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"Should TMP scrap anonymity?" Topic

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Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 7:11 a.m. PST

This article sparked the idea: link

There's a lot written on why online forums are in free fall in terms of participation. Would you leave TMP if you had to post under your real name? Or do you think bad and offputting behavior would diminish and more people would return to the resulting revivified community?

It's plausible things would improve but there are plenty of nasty folks operating in plain sight on Facenook and Twitter too. Course I'm uncertain about their actual growth of late.

The Angry Piper07 Oct 2019 7:25 a.m. PST

Leave? No.
Lurk rather than post? Yes.

GurKhan07 Oct 2019 7:35 a.m. PST

My real name is visible on my profile to anyone who cares to look, so it would make no difference to me.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 7:36 a.m. PST

What? You'd make me give up my handle?!

foxweasel07 Oct 2019 8:00 a.m. PST

How could it be enforced, people would just register for an account using an e-mail address with no name or a false name. That's the attraction of the internet for a lot of people, they can say stuff online they'd never dream of saying in the real world. It's a bit like road rage, everyone's nails in their steel box.
Yours sincerely
R. Stiltskin

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 8:27 a.m. PST

"They can say stuff online they'd never dream of saying in the real world??" You mean like a coward that hides from their deeds?
People that do not show their real name somewhere I take with a grain of salt --if they cannot stand by their own words that come out of their mouth --or in this case their fingers why should I care what they say ??
I say scrap anonymity !!


15mm and 28mm Fanatik07 Oct 2019 8:41 a.m. PST

Anonymity allows people to be bolder and more open in expressing what they really think in a world where everything you say can be scrutinized under a microscope, knowing that with anonymity there will less likely be undesirable repercussions or backlash if what they say may be construed to be somehow politically incorrect or insensitive to certain people or demographic.

Many people have lost their jobs after their seemingly innocuous Facebook comments have been made known to their bosses. One can't be too careful nowadays.

Maybe those who maintain their anonymity are "cowards" as Russ alleges, or maybe they're just being realistic and practical.

foxweasel07 Oct 2019 8:49 a.m. PST

There's also the security angle, I'm in the military and it's not unknown for some of the less pleasant members of society to target off duty soldiers and their families. It doesn't take much of an electronic footprint to give enough information that you find yourself as the star of a video, and not a nice one.

warwell07 Oct 2019 8:58 a.m. PST

I prefer anonymity because I value my privacy (I even have a fake name on Facebook).

HMS Exeter07 Oct 2019 9:06 a.m. PST

I think I have just about the right level of "nymity" and I'd like to stick with it. There are some pretty bellicose types in here who skirt just short of dawging and locking whose stability I would not want to meet IRW.

If anonymity is scrapped there are some threads I just would not want to touch with a 10 foot Pole, nor an 11 foot Hungarian.

I don't think TMP needs any additional traffic constriction.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 9:31 a.m. PST

My handle is my name. I do that on purpose because I want you to know how you are dealing with and as a check against saying something profoundly stupid or off-putting.

MiniPigs07 Oct 2019 9:50 a.m. PST

There is the idea that not everyone's name carries equal weight. If your name is John Smith, who can find you? But if your name is Ishkabibble Twinkletoes, chances are someone can pinpoint you. Also, if your name is Jack Jackerson, who can associate you with anything? But if your name is Kanye West and you want to participate, you get a lot of other distractions associated with your posts.

There's also a legal issue (or issues) for the forum. If on a heavily edited forum, a poster is held to account for posts that are subsequently altered or deleted by the admin, the admins are changing the nature and impact of the poster's speech which in turn could have defamation and other liability attached to it.

The question is what exactly do people think using one's real name alters? If we are speaking about the civic virtues of honor or courage, I submit that in an era of identity theft, this is an old fashioned notion.

And courage is different from time to time and place to place. The Ancient Gauls never revealed their true names to any but closest family/friends because they felt the name was a way to control people. Who would ever call the Gauls cowardly?

