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There are a couple of Autobiographer questions here, but I'm still curious about the point of it. Look at the following attachment: enter image description here

I can see my Real Name and Email Address. I understand the badge is supposed to let you know what fields exist, but you can't see anyone else's real name and email. The person on the bottom has the Autobiographer badge and I can't see that information in his profile.

Also, consider this user: it's pretty clear his info is a little... let's just say he's full of poo.

So, if it can be so easily "gamed", and you can't ever see all of the fields in someone else's profile, why does this badge exist? Is it just an incentive to fill out all the information to create a sense of community?

I'm stealing this from the Bronze badge description: "In the case of Autobiographer, the point of the badge is for users to see all the fields available on their profile and fill them up. So, even if it is getting gamed, the badge is serving its purpose of creating awareness of the existence of those fields/profile." But, again, what good is it to be aware of fields that you can only see on your own profile? And is that awareness really badge-worthy? Judging by what I've seen, making them read a primer on "How to write a good question" is probably more badge-worthy.

EDIT: This is not a dupe of What is the need for Autobiographer badge?, because I'm asking why you need to be aware of fields that no one can see, and isn't it a better idea to create a badge for "How to ask better questions", which is more important than filling out fields no one sees.

marked as duplicate by hims056, Frédéric Hamidi, Mat, apaul, Rory Alsop Sep 10 '13 at 10:44

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 5
    Did you mean to reveal your private profile information in your images? – Andrew Barber Sep 10 '13 at 10:16
  • 2
    To encourage people to fill in their profiles. – Martijn Pieters Sep 10 '13 at 10:17
  • I honestly don't care, I'm not afraid of stalkers. :o) – Johnny Bones Sep 10 '13 at 10:17
  • @JohnnyBones and spam-bots? – hjpotter92 Sep 10 '13 at 10:19
  • @MartijnPieters - The description says it's "to create awareness of those fields". My question is, if no one can see them, why do you need to be aware of them? – Johnny Bones Sep 10 '13 at 10:19
  • 1
    @JohnnyBones: Stack Exchange staff and moderators can see those fields, and use them to contact you if there is a need. – Martijn Pieters Sep 10 '13 at 10:24
  • 2
    @JohnnyBones Oh, cool. Can I send some of my stalkers your way, then? Granted; they are both just girl scouts trying to sell me cookies, but still. They can be persistent! – Andrew Barber Sep 10 '13 at 10:24
  • 1
    I buy CASES of that stuff, @AndrewBarber! Send them my way! – Johnny Bones Sep 10 '13 at 10:24
  • 1
    @JohnnyBones - Regarding your edit: Then remove the badge section. Just ask "What is the purpose of filling email, real name (non-public fields)?" – hims056 Sep 10 '13 at 10:34
  • Off topic but too cool to be ignored, I found your meta-soul-mate! ;-) – ShaWiz Sep 10 '13 at 10:38
  • 1
    This is not duplicate, linked question explains general reason behind badge, and not why all fields are required. – Danubian Sailor Sep 10 '13 at 11:20
  • @AndrewBarber Is that a case of persistent cookies? ;) – kiamlaluno Sep 10 '13 at 11:54
  • @kiamlaluno haha! I really LOL'ed at that. I'm a sad, sad person ;) – Andrew Barber Sep 10 '13 at 12:59
  1. Real name: as some comments already mentioned, moderators can see it and in case they need to contact you in private, they can use it. Same apply for the team staff if you submit a request, they can see it and make the conversation flow easier.

  2. Email: it's used to generate your default profile picture and let you "connect" it to Gravatar. It also used as the default when you subscribe to various things.

All in all, nothing here is vital, just nice to have - no harm done if you leave them empty but worth being aware it's good to have them filled up.

  • OK, so (and I'm not trying to be a jerk here) these are actually "Big Brother" fields that the site wants to have. Is that information ever shared with a 3rd party? – Johnny Bones Sep 10 '13 at 10:47
  • First of all I'm ∞% sure Stack Exchange will never share any of those with third party. Second, your actual email is already known to the team as part of your OpenID provider. – ShaWiz Sep 10 '13 at 10:49

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