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This has been bugging me for awhile now and I finally after an email today I decided I’m not doing it anymore, so from this very moment on I’m doing what everyone else has been talking about over the past year or so.

I’m actually so furious about this that I need to just calm down and explain what has happened first before I tell you I’m not doing something anymore.

I get emails and communications all the time from people, often times complaints as they are more comfortable talking to me one on one than in the public forum and I am completely OK with this, I publish lots of ways that you can communicate with me and I make myself readily available for conversation.

Recently there has been an issue between a few users that has turned, let’s say personal and we’ve been working through the differences and things seemed to be going OK when another party joined the conversation making very loud complaints about individual A – these complaints matched those of Individual B and since I saw no relation between Invidiaul B and new individual C I assumed that the problem was worse than I thought and perhaps my judgement of Invidiual A needed rethinking.

This has been going on now for at least 3 weeks, you can imagine how “personal” it had gotten as normally we can put things right farily quickly amongst community members.

Now the one thing I should have paid more attention to was that individual C was not using their real name, frankly the community has spoken out about this in the past and a large number of the community think we should ban the use of fake names, psuedo names and aliases where no real user information is given. I’ve always been on the fence on whether to accept that or not and I still am for the community as a whole, however personally I’m not doing it anymore! Forget it!

Individual C and B began to email quite a bit back and forth with me, individual A was not in the copies. (I brought all 3 into the same email chat together) and during a rather heated session this morning I got back a response. I just had a chance to read it as I was busy reading the awesome blogs from SAPPHIRE08 – an outsider’s view and How Grateful We Are For All Our ‘M’s. Then by meetings and all that stuff.

Well low and behold Individual C made a big mistake they signed the name of Individual B and mentioned something that Individual B and I discussed prior to their joining the conversation. I confronted and the truth came out B and C were the same person and thus abusing my good nature trying to manipulate me into taking unfair action against invdividual A.

Therefore as of right now I will no longer respond too, aid, help or communicate with anyone that does not give a minimum of “real” information about who they, where they come and who they work for it – kindergarten games are over!

You want me to help you? You want to communicate with me then you better fill out your profile and if you have one this profile otherwise you go straight to the trash can! The only exception is, no wait NO EXCEPTIONS! I have better things to deal with, this is a professional community of professionals in the industry therefore you have no reason to hide who you are, if you choose to do so for whatever reason fine BUT you won’t be getting a response from me anymore.

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12 Comments

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  1. Christopher Solomon
    Actually, Craig, you held back a good bit more than I would have. I would have probably called them out (B/C) right here for all to see. If someone wishes to abuse the internets nature of being anonymous by pulling “cons”, then they should be equally prepared to deal with the shaming when they are publicly exposed.
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    1. Suresh Datti
      I agree 100%.. put B<=>C to public shame.. I remember having a discussion on this topic around 3years back.. there simply is no reason to use a false identity in a professional community..such people do not belong here.. DUMP THEM PLEASE!

      ~Suresh

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  2. Joe Haynes
    I agree with your decision. The community benefits from honesty and integrity and disposing of those who hide behind a fake profile allows the rest of us  a larger opportunity to contribute as professionals.

    Besides, there are more than enough communities on the web where users can play games, assume different identities, manipulate other users, and nominate themselves to be kings/queens of their own kingdoms (where are those Burger King crowns when you need them?).

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  3. Mark Finnern
    Hi Craig,

    Totally understand your reasoning in this case.
    Nevertheless I think there is a gray area. You may work in an environment that is looking down on you being active on SDN/BPX in general. To avoid any problems you may want to post under a different name in your free time.
    I hear that especially in Japan people prefer to use an alias to avoid any questions by their employer.
    That is in my view an O.K. reason for not posting under your real name.
    A warning though, because all point-gamers, bullies, … are working with fake names, using a different ID puts you in that camp too. You start your reputation building 10 yards further back than everyone else who is signing up with their real names.
    Of course once you engage in private email conversations you should reveal your circumstances.
    All the best, Mark.

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    1. Eddy De Clercq
      Hi,
      As said in From the Grumpier Old Man: My name is NOT Bond, James Bond I don’t see any case where anonymous posting is allowed. This behaviour is infantile and doesn’t belong is a professional network as SCN. You don’t want this in real (business) life, why should you allow them over here? Dedicated, bona fide people (like Craig) are the victim of this. I don’t think that is the purpose of SCN. There is the saying about the rotten apple. Kick them out before it’s too late.

      Eddy

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  4. Chris Brooks
    There is a drop of merit in wanting to post something on your personal time and of your own opinions (not your employers).

    However… if Gates (or any other executives) decide to post their opinions/ideas online, they are representing not just themselves but their companies. I believe this also applies to lower level professionals with any amount of integrity.

    I’m not sure if I agree with this person being outed, but hope that they have been…. corrected. ­čÖé

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  5. Graham Robinson
    Hi Craig,
    I am so pleased to see that your patience is not infinite.

    The success of a community should not be measured in numbers but in value to its’ members.

    Mark maybe correct that hiding behind an alias is a reasonable thing to do in some organisations. But hiding behind more than 1 alias is not!

    Blackball these guys – PLEASE!!

    Cheers
    Graham Robbo

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  6. Nathan Genez
    I just read this and Eddy’s blog from last year.  There are certainly a lot of viewpoints to consider…  the one on different cultures and their comfort levels with using either their real name or being tagged with their employer’s name is valid.  But Eddy’s point that this is a professional community should be the leading consideration.  My number one complaint with SCN is the quality of… everything, I guess.  BLogs, forums, Wiki, et al are being polluted by some abusers who are trying to game the system.  I think a more formalized registration is warranted.
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  7. Bernd Eckenfels
    It is quite common here to get requests like “I am using your software” or “I am working for a SI implementing your software” and those ppl never mention their client or their affiliation. Typically those are names based on gmail.com.

    I stopped beeing helpfull to those requests unless somebody is giving me project details.

    Greetings
    Bernd

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  8. Michael Eacrett
    Hi Craig,

    I think people have the right to be anonymous in most cases. There are a number of reasons for this. Some possibly being…
    People seem, in my opinion, to have a built in concern about asking what might be perceived as the “stupid question”. If being anonymous alleviates this, then I’m all for it. There are no stupid questions asked if there has been a base level of research done before asking. Right?
    Also I guess an alias can be quite fun to use a fake or made-up name… just look at the WOW online community. Maybe SDN should have avatars too! Now that would a lot of fun! Would you need a consultant to do heavy customizing?? But I digress…

    However, as you have experienced….

    If an anonymous person wants a person’s help, then I think it acceptable to request that the anonymity is dropped. After all it is a person request and should be that – a person to person request.

    Also anonymous flames that we occasionally see in forums are, in my opinion, no better than spam and should be treated this way….deleted. We are all adults here, right?

    Just my $0.02. (which is worth even less in Europe!)
    Mike (yes, my real name… we can’t easily be anonymous on SDN if you work for SAP!)

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    1. Thomas W├╝rcher
      Hi, Mike!

      My feeling is that since anonymous access to SDN is possible, the quality of the questions as well as answers posted in the forums has decreased significantly.

      And the time one spends on searching posts in case of a problem has increased in the same way.

      So, as I consider this to be a business forum with professionals using it for professional reasons, I also see no reason to continue permitting anonymous access with these negative side effects.

      Regards,
      Thomas

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