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Think twice before you respond to unnecessarily anonymous posts

This has been said before but I wanted to say it again. Unless there is a reason that someone is posting anonymously (eg embarrassing symptoms), think very carefully before you respond to their posts. People often seem to post anonymously because they want to post in a bullying way - if you just ignore them, it will probably make them go away more quickly.

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This is the only board I am a member of that allows anonymous posting, I find it really odd actually. Unless you tell someone who you are, people will not find out who you are so why not post under a false name? If its an embarrassing question, the person shouldn’t be embarrassed. A lot of people go through the same things with MS, just in different order and severity.

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I quite agree. I’ve said I’ll no longer respond to anon posts. I think the recent one just seemed to want to cause trouble to anyone that dared to disagree with him…will more than likely reply to this thread too!

Rosina x

I don’t see any problem with it as long it’s not baiting people. People struggle to come to terms with diagnosis and may want to be secretive at the start, it’s natural to hide yourself when you feel like that.

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So give yourself a made-up name; one nobody connected with you would possibly guess. You have, I have, most people here have. It’s still anonymous, just a more considerate type of anonymous. If everyone went Anon for no good reason, it wouldn’t be long before the forum was completely unusable, as you wouldn’t be able to follow anybody’s story, or tell if you were talking to one person or hundreds, or know who was posting and who was replying - or if they were all the same person.

I already find it confusing if there’s more than one “Anon” per thread, as you can’t tell which is which. You sometimes can’t tell if there are multiple people, or just one person but they’ve contradicted themselves accidentally, or one person but they’ve contradicted themselves deliberately (to stir up debate, or elicit sympathy, or whatever) - it all gets too muddy.

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Thanks Sewingchick. I don’t even read anonymous posts let alone reply to them. Like Tina says give yourself another username if you don’t want to be identified.

Shazzie x

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Seriously, that’s a lot of effort (setting up maintaining 2+ logins on the forum) if you want to make a one off post or are just dipping your toes into it. I think it’s unrealistic to expect people to go to that effort to make a minor comment in a thread where they want their identity hidden.

Plus if people are not technically literate they may think it’s easier to trace who they are than the reality of the situation and not see the alternate ID as a screen.

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At the risk of starting another argument, I did want to quote from the anonymous poster, commenting on the Everyday Living forum:

“Some people need to be reminded its not ALL ABOUT YOU. And your life with ms.”

People jumped in to tell him that this forum is actually all about us and our lives with MS. I haven’t commented (trying to keep to my own advice about anonymous posters) but the quote above has made me smile every time I think about it.

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That’s not what I’m suggesting at all - I’ve been misunderstood.

Do what normal people do, and set up ONE login, that has nothing to do with your real name and identity. You are then as anonymous as you want to be. Don’t you have to set one up anyway, to be able to to post at all, or do we allow “guest” (i.e. non-member) posting these days?

I can’t understand why someone would bother to join a forum at all, but then go “Anon” just to say something completely non-controversial, like: “I have pins and needles. Has anyone else ever had this?” What’s the big secret?

If it was: “I have just wet myself right in the middle of Debenhams!”, I could understand someone may not wish to be recognisable, even to people who ONLY know them through their nickname on this board, and have no idea as to their true identity. The purpose of Anon was originally for extremely sensitive and difficult topics like that.

But now we increasingly have posters using it for anything and everything.

“I (made up name) have MS” is hardly an earth-shattering disclosure on a board that’s full of made-up-names with MS.

Tina

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Yes, I responded to that remark it really annoyed me! I think that everyone with MS already knows how family, loved ones & friends are affected…but yes, ms IS all about us!!

Anyway that’s been locked now, so hopefully ANON will move on.

Rosina x

When I was first diagnosed with MS I was directed towards this website and was relieved to find these boards. However, I was nervous about posting or replying but did so as I was able to do it anonymously. It was some time before I used my username.

I would hate to think anyone might be put off asking for help or support because people didn’t like them posting anonymously. Better to do that than not post at all. It doesn’t matter if a subject is embarrassing or not.

There may be a number of reasons for posting anonymously - it’s one of the strengths of these boards that people are able to do that and as long as the facility isn’t abused, that’s fine. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does the boards are moderated and there is the facility to report any post. Interestingly, this isn’t used very often - feel free to use it more.

Val

[Moderator]

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I agree. A person needs no excuse to post anon; he/she just needs to use the anon facility in good faith and abide by the rules.

Alison

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Me too. I was so shocked by the violence and horrid state of my MS, that I wanted to hide and post behind anon for a long time and this was a long, long time ago.

It wasn’t shyness, just shock. I felt like those people with TB used to describe their illness, as a stain on their soul.

Now, I admit to doing it to nasty aggressive posters as I’m a wimp and haven’t quite sorted out who I am online yet. I’ve had a few name changes over the years as well - as a result of changing mood, state of anxiety, depression etc.

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Thank you for articulating what was going through my head. I worry that without this facility people may not seek support from the community.

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hiya

i have been using this site 8/9 years and have only once posted anon and will never do so again because the comments in the thread were so distressing for me to read and i wish i hadnt done so but i learnt the hard way so never again will i post anon-better i just suffer in silence…or say its me…

as others have said i do understand why some folk do tho…

ellie

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Thankyou Val.

I agree with you totally.

When i first came on here i had never used a forum before. I was scared of my diagnosis. I wanted to join in on here but was scared of saying the wrong thing - and i could see some replies were not positive ones.

I understand we are all anon on here really anyway - it really doesn’t matter how you post - anon or not.

As long as we can help eachother then i can’t see a problem unless the anon poster is not abiding by the forum rules.

I posted anon at the beginning and have posted anon very occasionally when i’ve felt the need to since then.

Should i leave this forum because i choose to post anon every so often for different personal reasons?

I feel the anon posters are being picked on.

Leave them alone and let them quietly join in until they feel more confident to join the discussion.

Are they really hurting anyone?

Possibly people have been scared to post because of the ‘anti-anon people’ on here.

Newly diagnosed ms suffers have probably been scared away.

Because i have expressed a personal opinion i expect a backlash - perhaps i should have gone anon!

Teresa.x

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With you 100% Jen. I’ve had a few rubbish anon replies too. I just keep well away.

Shazzie xx

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Gosh, Anon post do not bother me at all, there is one on Magnesium thread lol…but signed with their name…I read the comment. I always read the comments.

The thing is if you dont read the ANON posts how do you know if they are contravening the Terms of Usage?

If I saw someone being nasty under the Anon facility then i would simply report the post.

The Anon facility is there to use…

Sometimes i think people actually click the little radio button by the Post Anonymously option by mistake lol…I have nearly done so myself several times…

Live and let live I say, as long as there is no bullying going on then i will read them…must say in all the time i have been positing on this forum a lot BEFORE it all changed and i lost my log in, i think i only ever saw one post i would report.

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l can understand the need for Anon - for those who are shy/embarrassed about the question or subject they are posting. This l thought was the reason for this facility. But when its being used to make comments on something the poster does not agree with because they are not brave enough to use their username - then that, l feel, is abusing the facility. This often ends up with another anon answering - then its difficult to follow who is who.

lt might be useful if the original ANON in a post is given a number - then if another ANON replies they could have another number so that we can tell it is a different person.

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Yes spacejacket you make sense, i do find it confusing sometimes myself lol…when there are a few Anons in one thread, although i must admit quite a few i have seen they sign their names lol…

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