Posted on May 2, 2015
MAJ Special Operations Response Team (Sort)
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What effect could hiding one's identity have upon open dialogue and the RP community?

I am not looking to raise a contentious issue but which to engage in a serious discussion that will help define the Rally Point Community. I am as a big privacy advocate as anyone else but I wonder if members should have accounts devoid of any identifying information. I have seen some where members do not even list their name. This is supposed to be a closed military forum. I can understand in some instances not listing their job/position but title and real name should be mandatory. It raises the concern and specter of whether these anonymous individuals are fully vetted and screened by Rally Point. Are these shell accounts used to gather information on military members like Isis did only a few months ago? Shouldn’t everyone be able to know who is speaking and see the name on their chest so to speak? Shouldn’t everyone be proud to be recognized?
Perhaps those who wish not to disclose or hide their names etc. can be allowed to be restricted members blocked by Rally Point from seeing anyone else’s private information. Shouldn’t I and everyone else have a right to know who has viewed their information particularly if they can see my information? Several Junior Enlisted members have spoken on RP about this appearing like a form of silent intimidation. My opinion is that it should be mandatory to disclose, title, rank and full name or anonymous members should be barred from viewing the names, photos, titles and other information on members who are being open. Could an administrator respond to this query as well? Could there be two levels of membership for those who did not desire to disclose their information and in fairness not request or attempt to view others information? Could people with shell accounts be required to complete certain mandatory fields prior to viewing others information or should it be if I view someone’s profile they can see all of my information automatically? What does everyone think? How Rally Points responds could set a precedent for more members to either follow suit and hide their information in empty shell accounts or create a more open military forum where full disclosure is the norm.
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LTC Board Member
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- Unverified members do not see your information (as has been discussed many times).

- If a verified military member does not want to share their identity with everybody in RP, then they have that choice in their privacy settings (similar to the options you have selected). Verified members are verified, whether you see their names and positions or not...

It's an interesting suggestion that if you hide your own information, then the information of others will be hidden as well. That is something we will definitely consider doing.
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MAJ Special Operations Response Team (Sort)
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It does seem fair. The Golden Rule is often a good place to start.
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GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
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Agreed. I mean, why not? If you decide that other people aren't going to be able to see your information, why should you expect to be able to see other people's information?
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1SG David Niles
1SG David Niles
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I don't get to hide my info
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MAJ Assistant Director For Membership
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Interesting question since you did not reveal your last name. :-)

I agree with your premise that we should use our names in this forum.
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MAJ Special Operations Response Team (Sort)
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I didnt realise that it was blocked... I will check my settings.
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
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While I trust and respect the judgment of the RP staff on this issue, for me it puts a damper on the point of having this community when I see an anonymous account or see people that I know who have "gone stealth" and removed their pictures or last names from their profile. That is a member's choice to do that and I would not question that choice, I just feel it makes a less personable community.
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SGT Richard H.
SGT Richard H.
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Absolutely agree, and I also tend to give less credence to those with no picture, last name, etc., especially when discussing Military matters. Personally, if I were still in the Military, I would be very cautious what advice I take from a guy who can't show me who he is.

Think about it in an off-internet way: If you were downtown and some unshaven guy in civvies came up to you and said Hey, I'm a COL and you'd better do [whatever] what would be your first reaction? My bet is that about 98% of the active duty guys on here would politely ask to see ID.
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SPC Charles Brown
SPC Charles Brown
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Well said Sir, um, excuse me MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca. lol
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