One different example. Someone elderly wants to put MD on their license plates to announce that they are a doctor. I caution, NO, dont do it because rather than a prior time when it evokes respect, today, it might simply make you a target for a car jacking or a lawyer pursuing your minor fender bender too ferociously because you might have deep pockets.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 10:30 a.m. PST

As a ordained Pastor for 40 years, 28 in the same church, I quickly learned to guard my words-- several times the hard way! Even here I am very careful so as not to hear the " I won't buy your stuff" threat?
Nonetheless they are my words-- I will either apologize or stand by what comes out of my mouth.

Russ Dunaway

Stryderg07 Oct 2019 10:47 a.m. PST

There were a few professors welcoming the early growth of the internet, especially email. Their hope was that it would reinvigorate the glorious skill of letter writing. How do you think that turned out?

You have to have an underlying moral fabric to improve society, rules won't do it.

I, for one, will strive to hang on to my privacy.

Dragon Gunner07 Oct 2019 11:25 a.m. PST

No please don't we need to maintain our anonymity!

1. My current employer routinely fires people if they post in social media any opinion they find offensive and God knows the threshold for being offended is low. My employer has staff dedicated to searching the net and it is amazing how quickly they can detect something and fire someone. TMP is the only social media presence I maintain I have deleted all others.

2. There are plenty of unstable individuals out there that believe anyone that disagrees with them no matter how slight or petty the issue needs to be punished. There have been documented cases of online disagreements escalating to murder. People need to debate the issue, not make personal attacks and unfortunately some don't have the mental capacity to debate. Part of the problem is default arguments created by alliances of different groups. Example if you believe this you are automatically this, this and this so the poster can be demonized.

3. I belonged to another forum that decided only posters using their real name could post and their name would be verified. The forum died overnight because the only people willing to post had nothing worth reading, probably for reasons 1 and 2 above.

4. Years ago I had some disagreements with some people on TMP. Another TMP member not involved in the discussion messaged me with a warning about something he had experienced after posting on TMP. Get ready for a broad spectrum attack that will include your family members, friends and employer getting messages.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

I have been Parzival on the Internet since before the existence of the WorldWideWeb. I am, as far as I know, the first person to use the moniker on the Internet. I do so not for the sake of anonymity, but because I like the name and identify with it. As far as the Internet is concerned, I am the original Parzival. I stand by what I say here and elsewhere.

In the end, I prefer to use my moniker, thank you very much. If I decide to include my real name, that should be entirely up to me.

(Note: thanks to that lousy RP1 movie, more Parzivals have popped up on the ‘Net. So if some Parzivals on videogaming sites sound like they're fifteen and have no actual knowledge of Medieval literature, they're not me. Not that I'm on videogamer sites anyway. Accept no substitutes!)

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 12:34 p.m. PST

Parzival, You still publish your real name though, correct ?

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 12:53 p.m. PST

When I go to a bank to get a loan, they want my name, they make me sign a paper with my name. When I see the doctor or my lawyer I know their names.
If I want to say something, I will say it and not hide behind a curtain. If I say it here, I will say it to your face without a mask on.
As I said earlier, I will guard what I say and if need be apologize.
Count the cost ??
If the topic is so heated you are afraid to speak, wisdom may be suggesting that you just remain silent anyway?
There have been many topics here where I was going to comment -- I did not -- known or unknown -- my name is to valuable to me.

Russ Dunaway

Personal logo Silurian Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 1:02 p.m. PST

Don't really mind either way to be honest. I'd change if required to do so.

The other main forum I visit, Missing Lynx, does require you to log in and post under your real name. It's a thriving and active forum where a lot of useful information is shared and there is no bad or rude behavior. Discussions only concern the hobby, and everyone seems fine with it.

