LocalWiki/Private messaging

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Some of this discussion was moved from Identity/Talk


I put this in as a feature request on the new localwiki, but now thinking it could provide some solution to this issue as well. I've had some very useful offline conversations with a few editors during some of the more recent wiki blow-ups, (these were with people who've posted contact information on their profiles), and it was nice because it allowed for both direct personal interactions, and privacy. While posting contact info is probably much less viable than getting everyone to use their real-name, I think a private message system on daviswiki could be helpful.

Private messaging could allow people to remain anonymous to the overall wiki, but engage in private conversation with other editors to discuss personal issues, identities, privacy concerns, etc; if so inclined. PMing would provide a more realistic farmers market scenario, i.e. you wouldn't have to share your name with everyone you meet, but if you thought someone was cool and wanted to get to know them better, you could do so via private message. Similarly, if a ski-mask wearing editor is upset about their service at the popsicle stand, you could send them a private message and try and find out if they are just being trolls or if their face was actually, legitimately cold. Additionally, if someone really wanted to retain their privacy, but wanted to provide some legitimacy to a more critical edit, they could private message a editor they feel is trustworthy and see if they would vouch for them (this is done quite frequently on reddit). In fact, I think Tom did something similar with the Taxi talk page a couple weeks ago. A driver was accused of having DUI's and Art privately emailed driving/insurance records to Tom, who then backed up Art. Art was able to protect his drivers privacy, and the accusations were knocked down a good bit when Tom backed him up.

This would of course mean more work for the localwiki team, (sorry, not trying to be unappreciative, guys. I think you've already done a metric shit-ton of great work), but just throwing it out there. There's probably some other concerns too (fostering a behind-the-scenes paranoia, inner-circle stuff, etc), but might be worth thinking about. —JeffTolentino

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