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Is there anonymous messages support for the "full" talkyard?

By Simone E @chauffer
    2019-06-26 09:05:55.423Z

    Hey, as title says.

    I have seen this: but it seems like it is talking about the comments part of Talkyard.

    I am looking at hosting Talkyard for a company internally and we'd like to have the option to post anonymous questions/ideas, and anonymous replies to them. Is this possible?

    Thank you!

    • 10 replies
    1. Hi Simone, that's correct, right now that's for blog comments only. — Probably I could add settings to enable this also on a forum on an intranet, that woudn't take long.

      At the same time, these anonymous accounts, or Guest accounts as I call them, are limited in what one can do — there's no real login or passwords for example; one might be unable to re-login later and edit one's question, for example.

      Instead, what if anonymos topics and replies were to work like this: People in your organization, sign up with email and username as usual, and then, when they create a topic, or reply to a topic, they click a checkbox that makes them anonymous, within that topic only? They'd still get reply notifications to their normal email address, and could return to the topic and reply (still anonymous, within that topic). — How would this work for you?

      (Since the software and database still knows which real accounts are behind the per-topic anonymous acconuts, it'd be possible for the server and forum admins, to find out who the anonymous users are. This can be a good thing, maybe even necessary?, if someone posts inappropriate things.)

      1. CSimone E @chauffer
          2019-06-26 13:12:49.590Z

          Hey there, thank you for the quick reply!

          Yes, I think the checkbox approach might work; as long as it is not straightforward to find out who posted it (keeping it in the DB only is a good compromise I believe).

        • In reply tochauffer:
          KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-07-14 13:54:25.297Z2020-03-01 07:43:03.519Z

          I now have in mind to look into this, before the next next-next version of Talkyard in about 4 weeks 4 + 4 ? weeks [** didn't happen, still unimplemented as of February 2020 **]. Either I'll enable the quick "Guest" posts, or I'll implement the "real" solution, namely to let people use their real accounts (not Guest accounts) to post anonymous ideas and questions.

          I spoke (on the Internet) with a teacher, and they're teaching their students in developing countries about reproductive health, and ... I'm thinking, then the students will want to / need to ask questions, anonymously, sometimes. (Should they use Talkyard, in the future.) So this Anonymous Questions idea seems like a widely useful thing to me.

          1. In reply tochauffer:

            What if it'll look like this, when posting a topic, and replying? If anonymous post has been enabled for the community. (The screenshots are mockups; I haven't implemented anything yet.)

            And one can click that "publicly as ..." button, and select "anonymously" in a dropdown:

            Also, when posting a new idea:

            And if one creates the topic anonymously, or replies anonymously, then, when one continues editing and replying in that same topic, one stays anonymous. So, initially, anonymity, is per topic. Later on, there could be a user profile setting to toggle "permanent" anonymity — whilst enabled, all one's new topics and replies would be anonymous.

            (Note to myself: <span style="background: hsl(0, 0%, 97%); padding: 2px 7px 3px 6px; border: 1px solid hsl(0, 0%, 50%);
            margin: 0 4px 0px 6px; display: inline-block; position: relative; top: -2px;">
            anonymously <span class="caret"></span> </span> )

            1. CSimone E @chauffer
                2019-07-17 13:49:57.168Z

                This looks great, but I wouldn't tie anonymous<>topic. I would like to create a topic anonymously and maybe reply publicly, or reply to something publicly and something anonymously.

                1. Ok. What I have in mind, is that once one has posted anonymously in a topic, then, one's next reply in that same topic, is by default anonymous. And one can change this, by clicking the [anonymously v] dropdown and change to [publicly v], and, after that, one's replies in that topic are public by default.

                  So I think what you have in mind, will work fine — it's just that the default setting, slightly reduces the risk that one posts one's next comment publicly, when one wanted to remain anonymous.

                  1. CSimone E @chauffer
                      2019-07-17 16:52:42.331Z

                      I understand, I misunderstood then. Totally makes sense!

                  2. In reply toKajMagnus:
                      2020-03-05 15:46:13.147Z

                      I think anonymous posting would go someway to helping with the poor engagement I see. Students are just too scared to post, even though they're all in the same boat and the questions for sure are being thought about by multiple students at any given time.

                      1. In reply toKajMagnus:
                        PAndreas Pieber @pieber
                          2020-04-04 14:04:34.147Z

                          I absolutely like this idea. There are many different customers in my talkyard and it would help them to ask questions visible for all to answer, and not writing to me in private...

                        • In reply tochauffer:
                          KajMagnus @KajMagnus2022-01-20 15:29:16.336Z2022-01-20 15:44:55.326Z

                          I've implemented anonymous questions and ideas now (2.5 years later, hmm), in a work-in-progress branch. Code review remains, which will take 1 or 2 weeks —> 1 month until available.

                          In Talkyard, anonymity will be per page, so, if it turns out a question or idea was surprisingly well received, one can choose to identify oneself (and get some appreciation :- )) on that question/idea page only, without revealing what other anonymous posts one has made.

                          And Talkayrd remembers if you want to be anonymous or not, per discussion topic (even per sub thread), so there's less need to remember to toggle anonymity on/off.

                          Later, admins will be able to mark whole categories (or the whole forum) as anonymous-by-default. (Then, one needs to explicitly choose to use one's real name, otherwise, one's posts are anonymous.)


                          And, even later, admins could optionally configure an anonymity timeout. Then, after say 2 weeks, all anonymous posts on a new page, would show people's real names — the anonymous posts would get de-anonymised. Obviously people would need to be clearly informed about how this works, before they can post anonymously on such places.

                          The motivation behind this, is to improve decision making in companies, by preventing one's co-workers from believing an idea is good (or bad), only based on who posted it (maybe they think the CEO always has good ideas, for example). But still keeping the forum humane, by, after a while, showing real people instead of anonymous-anyone:s. And simplifying co-operation by, after the timeout, using real names so you'd know which real life person to talk more with about something.

                          1. Progress
                            with doing this idea
                          2. @KajMagnus marked this topic as Planned 2019-07-14 13:47:11.673Z.
                          3. @KajMagnus marked this topic as Started 2022-01-20 15:29:22.734Z.