still attached to my persona. It's still there as part of the evidence on which you can judge me.
Ducking away my arse. If you think I'm ducking away, then I'll make it more clear - if your primary reason for wanting to know my real name is in order to track me down in real life for the kind of nefarious reasons that precludes being above board and using a lawyer and a court to make Alan and my ISP tell you, then that's creepy.
If that's not your primary reason, then it might not be creepy. You might have a perfectly legitimate reason that you've as yet been unable to enunciate.
But for about the 5th time now, what is it?
Without a reason that seems legitimate and above board, its easy to assume the worst of someone.
I'm probably having to go out soon to do necessary stuff. Will do my best to answer queries etc later (if there are any).
If I've forgotten to reply to someone above (who was inviting a reply), I apologise. It certainly wasn't deliberate.
There certainly is.
How would you know it was their face?
Their mother, or a doctor, policeperson, judge, other community figure, would have to sign it. Obviously.
You've never met me and don't know me but you can make a judgement because I don't use my real name on here.
And you were complaining about personal attacks......
As someone who works in the climbing world, I prefer to keep my personal and business persona separate. But that must be because I have no integrity.
> There certainly is.
Which isn't resolved by people simply using names which look like real names. So the idea that using real names confers any element of integrity seems to stumble at the first hurdle.
< Have our previous posts overlapped? >
Nasty inference - 100% yours'. In 10+(?) years on here, I've never tracked someone down in real life for a reason that wasn't thoroughly amicable.
I've also never ever asked a moderator to intervene. Surely this at odds with a previous poster who reckons I'm oversensitive and you who seem to feel I have 'nefarious reasons'?
I told you the fourth time.
Your bullying sub-Paxman tone does you no credit whatsoever.
I didn't say there could be no consequences. But it's still a bit melodramatic (to say the least) to compare them to the consequences of lobbing a grenade.
I'm well aware this forum can be pretty ugly at times.
You already referred to an old thread above - I found it and read it, and didn't see it the same way you did..
If he's been libelled, yes he does. The name the poster posts under doesn't really make a lot of difference.
If a post on here contravenes the posting guidelines, "anonymous" or not, hit the report button and ask Alan to zap it.
The thing is, whether your respect matters to me or not depends on how I view you, and since I don't know you in person I can only do that through the content of your posts on here. I'll judge you, and whether your respect is worth having, on the man (from the content of your posts) rather than the name (the fact you post as Mick Ward rather than as mw134 say), to hijack the quote that tlm and Tall Clare referred to above.
But are you genuinely saying you have no respect for shark, for Offwidth, for jcm during the time he was just jcm, for the very many well known top climbers who post on UkB under pseudonyms (but everyone knows who they are, to be clear), and all those others, just because they don't post under their real name? Or is it not as simple as that? Do you respect them and not me? And if so, doesn't that mean that actually you've taken something from my persona and used that to judge me rather than simply hating posters not posting under their real name?
Yes. Have now replied to that one.
Well yes, I know it was to you. Because you are being oversensitive.
I have decided for myself how to interpret it. The same way I interpreted the rant in that old thread you complained was a "vitriolic personal attack": it's nothing of the kind, you're being oversensitive.
Jeez. And you think you're the one being boring and repetitive.
> Ducking away?
> I'm still here. The post is still attached to my persona. It's still there as part of the evidence on which you can judge me.
> Ducking away my arse. If you think I'm ducking away, then I'll make it more clear - if your primary reason for wanting to know my real name is in order to track me down in real life for the kind of nefarious reasons that precludes being above board and using a lawyer and a court to make Alan and my ISP tell you, then that's creepy.
> If that's not your primary reason, then it might not be creepy. You might have a perfectly legitimate reason that you've as yet been unable to enunciate.
> But for about the 5th time now, what is it?
I can sort of see Mick's point - it's not that he's planning to track you down, it's that if you behave like an idiot online then people who run into you in real life will make the connection and be less favourably disposed to you, and this might discourage people from being relentlessly provocative online.
On the other hand, the climbing world is a fairly big place these days, particularly for rank-and-file punters who don't cast a particularly long shadow, so I'm not sure how much of a difference this would make. Particularly given that, as I understand it, most people aren't pseudonymous to conceal their real life identity from people on here, they're pseudonymous to conceal their online identity from people in real life.
> I remember a somebody posting a libellous comment about Lord MacAlpine, was that ok because you posted it under your real name? I also remember a late night offering of violence. Is what is said somehow altered by having a "real" name attached to it?
