This page is for discussing the content of the Identity page. There is also a page for documenting abuses by those who avoided establishing identity.

I would suggest using identity rather than real name as a means of identifying someone on the Wiki. It's the reputation we care about, not who they are in real life. Thoughts? —IDoNotExist

I think real names are good here as a general principle. All internet communities have the concept of 'identity' and most are disconnected from real life. This is a real life community, not a purely virtual one.

  • While it's true that this is a geography based internet community, it is still on the internet. Just because you want to be different than the rest of the communities on the internet, there are some basic elements that you cannot control. Anonymous trolls, impersonators, sockpuppets, and innocent people who simply want anonymity. While real names can be encouraged, it should not be "important". —KellyM
    • I would say that it is important. It's what differentiates the wiki from, say, some random chat room. It should be understood for a new person on the wiki that a real name imparts some of the respect that goes along with that real identity. However, it should also be understood that a real name is not necessary, it's only encouraged because someone who starts out with an anonymous moniker is going to have to spend more time establishing an identity on the wiki. —JoePomidor
      • I understand that while it seems only natural to give more respect to a real name, as KellyM pointed out elsewhere it really doesn't make any sense. Apparently, if I'd started here with the name "StephenJamieson" I'd have gotten more respect, even though that isn't my name. That's just silly. How about this? All new users are treated with equal respect, unless they give reason otherwise, and all are given more or less ongoing respect depending on the sort of contributor that they become. —CovertProfessor
        • If you used StephenJamieson and did anything interesting on here, I'd be suspicious when I couldn't find any trace of you online or in any of my extended social networks. Keep in mind that Davis is a small town. And yes, I do know of people on here who are using fake names. —wl
          • I have no doubt that you could figure out that there was no such person in Davis or the surrounding areas — if there was in fact no such person (there may be someone in the area with that name — if so, Stephen Jamieson, I apologize). But the point is that unless I did something really unusual, you probably wouldn't bother to check; in most cases, you'd just assume it was a real name, even though it could easily be fake. So again, it's a person's behavior that is the real issue, not the name. —CovertProfessor
          • I belong to no social network in Davis (I know nobody), I am only here because of my girlfriend who goes to UCD. I work from home or in San Francisco. I doubt you could verify that I lived in Davis. —KellyM
      • It's true that one could very easily use a false name. All of my arguments revolve around someone using their actual real name. —JoePomidor
      • Think of it this way: Everyone is judged on the merits of their actions, but the first action we all take is choosing which name we want to be known by here. Use your real name and behave poorly and (SteveOstrowski) you won't get far, or use a complete pseudonym (CovertProfessor) and make good edits and you'll be respected and taken seriously. —JasonAller
      • The use of the "real name" as your actual real world name doesn't really make sense though, since there is no way to bind that name to who you are in the real world, since the wiki does not rely on any real form of authentication. As I mentioned elsewhere, someone could certainly have picked the name BarackObama, but that doesn't mean that the guy in the White House posts on or reads the Davis Wiki, or that the person using that name might be someone else named BarackObama. In fact, if someone were to choose someone else's real world name, even by accident, they might associate comments or edits with that name that the real person doesn't believe to be true. Even worse, real names are not unique. While there might be only one Barack Obama in the world (I'll bet there are more 4 years from now), there are some names that are probably not unique even within the UCD campus or the town of Davis. So if someone used their real name, their comments might be attributed to someone else entirely. Also, as Covert pointed out previously, someone may have a very good reason for NOT using their real name (I can think of many such reasons.) I definitely don't have a problem with someone using their real name if they choose to do so, but I do agree with Covert that people on the Wiki should be treated based on the merits of their behavior, and not their choice of a name. —IDoNotExist
        • People are treated based on their merits here, though? I'm not sure what the concern is, specifically..

Wrong IDNE!, the ties that binds us all and verifies identity (even among anonymous users) is Davis itself... The real world, the town as a unit/organism verifies itself like a checksum or immune system with things like 3 degrees of Davis or just casual contact with other inhabitants around —SD

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2009-02-27 17:45:35   In spite of the fact that I don't use my real name here, I do understand the importance of using my real name. But I have specific reasons for not wanting to do so here, reasons that I'd rather not discuss. And of course, I am not the only one who has reasons for anonymity. For example, a person might fear retaliation of some sort, or be trying to avoid a stalker. Or someone might simply want to dip their toe in the wiki's waters, not fully sure yet if they are ready to commit themselves, something that giving their real name would do. Yet instead of understanding that people might have legitimate reasons for their anonymity, the general attitude here seems to be that the only reason to be anonymous is to flame irresponsibly. Anonymous people are thus treated as second-class citizens, and a few times I've contemplated abandoning the wiki as a consequence (instead, I've just taken a breather and tried again later). It seems to me that a better approach would be to encourage people to use their real names without stigmatizing those who don't, and then to criticize the real culprit: people who are behaving badly, regardless of the name they are using. —CovertProfessor

  • I concur for the most part. The one big difference in the way that I see it is that if someone decides to use an anonymous name, they should understand that they will have to work a bit harder to establish a positive reputation on the wiki. There are definitely people who have done so, and who make lots of valuable contributions, but it's also true that the majority of anonymous accounts seem to be used in a negative capacity. This is not to say that there's any indication one way or the other that a new, anonymous account is going to be used in a malicious way. The main point that I'm working towards is that one's reputation on the wiki is based solely on their identity (since everything else is so easily changed), and thus the amount of effort required to establish a good name on the wiki will increase for those who do not wish to tie their identity here to the one they already have in the physical world. —JoePomidor

2009-02-27 19:38:02   I am fine using my real name on the Wiki, but I do censor myself sometimes as a consequence. There are some things I may know but won't write since I know that every edit I make is literally tagged with my name. Granted, in criminal matters it doesn't really matter what username you choose since you can be traced by your IP address if someone is determined enough to figure out your identity. But I don't think people are worried about this so much as being 'googled' by their bosses or family and having their name come up with a bunch of random edits that may or may not reflect the persona they try to project in the real world. —MaryLieth

If you ever have something really valuable that you want to post on the wiki but don't want to because you fear someone will trace you via IP address, contact me off-wiki and I can walk you through steps to be completely anonymous as far as technology is concerned, even under subpoena. —wl


2009-02-27 19:45:56   Mary: IP addresses are not, in most cases, suitable for use as a unique identifier for an individual. (This is why we *think*, but can't be sure, that multiple postings from the same IP are the work of sockpuppets.) In general, an IP address can change over time, can be used (or even shared simultaneously) by multiple machines, and aren't in any way bound to a specific user, since there may be more than one person using that machine. —IDoNotExist

  • I'd also like to point out that you can manually reset your IP by simply unplugging your modem and plugging it back in. Also, you can "borrow" an IP from one of the many unsecured routers in an area or even the free internet (instaconnect, cafes). I also have an EVDO card, I have an unlimited amount of IPs, it takes me 5 seconds to get one. I can also use my phone as a modem, free IPs there. There are also privacy proxies/systems (Tor), where you can easily borrow another IP. Basing wiki identity, either saying someone is the same person because they came from the same IP, or someone ISN'T someone simply because they have a different IP, is ridiculous. —KellyM
    • Congratulations, you have both dwarfed me with all of your astounding IP address knowledge whilst completely missing the intent and spirit of my comment. The internet isn't anonymous, whether you use your birth name or not. —MaryLieth
      • Sorry, I just didn't want you to think that even in criminal matters an IP is so traceable. You would have to have some FBI level techniques and resources to identify someone behind a privacy system like Tor... I don't even know if they have done so, but I assume anything is possible. I wasn't aiming my comment at you specifically, I was just adding info to IDNE's comment. —KellyM

2009-02-27 20:01:03   This is a custom, not a rule. Of course, there are exceptions. Of course, we can't actually enforce it (and we've never tried to)! Don't you think it's valuable, as a general principle, to have people using their real personas on the wiki? I certainly do! —PhilipNeustrom

  • I agree that it is valuable as a general principle. But I also think there are different types of enforcement. There is actually kicking people off who don't sign up with a real name (or a real-sounding name), and then there is the sort of enforcement that comes with the way people are treated. There's the cheery "Welcome to the Wiki" and "Please Consider the Importance of Using Your Real Name" that we greet people with. Consider this: you've made one or two edits to the wiki, and already someone is telling you you've done something wrong. Hmm. And I've definitely felt some chilly responses from some of the regular editors, including you, Philip, although perhaps you all don't like me for other reasons. :-) —CovertProfessor
  • Phillip: Suppose, for example, that Barack Obama, an eager young Freshman at UCD, has their first meal outside of the dorms at Bob's Trout and Footware Emporium (widely known in Davis has having the best trout and shoes anywhere in town.) Barack goes there, hates the trout, gets food poisoning, and the shoes don't even fit him! Not too happy with his experience, Barack posts on the ["BobsTroutAndFootwareEmporium"] page describing his miserable experience. A few years later, Barack needs a job. Thanks to Great Depression 2: The Revenge of Herbert Hoover, most businesses in Davis have either gone under, or are now owned by Bob's Trout and Footware Emporium. (Bob's Trout and Footware Emporium has been amazingly successful, despite the tough economy, having recently acquired both Walmart and Microsoft, and is now the top stock in the S&P 1 index (it was a REALLY bad few years for the economy.) To make sure that potential new hire Barack will be a good employee, Bob does a quick google search, and finds that Barack once posted about the terrible trout eating and shoe fitting experience that he had at Bob's Trout and Footware Emporium. Bob bans Barack from employment at his firm, and Barack is forced to sell his textbooks to buy leftover trout. As you can see, if Barack thinks about the potential consequences of posting something that at *some* point in the future, *someone* in a position of power over them may disagree with, he may decide to censor what he writes. This reduces the value of the Wiki, since some people won't feel that they can be honest in their opinions. This is not an insignificant issue, since the Wiki is searched and recorded in many locations, and since even deleted comments still exist through version control. Anonymity preserves free speech, and protects the poster from how someone might judge their words even far into the future. (Maybe Barack might want to run for President some day, but doesn't want political opponents to be able to use his opinion of trout against him in a future Presidential race where the bailout of the trout based economy is a major political issue.) In a sense, this is the same issue that arises in voting - if votes are not anonymous, they can be sold, or they someone may feel pressured to vote a certain way by their employer or someone else with power over them. An edit or comment on the Wiki is like a vote for the direction of the consensus opinion of the Wiki community on a certain topic. —IDoNotExist

I understand and value anonymity on the Internet. However, the wiki is different for lots of reasons. Could you imagine a cohesive functional Davis Wiki where everyone was anonymous? I think it'd certainly be a lot different. I think with a local community like this we have a desire to be non-anonymous — we get value out of it. So when enough people are open about who they are it seems unusual when someone isn't. It isn't a negative, it's just kinda the way it is — and anyone is free to be anonymous. Even if we didn't use real names here there'd be instances where newcomers would be questioned about their intentions in certain circumstances.

