What is Abuse of Anonymity?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #1

This is a forum that welcomes anonymous users, but discourages abuse of anonymity.

Participation in a public forum can carry high risk when there is controversial content, especially in our fractured society. The stakes can be high, and sometimes it is appropriate to use an anonymous moniker to avoid reprisal in another context. For that reason, I want to emphasize that user anonymity here will be protected. Even if it is abused. We will not tolerate doxing, or exposing anonymous identities on this site.

At the same time, the people at greatest risk are those who are not anonymous, like many of the people here including myself. It is critical that we all respect this risk and keep this a safe place. Please respect the risk that some people are taking by being here. In particular be very careful about describing other’s views incorrectly. Quote the Forum Disclaimer when appropriate too.

In this way, more people might be encouraged to participate with their real identities.

Because we value anonymity, and respect the risk that people take here, we will also be very alert to anonymity abuse. This may be a new concept for people, and this Quora Post is a helpful starting point:


As they put it, anonymity should be used as a legitimate shield from unfair reprisal elsewhere, not a mask for poor behavior here. Use it to protect yourself in the real world, not to protect yourself from the consequences of poor behavior here. A pattern of poor behavior here as an anonymous user will get you banned. The threshold for poor behavior, also, will be lower if you are anonymous.


William Lane Craig's Science of Cosmology
The Big Picture on ID and this Forum
Methodological Naturalism, So Falsely Called
(S. Joshua Swamidass) pinned globally #2

My identity is available to most who ask, but I’d prefer to remain anonymous in open forums.

1 Like
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #4

You have been a model participant. Anonymity is acceptable, and will never be a problem for those who remain kind and respectful.


How do you protect a user’s anonymity on this site? It doesn’t seem well protected to me as I did routine background searches on many people here to check for bots and trolls. I found that George is really a nice human being but scd is really an AI machine designed by a super-intelligent designer. I hope people realize that it is nearly impossible to remain anonymous in cyberspace. Each person needs to be responsible for what they say and do to others. Thinking that this forum or any other forum protects your anonymity is ill advised. And to think that you can protect yourself from reprisal by being anonymous is also ill advised. Be courageous, you are your own voice of reason.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #6

All those people (minus @scd) are using their true identities. I’m just saying that we will not dox people here. We won’t unmask people who choose to be anonymous here.


You may not do it, but how do you know others won’t or aren’t doing it already? It is very easy to write a bot that goes to these sites and gathers everything on the site without even registering. Take a look at the junk email that you receive, doesn’t it seem like they know you better than you know yourself? I find it strange that I leave a doctor’s office with a prescription for medicine and immediately get junk emails for every drug, supplement, and herbal remedy imaginable.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) unpinned #8
(George) #9

What’s your point , @patrick?


Sites like Biologos attempt to control the discussion in order to stay on track with their mission statement and what their funders want. But, as they come to find out, it is nearly impossible to control the discussion in cyberspace. There are too many bots, trolls and counter groups inserting their message into what is suppose to be a “bubble” forum where everyone has the same or nearly the same views.

(George) #11


So imagine how crazy BioLogos would be to allow that kind of chaotic discussion on a site it controls.


There are more lurkers over a Biologos than you may think. AIG, RTB, EN, and various atheist groups watch it constantly.

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(George) #13

I don’t think anyone minds lurking Atheists. It’s the Atheists that c ant stop texting about irrelevancies that bug theists.


It is all about controlling the message. Biologos controls the message so tightly that it is too boring to lurk. Anyone posting there is being used as a “tool” in Templeton’s effort to force compatibility between Christianity and mainstream science.

(George) #15

Nah… I don’t think so.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

No kidding. They even kicked me off the forum! I hope it’s temporary, but still no word.

If we are successful here, the same will be true here.

Discomfort With Messiness of Science at BioLogos
(S. Joshua Swamidass) split this topic #17

A post was split to a new topic: BioLogos Dislikes the Messiness of Science?

(system) automatically bumped #18