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Old 01-04-2006, 08:41 PM
William J. Pope
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Default Suggestions

I talked about this before, but I won't bore anyone with the details... there is no place for anonymous postings, therefore many among the Drew community are denied a voice - mostly employees, because they are paralyzed with fear that if they voiced a concern, they would be fired... a shame.
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:51 PM
E. Axel Larsson's Avatar
E. Axel Larsson E. Axel Larsson is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Madison, NJ
Posts: 303

Well, we've already been through this already.. but why not again.... When this site was launched, we considered the value of anonymous posting.

We decided against allowing it for three reasons:
  • Potential for abuse. In this case, I am not necessarily talking about abuse by individuals, but automated abuse in the form of spam. Forums that allow anonymous posting, especially ones based upon well-known software such as the vBulletin software that runs this one, are often victims of automated spam attacks. Malicious intent is not a prerequisite for a blog or forum allowing anonymous comments to be randomly hit with spam from an automated spam bot.
  • Philosophy and mission of these forums. These are forums for community discussion. This is not an online complaint box.
  • Technical inability to fulfill the promise of anonymity. There is no such thing as truly anonymous speech on the internet. We do not wish to lull anyone into a false sense of security by offering the option of "anonymous" speech. If required, CNS staff will use appropriate forensic techniques and work with ISPs as required to identify individuals, "anonymous" or not. As a matter of principle we will not willfully violate a user's privacy, however, there are specific circumstances under which we may be required to. CNS staff are legally compelled to comply with any court orders demanding the identity of individuals. The administration may also order us to conduct investigations. See the Network Agreement, specifically bullet point number 7 for details.
E. Axel Larsson
Systems Architect and Director of the Enterprise Technology Center

Last edited by E. Axel Larsson : 01-04-2006 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 01-05-2006, 02:33 AM
Zachary C. Kanfer
Posts: n/a

If one wants to be anonymous, one could send a letter to the Acorn and hope it gets printed. If the issue is serious enough, it will be. Or, meet with the Acorn staff on condition of anonymity, after checking with them on their obligations to the University in regards to this.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:35 PM
Mike Richichi's Avatar
Mike Richichi Mike Richichi is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chatham, NJ
Posts: 220
Default Honestly

If there is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, posting anonymously in a public forum probably isn't the best way to bring about a resolution, and as Axel mentioned if the issue is one of someone getting upset I wouldn't feel comfortable guaranteeing anonymity here, where any activity is logged and trails are left all over. I would hope there would be someone at the University who could be approached, confidentially and without repercussions, to deal with such a situation constructively.
--Mike Richichi
Director of Computing and Network Services

Last edited by Mike Richichi : 01-05-2006 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:36 AM
Tricia Brown's Avatar
Tricia Brown Tricia Brown is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Roselle, NJ
Posts: 11

I must agree. Many employees would rather be anonymous because of fear that if they say anything they could or would be fired. They feel like they have no one to turn to. I have know employees that have voiced their concerns to whom they felt would do something about it only to be informed that they might want to look for work elsewhere on campus.
So by being an anonymous group, maybe they feel that if they voice their concerns loud enough - no one can be fired but their concerns can be addressed. But that is just my observation.
Tricia Brown

Last edited by Patricia R. Brown : 02-07-2006 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:59 AM
Paul R. Coen's Avatar
Paul R. Coen Paul R. Coen is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Madison, NJ
Posts: 140
Default Without knowing the situation

Originally Posted by Patricia R. Brown
I must agree. Many employees would rather be anonymous because of fear that if they say anything they could or would be fired. They feel like they have no one to turn to.

I think the larger issue, as Mike pointed out, is that this just isn't the place for it. There are too many ways one can figure out who posted something anyway. And depending on the complaint, it's pretty easy on a campus this small to narrow it down to a couple of people in a specific department. And I suspect many people wouldn't take care to alter their writing style.

As a side note, "anonymous" online forums tend to quickly degenerate into personal attacks or comments that stray into slander. If someone makes an "anonymous" post that is actionable, I would expect that the author would be discovered pretty quickly, one way or another.

I've found, in my almost 15 years here as staff, and my four years as a student before that, if you document issues, are professional and willing to compromise you can usually get a lot of problems dealt with in a reasonable manner. That doesn't always mean the answer you want, but that's unavoidable. The University has documented formal and informal grievance procedures, and this sort of forum can't be a part of that.
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