The wiki is complete public. Posting is an act of publishing. The net, by and large, is public. There are tremendous positives and negatives involved in this medium. The issues you raise exist across the entire net and aren't at all exclusive to the wiki.

Also, your mention of Barack Obama is an interesting one that I'd like to explore but it'd be majorly off topic. (Namely, he openly admits to having smoked pot and used coke in the past. This would have been unheard of 30 years ago, but times change certain things. I suspect, rather than being enslaved by our comments on internet forums in 30 years we will, in fact, just adapt.)


2009-02-27 20:48:29   I agree with Philip, it's a custom and not a rule. It has value for some people, for others it doesn't, I wouldn't say it is even generally valuable. It is only valuable to those whose goals align with the benefits of using their real name, and that is only if they know other people in the community and be recognized for some reason. If real name usage is promoted as a custom, and not an "important" custom (as if you are somehow doing something wrong if you do not comply). Everyone thus far agrees that it isn't a big deal since everyone is "treated based on their merits." —KellyM


2011-12-22 17:13:44   I am extremely disturbed by the pressure on DavisWiki to use one's real name. If you mean to create community through DavisWiki, requiring one to use their real name is a disservice to those efforts. It disenfranchises many people who might otherwise be timid to share their voice and leads to a lack of diversity in opinions.

I can’t help but notice that those most vocal about using one’s real name and those who seem to edit the most are men who use their real name. The advocating for use of real names on this site is both Orwellian and Stepford-esque. I suspect DavisWiki might have a gender gap similar to Wikipedia.org, where only 13% of women are contributors. You can read about that here: http://feministing.com/2011/02/02/why-are-only-13-of-wikipedia-contributors-women/ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/business/media/31link.html?_r=1&src=tptw

It would be interesting to see the results of a survey on what percentage of DavisWiki contributors are women, and what percent use their real name.

At the very least, the prompt when one signs up should be re-worded to say it is ‘highly suggested one uses their real name but it is not required.’

ActionFigureBarbie

Roughly 40% of DavisWiki contributors are women, according to an older demographic analysis. —PhilipNeustrom


2011-12-22 20:57:37   PhilipNeustrom, many thanks for that link. I had tried finding something like that but couldn’t. Interesting that there are more women on DavisWiki than Wikipedia.org. But still, “The top 10% of contributors (n=14) are 85% male.” I do wonder what percent of women use their real names. That couldn’t be judged simply by looking; JaneDoe might really be Pernilla McVillersonton.

I strongly believe that anonymity should be more welcomed here and that the sign-up prompt should be changed. On this page http://daviswiki.org/Importance_of_using_your_RealName it is asked: “Would you show up to a City Council meeting, or Farmer's Market wearing a ski mask?” No, of course not (unless it was an unusually cold winter). But I also do not go around the Farmer’s Market telling everyone my name! If everyone was doing that, that would be very weird. Many of the people we interact with in our daily lives are strangers of whom we never know their names, but still share a sense of community.

ActionFigureBarbie

I reject your notion, If you stopped to talk with someone you should want to share your name, the same occurs here. This isn't just another site online, it's the Daviswiki where people still stop each other on the greenbelts and say hi —SD

I've chatted informally with people at the Farmers' Market many times without me or the other party giving their names. It's pretty rare that I'd feel the need or the urge to do that. More to the point, no one is really addressing AFB's point that using a real name may be harder for women than for men. —CovertProfessor

Pick nits about my hypothetical why don't you —SD

Don't see how I'm picking nits. I'm disagreeing with you about name sharing and how often it's done. I believe you when you say that you often give your name. I'm saying that I don't. I'm sure there are plenty of people like both of us out there. What I object to is the claim that giving ones name is the norm in Davis. —cp

For you to latch onto the farmers market is what I referring to. -SD

What do you do if somebody asks your name during informal chats? —JeffTolentino

SD: Yeah, I didn't mean the Farmers' Market specifically either. Pick your location: Greenbelts, grocery, outdoor restaurant, whatever. JT: People don't usually ask for my name. They say, "my name is..." leaving it to me to respond. And yes, I do usually give my name in those circumstances. My claim is only that in my experience, more often than not, names are not exchanged in the course of informal chatting. And in any case, giving my name to one or a few people is different from broadcasting it to the internet. But feh, I have already given my reasons for being anonymous; I'm not going to repeat them here. —CovertProfessor

A big part of the distinction is that when you talk to someone face to face, whether you give your name or not, you're already establishing an identity. You're standing behind your words by literally standing behind them. You're visible and easily identifiable, especially in a small town like Davis. When you're online there's no corresponding identity unless you create one. As you've proven, CP, it's entirely possible to establish an identity that doesn't include your real name. But that takes a certain amount of investment. I guess the basic point is that while identity is inherent in a face to face interaction, it's not online. When you're trying to create an actual community, a lack of identity can lead to any number of problems. —tg

Agreed, but we've also seen plenty of problems from people who do give their real names. And the question here — the question that AFB raised, which I'd like us to return to — is what may be lost (whose participation) by pressuring people to give their real names. The wiki gives some mixed messages about real names. In some places, it just says "establish an identity," which, as TG notes, doesn't necessarily include a name. In other places, it's a bit more forceful about insisting on the use of one's real name. —CovertProfessor

Thanks for the thoughtful discussion CP. My name is Jeff, btw..... ;) In all seriousness though, have you ever considered editing under a real name account as well, (or do you already)? Some of the gnoming stuff is pretty mundane and, aside from making other realname editors happy, it would have little impact on your true identity. —JeffTolentino

Actually, I'd be more likely to use an anonymous account for the gnoming and my real name for the more serious stuff. A professor's time is not their own. —CovertProfessor

The hypothetical conversations I speak of are ones that go past small talk in nature and that pass the threshold value of I would be willing to share my name if it came up. Conversations are just data exchange, it's just when done in real time face to face you get to include other factors into it (pitch, cadence, inflection, tone, body language etc) -SD

[sorry, I guess I don't know how to post comments yet in an increasingly indented fashion like above] This is a fascinating discussion.

JeffTolentino, CP has built a wonderful reputation here—she/he still needs to make others happy? If one who uses a pseudonym was to establish identity, one way to do that is by gnome-ing, is it not? What good would it do then to operate under two different names?

CP has twice now tried to bring the question back to community participation and realnames but hasn’t received an answer. I’ll be blunt: JeffTolentino, Ste(ph)venDaubert, and tg, you all appear to be men. Many of the main editors (and possibly decision-makers) here who are open with their identities seem to be men. Public participation is different for men and women.

It would be a great world if women and other disenfranchised folks could speak more freely. The reality is, we have more to lose in terms of career and reputation. This is an interesting case of new technology reinforcing social inequities.

I don’t see myself as an ‘anonymous coward’ by using a pseudonym. I am not hiding behind a pseudonym. I see myself finding the courage to stand up for what I believe in and speak out, both good and bad.

No doubt that Internet bullying is a problem. DavisiWiki is quite exceptional in the level of civility among participants, but it is not open to everyone. I really think the pressure to use ones real name needs to be considerably toned down, starting with the sign up function. —ActionFigureBarbie

With all due respect, your first post could be preceived as somewhat snarky, not just to Jolkovsky, but to Dagon Jones as well. I understand the sexism aspect that you're talking about, and I respect that, and I think its fine to be critical on DW, but some of the language in your comment comes off as fairly sarcastic and does not contribute well to the anonymous user argument. That is the type of negative editing that I think erodes the DW community, more so when done anonymously. Also, regarding CP using a real name sometimes, I was just wondering if he/she's ever done it or at least considered it. I still think there's value in being open about who you are online. That said, I actually might make an anonymous account, just to fill out my feelings a bit on it. —JeffTolentino

I stand by my first post. My experience is important to share. It supports the anonymous argument—for one why should I post my health issues openly? What you see as snarky or sarcastic I see as very sincere and serious.

There have been quite a few times that I've gone to a business in Davis based on positive reviews in the wiki, only to have an awful experience. It works the other way too, many places that have had negative reviews I've had wonderful experiences. Essentially, everything is subjective.

I’ll say it again, the current attempts to control things on DavisWiki is Orwellian and Stepford-esque. I might be a bit of a rogue element or a rebel or what have you, but my views are important. I love Davis and I can’t wait to share ALL my experiences.

Sorry I misunderstood you Jeff on CP. I really do think it would be great if we could be all open. I know I can't be at this point. That doesn't make my experiences any less valid though.