No, absolutely not OK. Did you read what I about posting under real names? You have to be prepared to stand by what you have said, or of course, immediately retract what you have said if it is found to be based on false information from (usually) reliable broadsheets.
I abhor violence of any kind, so if I ever said anything late at night that could be construed that way 'twas probably the result of too much vino.
I'd love to see you contribute something pleasant or positive just once, rather than almost always reacting as 'angry of Tunbridge Wells' to someone's comment on someone else's thread.
Could we get Off Duty to do that? ;o)
> I take people as being honest.
Topkek right there. My sides are sky high.
I don't care whether it matters to you. It matters to me. Can't you see that?
I think Shark was Simon Lee for a long time (apologies if I'm wrong). I'd have preferred he stayed as Simon Lee but it's his choice. I've known him for 26 years so his integrity is well tested as far as I'm concerned.
If Offwidth was being combative, yes, I'd want him to sign his words with his real name, in order to respect him.
JCM - obviously he can be extremely combative. Can't imagine him hiding behind anything.
I don't think so. I'm pretty obsessive about fairness. As I see it your posting history is generally exemplary. But we do have an issue about this stuff.
> I can sort of see Mick's point - it's not that he's planning to track you down, it's that if you behave like an idiot online then people who run into you in real life will make the connection and be less favourably disposed to you, and this might discourage people from being relentlessly provocative online.
I'm confused. Look at AJM's profile. Not only can you see his real name, you can find a lot more about him than you can by looking at Mick Ward's profile. AJM is not anonymous, he's merely protecting himself from search engines.
<Mind you, I wasn't aware that Mick had written so many articles - there's quite a few there I want to read!>
Be as dishonest as you like. But don't expect me to respect you.
I think I've said above; I've never asked the moderators to intervene.
If I were to do such a thing, which I would try my best not to do, simply because it isn't my way, that would happen to me anyway, as enough people on here know who I am.
...oversensitive or not!
I have - I feel like it helps keep this the sort of place I want to be if I report a post being bigoted about a group of people (so anything racist, sexist, anti homosexual etc).
> Be as dishonest as you like. But don't expect me to respect you.
But if someone uses a "real name", you have no way of know whether it's their real real name. You don't know if they're being honest or not. Using a real name doesn't help.
Like I've said to Mick though, 10 years of posting history, an established username, a large group of friends both online and offline who might read what I write, and general common decency is far more of a check on my behaviour than the label that's attached to it. I live my UKC life as AJM and I've invested enough time into it that I've an incentive not to act like a jackass posting under that name. There's probably upwards of 50 people (I've really no idea) who know me as a person both on and offline and it matters to me what some of them think of me. There are far more who I've learned to respect (even if I don't always agree) through their postings on here and I don't want to behave like a jackass in front of them either. I wouldn't post any differently under my real name except perhaps less frequently during work hours when I should be working rather than reading!
Pretty much what I've said above, yes.
I've got in the habit of using my initials as usernames and sign offs for over a decade now, and I don't see why I should change that, especially given that there's quite often a high-horse moral superiority attached to this discussion. I'm still here. I'm not ducking away from the things I've said. If you want to know who I am, read my postings, look at my logbooks, and you'll find that you know me pretty well. If you need to know my real name, provide me with a reason. Suggesting we go climbing usually does the trick. I introduce myself to strangers in the pub with my first name, I sign off my posts online as AJM (or, to be fair, with my first name on occasion). It would be nice if people would just accept that this is the habit I've got into and that claiming you sit on a higher moral plane than me by posting under a name rather than some initials isn't a good way to make me change it!
This is just somewhere I post to talk about stuff I'm interested in, which is at the moment climbing. To be honest if my lack of any profile data or logged climbs and my absence of a real name means I'm considered less accountable that's a win for me. I'm not a professional, I'm not even experienced.
I really don't want to start prefixing all my posts with...
"ROCK CLIMBING IS A DANGEROUS SPORT, DO NOT TAKE THE FOLLOWING AS ADVICE WITHOUT CONSULTING A PROFESSIONAL".
If I could, I'd post anonymously every time. Supposing I had some sort of reputation that was positive (heh) I don't want people blindingly believing what I say because I said it, I want people to think critically about everything presented here - we are all wrong from time to time, we all have subjects that we know a lot about, and subjects we don't know a lot about. (I want people to take everything I say as merely ideas put forward that haven't killed me yet.)
