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Apostle Speaks Against Online Anonymity


Nevo

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There is, actually, a danger with cyberstalking and care is needed when using your own name on the web.

 

Having said that, he is correct in principle. If you're using your own name, you are more likely to be careful what you post and how you post it, and you may also be motivated to spend less time in "fluff" activities online.

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While I understand what Elder Cook is saying, this is like suggesting that wearing garments keeps you from breaking the law of chastity. That extra layer of fabric may slow you down some but if you are determined to sin, you will. And you can sin in your heart without ever removing the garments just as you can sin in how you think of others even without posting your most insulting thoughts. 

 

My personal feeling is that if you need the added social pressure to behave properly online, it's not your username, but your character that needs attention. 

 

 

C. Larsen (known online as MercynGrace)

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I have wanted to change my screen name for a long time now as well. I have no idea idea how to! I don't like the name "Duncan", I am not even sure why I picked it. I want a cool new screen name like "Enzio W. Featherstone"

Edited by Duncan
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I do use a board name, but it's not for the purpose of anonymity.  Anyone can find my real name and hometown on my profile.  Rather, it represents what is important to me and who I am trying to become.  

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If you want to change your name, write the mods.  There have been a few who have done it, I am thinking DBMormon did.

 

 

While I would love to I doubt they'd approve my request! haha! unless it was "Gene J. McConkie"

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While I would love to I doubt they'd approve my request! haha! unless it was "Gene J. McConkie"

I PM'd Ares about adding the Awen symbol (/|\) to my name about a week or so ago.  I should probably try someone a little more active.

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My old moniker was EnemyAce and people always thought it was a bit aggressive.  I agreed.  Additionally, I thought that if I place my name as a by line of things I really believe then it would keep me honest and sincere.

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I am equally concerned, and I would say deeply so, for the reputation of 3DOP on this board as I was of Rory McKenzie at ZLMB. Were Hamilton, Jay, and Madison extra aggressive or nasty when publishing what became known as the Federalist Papers because they were "hiding behind" the name Publius? Pseudonyms have a long and often reputable history.

 

So the theory seems to be that decent folk who use their real names, would with a pseudonym, possibly be tempted to be rude and crude? Why? I don't see it. Decent people will be decent however they are identified. I truly respect those have who voiced an opinion against pseudonyms, but I don't think the critics appreciate how the individual still identifies personally with the pseudonym. Whatever I am called, I care how I, the person behind the name, am received. I am 3DOP. Some of us have been compelled by personal reasons to be disassociated from the names on our birth certificates. Many other perhaps find it amusing to have a "pen name". We have had fun threads explaining the meaning of our pseudonyms. There is a story behind them. Sometimes more of a story than our given names.

 

I suggest that the person who is crude when they have a pseudonym will be crude with his real name too. Crudeness, decency and whatever is inbetween  is who we are, and I don't think it can change according to what we are called. Character will come out. 

 

3DOP

818-92-0764

 

PS: That's my pseudo social security number (heh). God bless y'all.

Edited by 3DOP
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One more thought. A pseudonym is different from an "anonym"! When we use the same identification repeatedly, it is not anonymity. An anonymous letter is unsigned. A "pseudonymous" letter has a signature, and if the the pseudonymous name appears frequently, a personality begins to be known and associated with it. There needs to be a distinction made between anonymity and "pseudonymity."

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It will be interesting to see where this goes.

 

I have a past, and while Heavenly Father forgives me, some will not. Do you really want to hear about my dirty little secrets. Well, there aren't as many as some think.  Can you believe that my Son thinks that I did the most despicable things imaginable with multiple partners?  In truth, there was only ever one person in my life.  Since joining the church, now for the first time I don't go to be wondering when I will put my .38 in my mouth ...  And, though I am not afraid of my Muslim friends, there could be the odd nut case that could take my head. When you leave Islam, the next Muslim you meet is supposed to kill you. That is why when most people ask, I just say I am both Muslim and Mormon.

 

And, yes there are some extremely nasty people on the internet. One of them over a period of weeks wore me down enough to make me want to leave Islam, of course he used the most pressing of tactics, so when he finally "broke" me, I knew I wanted to try christianity again, but most certainly NOT his religion. He was a monster to me.

 

By now you think my brains are on slow cook in the oven. Excuse me, they are almost done. :)

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I understand exactly what he is talking about, but I am not going to switch from Stargazer to my real name.  It's not necessary in any event because if you look at my signature here you will see that I am only slightly anonymous.  My real name is in my personal website Url, and my blogs contain my real name, too.