Not sure how much more time I can devote to this thread. I've said what I've had to say at this point. I wish you all a Happy Holiday Season!!

ActionFigureBarbie

To indent, just put a number of spaces at the beginning of your paragraph(s) equal to a previous paragraph whose indentation you want to match (Jeff's comment above and mine here each have 1 space), or add one (or more) extra spaces to indent further. It's somewhat hidden in the help with editing page under Help with Lists.

As for your points, I don't really follow how women have more to lose in terms of career and reputation by using a real name. I'm curious if you've seen any signs of sexism or unequal interactions here or on Wikipedia. I'd also be curious whether any of the women who do edit under their real names feel like they're treated differently. —tg

Ask Ashley Matson. —cp

That was definitely a lame attack. That said, I'm male, and I've been on the losing end of contentious edit disputes, (both males and females have participated). Some of it was pretty hurtful, and I've shut my account down as well. Ashley's experience was uncool, but its happens to men too. —JT

Fair point. I'm not sure how much of that was gender-based, other than Lawson's attacks. And some of us thought he should be banned for the way he treated other users on the wiki, male and female alike. —TG

I do think that the attack that AM experienced was more than just being on the losing end of a contentious edit dispute — her credibility was questioned — and I do think that it had something to do with her gender. (And yes, I agree that JL should have been banned). —cp


The accountability associated with using your real name is still an important point, particularly when critical statements are posted to Daviswiki. Periodically anonymous users will say harsh things on the site, and when you're the target end of that event after you've been open about who you are, its pretty frustrating. I've been there and it lame. Being accountable for your actions shows integrity, hiding behind a false identity can be less so. —AnonymousInternetTroll


This is completely off topic here, but if anyone's interested I highly recommend checking out SacWiki right now. There's lots of space to edit, and the maps are really fun to make. Better yet, hardly anyone's over there and the drama factor is super low. Yeah totally has nothing to do with identity, but for anyone trying to get away from the long threads over here, its pretty nice. —JT

I went over there yesterday to create a new page for a Gunther's Ice Cream, got quickly frustrated by the wysiwyg, and left. —cp


2011-12-23 21:39:59   This is my experience about identity: Around the time I joined this, I was depressed over dishonest and manipulative behaviors in the world, and how honest people are always at a disadvantage and are effectively oppressed. This place where people used their real name was like an oasis, and I used my real name because I wanted to support the notion that are still honest people around. At that point, if Davis Wiki had a culture where people were using pseudonym, I probably wouldn't have joined, because if that was the case, I would have saw this as another forum where the content would stay at 'opinions' instead of having discussions about the truth. In general I don't like privacy laws. I don't see why things can't be transparent. I don't understand why Nov18 needs an investigation. Why couldn't the people involved just all come to town hall and talk it through? Now no one is talking due to these laws. If you look at the root cause of crimes, I think one of the main causes is the existence of anonymity. If everyone can do anything in an anonymous way, I bet the world will become very bad. But the solution is not to enforce transparency. If you force everyone to be transparent, you would just make everyone fake, perhaps including those who would have been transparent otherwise. I think the solution lies in people voluntarily becoming transparent. When this becomes the norm, people would naturally become transparent, because being honest is joyful. Someone needs to be part of the culture to make this happen, and that starts with the self.

I believe that people who use real names are part of the solution of this big picture. However, I need to explain that the people who don't use real names are not 'the enemy'. I see someone who does not use real name, it is less of a statement about that person, but more of a statement about the status of the society. There are reasons why a person choose to be anonymous. If you cover a cup of water, some of the water molecules would be gas, some would be liquid. The proportion mainly depends on the temperature. The molecules in different states are not enemies. Even though I believe that the world would be better if everyone gets to be transparent, I am content that people are transparent when they can, and I want to help people who fear doing so. The way I see it, is that now that I am lucky enough that I can be myself, what do I need to do to help people who would prefer to be transparent, but are stuck in a situation where they can't do so?

However, before thinking about how to help people, I need to figure this out: Do I become part of the oppression for using my real name? Does my being here automatically makes me part of the oppression because I am male? How should we understand the ratio? Is there a problem, or is it just the way it is—like the cup of water?

Along that line I have a question: Is there a professor on Davis Wiki who uses real name? I went to a teacher's forum and the majority (if not almost all) of them are anonymous. When viewed from this perspective, I feel sort of glad that at least someone from the faculty community care to come here and acknowledge this and stick around. It is like frost on a glass of water. The only reason it stay long enough to be seen is because it is not gas. The situation won't let them stick around if they are gas.

Lastly I want to know this: Is there something I should be doing that could help those who want to be themselves do so? I will be content with the answer that I don't need to do anything, that it will be solved on its own, at its own pace. But if there is something that I should be doing, may I know it? —EdgarWai

I know a handful of realname professors, and yes you touch upon the Oasis factor. It's clear from AFB musing that she views the wiki as another online resources, albiet one that has a glimmer of intrigue. No one is stopping you from posting here / sharing your experience. I know a few highly touted wikizens who are anonymous... I think you find alot of resistance on the male/female argument cause last time that popped it up it was someone basically agitating with it, or at least trying to manufacture conflict via stats of the wiki / conclusions. —SD

But does that mean that we shouldn't revisit the gender issue? It certainly does appear that most of the regular editors are male. Isn't it worth thinking about the reasons for that, and what we might do differently to change it? I'm assuming here that the wiki wants to reflect all of Davis, male, female, old, young, wealthy, low income, etc. —cp

I take the gender issue here very seriously and I think it should be addressed. For one, I don't think my words would be considered "musings" if I was male, even an anonymous male. (Thanks for the note on how to indent!) —ActionFigureBarbie

Not much point in the male editors trying to address it, since our musings probably won't be given much credence. So you may wish to begin the process of addressing it.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This. We take the gender issue here seriously as well, why don't you go find out for yourself what happened, it's all in the edit history of the wiki. as far as the choice of

musing

Be absorbed in thought.

Say to oneself in a thoughtful manner.

you were postulating about realname on the Davis wiki, that started out as a wish of the wise creator (Phillip and Mike ?) so that people realized that Daviswiki isn't just another site online it's something to help affect change on a local level for the area we (With the exception of Peter I guess) live and work in... I came up with the word musings in the flow of responding to you while I was focused on your apparent the wiki is yet another site reasoning, moreover you touched upon a myriad of subjects in that specific paragraph / section therefore I consider it to be a musing, it has nothing to do with your identity/sex/race/Color/creed I would call all pointless conversations on the wiki (Not to say this conversation is without merit, it's just more often then not a bunch of talking with nothing being said occurs) musings cause we (the Daviswiki) frequently just run around furiously circlejerking each other on non issues (once again, not to say that sexism/glass ceiling is a non issue..). Can I give you a copy of pigments of the imagination? Also see how you make me quantify my thoughts? This is so people don't take what I say the wrong way, but it's probably a futile endeavor anyways ♥ —SD

I think that [DS's comment] was uncalled for. —CovertProfessor

Honestly, I've had the same thought as Don several times in this conversation. Everything said by men seems to be ascribed to malicious intent. The only sexism I've seen on this page in the past few days has been on that front. The best writer and oralist (yeah, yeah, crack your jokes) I've ever come across on a professional level was a woman. I was lucky enough to have her as my partner at the National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, where she won best oralist among a field of more than 60 extremely talented competitors from around the country. So, I don't know about anyone else here, but I tend to take what people say at face value and judge what they say, not who's saying it. Yet any comment by a male in this conversation is getting colored in by AFB as a male's comment, rather than the input of an individual. Go figure. —tg

Well, TG, here's another way to look at it. A new person comes to the wiki and makes an observation about the dearth of female editors among the regular editors, and proposes a hypothesis that the insistence on realnames might have something to do with it. Most ignore the hypothesis and focus on the importance of realnames. Others deny there is a dearth of female editors among the regular editors. A few acknowledge that there might be a problem. But overall, for people who pride themselves on welcoming new editors, this has not exactly been a great welcome, and particularly, not a great welcome for a female trying to raise issues about being female — issues which, yes, a female might be more likely to notice. To call that "sexist" or to say to suggest that things that males say are being dismissed out of hand comes off as attacking the person who dared to raise a concern. And yes, the wiki has been through this before. Not well, I might add, and we're replaying all the same moves here. —cp

After re-reading the comment that got this all started, I more or less come back to my initial reaction. "Extremely disturbed" and "disenfranchises" and "Orwellian" and "Stepford-esque" are the terms used to describe the encouragement of using real names. Most of the responses seemed to have to do with explaining Identity as it's been addressed on the Wiki in the past. There's hardly been any attack, although many people seem to disagree with AFB's take on the issue. The comment here elaborates further: "the current attempts to control things on DavisWiki is Orwellian and Stepford-esque". Who's doing the controlling? "JeffTolentino, Ste(ph)venDaubert, and tg, you all appear to be men. Many of the main editors (and possibly decision-makers) here who are open with their identities seem to be men." Maybe I'm misinterpreting it, but the gist there seems to be that the input (and responses) from men who are trying to control women in an Orwellian and Stepford-esque manner aren't really relevant. I've explained my own take on the Identity thing. I've also inquired about AFB's take on women being more vulnerable on the Internet. Both of those have gone largely ignored. Meanwhile, men are being dismissive and need to take Gender Studies 101. Which again makes it seem, as Don said, that the male users' contributes are pretty much out the door in this discussion unless we're in agreement with AFB's original point. —tg

