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Since the new profile functionality was added, it has been possible to hide a site from showing in your associated sites list on your profile on specific sites in the network. However, regardless of your settings on the profile page as seen on specific sites in the network, all sites are still shown on the main StackExchange.com profile page.

Could we have some additional functionality to allow the hiding sites from the main StackExchange.com profile page?

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  • Yes, the descriptive text is indeed misleading especially since the sites are in no way "hidden" at all, they're just not visible on one specific page while remaining completely visible elsewhere... – Flyk Sep 30 '15 at 9:59
  • See also this one: meta.stackexchange.com/q/263974/245360. Matter of fact: the feature is broken. – Patrick Hofman Sep 30 '15 at 10:23
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    We'd still need moderators (on any site) to be able to see the full list, though, because of the need to investigate cross-site issues. – Monica Cellio Sep 30 '15 at 15:12
  • @MonicaCellio that was assumed of course, I'd expect moderators to be able to see anything they needed to perform their task. – Flyk Sep 30 '15 at 15:29
  • Fair enough. It might make this more complex than is apparent at first glance, though; I'm not sure the SE profile "knows" if the current viewer has moderator status anywhere. Individual sites do and chat does, but I don't see a diamond after my name when viewing a network profile. Just pointing it out for answers to take into account. – Monica Cellio Sep 30 '15 at 15:46
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This has been implemented. If you look at my network profile you'll discover my 3D Printing account is not listed. That is, unless you are a moderator, in which case, you should see:

Greyed out 3D Printing

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    Moderator confirms does see that. – ArtOfCode Mar 7 '16 at 21:02
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    Moderator of any site? – ShaWiz Mar 7 '16 at 21:04
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    @ShadowWizard: Correct. The goal here is to make sure that people aren't using the feature to avoid moderator attention when they are doing sketchy things. – Jon Ericson Mar 7 '16 at 21:05
  • Of course, just wanted to make sure you don't mean moderator on the hidden site only. – ShaWiz Mar 7 '16 at 21:07
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    I confirm that I see that as a moderator, and when not logged in, I do not see it. – Nick Gammon Mar 7 '16 at 21:13
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    Note: this information is still searchable via individual sites' user lists or via SEDE (for people with the same display name across the network, and also through @mentions in old comments for users with changed names). Still, thanks for implementing this feature. – Deer Hunter Mar 22 '16 at 7:00
  • Is this - presumably, intentionallty, private - information, covered by the same PII rules as other PII that moderators have access to? I don't think that people would feel comfortable that a random moderator who's unhappy with a user on site X can disclose information to the world that the outwardly respectable Beer.SE user is into weird things like 3D printing. – DVK Jan 27 '17 at 16:57
  • @DVK: We don't consider this PII. Rather, this is a courtesy to people who are uncomfortable with their private lives intersecting with their professional endeavours and vice versa. There might be reasons for a moderator to reveal this obscured information, but I expect they will also extend the courtesy as a rule. – Jon Ericson Jan 27 '17 at 17:16
  • @JonEricson - is there a chance that would be considered PII (or should I not even bother filing a meta request on the topic?). The risks are pretty high here. On some sites (Parenting, Workplace, formerly tried Relationships, Health) people might be revealing some rather personal details. without even remotely realizing that they can be "outed" by a moderator, with a thin protection of "extend the courtesy expectation", which seems rather optional from the wording. Worst case scenario is the formerly proposed Sexuality site, which I deliberately avoided joining over privacy concerns. – DVK Jan 27 '17 at 17:19
  • @JonEricson - upon further thought, we also have Travel where personal details may be revealed easily; and Politics (imagine a programmer from Russia using their real name on SO or SO.ru, and then posting an answer on Politics critical of Putin, hoping that hiding their Politics account is enough to ensure privacy vital to his lifebeing) – DVK Jan 27 '17 at 17:30
  • @DVK: If you want to keep connections between sites private, then you should use separate accounts with entirely different credentials. The main cost (other than needing to juggle browser sessions) is that you won't get an association bonus. But then again, that bonus provides a potential clue to the existence of participation on other sites. It's that sort of complication that stopped us from jumping down this particular rabbit hole. Since there's a simple solution for users who need it, we're not planning on investing more time into the site hiding mechanism. – Jon Ericson Jan 27 '17 at 17:34
  • @JonEricson - Problem is, not every user will (or rather, most won't) realize the problem until much later. It's not like there's a big banner that says "when you join this site, people can link personal info you post here to your SO profile. Use site hiding feature to avoid it. Oh, and moderators can reveal that anyway, so if you're worried about that, use a separate account". – DVK Jan 27 '17 at 17:44
  • @JonEricson - I understand not willing to invest more time, which is precisly why my proposed solution requires zero development effort - merely add "the fact that user A on site X is linked to user B on site Y which is hidden" is considered part of PII acording to the PII rules. I'm assuming here ther PII rules are implemented as a signed document not as special code. – DVK Jan 27 '17 at 17:45
  • @DVK: Indeed moderators are asked to sign this agreement. But the trouble is you don't need to be a moderator to find the connections. That's why we added a warning to the top of the Hide Community page. – Jon Ericson Jan 27 '17 at 18:02
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There are a good number of moving pieces we have to account for here (most importantly, we need to make sure moderators can still see everything they need to see), but we've been thinking about this (as mentioned in the comments, this has been requested quite a few times already).

I can't tell you yet whether or when it'll ship, but I'll make this and update it once we've made a decision and / or plans.

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