There have been many interesting anonymous postings on this site. Many people have been burnt (including myself) in the past,and are hesitant to leave their e-mail address on a site because of what can happen.
A few years ago, my older son would "chat" in a teenage hockey chatroom. He knew the rules and never gave out his e-mail address or any personal information about where he lived, etc. One person to whom he chatted started including personal information that just couldn't be attributed to coincidence. My son told my husband and me and we called a friend who is a detective specializing in pedophiles on the internet. He used my son to set up a sting, and within a few weeks, the guy was caught. Instead of being a thirteen year old junior hockey player, he was a forty-something pedophile.
He knew where we lived, our e-mail address & the school my son attended. He was able to put this stuff together by asking innocent questions; and from these questions, he was was able to piece together the rest of the information. The guy went to jail and is now out. He's registered as a sex offender (this wasn't the first time he did this). But as a mother of two sons, 16 and 8, it scares the hell out of me that it could happen again.
For this reason I posted anonymously for a long time, although I always signed my name at the end. At one point, I was even contacted by e-mail by someone who posts regularly to this site. The person did this just to prove to me that she could find me. It not only violated my privacy and scared me but it pissed me off royally that someone felt that they had to find me.
After awhile, because I liked this site and most of the people on it, I opened second (free) internet account and stopped posting anonymously. However, I will never use my family's "real" e-mail address on this site or any other.
The moral to this story?
#1 -- This is a great site, the people I have met here and the memories are priceless. But it only takes one rotten apple to spoil the entire basket.
#2 -- Harry don't be so judgmental, if someone is posting anonymously, they may have a good reason & it's not up to any of us to decide if it's valid or not.
#3 -- To the webmaster, change the site so that if you don't want to publicize your e-mail address, you don't have to. You don't publish real names, in fact, you advise people not to use their real names when they set up their membership. Why can't the same thing be done with e-mail addresses. It would make many of us feel a lot safer.
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