Dragon Gunner07 Oct 2019 1:21 p.m. PST

@Russ Dunaway

Hypothetically now that I know your name and you are an ordained pastor in Pennsylvania lets pretend I have an overwhelming hate for Christians. All of this information gleaned from just reading this topic. I decide I want to destroy you for being a Christian or at least cause you pain. I am sure in a few minutes I could learn a great deal of information about you, your family, friends and congregation. One day I show up and burn down your church…
This is pure fiction I am just trying to make a point I have nothing against you Russ

People should be able to speak and have opinions. The problem is there are elements out there desperate to silence anyone that disagrees with them. I resent needing to be afraid at all for having opinions and because of that I am less inclined to even listen to those that disagree with me. What actually needs to be silenced on forums is personal attacks it would promote more civilized debate and would cure a lot of the hate…

Dragon Gunner07 Oct 2019 1:26 p.m. PST


Missing Lynx is about modeling.

The problem with wargaming (i.e.TMP) is it is tied to politics, history and current events all hot button topics on here. Unless we are dealing with science fiction or fantasy.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 1:26 p.m. PST

I am not immune from this behavior, nor are you just because you are anonymous on TMP. Hate actually thrives behind fear. I have had people try to harm me, my family, the church in the real world -- usually other "Christians!!"
I would have to leave the pulpit and be silenced if I was afraid to put myself out there?
I have actually found that the vast majority of people are good and will run to the defense of a good name.
Russ Dunaway

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut07 Oct 2019 1:34 p.m. PST

This again? I use psuedonyms to avoid my stalkers.

Dragon Gunner07 Oct 2019 1:34 p.m. PST

No I am not immune but I have shielded myself from some people. Yes hate actually thrives behind fear God knows its the source of everything and everyone I hate.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 2:15 p.m. PST

I wouldn't know as I do not "hate" anybody ??

MiniPigs07 Oct 2019 2:30 p.m. PST

OK Old Glory

"They can say stuff online they'd never dream of saying in the real world??" You mean like a coward that hides from their deeds?
People that do not show their real name somewhere I take with a grain of salt --if they cannot stand by their own words that come out of their mouth --or in this case their fingers why should I care what they say ??
I say scrap anonymity !!

If political dissidents in a totalitarian regime want to "out" human rights offenses and use false names are these "like a coward that hides from their deeds?"?

Or, if a LEO infiltrates a dangerous group online and use a fake name, is that also cowardly?

You might be oversimplifying this.

Dragon Gunner07 Oct 2019 2:37 p.m. PST

Ok Russ you can put a feather in your cap.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 2:42 p.m. PST

This is a miniature page? About Miniatures ?? Are you not over complicating it sir?

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 2:52 p.m. PST

I have witnessed more great harm and damage done by anonymity via unsigned letters,secret notes left, strange phone calls in the night as unnamed accusers can spew forth untruths and slander as they hide behind their veil of secrecy -- often along with their hidden and secret agendas!!

Russ Dunaway

magical monstrous steve07 Oct 2019 3:34 p.m. PST

Supposing it was preferable to post under real names, the user base of this page has been accustomed to its anonymity for decades. Radically changing the experience would require a lot of justification.

dilettante Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 3:35 p.m. PST

If you want to know my real name, click on dilettante. If some of us want to be anonymous, that's fine with me. I generally don't even read,much less post on controversial threads.
Leave things as they are. (shrug)

HMS Exeter07 Oct 2019 4:01 p.m. PST

In the last 4 months I have had a contentious discussion with an older gentleman 60 miles away who turned out to have some alarmingly off the wall ideas. He posted a long diatribe about the coming apocalypse in America. It ran 6 paragraphs. When the editors got done with it, it was down to 2 and had so many "snips" in it it looked like they'd taken buckshot to it. Few of the sentences still made sense.

I ended up stifling a fellow 50 miles away because he kept trying to pick a fight with me over Social Darwinism.

There is a guy in Europe who will come swooping out of nowhere and chew your ankle off if you make any kind of post about the Middle East.

My handle is a derivation if my name. I get uneasy some times.

