Anonymous posting

Some people feel reluctant to ask questions on a public forum for a range of reasons, e.g. they fear negative feedback based on bad experiences on other websites, or they worry their question is naive, or somehow unworthy.

The forum has explicit guidelines which prohibit bad behaviour, and even with a consistent message of openness and friendliness some people will be reluctant to start topics to ask questions.

To overcome this we could enable anonymous mode to allow temporary anonymous posting

Summary: this would allow users to switch between their login account and “anonymous mode” to post and reply. There is a fixed period of time the user can switch to the specific anonymous account. Once that period of time has elapsed, enabling anonymous use will create a new anonymous account.

What do people think?

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This was discussed at the COSIMA TWG meeting @lidefi87 and @ilas. Does this satisfy the requirements that were raised do you think?

@Paola-CMS do you think this will work for some of your users who might feel reticent to post questions to a public forum?

I imagine it would work for some cases, for example if I have a fairly generic question. But if I had a very specific issue where I need to share for example a notebook or error logs this clearly wouldn’t work. Would the admin be able to see who actually posted?
I think this should be made clear either way.
It might help some cases but probably not all. Ultimately if the community sees this as a useful easy to navigate tool they will use it. Maybe they just need time to get used to it.

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Thank you for opening the discussion!
I think it would really benefit users that are just starting and might have very “basic” questions; I imagine as they progress beyond the basic obstacles, they will feel more confident and start interacting with the community without the need for anonymity :smiling_face:

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Good point.

Yes it is possible for admins to find out who posted a query, but it is neither automatic nor straightforward.

I agree it should be clear, and also that the intention is for users to post without worrying about reputational repercussions, but that it is most definitely not to be used to contravene the terms of service.

Great! Thanks for the feedback. I think this is fairly uncontroversial change, and one that could be of considerable benefit for some in the community, so I will request that the feature be activated, and we’ll monitor it’s usage to ensure it isn’t being abused.

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Anonymous mode has been enabled.

I have created a knowledge-base article describing how it works

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Testing that anonymous posting works.

I am at a conference and so I am replying late, but I think this would be a welcome change to some new users that may feel a bit shy about asking questions here. Thanks for doing this

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