I think that user should have an option to allow/disable this feature. It can be abused for "stalking" people. I really don't want anybody to be notified that I just posted an answer or a question.

I don't have anything against RSS feeds for user activity, but there should be an option to disable it.

I don't want people, or my employer, or anybody around me to have the possibility to see what I'm doing right now.

EDITED: removed a note about content generators ...

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    You know your posts are licenced as Creative-Commons license once you post on the site. Data dump of the whole site even available. – YOU Apr 21 '11 at 9:19
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    In addition, capturing your user activity from the API, or even scraping the profile page is trivial if you want to get a feed of somebody's activities – Yi Jiang Apr 21 '11 at 9:44
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    It is, but adding the rss feed into a reader can do anybody in a second. Not scraping nor using API. – lisak Apr 21 '11 at 10:57
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    The site is public, the posts are public: if someone wants to abuse, disabling the RSS feeds will not help to prevent it. – Carlos Heuberger Apr 21 '11 at 12:51
  • You obviously didn't get my point – lisak Apr 21 '11 at 12:54
  • I think there's validity to your point, @lisak. I had previously posted an issue on meta where somebody did stalk me and downvote all my posts. But there's a strong argument that this site is voluntary and public content (although SO is against scraper sites). There may also be good reason not to start complexifying the site with privacy options. – T. Webster Jul 15 '12 at 18:24

The information is there and public, the feed is just a convenient way to release that information.

  • If you really have a stalking concern, the root cause is the stalker, and there should be action from a moderator or 'higher up'.

  • If you have a privacy concern, the root-cause is your public profile and the nature of this site. You can/should use the site less public // anonymous maybe, instead of just obscuring the information.

If you want to look into someones questions, their profile page, a simple search etc is enough, so removing the RSS is not going to do anything anyway.


I completely agree with your request (I came on meta to post the same question).

I don't deny there are methods people could use to stalk another user (via API usage or some other data mining), however the per-user feed makes it remarkably simple.

Perhaps the question is best asked the other way around - why is it important to have a feed for a user if they don't want one? I can't think of a decent reason. I'm sure the moderators could be given tools to access the feed regardless of the user's preferences.

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