83 votes

Your own user page now has paginated Topics and Comments views - let's talk about user history visibility

When you're viewing your own user page, there are now two other "tabs" available, one for showing only topics that you've posted, and one for only comments. These pages are paginated, so you can go back through your whole history of topics/comments. I also intend to make the "recent activity" view paginated as well, but that's a tiny bit more complicated, so I left it out for now.

I plan to extend the tabs/pagination to all user pages some time next week, but as I previously promised, I wanted to give people at least a few days to be able to review their own posts and go back and see if there's anything they want to edit/delete before other users can more easily look through their posts.

This leads into a discussion that I want to have about whether we should do anything special to hide user history.

In general, I think that showing user history is good. It's valuable from an accountability perspective and it has a lot of legitimate benefits. If I run across a user that consistently makes good posts, it's nice to be able to look at their history and see some of the other comments they've made. Maybe (once the site is larger, anyway), I'll even learn about some new groups that I'm interested in by seeing where that user hangs out.

However, there are also obvious downsides, and we're seeing some major demonstrations of this in the media lately (mostly applied to Twitter). I don't want to get into the individual cases, but there have been repeated instances of people digging up years-old tweets and using them as ways to attack people. The main problem with this is that a full history (especially when combined with search) makes it very easy to find things to shame people about, especially when they're pulled entirely out of context of how they were written in the first place.

Tildes is still very new, but this is a real possibility as the site goes on. Do we want people to be able to easily dig up old comments a user made 5+ years ago? Do the potential downsides of that ability outweigh the benefits from being able to easily look back through a user's history?

One other thing to keep in mind is that once the site is publicly visible (and especially once there's an API), there will be external databases of everyone's posts. We can make it more difficult/inconvenient for people to be able to search/review user history, but we can't make it impossible. There's just no way to do that with a site where your posts are public.

Let me know your thoughts, it's a really difficult subject and one that I've been thinking about a lot myself as more and more of these "person in spotlight has embarrassing social media history" cases come up.

86 comments

  1. [25]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [4]
      Gaywallet Link Parent
      To add to this, I think the default should be 1 year unless a user opts out. Don't make it default to forever and force an opt-in to a lesser amount of time, as many people won't bother to set...

      To add to this, I think the default should be 1 year unless a user opts out. Don't make it default to forever and force an opt-in to a lesser amount of time, as many people won't bother to set this up.

      28 votes
      1. [3]
        nacho Link Parent
        Here's an anecdote for why that's not a great way of doing it. The default should be everything public, forever unless you actively go through and dissociate individual pieces of content from your...

        Here's an anecdote for why that's not a great way of doing it.

        The default should be everything public, forever unless you actively go through and dissociate individual pieces of content from your account. Having seas of [deleted] ruin old threads is not normal or desirable.

        Anecdote:

        I'm on a political forum. It's been active from 2001-2 until today. It's incredibly interesting being able to go back and read how a specific political issue, say gun control, gay rights, marijuana, were viewed 5 years, 10 years, 15 years ago.

        This obviously spawns a lot of really awesome political discussions today, and also a record of how we looked back at say Afghanistan in 2003, in 2008, and 2013. Because it's an awesome political forum and talking politics anywhere, and especially online, often sucks, there are many of us who've got active participation through 5 years, 10 years, so having the usernames there next to the old content adds a lot of context.

        People change too, and everyone understands that. The guy who was 14 and asking questions because she was interested in civics can now be pushing 30 and be a mother of two. She can have totally different views now, but still learn a lot about herself by seeing what she thought then.


        It's my view that deletion or dissociation from past contributions should be time-consuming. I'd be all for captchas or other solutions that require human input so scripts can just run through huge volumes of contributions.

        People should actively delete the specific things they want to get rid of. If you spend 3 minutes on writing an average comment, you can handle it taking 10 seconds to delete. If that stops you from deleting a bunch of things, then deleting them wasn't important in the first place.

        14 votes
        1. [2]
          Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          I think you've misunderstood the intention here. This isn't about removing someone's comments from old threads. It's about deciding how far back other people can trawl through a user's profile page.

          Having seas of [deleted] ruin old threads is not normal or desirable.

          I think you've misunderstood the intention here. This isn't about removing someone's comments from old threads. It's about deciding how far back other people can trawl through a user's profile page.

          31 votes
          1. meghan Link Parent
            which preventing someone to do so doesn't accomplish anything

            which preventing someone to do so doesn't accomplish anything

    2. [11]
      Emerald_Knight Link Parent
      This was my immediate thought as well. Enforce a minimum length of time for the sake of accountability, but otherwise allow users to set any maximum time-frame they want before hiding their posts....

      This was my immediate thought as well. Enforce a minimum length of time for the sake of accountability, but otherwise allow users to set any maximum time-frame they want before hiding their posts.

      For the sake of keeping content in place for others to view, however, those comments and topics from a user falling outside of the maximum time period should still be visible on the site, but simply anonymized when displayed.

      12 votes
      1. [10]
        Deimos Link Parent
        Hmm, I think you're looking at it a little more drastically. If someone chooses something like "show 1 month of my history", my expectation would be that it only applies to their user page. Every...

        Hmm, I think you're looking at it a little more drastically. If someone chooses something like "show 1 month of my history", my expectation would be that it only applies to their user page. Every post they've made on the site outside that time period wouldn't get disassociated from them. They're just not browsable through their user page.

        26 votes
        1. Emerald_Knight Link Parent
          I guess I misunderstood the problem space. I understood it as a general site-wide privacy concern, but with this follow-up it sounds more like a privacy concern with regards to user profiles only....

          I guess I misunderstood the problem space. I understood it as a general site-wide privacy concern, but with this follow-up it sounds more like a privacy concern with regards to user profiles only. In that case, the solutions are nearly identical, with the difference being a lack of anonymizing of older content.

          Either way, the option of a cut-off with an enforced minimum should balance out the privacy and accountability concerns :)

          2 votes
        2. [6]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [5]
            Deimos Link Parent
            You can already delete anything/everything you've posted if you want to. Do you mean some sort of feature like "automatically delete all my posts after 1 month" though? That's not something I've...

            You can already delete anything/everything you've posted if you want to. Do you mean some sort of feature like "automatically delete all my posts after 1 month" though? That's not something I've really thought about. It's possible, but I'm not sure if it's something we'd want to have officially.

            10 votes
            1. Krael Link Parent
              While we're on the subject, I'd really like to see a way to remove my username from comments without deleting them outright. Anonymizing comments is a nice medium between maintaining privacy and...

              While we're on the subject, I'd really like to see a way to remove my username from comments without deleting them outright. Anonymizing comments is a nice medium between maintaining privacy and having old threads with a sea of deleted comments.

              3 votes
            2. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
              Automatic purging of comment history is happening on reddit already anyways. There are tons of scripts out there that do it for you and their use appears to be getting way more prevalent based on...

              Automatic purging of comment history is happening on reddit already anyways. There are tons of scripts out there that do it for you and their use appears to be getting way more prevalent based on the amount of "this comment has been overwritten by X script" comments I have been seeing lately when vetting invite requests.

              So, similar to throwaways, since it's already being done by people, why not have an officially supported mechanism to do so? At least that way you can minimize the harm it causes to the site by making the "dissociate / anonymize" topics and comments mechanic be the default option provided to users rather than in some third party script where completely overwritting their comments with garbage text, an advertisement for the script itself or deleting them entirely is the default.

