I disagree with a profile system that does not require actual names and photos, and I disagree with having users remain who have not come back to the site after a long period of time (2 years or more).

The only way I can participate in good faith is to make my own posts anonymous. The only way I can see to do this is to post as Community Wiki. But I cannot do this for myself. Perhaps you could create another user that is not CW but is Anonymous? No profile photo, no name, no Rep.

(Please make this CW for me. Thank you.)

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    The logic here is non-sequitur. You disagree with a profile system that allows people to remain semi-anonymous, and so your suggested solution is to remain completely anonymous? If maintaining an actual identity is important to you, why don't you do it for yourself? If others choose to be nameless and faceless, why is that a problem for you? – Cody Gray Dec 16 '16 at 16:13
  • @CodyGray the logic is good: if names and faces are shown, they should be correct. If they can be not correct, they should be able to not be shown. If everyone was required to use proper name and face, I would do so also. But if it is not required, it should not be required. Trying to allow both is what is inconsistent. – user291305 Dec 16 '16 at 16:23
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    That is a completely irrational position. For starters, a profile represents you individually, so you can choose to represent yourself however you want. This argument that it's either all or nothing is utterly absurd. Do you have some sort of psychological condition that causes you to see things only in black and white? Besides, even if we wanted to enforce that everyone shows names and faces, it would be impossible to actually do so. On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. You can pick any name and any face you want to, after choosing an appropriate back-story. – Cody Gray Dec 16 '16 at 16:26
  • @CodyGray ask for drivers license number. Mail entry code to the address. This would allow permanent bans on people also. Black and white exist for a reason. – user291305 Dec 16 '16 at 16:28
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    I conject that many excellent contributors to these sites are too young to drive. Note that reputation and tags can hint on the quality of an answer, and your suggestion effectively obviates this. – Bathsheba Dec 16 '16 at 16:30
  • @Bathsheba guardian's DL # – user291305 Dec 16 '16 at 16:30
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    What about people who live outside of the United States? People who can't drive and/or don't want to drive, and therefore don't have a license? People who have privacy concerns and legitimate reasons to stay anonymous? Intermediate colors also exist for a reason. It does not reflect poorly on you that other contributors to this site choose to hide behind their anonymity. I don't; my profile is a proud statement and representation of who I am, which is why I choose to use my real name. (Not my photo, though, because I look ugly in all photos. I'm certain it's just photos.) – Cody Gray Dec 16 '16 at 16:31
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    @CodyGray: For every Jack there's a Jill. I bet you look great ;-) – Bathsheba Dec 16 '16 at 16:31
  • @CodyGray anonymity is OK, that is what I am asking for. – user291305 Dec 16 '16 at 16:32
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    ...or another Jack @Bathsheba :) – Clive Dec 16 '16 at 16:37
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    @OOO But you don't have to do anything to get anonymity. You don't need any site features in order to not enter your real name, or to not have your profile picture be an actual picture of you. You have to go out of your way to not be anonymous. All you have to do to have your anonymity is not go out of your way to give it up. – Servy Dec 16 '16 at 18:49
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    You're already anonymous. I don't know who you are, what you're name is, what you look like... I don't understand your issue – Cai Dec 16 '16 at 22:01
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    You can create a Community Wiki, only 10 rep is required. Do you mean post as the Community user? How is that any better or worse than simply not including personal information in your profile? It's your right to flag all of your posts for disassociation from your account, but your logic for wanting to do so makes no sense to me. – jonrsharpe Dec 18 '16 at 8:30
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    OOO - mods definitely do have extra responsibilities and functionality. But we are just users, with the same info in our profile (ie as much or as little as we want) - Some mods have their real name, some are effectively anonymous to the rest of the world (although SE staff will know) – Rory Alsop Dec 19 '16 at 15:19
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    Nope - It's not science. It appears to be you wanting this site to work in a different way to the way it is designed. If you provided reasons that others agreed with then that may happen, but the ever increasing number of downvotes indicates the community does not want this. – Rory Alsop Dec 19 '16 at 17:12

Community wiki does not make a contribution anonymous. In the revision history you can always see who has been contributing.

You don't need to be logged in to post an answer. Except for some sites you don't need it for a question either. If you choose to do so, your post will be attributed to userXXXXXX which is in no way traceable to a certain individual (or any other posts by this individual). That's about as anonymous as it gets.