 

But the thing is, my real name is such a common one that there are three other people in my county with my name!  And there's only 100,000 people in this county.  There used to be four, and the fourth one was in my ward, fer crying out loud.  But he moved away, so no more confusion on that point at least.  You could probably find me if you wanted to, I'm not making it all that hard to stay hidden.

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One more thought. A pseudonym is different from an "anonym"! When we use the same identification repeatedly, it is not anonymity. An anonymous letter is unsigned. A "pseudonymous" letter has a signature, and if the the pseudonymous name appears frequently, a personality begins to be known and associated with it. There needs to be a distinction made between anonymity and "pseudonymity."

 

For some reason I don't remember, I started out as Cyberherbalist here, but abandoned it in favor of Stargazer.  I am Cyberherbalist about everywhere else on the web.  I guess that's my pseudonym.

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Well, atleast people like Duncan (Enzio), and Kenngo (pretty sure that was him)and 3Dopp put their real pictures of themselves up, that's saying a lot.

 

Yes, but Stargazer really needs a telescope.  Besides, you can find my pic easily enough, if you're even slightly ambitious.  Would you really want my mug on every post I make?  I didn't think so.

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My rules are pretty simple.

Always be on your best behavior when dealing online with others, and never put anything online you don't want made public. That goes for your real name as opposed to your screen name as well.

I was thinking just the other day, can you believe me thinking? ;) Anyway, I was thinking that my thoughts have been splattered all over on this board, though I'm embarrassed by some of my comments I really think that if any of my children read all my entries after my death, they'll finally know their real mom. I've hidden so much, putting on a front. to please. So I consider this a sort of diary of some sort. I remember throwing away my diary from high school because I was so embarrassed by it and didn't want my children seeing it. I don't think I can throw away what I've said on the board. In fact, I hope my husband will open his account on here when I die, (I'm going first!) and show them. Then they'll know of the internal struggle I was having because of some things in the church. And hopefully forgive me of being so absent a lot of the time.
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I would advise proceeding with caution. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was in posting under my real name (though the cat's out of the bag, so I have to live with it). It's one thing to put yourself out there, but when you use your real name, you also put your loved ones and friends at risk.

 

People have thrown a lot of mud at me, and that's fine with me, but things got very ugly when someone claiming to be an active LDS member sent a series of threatening letters to my wife, who is also active LDS. I never want to put her through that again, so I have tried to be far more careful and circumspect about what I post and where.

 

Just be aware that it doesn't just affect you.

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I would advise proceeding with caution. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was in posting under my real name (though the cat's out of the bag, so I have to live with it). It's one thing to put yourself out there, but when you use your real name, you also put your loved ones and friends at risk.

 

People have thrown a lot of mud at me, and that's fine with me, but things got very ugly when someone claiming to be an active LDS member sent a series of threatening letters to my wife, who is also active LDS. I never want to put her through that again, so I have tried to be far more careful and circumspect about what I post and where.

 

Just be aware that it doesn't just affect you.

Good reminder, John.

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This month's Ensign carries an article by Elder Quentin L. Cook warning against wearing "mask of anonymity" online. The article is taken from a talk originally given to young adults.

 

Elder Cook states the following:

 

 

Although Elder Cook's main concern here seems to be online bullying and "flaming," his comments prompted me to consider my own posting history. I have been posting under the handle "Nevo" on various LDS-themed discussion boards for about 13 years. I am coming up on 10 years on this board. Although I've generally avoided being a hateful bigot in my online communications, there are times when I might have been a bit more circumspect had I been posting under my real name.

 

Since I am not particularly concerned about cyberstalking or identity theft, I am thinking I might switch over to using my real name. But does anyone know if there is any mechanism available for changing one's user name on the board without having to start a new account? (I would hate to lose my hard-won "Contributor" status. There's no way I'll ever get to 3000 posts before the Millennium if I start over from 0!) 

 

I'm curious to know others' reactions to Elder Cook's comments. Are his concerns overblown or is he pointing to a real danger? If integrity is defined as "the state of being whole and undivided," shouldn't we be concerned by any divide between our online and our IRL selves? Or can wearing a mask sometimes help us to a better self (see, e.g., Wayne Booth's notion of "hypocrisy upward" here and here)?

 

There is a place in Profile to put your real name. 

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If you want to change your name, write the mods.  There have been a few who have done it, I am thinking DBMormon did.

I did it a few years ago.  I used to go by the screen name mbeesley, but then decided I wanted to own my words, completely.  I wrote to the mods asking them to change my screen name to Mark Beesley and, voila!

 

Of course, there may be other reasons to go by a different screen name, like, you get banned from an anti-mormon board and you want to keep poking them . . . :)  But in the end, that was such a waste of time that it was foolish.

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