              3 votes
            3. ruspaceni Link Parent
              Perhaps there could be something in the side bar of the user page for this. Anything older than your privacy threshold will show up in a rolling list like reddits "recently viewed" but ideally...

              Perhaps there could be something in the side bar of the user page for this. Anything older than your privacy threshold will show up in a rolling list like reddits "recently viewed" but ideally larger.

              From there you could keep an eye on your 'distant past' and delete the things you're uncomfortable with keeping around and the rest will just scroll off the bottom. If there's a button right there to delete>confirmdelete then it might be a more consciously viable official solution

              2 votes
            4. [2]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. Deimos Link Parent
                Oh, just individually delete all the posts, I meant. You can access them all through your user page now.

                Oh, just individually delete all the posts, I meant. You can access them all through your user page now.

        3. [3]
          noah Link Parent
          (from your other comment) If the anonymous posting feature is ever implemented, could we have any posts we've made after the time set for our posts to be hidden have an anonymous username...

          What if all of those had been fully logged and everything that I ever said was public and attached to my name? I guarantee that I made some stupid jokes/statements 15+ years ago, and being able to have any of those searched for, pulled out of context and held against me would be awful.

          (from your other comment)

          If the anonymous posting feature is ever implemented, could we have any posts we've made after the time set for our posts to be hidden have an anonymous username attached? Maybe even handle deleted posts that way, instead of having it just say [deleted] or whatnot?

          I regularly purge my reddit history after having modded AR and having issues with users looking through history, but I'd rather not feel the need to do that here. I think this would be a nice compromise and I'd love all of the privacy functionality to be sorted out before tildes hits the floodgates (as well as the google databases)

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            Deimos Link Parent
            I think it's possible, we can discuss it at some point for sure. One potential issue with that is that when people "disassociate" comments like that, they'll probably eventually also lose control...

            I think it's possible, we can discuss it at some point for sure. One potential issue with that is that when people "disassociate" comments like that, they'll probably eventually also lose control of them and not be able to edit or delete them. That could turn out to be a big issue when it's happening automatically, and then someone suddenly realizes they need to go edit/delete an old comment but it's no longer considered "theirs".

            6 votes
            1. noah Link Parent
              I'm not sure if it would be too resource-intensive to have some sort of flag for usernames with the length of time displayed, and use that to show anonymous, rather than just flipping a switch and...

              I'm not sure if it would be too resource-intensive to have some sort of flag for usernames with the length of time displayed, and use that to show anonymous, rather than just flipping a switch and not allowing people to edit the comments anymore?

              If this could be done, then when people extend or contract their window of association older or newer threads could adjust accordingly.

              2 votes
    3. [7]
      JayJay Link Parent
      That would be great. Also I don't wan't this to come off as "victim blaming" those who use their real identities, but shouldn't people be more responsible with their information? On reddit I have...

      That would be great. Also I don't wan't this to come off as "victim blaming" those who use their real identities, but shouldn't people be more responsible with their information? On reddit I have a "real life" account, and then an anonymous account which I use to discuss politics and other more sensitive issues I wouldn't want someone to use against me later. Heck, maybe this could somehow translate into an actual feature, like allowing users to flag a post they are making to hide it from their own history?

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [4]
          JayJay Link Parent
          Well said. If anyone ever found my high school livejournal from 15 years ago i'd probably have to turn off the internet and never return.

          I have adamantly defended some idiotic opinions I held when I was younger, and considered myself proud for holding them, but it’s something I’d shudder to have held against me later.

          Well said. If anyone ever found my high school livejournal from 15 years ago i'd probably have to turn off the internet and never return.

          13 votes
          1. [3]
            Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
            The parallel that I always think of for these Twitter shamings is all the IRC rooms that I hung out in when I was much younger. What if all of those had been fully logged and everything that I...

            The parallel that I always think of for these Twitter shamings is all the IRC rooms that I hung out in when I was much younger. What if all of those had been fully logged and everything that I ever said was public and attached to my name? I guarantee that I made some stupid jokes/statements 15+ years ago, and being able to have any of those searched for, pulled out of context and held against me would be awful.

            And that's basically what's happening with Twitter. Most people treat Twitter very casually, similar to chat.

            13 votes
            1. JayJay Link Parent
              Very true, but I also think back to my IRC/AOL/ICQ days and there is one huge key difference between now and then, I never used my real information. I didn't know the real identity to most of the...

              Very true, but I also think back to my IRC/AOL/ICQ days and there is one huge key difference between now and then, I never used my real information. I didn't know the real identity to most of the people I befriended back then. Only my most serious and long lasting friendships from those times ever crossed into real life and I think I can say the same of most people I met during the days before social media.

              I think information has always been out there on the internet for people to find and use against others (4chan and somethingawful have done it for as long as they existed), but today our real identities are so intertwined with what we post, it makes it easier to use that information against us. Without using the government you probably could not ever piece together my 15+ year internet history, but in 15 years from now it's going to be ridiculously easy to see what 27 year old Timmy said when he got his first taste of twitter at age 12. I really feel bad for those growing up on the internet and not knowing the consequences of what they say and who is tracking them. I mourn the loss of the "anonymous" internet sometimes.

              7 votes
            2. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
              If they're not aware that everything they post on the internet is public and permanent, that's their problem, not Twitter's or anyone else's.

              Most people treat Twitter very casually, similar to chat.

              If they're not aware that everything they post on the internet is public and permanent, that's their problem, not Twitter's or anyone else's.

              4 votes
      2. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        You might be interested in this previous discussion: Daily Tildes discussion - allowing users to post anonymously?

        maybe this could somehow translate into an actual feature, like allowing users to flag a post they are making to hide it from their own history?

        You might be interested in this previous discussion: Daily Tildes discussion - allowing users to post anonymously?

        5 votes
        1. JayJay Link Parent
          Thanks, that is a great source of information on potential solutions tilde can implement.

          Thanks, that is a great source of information on potential solutions tilde can implement.

          2 votes
    4. Catt Link Parent
      I really like this idea. It would be nice if it were separate for topic posts and comments too.

      I really like this idea. It would be nice if it were separate for topic posts and comments too.

      3 votes
    5. luffy Link Parent
      This seems to be the best solution. Here is how I would split the options up: unlimited (default) 1 year 3 months 1 month

      This seems to be the best solution.

      Here is how I would split the options up:

      1. unlimited (default)
      2. 1 year
      3. 3 months
      4. 1 month
      1 vote
  2. [6]
    Amarok (edited ) Link
    One of the things we need to be doing here on Tildes that is not done on other sites is federated access. This is how I'd federate things... People without accounts get no access at all to the...

    One of the things we need to be doing here on Tildes that is not done on other sites is federated access.

    This is how I'd federate things...

    • People without accounts get no access at all to the user profile pages and histories.
    • The users get full, searchable access to their own profile and history.
    • Newbies without trust get access to one page of a user's history.
    • This scales up, higher tiers of trust get access to a couple months of other user's histories.
    • The top tier of trust can access up to a year of other user's histories.
    • Admins would obviously get access to the full history of every user.

    Users can choose to override this in their profiles if they wish, and open up their profile history to all other users if they want to do it. I don't think I'd let them close it up completely to other trusted users, though. That's where the accountability comes in.

    I suppose they could also have an option to open up their profile to users without accounts to view - but for some reason, that bugs me, I don't like it. If you aren't a member of the site, you should get nothing. Your tildes profile is not a substitute for a facebook/tumblr/twitter. If we want something like that in the future (ugh) let it be something separate, like a Tildes-run Mastodon instance.