It stands to reason that the demographic in here is reflective of that in the US. We are a polarized society. "There are a lot of good people in here, on both sides."

I'd just as soon keep things at arm's length.

Bill and the editors do what they can, but their influence ends with the closure of the laptop.

Now that I've written this, I think changing my handle might not be a bad idea. (I did)

Cancel anonymity, and I fear this group will devolve into ads, con announcements and a bucket load of lurkers.

The degree to which I have a comfort level in here is not a matter about which I am prepared to compromise.

I love ya Russ, and I love your figs, and I understand and respect your pov, but no.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 4:05 p.m. PST

Do not misunderstand me. I do not really care what Bill does here. I am just stating why I do not personally care for anonymity and why I do not practice it. To each their own.
Just remember though, when you are talking to me you have the advantage of knowing exactly who you are taking to?

Russ Dunaway

14Bore07 Oct 2019 4:09 p.m. PST

It is best to conduct yourself like everyone knows exactly who you are

MiniPigs07 Oct 2019 4:13 p.m. PST

Somewhere, Otto von Pivka is doing a spit take…

I think this is generational. Younger people dont see any difference between their online persona and their real life one, they just want safety from people coming to find them. And, society has changed; there was a time when voyeurism was frowned on and now it's far too accepted. I suppose it's a form of control.

I know for myself, I am actually far nicer on here than in real life.

And yes, it's a miniatures page. Frankly, I dont think the readership and the admins know how blessed they are. I have been on sports message boards so harsh and potentially violent it made me both happy and relieved that I used a nom de plume. I really dont see anything that outrageous on here. If anything, I think it's the opposite and people dont get enough rope to express themselves.

One of my points was that there are many reasons that people want anonymity and that the only reason wasn't your "coward" reason. I dont think it matters whether you think a miniatures page is more trivial than a political dissident it shouldn't be just your call to make based on what you think is important.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 4:29 p.m. PST

I also left a Oakland A's fan group because of the anger and nastiness -- they practice anonymity!!
I am also a member of a "raised in Iowa" page with 70,000 members with real names and never a foul word is spoken.
This place is very decent -- long ago I did visit Frothers several times and just found it so absurd and blithering I never went back.
To be honest my judgement on TMP does hang in the balance at this time ??

Russ Dunaway

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 5:03 p.m. PST

I can only say that for myself, if there is not a real name and a nation or state listed--well, logic is still logic, but I tend to assume the worst as regards motivation and selection of facts. Why should I give an anonymous posting on a web site credence I wouldn't give an anonymous letter slipped in my mail box?

Fortunately, motivation is rarely a serious concern when we discuss Swedish infantry organization or what paint best represents gelb braun. (Note I say "rarely"and not "never.")

HMS Exeter: regarding the coming American apocalypse, did the older gentleman give a time frame, or have any recommendations about where we might flee to? I've been wanting to make recommendations to some of the younger generation, but frankly I can't come up with a place which looks all that much more safe and stable.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 5:12 p.m. PST


Henry Martini07 Oct 2019 5:48 p.m. PST

I echo the points made by Dragon Gunner. In the past, on this forum and another, I've been on the receiving end of irrational harassment, extreme vitriol, and abuse from a clearly unbalanced, and possibly dangerous, individual.

This same character has even extended his menaces to hobby businesses in other countries I've been in discussion with, all in a bizarre, deluded attempt to prevent the production of a range of figures he'd decided shouldn't be made.

Despite having had offers of physical protection from combat-trained and experienced locals (including a former member of 32 Battalion and the Selous Scouts), I'm firmly of the opinion that anonymity is an essential fundamental security measure to help protect any of we who post online from the attentions of the small number of psychos who inhabit this hobby.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 5:55 p.m. PST

the advantage of knowing exactly who you are taking to?

With respect, Mr Dunaway, no I don't. I'm sure you're a great person etc but I've never met you, nor probably ever will. I know nothing about your background. I know you own a miniatures company that makes figures I'll never buy – no offence intended as I only use 20mm & 1/72 figures.

