This is a Questions and Answers site, the actual persons asking and answering is a less important matter. There is hardly any difference between an answer provided by "user155098" and "chx". The profile pages still could serve to link the contributions together, the reputation points and badges would still show, the "top users" ladders would still function etc. Users, I guess, could still opt in to show their user names and profile pictures if they would want for old times' sake or something.

This would nuke the pronoun problem from orbit.

It would also fix a very long-standing bug where an older comment or answer is referenced by @username and the username changed since, making it very hard to understand the reference.

This is not a duplicate of the old question because I do not suggest anonymity, I suggest pseudonimity. Anonymity loses the link between answers of the same author. I also suggested keeping showing reputation and badges because that's important.

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    +1, this is supposed to be a Q&A website. I don't care in the slightest about what someone's personal background is. Make things as anonymous as possible. Oct 8, 2019 at 3:43
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    The profile picture doesn't have much correlation with people's profile anyway. Users variously post pictures of their dog or their kids, childhood photos of themselves, or head shots of Jeri Ryan. There's no way to know what, if anything, the profile picture says about the individual themselves.
    – user102937
    Oct 8, 2019 at 4:24
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    @RobertHarvey mine shows I'm the real Batman.
    – Vishwa
    Oct 8, 2019 at 4:38
  • I'm rather amused every users above me either use their name, or a headshot ;p
    – Aibobot
    Oct 8, 2019 at 6:24
  • @chx - nuke is right. Yes, we are a Q&A site. But, also, a community. During my time, part of what I find so great here is getting to know other members and having them know me. Similar to how many members objected to mods wanting to limit comments (because they often got out of control) feeling that the 'chat' was part of the experience, I'd object to not getting to know my fellow members. My home stack is Money.SE FWIW. Oct 8, 2019 at 13:50

2 Answers 2


Sorry, but I would like to be aware which user does what, the names and pictures help with that. If we all have indistinguishable names and no pictures than that's not going to help. Besides that, people already have the option to stay largely anonymous if they wish.

But even more fundamentally: if there are problems related to the identity of persons, then taking their identity away is the very last thing we should do.

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    This is not helpful. " I would like to be aware which user does what" -- I mentioned the profile page links their contribution together. ", the names and pictures help with that" -- how so? " if there are problems related to the identity of persons" -- we don't, we have a language we need to use that creates a problem which shouldn't exist "then taking their identity away is the very last thing we should do" and why?
    – chx
    Oct 8, 2019 at 3:44

If you wish to anonymise your own posts as described in the question, you can already do so by making wiki posts.

Sure, you can still find the original user through the edit history. But wikis add the level of dettachment you propose without requiring a new feature.


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