    I don't see much point in letting someone read another user's history past a year. There's no real reason to go back that far unless you're stalking the user. Even for moderation tasks related to user vetting, only the more recent history is relevant to those actions. If there are 'strikes' or other methods of accountability, let those exist in a separate system somewhere independent of the user's history.

    If people want to scrape Tildes for the user data, we don't have to make that easy. That sort of activity is easy to detect and block (rapid loading of user's histories in bulk through the API or website itself). Make the external sites that are trying to copy everything work hard for it. Just because they can build a database doesn't mean they'll want to put in that much effort to do it. We do it this way and we're putting a barrier up that makes bad behavior more difficult and more easy to detect.


    Somewhat related to this is the anonymous posting and disassociation we've talked about before. I consider that a fully separate issue here not related at all to the user profiles and user histories. If someone wants to post anonymously, only the admins should be able to see who it is for abuse cases (and perhaps, the tip-top tier of trusted mods, but only for posts made in the communities they steward). Even that data should expire rapidly, making the comment truly anonymous.

    For disassociation, the only reason we're talking about it is because it's less damaging than deletion when looking at old threads. Instead of tons of 'deleted' comments we'd see lots that are 'disassociated' without usernames. That's fine - if someone wants to disconnect old content from their account that's their decision. Once they disassociate it that data should also expire rapidly and leave the comment as truly anonymous with no way to look it up again.

    I'd also like to see tools for doing this built right into Tildes, so that users can go through their histories and do these things as they see fit. The last thing we want is a pile of sketchy scripts and addons built to do a piss-poor job of this like what exists for reddit.

    Also, the user should absolutely have a 'nuke my account' button that really, truly deletes their account and disassociates all of their past comments in one smash.

    I would also refrain from giving new users access to anonymous posting and disassociation. That's a reward for good behavior, suited to long-term users. I'd base it more on age than on earned trust/credit. The abuse potential for new accounts is just too strong, they'd make quite a mess for the mods/admins to clean up.

    The issue of having a bunch of new people come in for an AMA (and not be able to contribute without accounts) is separate from this. That'd be some kind of 'open thread' model where all the comments are made anonymously for users without accounts, not tied into the existing user system. They'd simply be able to comment without logging in just on that thread.

    18 votes
    1. [2]
      crius Link Parent
      The only downside for this system, which I like because it relies on the trust system, is that if the user's account with high trust is compromised, the unauthorized user would have access to lots...

      The only downside for this system, which I like because it relies on the trust system, is that if the user's account with high trust is compromised, the unauthorized user would have access to lots of data.

      So I'd suggest instead that the user setting will overwrite the default not only in the direction of "allowing more" but also allowing less.

      After all, within the trust system itself, a troll shouldn't have that much easy life anyway and more trusted users I'm sure have better to do than go digging other users history.

      The shouldn't be really any reason to go and search a user history, honestly.

      The tags/report/whatever should work on a crowd powered system (a single tag should never becomes settled by a single high trusted users anyway) so I really can't see a reason to force-grant sine users more visibility.

      Of course admins are out of this discussion.

      6 votes
      1. Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
        With strong 2FA being a default requirement in the future, we'd have far fewer incidents of account compromise than are typically seen on other sites. I think it's more likely people would sell...

        With strong 2FA being a default requirement in the future, we'd have far fewer incidents of account compromise than are typically seen on other sites. I think it's more likely people would sell their accounts once they have high trust. That has consequences much worse than access to user histories (rogue mods), so we'll want to do something about that as well.

        Even if the account is compromised, if we see a user suddenly going through hundreds of pages of history, we know that's not a human doing it. The browsing pattern of a person reading a history page and a program reading a history page are quite different. We can introduce captchas or rate-limits and triggers that throw up a red flag based on that behavior to help make it more obvious when someone is trying to vacuum user data out of the site. None of these are particularly difficult systems to build.

        The most important reason to allow access to user histories is for abuse detection. When someone does something bad (which we notice due to the reports/tags), the very first step in determining the proper response is to view their user history and determine if this is a one-off 'bad day' event or if it's a pattern of bad behavior.

        We'd have forgiveness for the bad days, but not for patterns of bad behavior. If the users themselves can't check up on this, that means the admins have to do it, and there's no way a paid staff of even a dozen people can keep up with vetting abuse cases for hundreds of thousands of users. It has to be in the open so everyone can pitch in or we will have no way to hold users accountable because the workload will become unmanageable, just like on reddit.

        I do think it would be wise to make sure there is no way to interact with that user on their profile page (unlike reddit) - so while browsing it, there's no upvoting, tagging, replying, etc. All of the interaction should take place wherever the original comments/submissions exist, not ever on profile pages. Also remember we're planning to put threads into 'archive mode' faster than reddit - probably after 30 days, so people won't even be able to reply to old content. Tildes won't even remember who voted on what after the archive kicks in - the goal is to keep as little long-term data as possible.

        9 votes
    2. [2]
      blanketNTea Link Parent
      In addition to the 'nuke my account' button, it would be great to have one to delete one's account but keep all the comments in the threads just with 'account deleted' in place of the username.

      Also, the user should absolutely have a 'nuke my account' button that really, truly deletes their account >and disassociates all of their past comments in one smash.

      In addition to the 'nuke my account' button, it would be great to have one to delete one's account but keep all the comments in the threads just with 'account deleted' in place of the username.

      3 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        That's what disassociating means - replacing the username with a placeholder, and that'd be the default behavior of the nuke option. A more interesting question is do we want to have a second nuke...

        That's what disassociating means - replacing the username with a placeholder, and that'd be the default behavior of the nuke option. A more interesting question is do we want to have a second nuke option that allows the user to actually delete everything instead of just disassociating from it?

        If we don't, I imagine people will write scripts/addons to do it. We've all seen those reddit-replacers that go back and edit the entire user history replacing all of the comments with a boilerplate message as well. How far back do we want users to be able to edit their own posts? Do we want users editing their content in old 'archived' threads years later, or do we only give them the disassociate/delete options?

        I guess all of this depends on how much value we assign to 'old' content. We've all seen multi-year-old stickies and threads being updated years after they were created on reddit, but those are far more exception than rule overall. This is trickier on Tildes if we plan to follow through with the archive mode wiping all the data that isn't critical, such as how people voted. Once that data is discarded it's not so simple to reactivate an old thread.

        I'd really like to move into the mindset of keeping all the important stuff created by any given group in that group's wiki instead of old/sticky threads. We don't have wiki pages here on Tildes yet but we certainly will at some point. It's not that useful on reddit because there's no way to short-link to a wiki page from a comment like we do with ~group.names. I'd really like to take the wiki here to the next level and make it easy to do something to &link to a wiki page. It'd make sharing rules, content, lists, FAQs, common rebuttal collections etc much simpler and foster a bit more group collaboration.

        We might want to give users their own wiki pages as well - not to be a blog, just so they can keep relevant big stuff around like curated content lists. We've all seen for example 'suggested mods' threads on /r/skyrim that are years old and still updating, or wall-of-text common rebuttals to disinfo in places like /r/politics. All of this is a form of always-updating community content that really doesn't fit into the 'thread' model. I'd like to find better ways to facilitate that sort of collaborated content than exist on reddit.