I've grown up on the internet, in online communities, and never have I seen one taking themselves so seriously as this. While I've read many forums on a wide variety of topics, I've never witnessed one that felt it necessary to verify identities or use real names.
In the unlikely event the law is broken, the web server logs will be procured from UKC to get the IP addresses used. The ISPs will then be contacted to disclose the customer's details. That's how it works on the rest of the Internet...
(Let us for a moment disregard onion routing and similar)
> If I were to do such a thing, which I would try my best not to do, simply because it isn't my way, that would happen to me anyway, as enough people on here know who I am.
Me too - and this goes for Chris' point upthread as well.
I'm just pointing out that being "accountable" for what you post online is more subtle than the risk that Mick might come round and key your car if you badmouth him on here.
I suspect you'd pretty quickly find out whether they're being honest - especially in combative situations. In my experience, the climbing world is socially tiny - one or two degrees of separation?
> I abhor violence of any kind, so if I ever said anything late at night that could be construed that way 'twas probably the result of too much vino.
> I'd love to see you contribute something pleasant or positive just once, rather than almost always reacting as 'angry of Tunbridge Wells' to someone's comment on someone else's thread.
Or alternatively, don't post libellous comments or offer violence, even when pissed - I go by the content of posts not by who said them.
And, I like kittens.
Obviously it's your prerogative. To me, freedom of speech matters more. If someone's being bigoted, chances are they'll be called on it.
< Definitely got to go out now. Back (much) later >
There's too many matterings about matterings! I'm losing track.
What I mean is that it mattering to you only matters to me if I respect you - there are some posters on here (not you) who I don't think are worth the time of day, and I don't really care if they respect me or not. I don't feel the need to behave in a way that earns respect from someone if their respect means nothing to me.
I'm slightly inclined to say that someone who judges my posts and persona solely on the name they are posted under isn't worth my respect, and therefore I would see no reason to switch names in order to earn yours, but that's tempered by the fact that a lot of your other posts are reasonably well informed and helpful. So at the minute I'm opting for the middle ground of trying to understand your position and getting you to understand mine, in the hope that some sort of middle ground might be reached.
- You know who shark is. So do I. Many people on here know him just as shark.
- Jcm posted for a while just as jcm. Everyone knows who he is, but then lots of people know who I am too.
- As for Offwidth, I respect his postings because of the content they contain. His choice of username (perverse though off widths are!) doesn't impact my judgement of him whatsoever.
Thanks for your commentary on my posts. It would be nice though if you could focus solely on those, rather than judging me on my long established habit of posting under my initials. It doesn't mean that I'm trying to hide from the world. Its all still on record and its all still associated to me.
i think actually you make good points there mick, i just dont think it represents the use of pseudonyms, rather its more about the integrity of some peoples presentation than their identity. its back to the 'we shouldnt use cars because some people die in them' paradigm - for almost all its a just a name they use to represent one aspect of themselves just like it is for generations of writers, musicians and film stars.
its about people being who they want to be, and most of the time they do nothing nasty with it. if anything it allows a separation they need to voice positive things. some peoples names carry connotations they may be happy to be free of.
if someone else calls it integrity to dismiss anothers posts because its a pseudonym then thats to their loss. like george elliot, iggy pop and elton john have likely found, its the material that matters. rather than screw down on the name, tighten up on the attitude.
for what its worth i did once track down someone off here; a nasty son of a bitch who went somewhere he shouldnt, who used a pseudonym. it made no difference when it came to locating them, maybe an extra 10mins of screen time. if 'accountability' includes real world potential its doesnt make much difference.
(for the record nothing happened, it just pays to know the whereabouts of people talking big)
> I suspect you'd pretty quickly find out whether they're being honest - especially in combative situations. In my experience, the climbing world is socially tiny - one or two degrees of separation?
Seriously? We obviously have very different understandings of the way the world works. I don't know the relevance your presumed two degrees of separation. I don't have a clue whether your real name is Mick Ward, and it really doesn't matter. What does matter is what you say and how you say it.
>>What does matter is what you say and how you say it.
Also worth noting that what we think of as a "real name" comes with built-in cultural and sanity filters. http://www.kalzumeus.com/2010/06/17/falsehoods-programmers-believe-about-names/ is worth a read.
It would not surprise me in the least to find that there's someone somewhere in the world with "Wingnut" on their birth certificate.
