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comment by amcknight · 2012-01-04T01:18:05.983Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm curious about why you (and others) are worried about being traced.

comment by eugman · 2012-01-04T17:46:14.622Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because "Sarah" scares me. Also, some things I admit there would be embarrassing for those close to me to know about.

comment by Grognor · 2012-01-04T07:46:56.664Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Me too, this seems disturbingly common here. If there's some really good reason to stay "actually" anonymous that I haven't considered, I want to know about it. As it stands now, "Grognor" is highly traceable to a real name. Some people use their real names as internet nicknames, and others (like gwern) use fake names that look so much like real names that you'd never tell the difference.

This discrepancy is causing in me a confusion.

comment by peter_hurford · 2012-01-04T08:34:07.213Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I wonder if my username can be traced to my real name... If there's a reason to worry about being traced, then I oopsed.

But I think that connecting my online identity to my real name has many psychological benefits for me -- it prevents me from being stupid or offensive, because my actual reputation is on the line.

comment by Barry_Cotter · 2012-01-04T15:38:45.712Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If there's some really good reason to stay "actually" anonymous that I haven't considered, I want to know about it.

This is a site where people discuss the the ethics of infanticide, PUA and politics in general. Unless you are very, very good at self-censoring, you will leave textual evidence that you can probably change your mind on these kinds of things, or that you're willing to have civil discussions with people who have disgusting and abhorrent views. The subcultures in which this is possibly a positive trait are a tiny fractioin of the size of the ones where it is mildly to massively negative.

IOW having traceable views that are outside polite opinion can bite you on the ass.

comment by atorm · 2012-01-05T03:37:21.388Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Worrying about this prevented me from creating an account for a long time, but once I did I didn't bother to avoid the problem. That was probably unwise. Now that it's happened, is there a way to delete this username if I switch accounts?

comment by [deleted] · 2012-01-05T04:11:16.125Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Go to Preferences and click on "DELETE", give confirmation and your account will be deleted. Old comments and posts will still work, but the account name on them will be replaced with "[deleted]" (you could manually edit all your posts to blanks, if you should feel the need to, but please don't; it harms the blog).

comment by atorm · 2012-01-06T22:14:58.452Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You're gentleperson and a scholar. I suppose I could wait to delete my account until its existence might be dangerous to me.

comment by windmil · 2012-01-03T20:03:57.962Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If this is anything like Reddit, (And I have reasons to believe it might be exactly like Reddit) There would be no way to change the name of an existing account and keep the comments, karma and such. You might have to make a new account. Of course this is smaller than Reddit, and maybe someone with magical admin powers could do it.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-01-03T20:53:03.464Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If he has well received submitted articles a karma collector comment to them (with links to an explanation post) wouldn't seem inappropriate to me, especially since there is a karma limit on posting to main.

Or perhaps as single post in a well visited open thread thread titled "I made all these comments and posts" listing his best and a request to "please upvote because I've since gotten a new account!". He can confirm that this is indeed the right account, and that he isn't taking credit for someone else's contributions by posting a link to the new account from an article written with the old one before it is deleted.

comment by prase · 2012-01-03T21:22:29.365Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Losing about 700 karma is not so grave consequence (it's about 2 months worth of karma based on eugman's last 30 days gain) to justify non-standard karma mining posts or comments, which are small but still real inconvenience to the readers.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-01-03T23:36:20.128Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I agree it is not. But clearly he was asking for a way to keep the association with at least some of his posts so far, I was just brainstorming on how this might be achieved.

Also as time goes on [deleted] will have more and more articles to his name. The non-standard karma miner is an inconvenience agreed, but it is also a source of information for the reader. "Aha this [deleted] guy wrote this stuff too and now posts under this account!"

comment by prase · 2012-01-04T18:09:14.426Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fair enough. Creating a page linking to the important old posts is certainly useful. Only I wouldn't include the "please upvote" request.

comment by drethelin · 2012-01-03T22:02:35.709Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This seems like it undoes any security benefits from changing his name.

comment by eugman · 2012-01-04T17:47:55.783Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not concerned with people here finding out who I am. I'm concerned with people who know who I am finding me here.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-01-03T23:35:09.643Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

From what I understand he wants to keep an association with his "new profile name" and the old posts! Once he deletes his old account his old articles will be attributed to [deleted] and via the link, those that he chooses to associate, to his new account.

comment by wedrifid · 2012-01-03T22:58:54.630Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I was wondering if there is any way to change my username, I'm not sure to what. I've realized my current one is too traceable. The other option is to delete my account. Any thoughts?

When I decided my account was too traceable (because it was, you know, "#{wedrifid.owner.firstname}_#{wedrifid.owner.lastname}" I trashed that account and started a new one. It was on the top contributors list at that point too. :)

comment by TheOtherDave · 2012-01-03T23:50:17.156Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Comment deleted.

comment by Randaly · 2012-01-04T00:41:29.899Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Dave- if wedrifid was concerned enough about being traced to delete an account that was on the top contributor's list, don't you think it would be common courtesy not to link the current account to wedrifid's real name?

comment by TheOtherDave · 2012-01-04T00:50:09.561Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fair point. I can't do much about the fact that the desired untraceability doesn't survive a few minutes casual googling, but I can avoid being personally involved with the fact. Retracted.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-01-05T08:07:43.799Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fair point. I can't do much about the fact that the desired untraceability doesn't survive a few minutes casual googling, but I can avoid being personally involved with the fact.

It is about putting up trivial barriers to entry, so people searching for you by your real life name don't tend to stumble upon your pseudonym. I have no problem with LWers learning my real name, I added many on google+ for example, but I don't want everyone who knows my real name reading all of my posts.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2012-01-05T14:56:06.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Anyone searching the Internet for that real-life name will not find wedrifid's instance of it either way; there are too many more popular owners of the name.

comment by ata · 2012-01-04T02:25:35.926Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You didn't delete the comment though, it's still visible.