        5 votes
    3. CrazyOtter Link Parent
      I really like having a graded trust based approach to viewing a users post history. Also I can't see a good reason to let a non user view post histories, obviously it's tough to completely stop...

      I really like having a graded trust based approach to viewing a users post history. Also I can't see a good reason to let a non user view post histories, obviously it's tough to completely stop automated scrapers but it should be made difficult.

  3. [5]
    jgb Link
    You can't delete things from the internet. I feel bad for the people getting fired for stuff they said a decade ago, including those on both sides of the political spectrum, but when a google...

    You can't delete things from the internet. I feel bad for the people getting fired for stuff they said a decade ago, including those on both sides of the political spectrum, but when a google search with a few carefully chosen keywords can unearth this stuff anyway the it's not pragmatic to deliberately cripple a site's UI just for the sake of putting a minor roadblock in the way of malicious parties.

    16 votes
    1. [3]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [2]
        jgb Link Parent
        Recent 'unearthings' have been primarily committed by 4chan alt-righters, who while mostly reprehensible human beings, are often both intelligent and very capable internet users. They aren't the...

        Most people are stymied when the information they seek isn't immediately available to them in a convenient format

        Recent 'unearthings' have been primarily committed by 4chan alt-righters, who while mostly reprehensible human beings, are often both intelligent and very capable internet users. They aren't the sort of people to be stopped in their tracks by a underpowered UI.

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. jgb Link Parent
            The James Gunn case was based on tweets that were unearthed, apologised for, and deleted many years ago, and then brought up again for the sake of starting a firestorm.

            The James Gunn case was based on tweets that were unearthed, apologised for, and deleted many years ago, and then brought up again for the sake of starting a firestorm.

            8 votes
    2. [2]
      aethicglass Link Parent
      This may hold true for some things that go viral, or high visibility accounts. But in many cases it is possible to remove material before it becomes a liability. When "googling" someone became a...

      You can't delete things from the internet.

      This may hold true for some things that go viral, or high visibility accounts. But in many cases it is possible to remove material before it becomes a liability. When "googling" someone became a thing, not just a capability but a passtime, I had to go through and remove loads of embarrassing crap. There was one site that remained that didn't have the option. After 22 years, it's still there. I don't know who the hell is keeping it running, but I've never been successful in contacting someone to remove it.

      I don't think that providing users methods to manage their post visibility "cripples the site's UI". Hell, even Facebook, privacy nightmare that it is, allows users the ability to bury their past. Personally, I think that giving people functional ways to address privacy concerns is a bit more important than UI.

      9 votes
      1. Tenar Link Parent
        holiday in the EU (if a VPN doesn't work?), GDPR letter, and you might be able to get it removed?

        holiday in the EU (if a VPN doesn't work?), GDPR letter, and you might be able to get it removed?

        2 votes
  4. Shahriar Link
    I've noticed this myself when viewing my 'Recent Activity' page on my profile and was wondering where my submissions and comments went! I personally think that if the API will eventually allow...

    I've noticed this myself when viewing my 'Recent Activity' page on my profile and was wondering where my submissions and comments went!

    I personally think that if the API will eventually allow users and systems to be implemented to view all this data anyways, there's no point in really hiding this information on a profile page either. I get the reasoning for it to prevent all this information stacking up overtime that is easily accessible on someone's profile, but if it will be able to be seen by all from the API, what's the point?

    If the profile will hide it after some time, I think the API should be restricted to the same duration.

    7 votes
  5. Cocoa Link
    As much as I hate seeing "x said y three years ago therefore their point is invalid and they're a terrible person" it is pretty much inevitable that there will conflict over people's posting...

    As much as I hate seeing "x said y three years ago therefore their point is invalid and they're a terrible person" it is pretty much inevitable that there will conflict over people's posting histories, be it through first party viewing or through third party services, its just unavoidable. I think that the legitimate benefits of having user history accessible on the site (new community discovery and such) don't outweigh the negative ramifications of having a user history publicly available, but seeing as the negatives are inevitable it might as well just be a feature so people can get the good with the bad instead of just the bad.

    That being said, it could be interesting to see how well a partial implementation with an arbitrary cutoff (ex: no posts shown publicly on user profiles older than 6 months) would work. That would prevent too much digging through histories on the site itself, but probably keep all but the more dedicated trolls from turning to third party services.

    5 votes
  6. [3]
    meghan Link
    Is the "Best", "Newest", "Oldest" options coming as well?

    Is the "Best", "Newest", "Oldest" options coming as well?

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      They can be, it's easy to add different sorting options. It wasn't something I was planning to work on right away, but I'll add an issue for it.

      They can be, it's easy to add different sorting options. It wasn't something I was planning to work on right away, but I'll add an issue for it.

      9 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        When you're adding a "Best" sorting option, can you also add a "Worst" sorting option? Sometimes you just wanna reverse that sort from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.

        When you're adding a "Best" sorting option, can you also add a "Worst" sorting option? Sometimes you just wanna reverse that sort from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.

        8 votes
  7. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. Tenar Link Parent
      Like the black mirror episode?

      Like the black mirror episode?

  8. yellow Link
    On reddit, people can get pretty nasty looking through others' histories in the middle of arguments. Granted, it is often used 'for good' to call out trolls and liars, but I'm not sure it should...

    On reddit, people can get pretty nasty looking through others' histories in the middle of arguments. Granted, it is often used 'for good' to call out trolls and liars, but I'm not sure it should available. My suggestion would be have histories hidden by default and have an option to make them public (people who create stuff, like art, might want to help people find more of the work).

    Maybe mods should have the ability to review a limited history?

    5 votes
  9. MADAtron Link
    I think it'd be a nice feature to be able to select a predetermined length of time that comments are publicly visible to other regular users, maybe "Comment history visibility: 1 day / 1 week / 1...

    I think it'd be a nice feature to be able to select a predetermined length of time that comments are publicly visible to other regular users, maybe "Comment history visibility: 1 day / 1 week / 1 month / forever". That gives individual users a fair bit of control over how much of their history can be seen by other casual users.

    4 votes
  10. pipsy Link
    I'd say let the user decide, and make all public by default. If they don't want their history shown, they can hide it via a preference.

    I'd say let the user decide, and make all public by default. If they don't want their history shown, they can hide it via a preference.

    4 votes
  11. [3]
    deciduous Link
    I do like the suggestions about letting the user set how far back their user history goes on their user page. However, I hope that tildes never really has a need for it. If we reach a point where...

    I do like the suggestions about letting the user set how far back their user history goes on their user page. However, I hope that tildes never really has a need for it. If we reach a point where people are going back through histories to defame each other in bad faith, then the sites has far worse problems. User history is a valuable tool that lets us hold users accountable for what they say and to learn more about perspectives that we may be interested in or ones that may challenge us.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      I agree with the sentiment, but the problem is that it's not just restricted to Tildes users and how they behave on this site alone. Tildes isn't going to require an invite to be able to view...

      I agree with the sentiment, but the problem is that it's not just restricted to Tildes users and how they behave on this site alone. Tildes isn't going to require an invite to be able to view forever (or even for probably much longer), and then there will be the potential for anyone to be looking through user histories for any purpose.

      1 vote
      1. deciduous Link Parent
        Fair point. In that case, the ability to hide history on your user page without deleting the past discussion seems like a pretty good compromise.

        Fair point. In that case, the ability to hide history on your user page without deleting the past discussion seems like a pretty good compromise.

        1 vote
  12. aethicglass Link
    I like to be able to read through people's posts from time to time because it gives me a deeper context than what I might have within a post or thread on its own. But I think control over privacy...