And, if I say something stupid on here and you want to have it out with me off the forum, then the person you need to punch is the one wearing this helmet:
Yet you're sort of in disguise there. Mind you I could have put that shot of you stuck head first in that sandbag Diff chimney on Kinder if you wanted a real disguise ?:-O
Then I think you are fooling yourself, and your call for 'real names' is based solely on an irrational desire, since you have no proof that someone posting with their 'real name' is actually posting with their real name. This point has been made to you repeatedly, and yet you still seem to fail to grasp it. And it's the usual argument that's presented against calls for 'real names only' policies; until there is some means of verifying the 'real names', it's a pointless policy. Even if I told you that my 'real name' is Kevin Beeden, would that make me any less anonymous? No, it wouldn't. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet", or, to paraphrase, "a turd by any other name would smell as bad".
I judge people by the posts they make, not by the name they give themselves. And, on this basis, I'm sorry to say that your posts on this thread are marking you down in my estimation, since I hold rational thought in high regard. Whether I'll remember that I've made this judgement the next time I read something posted by 'Mick Ward' is another matter, since I generally judge each post on its merits, and don't keep track of individual posters and their posting habits. Some individual posters do stick in my mind, because I have eventually remembered them. This is sometimes good (the rose), and sometimes bad (the turd).
Yes, I'd spotted that one, too...
<Gordon disappears in a puff of logic>
1) impersonation, as when someone comes on here falsely claiming to be me, or Dave Macleod, or whoever;
2) multiple personation used in a fraudulent way, as when I post some guff as Tim Chappell and then log on as BarbedWire or whatever I want to call myself, and applaud Tim Chappell's guff.
The reason for forbidding these is simply that they're deliberate deception.
There's no harm in posting under your real name, as I do and Gordon does and Coel does etc etc., and as IainR and Tall Clare and Jamie B. etc. very nearly do; and there's no harm in posting under a pseudonym, provided it's clear that it is a pseudonym. Because when people read posts by Offwidth or Sir Chasm or whoever, I think that they take into account the fact that these people aren't being fully up-front about who they are when assessing what they say.
But Offwidth is one of the clearest and most helpful posters on here!
When I read a post by Offwidth, I do it in the knowledge that he's got an awful lot to contribute when it comes to his specialist knowledge, and he's very up-front about what he can contribute. The fact that he calls himself Offwidth doesn't diminish the value of what he has to say in the slightest - he's as readily identifiable as you are.
>>as I do
How can we tell? For all we know, your real name could actually be John Smith, Cuthbert McCustard or Janice Prong, to name but three possibilities. Just because the name you post under looks like a real name - for UK-centric values of "real" - doesn't mean it's your name.
Whoops, no attack on Offwidth, or anyone else, intended. If I'm being read that way, then sorry, Offwidth. It isn't what I meant.
There are lots of reasons why someone might post under an assumed name. As has been pointed out, workplace invisibility is one of them. All I meant was that we bear all of these reasons in mind as possibly relevant when assessing what people post.
You can tell very easily, by googling me. You'll immediately find that there's someone out there who is pretty clearly the same person as me in here. Likewise with Coel and Gordon, and lot of others.
Unless, of course, you go in for conspiracy theories...
It's an internet forum, does anyone really take anything anyone says on here seriously?
For those of you who appear to use your real names, it's just an appearance, not any measure of sincerity or accountability. I could post as Dave Jenkins or Felicity Larkin or something and no one would be any the wiser.
From what I've seen, some posters like Tall Clare, Offwidth and PostmanPat post far more responsibly and accountably than a few posters who use their 'real' names.
Personally, I've got a relatively uncommon surname and would rather it wasn't out there on the internet any more than it needs to be. My kids have the same surname as me too. I'm quite happy for friends to know my surname and I have my name on my fb page, but on fb I can chose to a certain degree who can and can't see what I post, it's not the same as a completely public forum. I'm quite happy to reveal my UKC username when I meet people at climbing huts etc, because I don't post anything I wouldn't say in person.
Please tell me where I have ever 'offered violence' in any literal sense. It's really very strange because I have none to offer. I have never been in a fight, apart from hitting one person very hard on the chin at the age of 10, when I was being bullied. Never had any trouble with anyone ever since. :)
> IainR and Tall Clare and Jamie B. etc. very nearly do;
It's fine to use real names in our sorts of job, where we're allowed to have opinions, indeed the whole point of employing us is that we have opinions about things. People in other jobs are not so fortunate; one poster on this thread was sacked from their job for using their work internet for personal things in work time (aka "gross misconduct").