As for the gender issue itself, I agree that women are underrepresented on the wiki, but by a far smaller margin than in most internet communities I've come across. To my mind, that distinction all by itself is a testament that the wiki is doing something right on the community and/or culture front. But maybe it's not enough. I understand AFB's point and yours about losing participation by people who aren't willing to be non-anonymous. The anti-anonymity approach has pros and cons. I personally think we've struck a pretty good balance, with encouraging the use of a RealName but not mandating it. As you've proven yourself, CP, it's very possible to engage and connect with people and establish an identity without using your name. It just not that common. —tg

TG, to explain why I haven’t responded to your comments: Your 1st comment: You were talking at me, not engaging with the issue. I didn’t ask why RealNames were important to reveal on DW. I’d already read on the Welcome to the Wiki site and elsewhere which your comment seemed to largely reiterate. I was addressing important ramifications of the pressure to use RealNames, and yes, I felt that was dismissed. Your 2nd comment: I was exasperated that anything needed to be explained. CovertProfessor has since made it extremely clear in several posts. Your 3rd comment: For some inexplicable reason you inform us of a successful woman you know—I guess I don’t follow how this ties in. In all honesty, your argument here reminded me of the old "I'm not a racist because I have a black friend" absolution. And, please don’t make me spell out how utterly horrifying the “oral” part was. No, no one was making jokes. Or they shouldn’t be. That sort of comment, especially given the issues raised in this discussion, makes me stare at the computer screen aghast and shake my head for 20 minutes that this is real life and is really happening. In line with my sentiments expressed thus far, I want to ignore your comment above. I hope you will understand why I haven’t responded to you; any response I give will likely induce a flame war, and nobody wants that to happen. Perhaps I have sorely misinterpreted you, but I think we’re both approaching this issue from extremely different perspectives. —ActionFigureBarbie

This response more or less returns to dismissing every bit of input I could give, so I'm just going to bow out of this one. I'll just say that there is such a thing as non-malicious humor, although it seems like you attribute everything said or done by a man on here to animosity toward or control of women. That's a shame to see, but it's obviously not something I'm going to be able to change. I hope you find a mode of interaction on the wiki with which you're comfortable. —tg

I concur wholeheartedly with Don/most of Toms comment (I can't speak for this orator). It's almost like we have beat this horse to death and into the ground and a new one canters into town all fresh and brimming with zeal for this topic...(not that we [the wiki] aren't willing to humor people and have the discussion again [not that having this discussion is humoring someone]) —SD

Those that don't know history are doomed to repeat it? Also here we go again on the pre responding.... —SD

and for the fucking record last time I tried to be nice to a new female users everyone else pounced down their throat (including other females) and then got persnippity with me after I tried to tell them to be nicer / more welcoming.

Yes pre responding to my huge diatribe was indeed uncalled for —SD

Not sure how to respond to some of this. I suppose it would behoove some to take a Gender Studies 101 class. All quite exasperating but I'll keep trying to make the world a better place on my own. —ActionFigureBarbie

The die have been cast! Just let it ride, you've stepped into a big pile of wikiness... —SD


2011-12-23 23:00:16   EdgarWai, your comment is interesting and insightful— poetic really with the glass imagery. I am all for transparency of government, corporations, and industries, but not individuals. In full disclosure, I am an odd creature as I do not have a facebook account or myspace page. I still like being a part of a community though. Again, very thought-provoking comment. —ActionFigureBarbie

I don't use facebook (Zuckerberg has demonstrated he/they don't care about privacy, and feh. My myspace is outdated on purpose, apart from gaming communities where I've had the same name for the better part of a decade. I've lived in Davis for quite some time and love the town I have no problem standing by what I say. As far as full disclosure goes: You disclose what you want (which is how you manage this new era, the filter starts at you, and once it's online it's online) no one can force you to do anything and it's your choice, so share what you want and squirrel the rest away for all DWiki cares —SD Also above you talk about the perception of your words, you see them as genuine and sincere since you formulated and authored them and you know yourself and the constitution of your character, we don't, and we get to judge you based of your pseudonym and how you conduct yourself... Cause you know that is the information we are provided with (in addition to your worlds... once again I'm playing fast and loose and looking at the exchange / bigger picture and not specifics.)


2011-12-24 13:17:44   Wikipedia does not explicitly encourage users to use real names. It acknowledges that the option to use real names exists, and it mentions that there are advantages and possible disadvantages that may result. If the proportions of male and female users are similar on both Davis Wiki and Wikipedia (where real names are not explicitly encouraged or discouraged), this implies that a real name "policy" does not significantly sway females from using DW. I have noticed a tendency of many female users to use their real name initials or their full first name with their last initial. Unlike anonymous users, these females seem to avoid the brunt of criticism, implying than many in the community find this to be an acceptable compromise. —ScottMeehleib


2011-12-24 14:31:43   I find it deeply ironic that a person can virtually befriend another person. You can learn pretty much everything about their hobbies, favorite stores and eateries, pets, lifestyle, and personality quirks, and yet they may forever feel uncomfortable about giving you their real name. And then you go a random restaurant in the evening, and the first thing you hear is "Hi, my name is John/Joan, and I'll be your server." —ScottMeehleib


I have a couple questions. I agree that the gender gap on DW is unfortunate, and I too, would like to find ways to encourage more women (or any under represented class) to participate. I'm wondering, is the identity issue is really the sole driver the gender imbalance here? If it is, I'm interested in fixing it, but is there some way we can still address the accountability issue? That is important to a lot of us as well. —JT

  • It may not be the sole issue (in fact, it is probably not the sole issue), but if it's an issue, then isn't it worth discussing and addressing? Agreed that accountability must be also be addressed. —cp

Two comments: one is that, in the words of one article, women often walk a tightrope between 'bimbo' and 'bitch.' (I recommend reading the article). That is, strong language that would be seen as perfectly acceptable when coming from a man is seen as overly aggressive when coming from a woman. I think the wiki has seen, and tolerated without comment, far stronger language than that seen here. My second comment is that, statistically, women and those who do not fit traditional stereotypes are more likely to be stalked, attacked, raped, etc., and thus, may prefer anonymity in the face of those who might find their comments challenging. I would have thought that wouldn't need saying, but apparently it did. Note that none of this is an attack on men. Women are just as likely to judge other women as too aggressive, and to attack them for it — if not physically, then in other ways, and those who don't fit traditional gender roles are often attacked in many ways from many sides. —CovertProfessor

I guess in response to that I'd point to the Identity page which presents a number of ways people can establish an identity without using their RealName. That still doesn't change the fact that the quickest and most basic way someone can establish an identity is through using their name. In practice not many people do so in other ways (you, IDNE, AlphaDog and a few others obviously have). Is there something else being suggested here that would make people who feel marginalized or threatened more comfortable? I'm also not fully clear whether we're having a discussion about culture on the wiki or culture off the wiki. I don't dispute the challenges women face out in the real world. But aside from AshleyMatson, I haven't seen any mention of challenges on here. Is there something I'm not following? —tg

Something else that just occurred to me - if we're talking about abusive language, it's interesting to note that DonShor, a member of the hegemony of men trying to control wikizens in an Orwellian manner by encouraging the use of real names, has proposed banning people and/or deleting comments for excessively harsh language. He and PeterBoulay have probably been the most outspoken people on the wiki in protecting users from personal attacks and harsh language. A number of other users, male and female alike, have disagreed with putting restrictions on language. —tg

I think the problem is that on Identity page, some of the comments are offensive to people who come with good intention but cannot use their real names. The potentially offensive lines are the ones that sound like taunts, such as this one: Do you trust faceless changes with an unknown origin? Other people will naturally not trust yours, if you don't establish an identity. One reason that it sounds like a taunt is that it has a rhetorical question. When I join a forum, I usually try to get some sample on whether people uses their real names. Before I read the Identity page, I already had some sense that on DavisWiki people do use their real names, and reading the Identity page confirmed that it was okay to use real name (I think that on some forum, if you use your real name it makes you sound like a salesman). But at that time I did not mind the comment, because I just thought it was a harmless line. On the other hand I don't why it cannot be removed. Another example of potentially offensive line is in here about the ski mask. To someone who cannot use their real name, that line is offensive because, as a rhetorical question, it judges the anonymous to be in the wrong. Lines like that can be edited. I have not experience this, but I think it was pointed out the attempt to ask anonymous users to consider using real name was offensive. To those that had already chosen to be anonymous, the act was seen as disrespectful. For whatever reason, they had already chosen to use the name they chose, if you ask them to use their real name, you are potentially asking a question that they cannot explain, that makes the conversation inadvertently one-sided. I think these are the actions requested related to DavisWiki. For people who are on the borderline between choosing a nick name or using a real name, I want to know who did so because they were convinced by one of those pages. If everyone had already made up their minds before reading those pages, then there should be no problem editing those pages. If there are a significant number of people who were 'saved' by those pages, then potentially a tricky trade-off problem to deal with. But I don't see how there could be harm to simply say, "On DavisWiki it is okay to use your real name or a nick name, whichever you feel more comfortable that would let you contribute to the community." The underlying reasoning is this: if someone tells you that you are hurting them and it does not cost you anything to change, then it is natural to just change it. Is having anonymous users a huge problem if those pages are edited? If is it a huge problem, and for some reason it can be solved by editor asking those users to consider using real name, could this be stated, and could those people offended forgive the editors? It is not always easy for an enforcer to tell when they are responding to a false alarm especially if they do get many alarms. To you, it may seem they are picking on you, but that is because you don't know how many other cases they have handled successfully. —EdgarWai