    I like to be able to read through people's posts from time to time because it gives me a deeper context than what I might have within a post or thread on its own. But I think control over privacy should take prescedent over convenience.

    Personally, I'm burned out on having to manage so many different social accounts and ensure that the past doesn't come back to bite me. Or worse yet, that online trolls become real life trolls. It can be really difficult to manage identifying data and still be a human. That is, if I want to have any kind of personality online, I have to put a certain amount of myself out there. Each data point on it's own is insufficient, but enough start to form a picture. I can remember details that would be useful for someone trying to dox me going back maybe a month or two. Beyond that, I rely heavily on security through obscurity, and an occasional scouring of history.

    Histories can and should be available for a degree of accountability, sure. But we live in an age where identity itself has become weaponized.

    Scouring history and deleting posts may be a functional method for mitigating the potential, but it's time consuming as hell and doesn't seem particularly elegant as far as solutions go.

    I think it would be good to have a minimum period required to keep posts in history for accountability's sake (still manually deletable/editable of course). Maybe 1-3 months seems reasonable to me. Beyond that, any tools to make it easier for the user to automate what remains visible would be very useful for streamlining the process.

    For instance, if I want all of my posts to become hidden via profile asap, I would only have to actively track the past 3 months of activity. If I feel more inclined to share more of my post history, I could open it up indefinitely. Maybe if I wanted only posts in ~creative to be visible to share my work, or if I want to specifically hide posts from ~talk because I get too chatty too often for my own good, some way to automate to that end could be useful. Although, that seems much more difficult to streamline than a hard time limit or count limit.

    Sorry for the ramble. I just wanted to address a couple points that seemed lower priority to others.

    4 votes
  13. dredmorbius Link
    A quick "thanks", as this is something I'd specifically missed and requested.

    A quick "thanks", as this is something I'd specifically missed and requested.

    4 votes
  14. [2]
    Tenar Link
    I don't think this has been mentioned yet, but what about limiting it to logged in users? (maybe as a toggle, ofc). As in, random person (or google bot crawler) gets to see nada, or 1 week, or...

    I don't think this has been mentioned yet, but what about limiting it to logged in users? (maybe as a toggle, ofc).

    As in, random person (or google bot crawler) gets to see nada, or 1 week, or whatever. but someone logged in gets to see x amount. (or all; basically weigh/incorporate other peoples suggestions wrt timelines, mods vs admins vs amount of trust people have leading to how much they see, toggles, etc.). In any case I'd really like to see the option of at least non-logged in users not being able to click on my name & see a ton.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. Tenar Link Parent
        the "sign up solely to spy" is why I thought it might weigh in trust as well, so that people don't just sign up to go through your entire history, but have to earn a certain amount of reputation...

        the "sign up solely to spy" is why I thought it might weigh in trust as well, so that people don't just sign up to go through your entire history, but have to earn a certain amount of reputation here before being able to do something like that. I mean it won't keep out someone who's dedicated but it'll stop people who are looking to look through your stuff in the next 5 minutes without caring much more, which just might be enough (in certain cases)

  15. Emerald_Knight Link
    I saw these pretty much immediately as they were added, but thought I just managed to overlook them and the announcement topic. I'm glad to see this much-awaited feature is in place! :)

    I saw these pretty much immediately as they were added, but thought I just managed to overlook them and the announcement topic. I'm glad to see this much-awaited feature is in place! :)

    3 votes
  16. [20]
    nacho Link
    Democracies thrive and function on the premise that people are accountable and therefore not anonymous. In democracies, there have to be specific and strong reasons for anonymity. If you're saying...

    Democracies thrive and function on the premise that people are accountable and therefore not anonymous.

    In democracies, there have to be specific and strong reasons for anonymity.

    If you're saying things behind an online pseudonym you can't handle being part of a public, lasting record, maybe don't say those things?


    The ability to delete or hide your content without that demanding considerable effort strongly favors uncivil and low effort content. It goes against the entire premise of tildes as a site. It reduces accountability and disincentives thinking about what you contribute.


    Further, automatic deletion or delisting of content, making things harder to find makes the site less useable. It also gives a false sense of security through obscurity. I'm certain there are full databases of tildes already. That trend won't stop, and its only a matter of time before those databases become public and searchable.


    Speech comes with responsibility, accountability and consequence. As it should, because civility is a prerequisite for the exchange of ideas and a robust public debate.

    Your wish for privacy and lack of accountability even through the use of anonymous pseudonym must end much before the community's needs for conditions that stimulate meaningful conversation arise.

    3 votes
    1. [10]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [9]
        nacho Link Parent
        If someone is so unreasonable they don't understand that people can change over the course of a year or two or three or five or ten aren't worth your time. You retain every right to develop and...

        If someone is so unreasonable they don't understand that people can change over the course of a year or two or three or five or ten aren't worth your time.

        You retain every right to develop and change your views while there's a persistent record of what you've said still exists.

        That view will surely gain much more attention and be a greater part of conversation as more and more folks who have documented their entire childhoods online in blogs, instagram accounts etc. become adults and parents.


        I just don't share that concern at all. And I don't think others should either.

        If I were to view a politician changing their mind on an issue after 10 years, or a week with access to completely new facts as a Flip-flopper, that says more about me than them.

        As does assuming people are completely static beings online. We all know ourselves better than that and have to recognize others have just the same kind of internal lives as ourselves.

        1. [8]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [7]
            nacho Link Parent
            That's a completely different setting than any of us acting under a pseudonym on this site. I say things here I wouldn't say on a public facebook account. As a public person, even my grandma knows...

            That's a completely different setting than any of us acting under a pseudonym on this site. I say things here I wouldn't say on a public facebook account.

            As a public person, even my grandma knows there are things she wouldn't want to be quoted on in the paper that she therefore won't say to a reporter or in public. She doesn't post those things publicly with her picture and name next to them online.


            Why should it be acceptable for people to leave those consequences of saying controversial things in public just because they're saying them by use of the internet in some form or other?

            Why does being online somehow justify that you're no longer accountable?

            I can dig through old newspapers, old tv shows, old magazines just the same way I can go through a twitter feed.

            I know not to make a racist joke in a public speech or presentation. If I'm an idiot saying stupidly controversial things that could hurt my livelihood now or in the future, that's on me.


            That be as it may, I don't view any of those reasonable considerations for public figures relevant to tildes at all. We write behind pseudonym and are not accountable in the same way unless we actively take steps to identify ourselves.

            That makes it so much harder to understand people that feel the need to sign those controversial views or edgy jokes under their own names.

            I don't think being on the internet entitles me to be an idiot or face fewer consequences than what I do anywhere else.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. nacho Link Parent
                Accountability and the negatives are often what set the tone of a site. Look at reddit: if you allow your site to be taken over by racists due to people being completely unaccountable for anything...

                Accountability and the negatives are often what set the tone of a site.

                Look at reddit: if you allow your site to be taken over by racists due to people being completely unaccountable for anything they say, that's all that's left on the site.


                The positive examples are just as important:

                If you share all this awesome cooking content you're free to go and delete it if you don't want us who love your awesome cooking content to check it out later down the line, or new users who discover you in the future at some point.

                You can still go through and individually delete content you don't want to share anymore, but tildes and its community isn't served by people deleting awesome content automatically rather than having to check it manually.