> It's an internet forum, does anyone really take anything anyone says on here seriously?
> For those of you who appear to use your real names, it's just an appearance, not any measure of sincerity or accountability. I could post as Dave Jenkins or Felicity Larkin or something and no one would be any the wiser.
> From what I've seen, some posters like Tall Clare, Offwidth and PostmanPat post far more responsibly and accountably than a few posters who use their 'real' names.
Interesting that you should pick out three of the username posters I respect the most. Their online personalities are straightforward, reasonable and honest. Never remotely offensive, often warm and caring. I happen to know PMP v well (we are v old climbing friends, regardless of our rather differing political views). Clare and Offwidth I both met after I had become familiar with them as UKC regulars, and they are just as nice in reality as they come across here. I suppose what I object to most those who use a username to hide behind, while posting an apparently endless stream of snide, sarcastic or even downright nasty comments. Almost as if they make a hobby to be 'nasty on the internet'. Rather sad, surely?
Do we? I don't think I do. There are so many different reasons why people might choose not to revel their name that it's meaningless to speculate, and any speculation carries your own baggage which may or, more likely, may not have any relation to reality.
A user name is simply a means of identification. Whether it's a person's real real name, or an assumed name, or a random group of letters and numbers is immaterial to me - at the risk of repetition, it's what is said and the way it's said that counts.
It was late at night and in the pub, you'd been sufficiently wound up by somebody to say something along the lines of "if you were here right now I would punch you". Is that a literal sense? Obviously you couldn't do it because it's the internet and I doubt anyone took it very seriously anyway. And I agree it's strange - that's why it stuck in my mind.
Would someone posting under an anonymous pseudonym be more likely to be argumentative, rude or abusive to another user than if they were using their real name?
I believe that in some (not all) cases they would.
There are a lot of things said online that would not really be said to someone face to face, in a letter or on the phone (call me old fashioned if you like).
Yes, some people say potentially hurtful things using their real name and/or in person but I think that online anonymity allows people to interact in a less ‘human’ way.
There is no body language, facial expression or tone of voice to take cues from to determine how a sentence was meant, perhaps subtly changing the meaning of the words.
I feel that by posting online using my real name it makes ME think twice about what I type to another person. It may not matter to them that they do not know me but it changes how ‘I’ post to them online.
“Imagine a UKC where” each forum post is a webcam video of us replying to each other, not simply typing words. We would know each much better and also be able to actually ‘Laugh Out Loud’.
Only joking! (or am I?).
No, you must have mistaken me with someone else. Not the kind of thing I ever think, or would ever say, about anyone, ever. It just wouldn't cross my mind. Because punching people is not something I do. That one occasion that I told you about at the age of 10 is memorable to me for how much it hurt my own hand/knuckles, which of course I tried to hide as much as possible. Punching someone is a very weird and extreme thing to do. Very much a last resort.
I should be a bit more careful with you accusations in future. I think you were a bit offbeam with the McAlpine one as well.
I think though that the way "personalities" (real or anonymous) interact on line is quite different to sometimes how they would ineract face-to-face in both good and bad ways. Certainly being dismissive and even abusive is easy, which is probably a bad thing, or at least not positive. On the other hand discussions on subjects like politics and religion which are largely taboo in real life except amongst close aquaintances are more free-flowing, which means a wider range of opinions are heard.
... because, once I learned that it was a question of mistaken identity (rather surprising in a broadsheet newspaper, where you'd imagine that the facts of such a serious allegation would be checked v carefully indeed), I immediately not only retracted my comment, but was immediately on Lord M's side, because it was such a terrible false accusation. There are just far too many such 'mistakes' in our modern media. As for the gutter press, they print pages and pages of lies, on some subjects, month after month.
WRONG. I asked Alan to delete it.
> WRONG. I asked Alan to delete it.
Don't be silly Gordon, Alan deleted it, you had to have it deleted.
Are you calling me a liar? I emailed Alan to ask him to please delete my comment.
or that Janice Prong also googled Tim Chappell and has a bit of a thing about wanting to be him, throwing in easily googleable titbits of information like the gentlemanly bike riding....
> Are you calling me a liar? I emailed Alan to ask him to please delete my comment.
Not at the moment, at the moment I think you don't understand. You wanted a post you made deleted, Alan did that for you. In other words, you had (needed to - because it was probably libellous) to have that post removed.