You may as well sign "Serendipity" at the bottom of your posts as signing your real name….if it *is* your real name.(NB I'm not trying to be rude here, I'm trying to make a point).

I personally see no benefit of sharing any personal information here and see several possible negative results involving identity theft etc.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 5:59 p.m. PST

@ Henry Martini: what a horrible story. Have you contacted the police? Whether the person has used his/her real name or not, the law can track them down.

HMS Exeter07 Oct 2019 6:06 p.m. PST


No, he had no time frame, tho it seemed he thought it'd be any minute. I don't think flight was in his plans. I think he was planning to make a stand on his front porch.

Re finding greener pastures…

Australia – all the wildlife is lethal.
New Zealand – the FoW shipping is low, but too many earthquakes.
Canada – I hate shoveling snow.
The UK – Boris Johnson's hair is too weird, and their conventions are too short.
Europe – Woof!
India – foods too spicy
South America- killer bees
Russia – their retirement stinks

Oh well. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 6:15 p.m. PST

Ochoin, A little bit of research would reveal that I am who I say I am, while I can find nothing about you so why should I listen to a thing you say?
Meanwhile I could sign on as "twinkletoe " and take the occasional unfair and lieing swipe at any competition!!
Meanwhile I openly applaud, defend, and commend other manufacturers here and in other places as Old Glory, AKA Russ Dunaway
How many times have people been caught on this site with multiple accounts and names ????

Russ Dunaway

Henry Martini07 Oct 2019 6:22 p.m. PST

Well Ochoin, had the harassment moved beyond incessant hostile nuisance interjection every time the subject of that proposed figure range was raised online to direct physical threats to myself, I undoubtedly would have informed the constabulary, probably through one of the wargaming policemen I know personally. Fortunately, unpleasant as the experience was, the hostility never descended to that level – I think mainly because the individual in question resides in a different state, and locals of the type referred to above left him in no doubt as to the sort of reception he'd receive if ever he ventured to these parts.

I do however recall one post in which this disturbed character made a physical threat against a friend of mine who was contributing to the thread, but my friend being highly knowledgeable about firearms and possessing an extensive collection, he wasn't particularly concerned.

I should add that the worst of this situation transpired quite some years ago; these days that gaming subject has almost achieved mainstream status, with recent articles in one of the glossy hobby mags. Then again, for all I know, behind the scenes the writer of those articles might still be subject to the same sort of harassment I endured.

I do know one thing, and that is that the article writer has been treated very differently to the way I was by the moderators of that other forum, with nuisance posts, and in fact any sort of criticism at all, being blocked. When I was posting there the loony was given free rein and it was consequently impossible to carry on a rational discussion, and the idiotic moderators treated all contributors as being equally culpable for the conflict and chaos. Suffice to say, I haven't posted on that forum for a number of years.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 6:41 p.m. PST

I post under my name by choice. If you choose not to, that is your choice. Ain't choice grand?

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 7:03 p.m. PST

Nope. I like my handle, it's from the first stage in discussion and I have history with it, I use it on many sites. If you want my name, just go look at my profile, nothing hidden.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 7:06 p.m. PST

As has been pointed out -- a person, in most cases could put any name so I suppose it does really not prove anything?
However, I just feel better and more honorable about myself being upfront.

Russ Dunaway -- really

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2019 7:19 p.m. PST

HI, I'm Doug Carroccio!

MiniPigs07 Oct 2019 7:46 p.m. PST

But what's the value of using one's real name on a forum? Because someone would look you up and attack you if you rant and rave online? I dont know that that state isnt one of intimidation.

Maybe posting under an assumed name is the truer state of a person and freedom.

I have no idea why it has something to do with either character or courage. Unless you are someone who believes there are no objective ideas or want to write someone off because of who or what they are, surely ideas, divorced from the source are more and not less valuable?

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian07 Oct 2019 8:11 p.m. PST

18 years on TMP, why should I change?

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