2011-12-25 17:11:23   About the ratio of male/female editors: I agree with Don's comment that male editors would lose credibility if they try to say that having more male editors is not an issue. But I think that the underlying proof should come from the data about the reality. If you take a snapshot of our current community, and everyone who wants to write on DavisWiki gets to do so, the ratio may not be 50:50. It could be 60:40 (that male has more to say about businesses and events in Davis); it could be 40:60 (that there are actually more female who want to say something about the businesses but were deterred by the pressure to disclose their identities). Perhaps a relevant piece of data to compare would be the gender ratio of other business/service rating websites such as yelp. We could compare the male/female ratio there... (When I got on Yelp, I found that that website actually has users with real name, and that "Real People. Real Reviews" is their slogan.) Does it mean that the hope for 'anonymous review' is a fantasy? Having discovered that Yelp seems to mandate real name, a logical question would be to ask if Yelp's ratio is worse than that of DavisWiki. (According to our expectation, it should be worse because DavisWiki does not mandate real name.) The business I searched is Namaste Nepal Restaurant. On Yelp, there are 86 reviews. On DavisWiki, there are 68 reviews. If someone wants they could tally the male/female ratio to show (in this sample), if Yelp and DavisWiki have comparable ratios. Do you think that this is a meaningful comparison? (I am hoping that someone would tell me it is not meaningful so that I don't start counting. It is a daunting task.) —EdgarWai

  • I would say that it is not a meaningful comparison because a) Davis Wiki is not a business/service rating website and b) I believe the original question was about regular editors, not about all editors as a whole. —cp
  • Sorry, I was referring to business/service rating because of AFB's edit history. I thought that was her original intended mode of contribution, and not being able to do so anonymously would be a hurdle. According to the changes comments this particular discussion is unwanted so I will not continue unless someone asks for continuation. —ew

I plan to branch out. Might gnome a bit. I've always wanted to start a new page, but I feel like everything is there. Something, some day, I'm sure. There's many many reasons for keeping anonymity. —ActionFigureBarbie

  • Sorry I didn't mean to pigeonhole your usage. I think we understand that if someone comes to DavisWiki and just wants to review businesses it is also okay, you don't need to 'branch out' to be respected. I was just trying to think in your shoes, and also try to tell where DavisWiki stands in comparison, to tell whether enforcing real name or relaxing real name would do the greater good. There is a distinction on whether our goal is to fix a problem for a few or for the many. For me, whether DavisWiki is a disservice for the greater good is not yet established. However, since I am not the person that will be implementing any change, nor the victim of the situation. Unless someone asks for additional opinion, I don't bring any value by speaking. So in conclusion, to me it is okay if someone just want to review business, just once a year, or only in that one occasion where the restaurant pisses you off. To me, there is value to that, even if the content is racist or sexist. It is better to see the truth than the censored version. It is okay if you do it anonymously if you have to, or if you simply choose to. I also think that people are doing a good job gnoming and documenting why people get banned. The only missing piece is that I have no knowledge of anyone being treated as a second citizen, so I suppose I cannot speak because I can't speak for something I don't see. And if in any case what I assume deviates from the truth I need to stop. It is a dangerous mentality if I start speaking for an imaginary victim. I still care but I think it is not up to me to speak. Please feel free to summon me, but otherwise I should just watch. —EdgarWai
    • No worries! I've really enjoyed and learned a lot from your perspective. —ActionFigureBarbie

A private messaging proposal was put forth as a possible compromise to the privacy vs accountability issue, but some of that discussion has been moved to this page for organizational purposes.


2011-12-26 10:15:59   Although Yelp is not exactly like Davis Wiki, I don't see why a comparison of the community ratios would be unfair, especially since most tension and animosity on the wiki is business related. It seems that Yelp actually has more female users than male users, and yet they encourage real names and real pictures. Granted, the full last name isn't given out to the public, but most people do seem to use their real first name and pictures. —ScottMeehleib

  • Yelp doesn't draw from just a small community. People aren't likely to fly from NYC to Davis to stalk someone. On the other hand, a person might become obsessed with (i.e., it doesn't have to be just "tension" or "animosity"), or angry at, a regular Davis Wiki editor and it would be a lot easier to stalk/harass/attack etc. that person. Women and other vulnerable people have more reason to protect their identity. —CovertProfessor
    • You may be right that Yelp is a bit different when it comes to large cities. But I don't see how a Yelp user who lives in Davis (and has therefore written reviews mainly about Davis establishments) would be any less or more likely to be stalked/attacked than a Davis Wiki user. —ScottMeehleib
      • Because (as noted above — or maybe it was in the part that got moved) the Davis Wiki is more than just a "write some reviews" site. Editors are encouraged to create pages that describe themselves. And over time, a regular editor might, for example, reveal that she eats at a certain restaurant every Friday. Jogs at the Arboretum in the mornings. Belongs to a certain club. Frequents the library. Etc. Again, I assume that this discussion is about regular editors, not the occasional editor who puts up a review every now and then. If I were inclined to be a stalker, Recent Changes would be a great place to hang out and obsess over every edit that my target made, gleaning little bits of info here and there. Now, just to be clear, I am not saying that Davis is full of stalkers, and stalkers who use the wiki in particular. But we all know these things do happen from time to time, and the point is whether a woman or other person subject to be stalked, etc., might be reasonably concerned about the possibility and thus not wish to reveal her name. Of course, some women and others don't seem to worry, and feel comfortable using their real names — but that doesn't mean that others are irrational for wanting to be more cautious. —CovertProfessor
        • That makes sense. Thank you for the clarification. —ScottMeehleib
          • Sure. :-) —cp
  • Yelp encourages people to share stuff, and 3/4 hypothetical you posted could occur on yelp. I remain nonplussed —SD
    • Are people making extensive edits to all sorts of different pages on different topics? Again, I am not just talking about what one might put on a personal page. I'm talking about all the edits that a regular editor might make. For example, a person might mention a dog park and a dog groomer, and restaurants that allow dogs to eat outside. And the other editors might become very interested in what type of dog that person had and seek to find out. —cp

Also, a quick scan of, e.g., Yelp for Kathmandu shows a lot of non-Davisites posting and thus reading, which was my original point. Davis is more focused on Davis, read by and contributed to be Davisites, than other sites. —cp


With re: the original comment "I am extremely disturbed by the pressure on DavisWiki to use one's real name," I suggest that ActionFigureBarbie and others simply edit the Identity page to reflect their preferences.

  • Personally, I don't feel comfortable making those changes without more discussion, knowing how strongly some feel about the realname issue. And I think, despite a few rocks and bumps along the way, that this has been a worthwhile discussion to have. I'd feel more comfortable proceeding with editing if I thought that more people understood the concerns that AFB raised, aside from any objections people might have about the way that she raised them. (Personally, I have no such concerns, but others such as yourself seem to). —CovertProfessor

I also feel incredibly uncomfortable making any changes given the way the importance of RealNames permeates the DavisWiki: I offer some suggestions below. Comments/rewrites are of course welcome. —ActionFigureBarbie

  • I like the proposed changes. Thanks for doing that. —cp
    • *thanks, though in re-reading, apparently I like the phrasing "neighborly fashion." AFB
      • Me too. —cp
        • I think its an improvement in terms of being more welcoming to new users. I think the Importance of Using Your Real Name page has value to a lot of users though and it may be worth keeping. Much of it is intended for anonymous trollers making inflammatory edits. I'd support using the new Should You Use Your Real Name page for initial welcomes, but holding onto the IOUYRN page as a reference when accountability problems come up. —JT

1st change:

On the sign up page

Change this: Your real name, written WithoutSpacesLikeThis(e.g. MichaelJackson. Please do not use nickname or business name.)

To this: Choose a user name, written WithoutSpacesLikeThis. Either your real name (JaneDoe), partial name (JohnD or JDoe), or a respectable pseudonym (DavisIsGreat).

2nd change:

On the welcome to wiki page

Change this: The Importance of using your RealName cannot be underestimated.

To this: Should you use your real name? (and obviously insert hyperlink when page below is made)

3rd change:

Delete this page: Importance of using your RealName

And make this page: Should you use your real name

4th change: Once the above page is made, add content (below is suggested):

One of the most important features of DavisWiki is the sense of community it fosters. Together, we aim to maintain respect, accountability, and credibility. There are a number of ways your choice of identity here can achieve this:

Using your real name: One of the best ways to maintain a respectful community on DavisWiki is to use your real name. In using your real name, you show responsibilty for the things you say on Daviswiki. It encourages you to edit in a neighborly fashion within the community. Furthermore, your real name allows you to get to know those in Davis in a more neighborly fashion. Imagine the instant sense of camaraderie you would feel when meeting someone at the farmer’s market or a city council meeting whose comments and edits you have been enjoying on DavisWiki.

Using a variation of your name or a pseudonym: Obviously, there are many reasons for why you might not want to use your real name. For one, you might want to consider your personal safety. Whatever the reason may be, you may instead chose a variation of your name or a pseudonym. In either case, you should feel compelled to contribute as productively as if you were using your real name. A number of people have made enormous contributions to society using variations of their name (e.g., J. K. Rowling) or a pseudonym (e.g., Mark Twain). If you chose the pseudonym “bicycle” and make productive use of DavisWiki, the whole town will have a sense of wonder about who the editor might be, and look with respect upon all bicyclists.

Persistent negative comments or malicious attacks are not welcome on DavisWiki. Remember, whatever information you put on the DavisWiki will always be accessible, even if you delete it. You might bring substantial harm to yourself or businesses.

[and then add all that stuff on businesses and legalities on impersonating others here]

5th Change:

Can we please get rid of the banner on the top of this page?— hey, did that banner just disappear? Awesome!!