See - that is what comes across as being quite offensive about posting the view that says that ALL pseudonyms mean that the user must be "snide, sarcastic or even downright nasty" when many simply aren't.
No, I didn't.
I did not say ALL. In fact I had just implied that many user name posters are thoroughly decent people, and discussed three such in particular, and then went on to say ' I suppose what I object to most are those who use a username to hide behind, while posting an apparently endless stream of snide, sarcastic or even downright nasty comments.' What I clearly meant, therefore, was SOME and not ALL. I should have added something like 'the small minority who' ... etc to make it even clearer.
What a waste of time.
I'd just like to say that Janice Prong is the best username I've seen today.
I will repeat. I wanted it removed for exactly the reason you wanted it removed. I had been misled by false statements in the press (in a respectable broadsheet), and as soon as I heard that they were such retracted it, I ensured that it was promptly removed, and then supported Lord M.
> You can tell very easily, by googling me. You'll immediately find that there's someone out there who is pretty clearly the same person as me in here.
Timothy Chappell, OU philosophy?
For the avoidance of doubt, error, and possibly libellous remarks, let it be known at large that I am only Janice Prong at weekends, and when I can hire the ball-gowns :-)
Hi Janice 7:^)
If thats your real name, re Register Under a Pseudonym. Its not too Late!
> I did not say ALL.
I know that you didn't say all. I didn't say that you did say all. Gordon, just read more carefully and have more faith that I'm not out to get you!
You should upload a photo of Tim in a wig for your profile!
> I'd just like to say that Janice Prong is the best username I've seen today.
(real name Angelo Antonio Bonington Prong)
Can you see the real me? Can you? Can you?
Well, you didn't express yourself clearly. 'that is what comes across as being quite offensive about posting the view that says that ALL pseudonyms mean that the user must be "snide, sarcastic or even downright nasty" when many simply aren't.' You're quoting me implied that you meant me, so why quote me if you didn't mean me? Why put my words into other people's mouths? Strange.
> Well, you didn't express yourself clearly.
For which I apologise most profusely.
Oh, don't be ridiculous :) It wasn't that big a deal, just a bit confusing.
> I'm not saying that at all. One can surely put forward a rational argument for a republic without being offensive about the Duchess of Cornwall, or any other member of the Royal Family, for that matter.
Quite so and I agree the great orators of the past rarely stooped to base insult and where they did invariably forfeited the argument, but often in the pursuit of rational argument people will put forth views which others may find offensive. After all one could say that Margaret Thatcher was misguided in the way she went about the destruction of the miners, Al might use different language (and his real name), similarly one might say Tony Blair was a bit off in invading Iraq, others might call him a war criminal, which he might find offensive. But this isn't about the right to offend somebody. This is about what you do away from your place of work. For some people it is important to always be "on" as it were, the Royal family for one can hardly relax without the minutiae of their private lives being dismembered in the press, but most people like time away from work, to talk freely, to be offensive if they wish. If done publicly it should be engaged with and shown up for what it is.
> Of course not, unless you are working for an association that promotes the very views you are attacking. Well, of course you can do that, if you're prepared to be sacked for doing so.
Supposing that you are a teacher, teaching maths, but the school board are Christian or Muslim and you mention on Facebook that you are atheist and then find you are sacked? Or you are sacked because you posed in your undies for a CAT calendar 10 years before you became a teacher, or you got sacked because one weekend somebody took a photo of you with a glass of wine and posted it online?
> I don't believe in tolerating intolerance.
It is not about tolerating intolerance it is about who gets to be the arbitrators of our private lives. As more of us, especially the young, live online and share our every waking moment with the whole planet it becomes more important what we put out there. In the 60's and 70's I did many things I now feel were stupid, wrong and ill advised. luckily for me we had no internet for me to post on so all those incidents are lost. How will our youth fair when they are trying to get a job in 15 - 20 years time and that photo of them with a joint keeps doing the rounds, or of them in the communist party or even being a stupid racist. It is not about tolerating intolerance it is about looking at what are intolerant about ourselves and how we allow others to learn by their mistakes and move on and not be haunted by the indiscretions of youth unnecessarily.
What we need is a way to curb the excesses of anonymity while allowing people to still keep their privacy.