                I have been and am a member of forums that function exceptionally well. We're talking both small forums where I've made friends good enough to make lasting meatspace friendships, vacation together etc.

                And (somewhat) large forums that hold such a quality community they're just as active as they were before reddit essentially killed off most online forums through sheer size.

                Some of the things I enjoy most on smaller, less active forums is the ability to go back and read awesome threads written 10 years ago. And those places not being a sea of [deleted] but an exchange with the same folks I talk to today.

                I've moderated online forums for 15 years. What characterizes all the successful forums I've ever encountered isn't that there isn't a need for moderation, it's that sensible moderators create an environment through active and timely moderation that lead users to self-moderate so the moderators end up doing very little moderation in practice.

                Many of them also do not have content published publicly, which creates a totally different arena than any site that can be indexed by any bot roaming the web.


                The positives of a record are also incredibly enlightening after the fact.

                A political forum I'm a part of has great, high quality discussion of politics from around 2001-2 until today. It's incredibly enlightening, informative and interesting to be able to go back and read all those conversations. Not just have to speculate and go off memory on how we thought and what the feeling was like, to see the primary sources.

                Sure you could maintain that conversation without it being a sea of [deleted] or so piecemeal it'd be useless even without usernames. But seeing how your friends or random internet strangers develop and grow and their views develop is so giving.

                Seeing how that 15-year old becomes first a young adult, then an informed adult and then an opinion-leader. From India, from Australia, South Africa, from all around the world.

                That's content you can't get anywhere else, and even though I couldn't identify any of those people and wouldn't know it if I met them on the street, that kind of environment is something you can create on a forum.

                And nowhere else. A prerequisite is that you don't let people randomly delete stuff en masse instead of selectively weeding out individual pieces of content.

                3 votes
            2. [5]
              aethicglass Link Parent
              People get doxxed. Often enough that there's a word for it. It's not just about being held accountable for controversial or inflammatory things, it's about being able to manage details about...

              That's a completely different setting than any of us acting under a pseudonym on this site.

              People get doxxed. Often enough that there's a word for it. It's not just about being held accountable for controversial or inflammatory things, it's about being able to manage details about yourself.

              My username is tied to multiple other accounts on other platforms. Since it's been a while since I've prodded at my identity, odds are good that my online identity traces back to my real identity.

              Accountability for my own actions is one thing. Being doxxed by a brigade is entirely different. My actual identity ties to the actual identities of loved ones who aren't accountable for my actions.

              4 votes
              1. [4]
                nacho Link Parent
                My username is not tied to my actual identity precisely because loved ones, colleagues, neighbors aren't involuntarily tied back to me. My usernames on different sites aren't the same. I strongly...

                My username is not tied to my actual identity precisely because loved ones, colleagues, neighbors aren't involuntarily tied back to me.

                My usernames on different sites aren't the same.

                I strongly urge you to do the same to manage your online presence. Tildes is a new site. It's an opportunity to start fresh and seeing how liberating that feels since you don't have mass amounts of contributions invested in the username.


                If you choose to and want to be as identifiable either by making your tildes username your full name, or pretty much the same thing by connecting to your own online identity where your personal information is found in the first couple pages of google results, that's a conscious choice you're making and are responsible for.

                I don't think it's a choice tildes should cater to because I think it's a choice that's only right for a very small amount of people.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  aethicglass Link Parent
                  Last I checked, changing usernames isn't an option. Even if it was, I'd still stick with this one I think. I'm not ignorant of the repercussions of that decision, but I think you are ignoring the...

                  Last I checked, changing usernames isn't an option. Even if it was, I'd still stick with this one I think.

                  I'm not ignorant of the repercussions of that decision, but I think you are ignoring the fact that identity isn't just about a username. I haven't used my real name online in nearly 20 years, but that doesn't make it impossible to find me. Not by a long shot.

                  I don't think it's a choice tildes should cater to because I think it's a choice that's only right for a very small amount of people.

                  Do you know how many? How? You're drawing an arbitrary line on behalf of an entire userbase, and on behalf of the developer. You're putting more into the value of accountability and brushing off security as a non-concern because it's "only right for a all number of people"?

                  I gotta be honest dude, this seems like a weird hill to fight over.

                  1 vote
                  1. [2]
                    nacho Link Parent
                    From my perspective, I can't understand how your expressed views match your choices. I'll rewrite your points in my words to illustrate: You say you're burned out having to manage so many social...

                    I gotta be honest dude, this seems like a weird hill to fight over.

                    From my perspective, I can't understand how your expressed views match your choices. I'll rewrite your points in my words to illustrate:

                    1. You say you're burned out having to manage so many social accounts to ensure past things on those accounts don't come out to bite you.
                    2. You're concerned online trolls could be come real life trolls.
                    3. You say it can be difficult to manage identifying data.
                    4. You identify that deleting stuff to protect against identification is time-consuming and inelegant.
                    5. You actively choose to use the same username over and over, which makes doxxing you trivial.
                    6. If you could choose a new username on tildes, you'd still choose your doxable one.

                    All your issues could be solved by using different usernames for different sites online, that is, different online pseudonyms that can't be tied back to you in meatspace in anyway.

                    You could rotate accounts once a year, just changing to a brand new username and new log-in details to completely avoid issues of people getting too many pieces of the puzzle so they can combine to a clear image of you irl.

                    Yet you choose not to, even though you think control of privacy should take precedent over convenience?

                    If I had similar priorities as you ( I completely agree with 2. 3. and 4. as it is), I don't see how I'd land n the same choice as you, or how you'd land on the same choice as you.


                    It's because I completely agree with 2. 3. and 4. that I think only a very small amount of people make the right choice for them if they create accounts that tie back to their meatspace lives.

                    I have enough experience moderating online forums to know how uncomfortable it is when someone is doxxed by a mentally unstable person. We're talking serious untreated mental illness. Those people are online and they're harder to spot through text than face-to-face.

                    Safety first. Deleting/unlisting stuff just isn't the best way for people concerned about their safety to manage their privacy.

                    It's also a much worse solution for the site and its community

                    1 vote
                    1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                      I agree with a lot of what you've been saying here, about accountability and transparency and visibility. However, I have to express a difference of opinion when you start talking about regularly...

                      I agree with a lot of what you've been saying here, about accountability and transparency and visibility. However, I have to express a difference of opinion when you start talking about regularly cycling through usernames. I agree with you that people should be accountable for their bad posting history, but there's a flipside to that as well: they should be recognised for their good posting history.

                      I've spent 7 years building an identity and reputation on Reddit as "Algernon_Asimov", which I'm continuing here on Tildes. It's not 100% perfect; I am a flawed being. But I like to think that my standing as "Algernon" is more positive than negative. Why should I have to throw that away every year or so and start again from scratch? Why can't I keep my history - good and bad (but mostly good)?

                      And, here on Tildes, the cost of dumping an account and starting from scratch will be even higher, as we will acquire reputation and trust, and moderation-type abilities, on our accounts. Dumping an account to start afresh means losing that.

                      We should be allowed to build long-standing identities on the internet.

                      5 votes
        2. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. nacho Link Parent
            That's demonstrably incorrect. The views I share are so pervasive in society they're codified both into law where I get access to a permanent record of things like personal letters or complaints...

            That's demonstrably incorrect.

            The views I share are so pervasive in society they're codified both into law where I get access to a permanent record of things like personal letters or complaints to my municipal fire department, school board, library, applications for building permits etc. because we are all by definition public figures in contact with local authorities unless special legal provisions grant privacy.