I think the issue of gender on the DavisWiki should be discussed & debated. That said, I'm not convinced that the widespread usage of real names on DavisWiki is related to the male/female editing ratios (which, it should be noted, are not the absurd ratios that Wikipedia has by a long shot). I understand that women and people from marginalized and underrepresented communities may have more of a problem using their real name on the DavisWiki. That said, it doesn't follow that encouraging (encouraging is the wrong word here - I'm in a hurry so please pardon me) less real names on the wiki will spark more female participation. I think the issues are separate here — both worth discussing and debating, but I think we'd be well served by considering them independently. —PhilipNeustrom

But if members of those communities are made to feel like second class wikizens by some of the language around realnames, then that is a problem as well as a probable deterrent to participation. —cp

A potential deterrent to participation for some people, yes. But the question to explore is: what's the external effect? Would more active editing by people who remain pseudoanonymous change the way the Davis Wiki community works? And would it change it for the better or for the worse? Would this change, overall, decrease participation? For instance, there's a pretty high correlation between people feeling anonymous on the Internet and people being jerks. If there's more jerks, or less of a feeling of community, participation may drop. —PhilipNeustrom

Fair enough. I think it's right to ask whether the costs of a more permissive attitude towards pseudonyms (more jerks, less community) outweigh the benefits of a more permissive attitude towards pseudonyms (participation from a more diverse group). However, whereas there is a correlation between people being anonymous and people being jerks on the internet in general, I am not sure that that correlation holds on the wiki. Here, I see good and bad behavior from the realnames and the pseudonames alike. And I think the changes that AFB proposed still place a high value on choosing realnames. What they do is stop castigating people (e.g., the analogy to wearing a ski mask) who choose not to. —CovertProfessor

Yeah, I think that's exactly the question. I think it'd be great if we could get more participation from folks like you, who for professional or other reasons don't want your name attached to your edits. But also encourage folks to use their real names otherwise. —PhilipNeustrom

I like the changes. I think they are supportive, inclusive, and correct. I also share Philip's speculation that changing real name would not change DavisWiki's male/female ratio, however, I do not need to prove or disprove this relation to know that the changes make DavisWiki better. I want to explain further about the male/female ratio, but I want to focus on seeing AFB's proposed changes implemented first. I want to understand that changes can happen before I put effort into a harder topic. —EdgarWai

Thanks! Extensive surveys on underrepresented social groups or understanding how welcome those who don't use RealNames feel to edit would definitely be good to know. AFB


StevenDaubert's proposal:

Do absolutely nothing, keep it as it. Nothing truly prevents people wishing to remain anonymous from having meaningful interactions on/with the wiki (shining examples: Alpha Dog / CurlyGirl) As far as the chilling effect goes, if people are going to talk themselves out of participation for whatever reason that is their choice to make.

Or even better: We do like Don Shor suggested and let the anonymous posse add their 2 c to the identity page

  • Apparently, anonymous editors are accepted only so long as we stay in our proper place without daring to challenge any of the wiki's sacred cows, and as long as we are not silly enough to think that possible harm could come to us from using our real names. Then we become a "posse." (Note that DS's suggestion was that "ActionFigureBarbie and others simply edit the Identity page to reflect their preferences," which is exactly what AFB is proposing doing, but with proper wiki discussion). —cp
  • In light of your comment (on AFB's user page) about the number of incoming links to the Importance of Using your RealName (RN), it is apparent that it is part of a workflow to show editors with nick name who has just made a negative review that deviates from the typical reviews for the business. Most of those reviewers never replied. Then, would it be okay if the original RN page is not deleted, but kept, so that fellow editors could choose which page to use. Perhaps we could also tell which page would be more effective in a) deterring false accusations and b) retaining reviewers who wrote legitimate complaints. Could AFB explain the reason for changing the title of RN page? I think that is a minor modification. Both titles look correct. I also suggest mentioning that the person who is choosing an accounting name to write a negative review should also consider the maintenance cost that fellow editors need to swallow if the negative review was extraordinary. Something like "Please consider that while DavisWiki is one of the few places where users could post anonymous negative reviews, the fellow editors also actively review and remove vindictive or false accusations. At times this effort could be taxing for the community. If you do need to remain anonymous to warn fellow readers, please consider the following options to show that your review is legitimate when safety allows." I assume that there are guidelines on how to write an anonymous negative review that would show for itself that the context is true. I don't have enough experience to tell what the guideline might be. The following is up to debate:

    1) The date and time of the incident.

    2) The number of witnesses of the incident.

    3) Your relation to the businesses. (i.e. Are you a customer, a former employee, a vendor?)

    4) Whether the incident had been reported to the police or the relevant authority (if so, you may also choose to include the case number, this would probably bypass most doubts).

    5) Whether you intend to bring this issue to court. If so, please consider talking to a lawyer before posting on DavisWiki (regardless whether you use a real name or a nick name).

    6) If your claim is true but extraordinary and you have a friend who already has an account with a real name, please consider asking your friend to post the review on your behalf, so that accountability is retained.

    7) If you do not have a friend who already has an account with a real name, and you are willing to disclose information to some or our trusted members, please consider contacting these DavisWiki members who have experience and have volunteered to give a fair voice to this type of warnings: _.

    RN is worded as it is to serve a purpose. Just want to make sure that the changes would not unnecessarily cripple their efforts, while also explicitly showing how someone could broadcast a fair warning anonymously without breaking accountability. Please consider this as an additional suggestion that does not affect the validity of the changes that AFB has already proposed. —EdgarWai

The current wording on the help pages is basically (or should be, IMO) "We encourage you to use your real name. You don't have to. If you don't, please be mindful that your reputation is important." What's the problem with that? —PhilipNeustrom

  • Just below this comment, AFB has pointed out some of the problematic language: “ski mask” anecdote, words like “suspicion”… “masked editor”… “casts under”… “cloud of suspicion”… “damages the web of trust” —CovertProfessor

I think EW has some good ideas here on the accountability front. I still believe anonymous users still need to show some responsibility when accusations or other harmful edits are made. If we want to provide some insulation for users with identity issues, I think it's fair to ask for additional backup to inflammatory posts. Of course, how they proceed from there is up to them, but it provides some additional background for everyone else. In my mind, using your RN is very efficient, but I can recognize that other means of legitimacy is still valid. -JT

    Hi EdgarWai, From my perspective, the Importance of Using your RealName page is rather harsh. In addition to the “ski mask” anecdote, words like “suspicion”… “masked editor”… “casts under”… “cloud of suspicion”… “damages the web of trust” imply that those who are anonymous or unknown are meant to be feared. I am not sure if this is a fair parallel, but to me this stance is akin to the ‘fear of outsiders’ in Chancellor Katehi’s first letter responding to the Occupy UC Davis pepper spray incident.

    I was uncertain what to call the new page. I don’t think “Should you use your real name” is the right phrase and I probably should’ve stated such. Really, I see the issue as one of respect and community. Could we use some version of what I have above paired with an extremely acute warning about trolling and unwarranted attacks on one page? I thought it best to delete the RealName page because if we keep that and then create a new page about how pseudonyms are welcome, they will contradict each other. But maybe that is ok, maybe multivocality is what the wiki is all about. Hope I answered your question? –AFB

      I think your answer is that what you mainly want to change is the content of the RN page. If the title of the page does not need to be change, the changes could be applied on the existing RN page, then that would skip the discussion on whether RN should be deleted. While I believe that the terms in RN could be offensive, I think that they do accurately describe how people might feel in some situations. People are not perfect. If a vandalist starts vandalizing everything, and the only information the public knows is that the vandalist always wears a certain outfit. It is correct that the community as a whole would become more watchful for anyone who they don't know well, who happens to wear that outfit, alone, by himself. It might be tragic if you happen to wear that outfit, but I don't think it is fair to blame the community for being extra watchful of you. The blame should go to the vandalist, not to the people who are trying to catch them. In such a case, the worst thing you could do for the community, is to keep wearing that outfit, and try to sue the community for discrimination without helping the community to find the true vandalist. Sometimes this happens in an innocent fashion because you don't share the same priority as the community. For example, you may not know that how much damage the vandalist had done to the community. If you don't know it, and when the community asks you extra questions, I believe that it is correct that you will feel discriminated. But I don't think that it is the fault of the community. The community is trying to protect everyone in the community, but is also trying to catch the vandalist. But a community is not made up of some kind of perfect, omniscient entity. It is made of human beings who has fears, frustrations, and makes mistakes. If you ignore the unjust you feel, then you will be left with a design problem on inclusiveness and accountability. When that is solved, you may not be able to resolve the unjust you felt, but you could prevent people in the future to go through the same feeling. You are valuable because you are sticking around to show a blind-spot. However I think this discussion is dragging on too long. I think I will just start the changes if no one brings up any new concern. I am starting to believe that that is the way DavisWiki is meant to work. No one is going to vote on it, we just do it. We are over-discussing. From my perspective, we already have a common ground that justifies the changes:

      The purpose of the change is this to remove judgmental remarks about anonymous editors and to make the filtering process more efficient.

      The method is to apply the changes AFB proposed (communicating value and intention), and to include a list of information the anonymous editor should consider to provide to help filter legitimate from malicious accusations. On the guideline that would help us tell if the story is legit, the last advice I want to make is this:

      99) If your claim is extraordinary and you cannot provide any additional details safely, please include this link SOMELINK or this magic keyword XYZ in your review to confirm that you have read the suggestion, but none of them would allow you to give the community a fair warning promptly.

      This way, when an anonymous editor posts an extraordinary review, we would at least know that they read the page. —EdgarWai


2011-12-27 10:36:05   I've stayed out of this discussion, but for many years now I've been against the heavily "real name or else" position. It used to be a lot more stringent a few years ago, and I remember a lot of friction between myself and certain other editors about it. Since I'm posting a few comments now, I'd want to inform those who didn't know that I changed my wiki name (Ed Wins, EdwinS, whatever) because a person I had never met before in my life recognized me as 'the guy on the wiki' when I was paying for something with my credit card. It was weird. At the time, I was a very prolific wiki editor, though I don't think I've contributed anything of actual worth to the wiki since 2008 (my apologies. I miss Davis).