< Have got back somewhat knackered and am going training in a bit. Quite a few posts and normally I'd reply to them all. Rightly or wrongly, yours' seems the most 'deserving' of a reply >
A lot of shit's been slung at me today, ironically mostly by people not posting under their own names. You feel I'm fooling myself and have an irrational desire. Others feel I'm too sensitive. Others feel I'm remiss in not invoking the moderators (more irony).
I take people as being both responsible and honest - until proven otherwise. If proven otherwise, for me, they're dead in the water. Last week, it seemed few people were willing to give Colin Struthers the benefit of the doubt. I did. Seemingly a decent guy, making a mistake in the heat of the moment. He'd never seemed sneaky before. Give him the benefit of the doubt. (For some people, that's being naïve.)
Of course there's no proof of real names. Again you put people on trust. But climbing is a small world and people do know people. If someone gave a real name that wasn't (and they were an active climber) then I'm sure someone would be along soon enough to point this out.
There have been some wonderfully legalistic arguments about real names. Is the rather sordid reality that many people posting on here are doing so while at work? Do they have their employer's permission? Are they, in effect, stealing from their employer?
People can always say, "It's just the internet." "It's just words." "It's just..." Bollocks! Anything you do in the world is part of the world. Integrity is integrity - online and offline.
At it's best, there is some great stuff on here. But there are also kangaroo courts (Simon Lee re Right Eliminate), (Rich Mayfield re bolting some stuff in Spain). There is cyber-bullying (Tom Ripley and Franco got a lot). And there is also rabid pack animal behaviour, such as this morning. None of this is to the credit of those who practise it. The people here whom I respect most, such as Steve Blake and Jon de Montjoye, never indulge in it. And they give their real names. (Well, you could argue Jon doesn't, strictly speaking, but it's pretty obvious who he is. And perhaps he's sparing us prolixity.)
Simon Lee got about 1,500 posts re RE. Most were critical. Many were, in my view, personal and abusive. His crime? Being honest. For there was no other crime. It turns out he was totally in the right. And, from the 1,500 posts, who apologised publically? Nobody.
A friend used to say that coming on here was like self-harming. I disagreed. If I didn't care about this place, I wouldn't struggle on with these posts. He would doubtless say I'm a fool to care. And maybe he's right.
o MUM!!!! :-(
I use my real name and if some one flings shit at me I either a) ignore them or b) engage for the devilment of it.
If I feel that they are being way over the top and bordering on slander or criminality I ask for the thread to be pulled.
I find that those using their real names are just as capable of being rude and insulting as those who don't. A real name is no guide to moral integrity I give you George Eliot, AE, William Penn, Silence Dogood and many more
None of the points you make justify making people use their real names. It is unenforcable and even if it was it doesn't stop people making attacks on others, some of the worst on here have come from posters who at least appear to be using their real name.
I have reasons for not using my full name, which I have given on this thread, it allows me to be more honest about certain admittedly non climbing issues, but my name isn't a secret, I have stated it on here many times and have met or corresponded with dozens of people on this forum, yourself included.
The climbing community is indeed small, but the web isn't.
Obviously it's your choice but, as I've said above, I just wouldn't do that.
Think I'll give up now...
Agree. Never claimed otherwise
Of course it doesn't. Less cloak of anonymity though.
I'm terribly sorry, I haven't a clue who you are. But I hope your experience with me was a good one.
I think I'll stop now. Obviously tons of people disagree with me but I'm knackered and I think we'll just have to agree to disagree.
< To AJM >
Generally you seem a decent guy. I'm willing to put our encounter today behind me. Maybe, if we meet on a crag one day, things may be happier. I'd certainly like to think so.
Mick (gone from this thread)
We had a nice little climb on Wilton 1 some time ago, or at least you had a good climb and I hauled my sorry unfit arse up after you.
Oh, I remember! You weren't unfit; you just weren't able to get out much. You're probably getting out more than me now. Hope so, anyway.
Mick (definitely gone now)
> o MUM!!!! :-(
Scariest post of the day, Duncan :-)
I'm sorry you feel that way, but, frankly, I cannot see anything I'd classify as 'sh*t'. I've seen people disagreeing with your point of view, and trying to argue against it, but I've really not seen anything personal. My comment about your being irrational was merely an observation on the irrationality, but I'm sorry if you took it as a personal attack. If I say that I think you are being over-sensitive, it's not meant as a personal attack, more a suggestion that you might reconsider the intent of many of the posts, none of which I think are meant personally; we're just discussing the topic.