            Notice especially section 11 of the law:

            Section 11.Enhanced access to information
            Where there is occasion to exempt information from access, an administrative agency shall nonetheless consider allowing full or partial access. The administrative agency should allow access if the interest of public access outweighs the need for exemption.


            Even in the EU law (or EEC to be technical about Norway), where I have a human right to be forgotten, there are specific conditions that have to be met for something not to reasonable be public, even though it's old.
            Media content is specifically excepted from things you can demand are forgotten on grounds of public interest.


            They're codified into binding press ethics all serious media outlets in my country adhere to.


            The Norwegian national library aims to (and is far in the process of) digitizing every newspaper ever published in Norwegian from the 1700s and onwards to make them all digitally searcheable in full text.

            They aim to make available all books published in Norwegian prior to the year 2000 online to Norwegians for free.


            The goal is making all public conversation, from letter to the editor to large novel, available at our fingertips and searchable. Everything published in the Norwegian language.

            That would only be a meaningful pursuit and use of taxpayer money if there was a pervasive societal view that people can change, and that we're able to recognize as much even though past records exist. Further, that context both historical and setting matters, and that people in general are capable of understanding these facts.

            2 votes
    2. [11]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [7]
        Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        If you didn't want other people reading it, why did you post it on the internet in the first place?

        You don't have a right to search through my history and try to figure out every little thing about me.

        If you didn't want other people reading it, why did you post it on the internet in the first place?

        3 votes
        1. [5]
          dredmorbius Link Parent
          Eric Schmidt, is that you?
          1 vote
          1. [4]
            Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            That's nothing like what I'm saying. I'm not saying "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." If you're doing something you...

            That's nothing like what I'm saying. I'm not saying "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

            If you're doing something you want to keep private, or if you want to keep information about your life private, don't post about it in a public place like an internet discussion forum.

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              Tenar Link Parent
              I think the tricky bit is when it's a full (crawlable, searchable) history. Me mentioning I like brunch with mimosas? not that much info. But add a comment two years later about a great place in...

              I think the tricky bit is when it's a full (crawlable, searchable) history. Me mentioning I like brunch with mimosas? not that much info. But add a comment two years later about a great place in downtown x where you can get brunch, something a year later about always having issues with my curly hair and needing advice in taming it, and suddenly a stalker could find me sitting at Mimosas & co. at 10 on saturday sippin' mimosas and identify me by a few small points of information.

              Silly example of course, but that's how the whole doxing thing (in my experience) usually works out. Takes an hour or two but someone could piece together small bits, so at least having the option to have it all not out there in a convenient format might be nice.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                Or maybe don't tell people where you go for brunch, and they won't track you down there? Crazy idea, I know, but I'm just putting it out there.

                Or maybe don't tell people where you go for brunch, and they won't track you down there? Crazy idea, I know, but I'm just putting it out there.

                1. Tenar Link Parent
                  I'm in agreement to you, and we're both rational adults that have spent a good portion of our lives on the internet and doing so while considering the implications of posting things. But a child...

                  I'm in agreement to you, and we're both rational adults that have spent a good portion of our lives on the internet and doing so while considering the implications of posting things. But a child of barely 13+ probably won't be quite wise enough yet to think that all through. (or drink mimosas but w/e). I'm just saying people might slip up, and if you've got years worth of material the chance you slip up is a lot bigger, and there seems to be an easier way to partially remedy this.

                  2 votes
        2. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            If you're looking for something "ephemeral like conversation is in real life", I suggest you try an IRC channel like Slack or Discord. They're designed for fast-moving, real-time conversation,...

            If you're looking for something "ephemeral like conversation is in real life", I suggest you try an IRC channel like Slack or Discord. They're designed for fast-moving, real-time conversation, where comments last for a few minutes and then disappear.

            Meanwhile, link aggregators and discussion forums (such as Tildes) have a different paradigm because they're serving a different purpose.

      2. dredmorbius (edited ) Link Parent
        I've been trying to publicise Paul Baran's thoughts on privacy and social implications since running across them last month. Baran was the inventer of packet-switched networking -- what became the...

        I've been trying to publicise Paul Baran's thoughts on privacy and social implications since running across them last month.

        Baran was the inventer of packet-switched networking -- what became the Internet -- and was writing of the consequences of unleashing this, data, and computing by the late 1960s. RAND have recently made all his writings freely available in digital form. I think you'll find them interesting and his views prescient. Particularly:

        • On the Future Computer Era: Modification of the American Character and the Role of the Engineer, or, A Little Caution in the Haste to Number
        • Some Caveats on the Contribution of Technology to Law Enforcement
        • On the Engineer's Responsibility in Protecting Privacy

        https://www.rand.org/pubs/authors/b/baran_paul.html

        3 votes
      3. [2]
        nacho Link Parent
        You're essentially arguing for different standards online than in regular society. I'll illustrate: My local paper covers a region of about 25 000 people. If you wrote a letter to the editor in...

        You're essentially arguing for different standards online than in regular society.

        I'll illustrate:

        My local paper covers a region of about 25 000 people. If you wrote a letter to the editor in the 1970s, that's something that's readily available in public archives of the local paper.

        You find those archives and every issue of the paper for at least the last 50 years in any school library the local municipal library, at the paper itself etc.

        The same thing goes for any comment you've ever made on the newspaper website etc.


        That's the paper. Then there's local politics: every letter you send to the municipality is recorded and published for anyone to view unless there are specific conditions outlined in the Norwegian freedom of information act.

        Want to build a house, or build a new porch? All your correspondence is accessible to any nosy neighbor, or you where you sit anywhere in the world.

        The internet is like the rest of society: it has a permanent record that you cannot erase, and has always been searchable and archived.


        On tildes and anywhere else where you act through pseudonym unless you choose to self-identify you have total privacy in ways you never have offline.

        In a community of 25 000 people, I get recognized on the street wherever I go. People can tell who I am because I look like my mother, my father, my grandparents, my cousins, my aunts and uncles.


        My views on privacy are founded in how my society is regulated. In my legal rights, but also in the norms an American faces.

        What letters to the editors do American papers, British papers, German papers, australian papers publish anonymously or without a full name signing them?

        There have to be specific, editorial reasons for not identifying the user.

        Because that's how democracy works. Has to work. You don't let people rewrite history in their own personal image. Rights to be forgotten where they're implemented have been controversial, and they are limited to specific things that demonstrably don't go away and color the rest of your life despite learning from a past mistake.


        Again, if you can't stand by saying something behind an online pseudonym from the safety of your home or phone, would you say it in a serious conversation with a small audience in a park?

        Why not?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. nacho Link Parent
            Anything from an email or letter from the crazy cat lady who says she's seen a wolf downtown and wants to report it to asking the library if they've considered getting a hold of a movie. It's all...

            The other things you mentioned are official correspondences.

            Anything from an email or letter from the crazy cat lady who says she's seen a wolf downtown and wants to report it to asking the library if they've considered getting a hold of a movie. It's all there.


            I still want privacy as a matter of principle.

            I understand your wish for that. To me that shouldn't outweigh the benefits for tildes as a site and its users from being able to see things.

            Why shouldn't I be able to look through your comments as a smart, fun interested person to enjoy that content in peace, even some time after you've posted it?

            Why can't we deal with any potential users that misuse the old posts to be disruptive/uncivil/unreasonable?


            Wanting privacy online is an attainable goal. It takes some effort, but if it becomes trivial to become completely unaccountable, the costs are high.

