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Inability to change username is a privacy / safety issue

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posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 09:33 PM
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I just want to make the suggestion that site owners & admins reconsider the username-change policy.

I think it should be reconsidered for privacy and safety reasons. Reading SO's thread about your entire life being online caused me to realize this. Many people make the mistake of re-using usernames across message boards, social network profiles, email addresses, etc. So for many people, personal information can be found by searching their username on other sites. Maybe some users realize this later, and want to correct their mistake by changing their username, but can't.

There are no technical limitations whatsoever to changing a username, it's a textbook 3-line SQL query, so I don't really see any reason why the option isn't available. I understand for sake of consistency you wouldn't want names changing all the time, so maybe allow one name change per user? Even FB and Google+ allow this.




posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by SilentKoala
 


Actually as far as I understand it, as ATS is built entirely on custom coding and databasing, changing usernames is a NIGHTMARE for SO and the content servers.

At least that's what I've been explained in the past for the reason we do not allow the changes.

I'm sure somebody with more knowledge will come by shortly with a better answer, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

~Tenth



posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


It shouldn't be an issue if the software is properly coded. If usernames are used as primary keys in the database, then yes, that would complicate the issue, but I highly doubt that is the case as that would be severely improper database design, and this site seems fairly professionally done.



posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 10:16 PM
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reply to post by SilentKoala
 


If a user believes they are regretfully identifiable on ATS, why not create a new user ID? It's not like one can change their email name, they just create a new one and quit using the old one. I don't know of any sites that allow a user to change their user name. One just needs to create a new one. Pretty simple solution. Some things just can't be undone.
edit on 2-1-2013 by Gridrebel because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by Gridrebel
 


Because even if you create a new username, your old one is still associated with old posts. That, and you lose all your stars, flags, points, etc.



posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by SilentKoala
 


I don't know about that.

What I do know is that pretend I change my username.

Now every one of my posts that I've ever made, threads created, alerts filed, actions done on my account etc...

All show up under a different username. There's no way to notify everybody of this change, so everybody knows it's me and not somebody else, there's no way to notify staff and overall, it's uncessary.

I find it VERY hard to believe that not being able to change your username on a public forum is a matter of privacy/safety. Nobody forces you to act a fool online and if you do, then it's not ATS, nor any other companie's responsibility to help you hide yourself from what you've done.

The .aches involved with such a feature are just too many.

~Tenth



posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 10:35 PM
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Don't worry if the Chinese show up one day asking why we ... just say " I dunno was drunk at the time."
Its such a good line Pink Floyd used it.

Or something close.

edit on 2-1-2013 by OrionsWitness because: quote mark



posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 11:28 PM
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If only.
Like the time my wife looked up my user name and it came up on a s/m site.

Baby,it wasn't me I swear.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 01:08 AM
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I can see your point. I actually realized the same thing about 10 posts in on my first ats account. Everyone knows my other internet name, and i didn't want my business here to be a google search away for whoever wants to neb (creep) in my internet business.

OWell, start over. They're only stars. You seem to have a lot for the number of posts you have. You'll have no problem getting more.
edit on 3-1-2013 by MidnightSunshine because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 01:27 AM
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Whats funny is the opposite has happened to me.. here. Someone disagreed with me and threatened to come beat me up and then did a search on this username and attributed other people's posts across the internet to me. Determined I lived somewhere I definitely do not.. etc etc. Funny thing was this isnt my original ID made in 07.. this is an ID Ive only used here and I made it only recently!
Be sure op.. someone is googling your name right now and making insane-o connections that dont exist.


edit on 3-1-2013 by Advantage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 01:36 AM
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reply to post by SilentKoala
 


You could just create a new account.....you will obviously lose your stats... but S&F... and W and K aren't THAT important, interest and value is, which S&F.....and W and K does not ALWAYS reflect accurately. If you are planning on staying on ATS for a while and contribute casually, it should not take too long to build up a new profile full of relevant and interesting threads and replies to others.

ETA:
To answer your other concern about your old account remaining with all your posts:
It's all Google Searches fault with over extending their reach into our privacy, really. Think about it, who would ever to come to ATS and look for your user name if it were not for Google search directing whoever right to it.
There is a way to improve privacy, but it would take some coding and formatting efforts from ATS staff.

They could, yes, delete your account, so that whoever comes to ats cannot search your user name any longer if they tried, therefore it will also be removed from Google during re-crawling, YET all of your posts/threads/replies will remain on ATS so there will be no lost or missing content which would destroy a forum. Nobody trying to breach privacy deliberately would find your content easily if ATS and other forums could be set up this way

Recap:

No way to search ATS for your user name after deletion
User name not found on Google associated to ATS
Content from user profile remains in full but unsearchable unless manually seeked out though millions of potential threads.
edit on 3-1-2013 by unb3k44n7 because: (no reason given)



edit on 3-1-2013 by unb3k44n7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 02:11 AM
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I edited my post explaining a possible coding solution for your other concern. Just saying in case you did not notice I added more to my last post.

Sorry for double post but I wanted to make sure you/anyone noticed the added content.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 03:18 AM
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reply to post by unb3k44n7
 


It would be nice if that could be done. Now the question is, are they willing to do it?



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 03:41 AM
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I love my username. Google gets confused when it's searched.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 04:20 AM
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Originally posted by SilentKoala
reply to post by Gridrebel
 


Because even if you create a new username, your old one is still associated with old posts. That, and you lose all your stars, flags, points, etc.


more than this even. i know i for one when reading someones post wonder, how much "experience" this person has in whatever they may be speaking of. i look to see when they joined ATS and i like to go back and read some of their other posts that may be along the same subject lines, kind of a way to judge their ATS "cred".



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 06:22 AM
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IIRC the forum software that is the base upon which ATS is built (XMB I think, I could have the initials wrong) is built in a similar way to V Bulletin, and usernames are used in the database to control all of your posts, PM's (U2U's) etc, changing a username will have serious effects upon the other functions, like uploads etc that are aftercodes..

Which is why 99.9% of forums don't allow username changes..



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 10:13 AM
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I've always used different user names for different forums, and have an email address specifically for forums. That said, I have never posted anything I'm ashamed of or for that matter that anyone would want retribution against me (as far as I know anyway
) and as such am not too bothered it someone "found out who I was..."

And as for stars, flags etc who cares? It doesn't actually mean anything anyway, particularly the way some threads go in here, you can have a thousand flags and stars for writing complete drivel, yet an insightful, well researched, well written and thoughtful post or thread can just be overlooked, so it really is a moot point

So yes, my advice is, if you want to become incognito (which you never really are) then just start again with a new username.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 12:40 PM
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If your entire life is online you have already lost the game.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 12:42 PM
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Not a problem for me.




posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 12:50 PM
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You will never truly be private, unless you use other peoples internet connections, or other local services. Even mobile (cellular) broadband can be narrowed down to within a few feet.

If you have dynamic IP from your ISP, they still keep a log of who uses which IP and when.

So yeah, the only true way of staying private is keep on the move and pilfer other peoples bandwidth.

EDIT: and before someone brings up proxies, they too aren't 100% reliable.
edit on 3/1/13 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)




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