Whilst I've said that I hold rationality in high regard, judging by your list of names and topics that have bothered you, it seems that you hold 'good climbing' in high regard. I, on the other hand, really don't give it much attention, because I don't climb much, or very well, so high-level climbing is simply beyond my experience, and of no relevance to me. So I don't post on threads on climbing grades, ethics or new routes, as I simply don’t give a sh*t about those topics, and generally find them tedious. But I understand that they're very important to other people. I did once bother about top-roping, but that's old hat and a rather overdone topic.
I don't recognise any of the names you mention (barring Tom Ripley); I assume they're good climbers. I guess this lack of interest in 'good climbers' is illustrated by my once meeting Ben Bransby whilst taking part in Alpkit's Colab09 competition. We chatted away after the show quite happily, and I asked him what he'd been doing. He said he'd been helping at the climbing wall. I had no idea who he was, or even that someone called 'Ben Bransby' was a good climber, and have never followed up what he's doing, but Wingnut was bouncing about with amusement. He seemed a genuinely nice bloke, and made no "don't you know who I am" fuss at all; it didn't seem to bother him at all (and why would it?).
Whilst I've been posting on UKC and other forums as cp for more than 12 years, and you've been posting here for what seems to be 8 or 9 years, I really can't recall ever encountering your posts before, which suggests we have completely orthogonal interests. Since I have no experience of your posts, they carry no weight for me. I'm sure others hold your views in high regard. I have no idea if you have any idea of who I am (and, frankly, it really doesn't bother me). I've met at least five people on this thread, over the years, and plenty of others (most of whom will refer to me as 'captain', even though they probably know my name). And I'm sure that I have some recognition (good or bad) here, even among those I've never met or recognise online, for being a clothing obsessive, bargain obsessive, DIY stove obsessive, and possibly for some posts on the mechanics of climbing protection. Over all these years, I've kept the same e-identity, so that people can connect my (~20k) posts across 5 or 6 forums, and there's an integrity associated with that posting history. My e-persona is my persona; I'm just me, online or in real life. I don't play 'alternative personality games'. Other 'captain paranoias' are available, but they're not me. Just as other 'John Smiths' are available.
And there are plenty of posters like me, who have consistent e-identities, and maintain them within and across forums, and who behave no differently from 'real name' posters.
Whilst I said that I don't generally remember people, I've decided that's not true, and I do take account of posting history. So there are people whose opinion I will listen to, because their posting history has suggested to me that they talk sense (on one or more topics). That's because their posts have tallied with what I've thought, or they have presented a good argument for something I'm not familiar with, or have provided useful information, either directly, or indirectly via web sources; if I have respect for them, it's because they've gained my respect by what they've said, not because of their name. If I say something that one of these people disagrees with, then I'll take notice, and maybe rethink my viewpoint (as I have regard for their opinion). I won't get upset by it. If someone I don't know gives me abuse, I'll usually ignore it, as their viewpoint is of little or no concern to me.
Then there are others I remember in a negative way, and disregard their posts as they have demonstrated that they're ignorant, bonkers, a troll or otherwise to be avoided.
For someone I don't recognise in this way, I will judge their posts by what they say in each post, until they develop a reputation in my opinion, be it good or bad (so your posts that I consider irrational have reduced my view of you as someone to be taken account of; don't feel upset, as that's just my opinion at the moment, and it really should be of little concern to you). And, even then, I will continue to adjust my opinion based on their individual responses. I'm sure I'll be sliding down your scale of 'someone to be taken account of', but it really doesn't bother me.
I can see that for high-end climbers, for whom their reputation is important (or, in the case of those rare individuals who are sponsored athletes, their livelihood), being slated by a load of randoms might be of concern. But the world is full of randoms posting rubbish; look at the comments sections of online newspapers... Most people are able to see these random postings for what they are; to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Whether these randoms post with a 'real name' or a pseudonym doesn't matter; what matters is the reputation resulting from their posting history, which can be good or bad.
In reply to Mick Ward: I cannot see anything slung at you, people have disagreed with your point of view. i'm sure that because there are several people all disagreeing with your point of view you may feel got at but I cannot see it. Your aloof 'surely people are not stealing from their work' (i paraphrase) is irritating, loaded, I think a cheap shot.
Many of the arguments on this thread involve needing to keep work and private life separate for professional reasons. There are implications for Doctors and nurses who identify themselves as such when it comes to their postings on here. It's easier simply to maintain anonymity. There are many reasons to remain anonymous, not all of them are sinister.
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