            You could easily limit what share from your safe pseudonym that doesn't connect back to you in meatspace in any way in ways that render you unable to be identified. You can switch accounts after x time, you can manually delete content that you actually want to dissociate from rather than checking a box to get rid of it all.

            There's a huge middle ground here where you retain 100% privacy if that's what you want and that isn't done at the expense of the rest of the site.

  17. [3]
    EscReality Link
    I think all history should be shown. The way I see it, we are protected on forums like these by our anonymity, our identity here is our username. So there is really no danger to us personally by...

    I think all history should be shown. The way I see it, we are protected on forums like these by our anonymity, our identity here is our username. So there is really no danger to us personally by having our post histories open to the public, it allows for transparency and accountability of our online identities (while still staying anonymous).

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      anowlcalledjosh Link Parent
      Does this have to be the way things are? Hypothetical: what if someone would like to maintain a consistent identity online, but would also like to avoid the potential for people to dig up things...

      we are protected on forums like these by our anonymity, our identity here is our username

      Does this have to be the way things are? Hypothetical: what if someone would like to maintain a consistent identity online, but would also like to avoid the potential for people to dig up things they've said in the past and use them against them?

      (That's not a hypothetical, by the way. There are a large number of users here that are using the same username as they use elsewhere.)

      2 votes
      1. EscReality Link Parent
        ....As am I, I have been "EscReality" for 20 years. Its been a gamertag, steam name, email address and basically everything else you can think of. But, that is still an anonymous online identity....

        same username as they use elsewhere

        ....As am I, I have been "EscReality" for 20 years. Its been a gamertag, steam name, email address and basically everything else you can think of.

        But, that is still an anonymous online identity. Sure, Esc has a long history online, but that history does not trace back to me the user. It's just an anonymous persona.

        And yes, it should be. Forums like this one and similar ones function better with anonymity, its been proven over a decades or more worth of trial and error. People open up more, have better discussions and generally tend to contribute more than they would if their identity were to be public. Compare the cesspool that is Facebook to any site like this, even reddit, and they all function 1000% times better than they do.

        1 vote
  18. [3]
    Askme_about_penguins Link
    Will you do that thing Reddit does where you can only see the last 1000 comments/posts?

    Will you do that thing Reddit does where you can only see the last 1000 comments/posts?

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      I don't know, that's kind of what we're talking about. Reddit doesn't do that deliberately, it's a technical limitation (pretty much all pages on reddit end after 1000 items).

      I don't know, that's kind of what we're talking about. Reddit doesn't do that deliberately, it's a technical limitation (pretty much all pages on reddit end after 1000 items).

      5 votes
      1. dredmorbius Link Parent
        Sometimes unintended / inadvertent features become dominant / critical.

        Sometimes unintended / inadvertent features become dominant / critical.

        2 votes
  19. Silbern Link
    I think all posting history should be public, for a couple of reasons; #1. Nothing stops people from stumbling on your old comments. They are, effectively, still out there, and anyone can read...

    I think all posting history should be public, for a couple of reasons;

    #1. Nothing stops people from stumbling on your old comments. They are, effectively, still out there, and anyone can read them if they go to the right page. If you're concerned about someone reading your old comments, this would only limit it; you should instead be deleting those comments.

    #2. If there are going to be external databases of all of our text, like in, say, google, or something like removeddit, then anyone can search through your old history anyway. Anyone who is dead set on finding your old comments will find them regardless.

    #3. It would be way too easy to abuse a narrow window to troll or make misleading posts, and it also becomes a problem with the reputation aspect of this site. After all, one of the goals of this site is that we use a person's reputation to discourage or deter trolling and harassment, and that becomes way less effective if it becomes an opt-out system rather then mandatory.

    2 votes
  20. [3]
    Algernon_Asimov (edited ) Link
    I see no reason to limit the visibility of a user's history. Everything they wrote on Tildes is still present, regardless: it's in the various posts they made and comments they wrote. If there's...

    I see no reason to limit the visibility of a user's history. Everything they wrote on Tildes is still present, regardless: it's in the various posts they made and comments they wrote. If there's something they don't want people to see, they can delete it - or simply not post it in the first place. But, if it exists on Tildes in one place, there's no reason for it not to exist on Tildes in another place.

    And I say this even though, as recently as yesterday, I refused to engage in a particular conversation here because there's certain personal information I don't want to share about myself, or to have linked to other information I might share on this account at other times. I've had death threats made against me, so I'm hyper-aware of the risks involved if someone doxxes me. I am fully aware that every word I type reveals something about me - my personality, my beliefs, my culture, my location - and, with full access and enough patience, someone could build a fairly accurate picture of who I am. I am aware that everything I type here is readable and traceable. However, I've spent years investing in this "Algernon" identity, and I'm not about to dump it any time soon; I therefore know that everything I write now can (and possibly will) be held against me in the future (for as long as I remain "Algernon"). I have to own my history, the good and the bad. So, I restrain myself in certain circumstances and don't share certain information.

    One time, I was engaging in an argument on Facebook under my real-life name. The friend-of-a-friend I argued with was so angered by my different opinion that they wrote a blog entry about me, naming me repeatedly. Therefore, any time someone searches my real-life name, they can find this blog entry which links me to a topic that I wouldn't want my future employers (for example) to see. I know about internet history coming back to haunt you!

    Even knowing that I will be forced to work within the restrictions of this... I still advocate for a full, open, and complete user history for everyone.

    If you don't want someone reading something about you... don't type it on the internet. Or, if you must type something revealing on the internet, at the very least choose your venue and your audience carefully. It's as simple as that.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      dredmorbius Link Parent
      Cost of access / easee of access matter. Tremendously. I'm not saying "don't provide access at all", though that's an option. But think through consequences and alternatives.

      Cost of access / easee of access matter. Tremendously.

      I'm not saying "don't provide access at all", though that's an option. But think through consequences and alternatives.

      3 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        I don't understand what point you're trying to make.

        I don't understand what point you're trying to make.

  21. Eva Link
    I think either all history should be shown, or at the very least all post history should be shown. Like you said, people are gonna make databases anyway, so there's no point in sacrificing...

    I think either all history should be shown, or at the very least all post history should be shown. Like you said, people are gonna make databases anyway, so there's no point in sacrificing convenience there, IMO.

    1 vote
  22. [4]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [3]
      Deimos Link Parent
      It's a requirement of GDPR that users be able to request a full deletion of their data, so it'll have to be possible. I'm not sure if it'll be a simple/common feature through the site itself...

      It's a requirement of GDPR that users be able to request a full deletion of their data, so it'll have to be possible. I'm not sure if it'll be a simple/common feature through the site itself though. My general feeling is that people should have that option when they're deleting their account.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Amarok Link Parent
        Oh yeah, forgot about that GDPR business. Compliance will be necessary. Does that mean we'd need to let people basically download their user accounts as well?

        Oh yeah, forgot about that GDPR business. Compliance will be necessary. Does that mean we'd need to let people basically download their user accounts as well?

        1 vote
        1. Deimos Link Parent
          Yeah, that's also a GDPR requirement. It's quite vague though, it just says "the information shall be provided in a commonly used electronic form", which probably means I can just give people an...

          Yeah, that's also a GDPR requirement. It's quite vague though, it just says "the information shall be provided in a commonly used electronic form", which probably means I can just give people an SQL dump or a CSV file or something similar with the relevant records.

          3 votes