I've also always hated the 'ski mask' analogy and I've probably ranted about it dozens of times over the last few years, and always brought up the 'online vs offline' thing. BTW, like CP, I'd almost never give my last name in a casual interaction, and I think most people don't. Usually "By the way, I'm Mary. "Hey Mary, I'm Ed, nice to meet you" is what I've seen/done. Anyway, an offline meeting at the Farmers Market is transient, isn't it? An online meeting? I've always understood the concept and desire to have an online community emulate a real world one, but you can't gloss over either the negatives or differing aspects that 'offline' has vs 'online' - especially in this online, which is completely open. It's recorded in wiki history. Someone can come by five years later and see it. Minutes of it happening, a complete stranger from any part of the world (China, Russia, whatever) can look it up. It's a bad analogy, period. And remember, under my 'real name' I was a top 10 editor, so I really was 'one of the wiki guys' around town for a while.

And unrelated to the top part of this post, the community of active editors changes every few years. The first Wiki BBQ had 32 wiki editors listed on the page for it OMGLOLWIKIBBQ, 9 of which are female. I think there may have been a few more females there (a few girlfriends, and/or friends of other editors), but there were also a few more males (a few boyfriends, and/or friends of other editors). Interestingly at the time of the first wiki BBQ, every single user [except Tar] used their 'real name' as their wiki id). The conversation over how large the 'active community' actually is comes up every few years. This may be the first time the question of female participation / real name has been brought up directly linked like this. I think it's difficult to address because the wiki is constantly evolving and in a state of flux. What "was" the way things were changes frequently, and what "will" be the way things are are unknown. I think that's part of why it's difficult to converse about this, as seen by some of the edits above, especially when some editors joined at different stages of the wiki and may have certain views about it, whether it's an issue that needs to be addressed or whether it's just part of the evolving wiki and if you wait, it'll change on it's own.

My views also changed on certain issues as my fiance worked at SADVC and WEAVE, which is why I tend to chime in heavily on certain types of issues, and even further understand ramifications of real name vs pseudoname and privacy. (It's also why I tend to almost always support user comments in some allegations often seen as 'anti-business' or 'damaging'....)

Back to pseudonames, I forgot to mention I originally joined under one when the wiki was brand-spanking new. I pretty quickly changed it to my full name because I liked the idea and wanted to support it (and everyone else was doing it). Later, I had a few interactions that made me change my mind and I switched to Edwin S. Consider what I just wrote 'everyone else was doing it'. This affects current and future sign ups. The more pseudonames there are, the more accepted they'll be, the more people will use them. The 'real name' pressure feels antiquated to me, and the whole 'establish identity' thing came about as a sort of compromise to try to reduce that push. (Though I used to argue that the 'establish identity' was too harsh as well when first being implemented, some new editors got caught in a catch 22). Ultimately, the floodgates were opened and I think you all would be hardpressed to try to go back to the 'primarily real name community' we had in ~2005 through early 06. It's like baby boomers pining over the good ole times. Nostalgia be damned, the world changed. In this case, it eventually comes back to 'online vs offline.' It's not necessarily that the people of Davis changed...it's just the last few years, the pitfalls and dangers of being overexposed online have been ramped up in the media, and there are people that have been affected. And that's a broad overview, not going into the various specific scenarios, though I hinted at them above.

Shame on me, I'm ranting again. Incoherently at work, I typed this up while serial-tasking, so it might be more fragmented that I originally planned. Apologies. —EdWins


2011-12-27 17:47:46   I'm opposed to making more pages that talk about the same thing. If anything, we should edit Identity to reflect the various perspectives on the issue and incorporate/delete importance of using your real name. It's currently moderately duplicative, and it sounds like once the changes being discussed here are made to Identity, it'll be even more duplicative. —tg


2011-12-27 18:40:24   How do you know ActionFigureBarbie isn't just a clever troll who just punked all y'all with some super pro gender baiting? It's not like you'd know if he/she was a regular user hiding behind anonymity to say or do things he/she wouldn't say or do with a real name attached. And look how much time you've all wasted on not alienating a group of people who already participate more here than they do on most other websites. I know I was scared away from using a pseudonym on here when I registered. Just like all the other anons who leave comments and crap. —Supernonymous

  • Supernonymous raises a good point, but am unsure if it's true. Anyone remember a long time ago when it was proposed that all new users have a trial period indicating by their ID that they are a new member and that until they make a certain number of real contributions to the wiki they will have the identifier? Anyway, agree that this is all a non-issue and is yet another thing that makes people frustrated and disgusted with the wiki. It seems as if squabbles and disagreements like this are on the rise here and whoever AFB is, they used it to stir the pot and everyone took the bait. I also second EdWins sentiments. — jsbmeb

  • It is true that if AFB did not bring this up, I wouldn't notice that there could be a problem. There are many instances in DavisWiki with jokes or biased information. To me that is actually okay. But since it is brought up, my primary motivation is to help AFB because 1) The concern seems legitimate; 2) There is a concrete plan to fix the problem; 3) There is no obvious burden for changing. Suppose AFB suddenly say, "Sorry everyone, I don't mind that page now...", then I would next check on tg because in one of the older discussion he brought up a similar (if not the same) problem. If tg's family is also fine with no change, then next in line would be CovertProfessor, who also expressed concern. After that I would need some sort of survey to tell if there are other hidden victims. The reason to look for hidden victims is that someone expressed that they would support a more representative demographic. If people don't care about the representation of demographic, at that point all of my motivations for changes would be gone. To me, it is okay if DavisWiki is elitist, or that it only accepts RN users, because DavisWiki is not a public entity. The owner(s) of DavisWiki could choose how they want this place to be, it is not up to non-owners to attack them on their turf. At that point, the people that oppose DavisWiki should create an alternate gathering place, without vandalizing anything here. As long as inclusiveness is still a goal of DavisWiki, continual self-check and improvements should be made. The priority may fluctuate, and sometimes it might be forgotten, but as long as it remains a principle of this community, it should be attended. If it ever comes a day we have fixed all problems in the community, that we have time left to imagine imaginary issues and guard the community against those also, then that would be even better. That would be the day when we are 'ahead' of the curve. What are the priorities for this community? Inclusiveness is important because if you don't have sufficient inclusiveness, you cannot correct assess the true priority of a community. Some people claim that they are not being heard, and that their concerns are dismissed. That is a fundamental problem. —EdgarWai


2011-12-27 19:27:26   I look to the truth of comments far more than their source. And what AFB had to say about anonymity had the ring of truth to it, regardless of who she is or how long she has been editing here. —CovertProfessor


2011-12-27 22:15:38   Just a hypothetical here, but would the pro-pseudonym camp be ok with an anonymous user adding sexist material to a page like Wiki Community/Women, and justifying their use of a pseudonym with a claim that they have been harassed by pro-feminists? —jefftolentino

  • I've never been an advocate of "anything goes" language on the wiki. Certain things are out of line, regardless if the person who says them uses a realname or not. You're blending two different issues. (Of course, it depends on what you mean by sexist language. I think that some of the things said on this page are sexist, but nothing rises to the level that I would suggest deleting it). —CovertProfessor

    • I was actually more interested in your thoughts on how malicious users might incorporate the 'I'm oppressed' justification to make edits anonymously. What happens when this gets twisted around by someone else? Do we have to give every anonymous user the benefit of the doubt? Also, there's a lot of borderline edits that get posted (sexist or otherwise) where deletion may not be completely justifiable, but the effect still has fairly negative consequences, (the accusations against TG for example). It just seems to me like the arguments put forth here in favor of pseudonyms could be used in weasly ways. —JT

      • I guess I'm not understanding what you're asking. There are anonymous users on this wiki, and have been for quite some time. We don't generally go around asking why someone is anonymous, though some people volunteer that information. But even if we know why someone is anonymous, that doesn't give them a pass to say harmful things. And I don't see why accusations are any more harmful because they are posted by someone who was anonymous. What would be different if AFB had posted with her real name? I get it that she would then have "skin in the game." Ok, then — but so what? What next? It seems as though we'd be exactly where we are now, with accusations made (and I think I've gotten a bit lost about exactly what those accusations were supposed to be). The anonymity issue is a red herring. What we're really dealing with, IMO, is how to deal with potentially harmful comments. —cp

        • I guess I see your point on not needing justification from every anonymous user. It does come up from time to time though when a pseudonym makes an unsavory or offensive edit. Regarding accusations though, having skin in the game is absolutely important. AFB gets to publicly call out a real-life person, with potentially real-life consequences. TG gets to call out a pseudonym, with no real-life consequences other than making a username look bad on the Internet. I agree, though, that potentially harmful comments are what this is really all about here. We obviously have many anonymous users who are respectful and responsible (you and IDNE are excellent examples), and I think your reasons for being anonymous are just. The RN approach is just an attempt to reduce harmful edits by anonymous users. Given all of this, however, I don't think there's much of a resolution here that's going to make everyone happy (welcome to the wiki, right?). Both sides have well meaning intentions that point in complete opposite directions. We just have to do our best to work together... I'm still rooting for the PM system though. —JT


2011-12-28 05:18:55   Something about all this makes me uneasy. Although I now better understand the concerns and fears that make some editors choose to remain anonymous, I also feel that there is good reason as to why real names are so strongly encouraged. The fact of the matter is that some people who use anonymous accounts will act differently than if they used real name accounts. For example, if I was using a pseudonym, I would be a lot more brash in the way I express myself (as if I wasn't enough already). If we soften the encouragement of real names to the point of neutrality, I guess I may as well change to a pseudonym also. I mean why put my ass on the line if I don't have to? And to be honest, when I first signed up for the wiki, I thought I really did "have to" use my real name, or at least if I didn't I figured I would be be under some pressure. —ScottMeehleib

