The "Who Are You" thread got me thinking about privacy. While I have already posted in the older one, I'm hesitant to do so again just because I'd prefer not to have more of my personal life open to Google, Bots and god-knows-what-else in the future. Hell, a PI for an insurance company could probably have a field day with some of the health info posted here. Same with job stuff, divorces, etc.
I have no problem sharing with the OO community, but I would prefer to keep it within the community. My Guild forum has a half public and half private section for members only and it works well.
I've seen people personally outed on other boards and it's not pretty when you realize all those anonymous posts are not so anonymous anymore. Not that a private forum guarantees privacy, but it does add another layer.
So what about a new forum private to OOers that people can post more personal information (jobs, health, relationship) that's not open to the botting/snooping masses?
Not sure how possible that is but will make sure it is discussed by the overlords.
They'll say that... because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.
I don't think it would. The barrier to entry would still be pathetically low, so it really wouldn't stop a determined snoop, but it could help hide information from spiders, bots and other creepy crawly internet denizens.
It's not uncommon for forum software to include the option to make some sub-forums not viewable by guests. Not the entire thing, so the game posts would still be openly searchable, but there could be a private members-only board. (Since there are no real barriers to human membership here, your hypothetical stalker could still make an account to read all about you.)
A more restrictive option is a board that requires mod-approval of individual accounts to access. Places that want to restrict adult content from minors use this regularly, but it requires commitment on the part of a mod to make sure access requests are dealt with promptly.
I'm not interested in assuming that liability; I'd prefer everyone post knowing that the regular caveats to Internet posting apply. I'm busy enough and have the board where I want it from a backup/recovery standpoint and stability standpoint -- I don't have the time to look at how to keep "private" stuff "private".
I'll leave it up to the rest of the staff if they are interested in taking it on and implementing it; but I strongly suggest even with some form of mechanism you realize that a single "whoops" by the staff and google can have that information.
You'll find that I neither post my kids' ages nor post pictures of them here, on Facebook, on my blog, or anywhere else on the Internet. I also don't talk in great detail about the more personal aspects of my life. I accept that most of the stuff I'd most want to keep private could easily be tracked down by anyone with a modicum of experience - in terms of personally identifiable "identity" info - but I keep my and my family's health info and other anecdotes about our intimate lives to myself. It's not going to work for everybody, and it does limit the kind of friendly sharing I can do with my "OO family," but there's a limit to how open I'm willing to be, and that's it. In fact, up until I won that BBQ contest and the trip to NYC, when my online and personal lives converged, I made a point of keeping them distinctly separate, and it would have been something of a challenge to track me back to this forum from anywhere else in my life (and vice-versa, most likely).
Anyway, my suggestion, particularly in light of Fishpants' position and concerns, would be for everyone to give some thought about what their comfort level is for sharing such info on the public internet, so at least they're acting within the guidelines they've set (if any) rather than in the absence of them.