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    Thanks, I stand corrected. – Glorfindel Dec 16 '16 at 16:15
  • This is my point, as to why I suggested a truly anonymous, untraceable user identity. – user291305 Dec 19 '16 at 14:37

Unless your real name is "OOO", which is unlikely enough to presume not, then you have already succeeded in your quest.


  • Apparently other people don't agree that OOO isn't their real name... – Servy Dec 16 '16 at 20:38
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    Heh, apparently not @Servy. My wife's due in 4 months so I'll have to table this one now. Wonder if it's a straight "oooooo" for pronunciation... – Clive Dec 16 '16 at 20:43
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    Initials would be a possibility. – Servy Dec 16 '16 at 20:44
  • Good point, didn't think of that. That would be a strange, some might even say inflammatory, thing for someone claiming a need for anonymity to do though... – Clive Dec 16 '16 at 20:48
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    Orestes Olivier Oglethorpe, third of that name, known to his friends as "Ollie"... – jscs Dec 17 '16 at 1:49
  • I tried to do digit zero, but there is a minimum of three characters required and it cannot begin with a digit. Already restrictions on anonymity are imposed... – user291305 Dec 19 '16 at 14:31
  • The point, baby-mister Clive, is that you can trace my contributions. That is not so in the usual reference works. Who knows who wrote what article in an Encyclopedia? If this site is really about content and not personhood, then there should be complete anonymity, like an encyclopedia. My point is that people are being two-faced in their statements about the site. It is dishonest. – user291305 Dec 19 '16 at 14:33
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    OOO - no they aren't. There is nothing dishonest. You are just misunderstanding the working of this site. Why do you want to force anonymity on those who don't want it? If you want to be anonymous, go right ahead, but don't assume others want that forced upon them! – Rory Alsop Dec 19 '16 at 15:15
  • @RoryAlsop OK, how do I make things anonymous? (Untraceable to my profile, in the same way that cash is untraceable.) – user291305 Dec 19 '16 at 16:50
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    No - untraceable to your profile is irrelevant. That's not what I'm talking about. The profile doesn't matter. – Rory Alsop Dec 19 '16 at 17:10
  • @RoryAlsop It matters to me. This is why I use cash so much. – user291305 Dec 20 '16 at 2:32
  • Your profile is not you. SE imaginary unicorn points are not cash. – Rory Alsop Dec 20 '16 at 8:12

In addition to those other answers, I have to say that in principle:

I don't care who anyone here is!

Reputation is associated with the account, indicating how much value the community places on that account, allowing me to decide how much trust I place in an answer. That's all I need.

Sure, I do also enjoy meeting folks on here in real life, but it is unnecessary to how Stack Exchange works.

So if you want to be anonymous, go for it - you already are. Unless you come up to me in person and say, "Hi there, I'm OOO!"

If you want to not be anonymous, that's fine too - you can use your real name or add contact info into your profile page.

  • The rep mechanism could function without revealing even a pseudonym. We could also use the "Driver's license registration" concept that I proposed, to permanently shut people out of the site, even if we had no idea who they were. If identity and authentication and excluding troublesome users will continue to be issues in the future, we might as well tackle those issues right now. Who better to lead than us? – user291305 Dec 19 '16 at 14:36
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    Why on earth would you want to force this on me. I like having my name associated with my account here. Are you telling me I must be anonymous? – Rory Alsop Dec 19 '16 at 15:16
  • No, if there was an 'anonymous' user name with no image, then everyone who wanted to could show their contributions under that. People who wanted to be 'visible' (even if they actually look like the Grinch) could do that too. There would still be a separate profile for every user, with rep and everything, it is just that one could be 'invisible' if they wished. This is what Community Wiki would be if it was actually implemented correctly. – user291305 Dec 19 '16 at 16:49
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    No - that's not what Community Wiki is for at all. – Rory Alsop Dec 19 '16 at 17:10
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    You can be anonymous any time you want - this is why you are getting so many downvotes. Seriously. Many users of the site never register. – Rory Alsop Dec 19 '16 at 17:11
  • Do the users of this site want many people to not register? Was that the intention? I didn't realize that it was an option. Still, it would be better if people registered, so that the rep system would work, and so that people could be sanctioned or blocked. It is very much like an economic or legal system. These kinds of issues are going to increase and require solutions eventually. – user291305 Dec 20 '16 at 2:35

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