  • From my perspective, the most justifiable scenario I understand is when someone needs to write a review to warn the fellow readers about frauds or malpractices. The farther you move away from this scenario, the less justification there is to use a pseudonym. To me, the choice to use a pseudonym is not neutral, it implies threat on personal safety if the editor does not use a pseudonym. As expressed by other commenters, just being female is sufficient reason for using pseudonym. Since everyone in general wants equal treatment, the person asking for special treatment does so only due to their circumstance. Personally, I use real name because opening is an asset to society (when it is voluntary). In my mind, in the old days (thousands of years ago), "teachers" do not just teach subject matters, they were the most ethical people in the village because there was no lesson more important than ethics. Everyone looks up to the teacher as role models. They were the moderators and pacifiers of the villagers. They were the people who dissolved hate and resolved conflicts. It would be absurd for any teacher to be anonymous. When we reach a situation where teachers don't feel safe disclosing their names, it is a sign of how far moral and ethics had eroded. It is not the fault of teachers, but the collective deficiency of a community. Therefore, if you could afford to use your real name, you should use it, and use it to dissolve hate and resolve problems, so that the concept of "revenge" and "violent justice" would disappear at its root. —EdgarWai

    • But, to hone in on your example, I'm not convinced that simply being female is a sufficient reason to use a pseudonym. During the years of the wiki's existence, how many editors have been attacked or assaulted by their fellow psychopathic editors? At the same time, I wouldn't consider the fear irrational, but I would argue that, in most cases it is probably an unhealthy fear. For example, a female editor is probably many times more likely to be killed in a car accident. Fear of cars is not irrational either, but if it keeps you from going outside, it does more harm than good. I agree with Daubert that I find this topic ridiculously hypothetical. Sorry if that comes off as insensitive, but I actually see myself as a feminist. I really don't think it is healthy to make such a radical change to a wiki fundamental on the basis of a hypothetical. —ScottMeehleib

      • Actually I agree with you. I consider the problem about gender ratio a different topic. There are underlying variations to explain why some female editors are using real name and some don't. I want to move onto that topic once this one is done, possibly starting by designing a survey with correct questions to assess the situation. Right now I can only stand behind the justification that the changes would make it easier for legitimate anonymous warnings. What are the radical changes you are referring to? —EdgarWai


2011-12-28 13:20:11   I want to add something to my last comment. But I'm an iPhone, and it takes a ridiculously long time to scroll down the edit window, so I'll say it here. To put it simply, I find the idea of women hiding their names in fear insulting in the same way I see the fundamentalist Muslim burka insulting. You see, the idea of a burka is often purported (by men) as a way to keep women safe from sexual assault. I honestly see this topic as quite analogous. What kind of life is a life lived in fear? —ScottMeehleib

  • I'm sorry that you find it insulting that there may be situations in which a woman feels uncomfortable or exposed by giving her real name. It's not simply a hypothetical; there have been allegations of sexual misconduct and even rape placed on the wiki. Want to see what might happen when a 'real name' is given? Read the comments on the first Enterprise article about how a local cafe owner has been arrested here (and note that her name was shared within the comments, not the article of course). Several of the original comments had been deleted/moderated, but some of them are/were shocking. Lot of hate directed towards the alleged victim. And it's not as if there aren't wiki examples. Remember the talk page about it? Or more specifically as to using real names to leave comments, what about this cab drama where someone simply alleges they witnessed misconduct. What a wiki response, they ended up quitting. You'll note on the talk page that in between some of the insults, there was a link to her facebook page. Why? As mentioned above, my fiance was a crisis counselor for SADVC and WEAVE when we were up north, and domestic violence/sexual assault is pretty traumatizing, especially emotionally. There are zillions of reasons why people might not want to give their real name. I wasn't sure whether to comment or not, but decided to because I was surprised. I don't think you meant it maliciously, but in honesty, I do see it as ignorant. No offense intended, which is why I responded with a couple quick examples. If you think about it for a while, you might see some more reasons. -ES

  • 2011-12-28 13:52:58   Ed, there are situations in which a person could be well-justified in using a sockpuppet account. For example, in the case of sensitive topics such as sexual assault or even to update the Alcoholics Anonymous entry. But that's not at all what I was talking about. I was talking about regular editors in regular situations. —ScottMeehleib

  • Ah, I see. Only thing I can respond is that from the outside looking in, it's hard to tell if a person is in a regular situation or not. Or even if they are, if they'll stay there. That last link in my above comment was about AM, the long-time wiki editor who posted something others found disagreeable, and after a shitstorm (which involved people saying that her "editing history on businesses was pretty negative") ended with a link to her facebook and personal info. Pretty quick to go from a regular person in a regular situation to something pretty nasty. I can't in good faith be angry at people who may want to avoid the risk of going down the same path. By the speed in which you replied, I wasn't sure if you clicked all the links or not. Not that you necessarily have to, of course, but the first Enterprise one is pretty gut-wrenching. -ES

  • On this regard I think the line is drawn on whether the act is voluntary. We are not asking women to wear masks. If they want to, it is okay. If they don't, it is also okay. If the fear is irrational, all we can do is to provide the data to show that it is irrational, but ultimately I don't think we should force people use realname or use pseudonym. By voluntary I don't mean letting them have the choice by constantly pressuring them to change their view. I meant let them have the choice and respect their level of comfort. You can't ask people not to be afraid, but you can offer an environment where they can feel safe. To ES: I think assaults and hate crimes are real and serious, but I don't know one way or another whether hiding one's identity is the best way to handle it. Instead of hiding one's identity, there might be a way to solve the situation by increasing support and connectiveness. This way, they don't need to sacrifice their identity to feel safe. There must be a way to be safe and be open at the same time. —EW


When does a new editor see the explanation of the Importance of Using Your RealName? I logged off and clicked on the new account button. Then I am at the sign up page. There is no link that explains why I should use RealName, and that page is not editable. I think there should be a link to RealName on the sign up page. The person signing up should know what RealName means for DavisWiki before they decide not to use it. —EdgarWai


2011-12-28 14:10:50   Ed, first of all, sorry for the lack of threading. I remember the AM incident somewhat and of course it was unfortunate. But what does that have to do with her being female? Are you saying that it seemed likely that she was likely to have been assaulted on the basis of all that? I'd say there's always a slight possibility, but I still bet she was more likely to be hit by lightning. —ScottMeehleib


2011-12-28 14:24:14   Anyway, I'm sorry if I'm coming off to harsh which I undoubtedly am. I feel like some valid points are being made here. I would be okay with making some changes to the various identity pages and sign-up pages. But I think it's a big enough change that we shouldn't just rush into it. —ScottMeehleib


2011-12-29 00:30:29   To say it is sexist to encourage people to use their real names makes no sense. It implies that women need special treatment which is itself sexist. That said, I have no problem with people being afraid to use their real names, as long as it is understood that they their statements are subject to a higher degree of scrutiny than someone who is willing to attach their name to what they say.

On a side note, I also think anyone who uses the words "orwellian" or "stepfordesque" on a public forum is in desperate need of social confirmation of their intellect. —MikeyCrews


2011-12-29 02:14:00   I have just edited Importance of using your RealName. It reflects all changes I know (From AFB, JT, and myself) and can do. I have no plan to make any further change. If it simply gets reverted, I will not revert it back, because I have done my part, I cannot force people to accept the changes. Thank you for review. —EdgarWai


2011-12-29 13:02:37   TL:DR

My two cents from what I've summized:

1) People don't like to give their real names. Lots of reasons for that (gender issue to follow) but there's o reason to stop supporting it as a primary form of account holder on here. Plenty of people establish their identity with anon accounts and plenty of people use throwaways with real names. It's also pretty easy to make an account name that sounds real but isn't. People do what they are comfortable with on the internet. If this is really something worth pursuing it should be "Let's encourage people to generate a presence on the wiki. One way of doing that is by using your real name. Another is by contributing to more than just one good/bad review. Help bring your voice to the wiki" blah blah blah Can the world go back to spinning now? Thnx

2) Gender issue. I'm a girl. There are times I'm uncomfortable with conflict on the wiki, usually when phone calls start getting made to agitated and violent males. That is true. But I don't think that's the primary reason there are fewer women on the wiki. You know why there are fewer women? This shit is still seen as a "male" activity. It's dumb, it's gender stereotyping and the crap that happened to the one girl with the cab drama helped reinforce the boys club of the "internet" or forums or what have you. Largely though, it's because my gender is still semi-retarded and more interested in getting nails done than getting online. It's not the majority mind you, and there are plenty of girls I know who **use** the wiki, but can't be bothered to think enough to figure out how to use it past that. It's annoying but it's not something I'm going to blame the men on here for entirely. Just help stop the harassment of the chicks who ARE on here and then go out into the world and stop reinforcing negative gender stereotypes. Have a daughter? Great. Get her involved in this kind of thing and keep the Kardashians off the television screens. I'm sure I'm going to get screamed at for this as a traitor to my sex, but it is pretty true. I don't know many girls who use the wiki past looking up times businesses are open and they think I'm weird for being on here. Just like they think my comic collection is weird. It's dumb and annoying but it's not the wiki's fault so can we stop blaming each other for it entirely? Also certain people I know who use this thing need to stop objectifying women and making these "no homo" comments. Girls hate that shit. So do a number of men I'd wager.

Peace and goodluck on this. Focus on getting people to establish an identity first but don't underestimate the power of the real name. Just emphasize that it's **one** way to get faster cred but not essential and I think it's all good.


Why do some USERS have fake names or pseudonyms? Aren't we supposed to use our real names? Isn't there a rule for this? —JanetY