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The Price of Being a Nameless Poster on Podiatry Arena

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Kevin Kirby, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    As the New Year has just begun, I thought it would be good to comment on one of the things that bothers me the most about Podiatry Arena and about much of the communication that occurs on the internet, in general. In a person to person meeting, if someone wanted to ask me a question, they would introduce themselves, tell me their name, ask their question, and then I would answer the question to the best of my ability.

    If a person had a question for me in the pre e-mail days, they would either phone me, or write me a letter, introduce themselves, tell me their name, ask me their question, and then I would answer the question to the best of my ability.

    However, if the person was anonymous (i.e. wouldn't tell me their name) either in person, on the phone or by written letter, I would never respond to their question since I considered that it was not worth my time to answer their question since they didn't have enough common courtesy to first introduce themselves and tell me their name.

    Here on Podiatry Arena, we have had, and still have, many individuals who ask questions and make comments using their screen names only, not first using the previously accepted common courtesy, that has existed for generations and generations, to introduce themselves and give us their names. This type of behavior is, frankly, a turn-off for me. Maybe I am old-fashioned, but that is just the way things are.

    I, for one, find that my time is much too limited to respond to all questions asked here on Podiatry Arena and I also have little desire to respond to a person who hasn't given me their real names or who communicates on an international academic forum for health professionals in text message code. I believe that I am not alone in these sentiments since all of us are very busy. I assume that we will all pick and choose whom we respond to when there are multiple discussions occurring.

    For the posters here on Podiatry Arena who don't think it is important for them to first introduce themselves, give us at least their real first name and tell us a little bit about their professional background, I simply won't take the time to respond.

    Therefore, a little word of advice for all of you new posters on Podiatry Arena. If you want an answer to your question, you will get many more responses if you include your real name, where you practice/teach, and give us a little information about yourselves, rather than just shooting out a question without including your name and wthout providing a reason why you are asking the question.

    I would welcome any discussion on this matter since I feel this is an important issue to discuss on an international academic forum for health professionals such as Podiatry Arena.
  2. In general, I concur. However, today I could be posting under the screen name of Splanchnic Nerve III, and sign my postings under the name of Kylie Munter; I could tell you that I'm a newly qualified podiatrist working in Outer Mongolia. The problem is... people lie and internet troll's are becoming increasingly problematic.
  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    If its worth saying, its worth posting it under your own name. Otherwise no one should take you seriously. Scared of saying something and putting your own name to it? Then a) Maybe you shouldn't say it at all or b) Maybe it isn't worth saying? We are all here to help each other.

    I had an email over Christmas from a person (not a medical professional) who stated he had seen my posts on Podiatry Arena on a certain topic and asked for advice on who he could see in his local area (he lived in another state to me). I hope I have been able to steer that person in the right direction - but that is simply another example of how this forum helps people and by posting in your OWN NAME the general public can relate to you - instead of trying to relate to "bulbous surfer boi 214987".

    I hate forum names......and I'm with Kevin!
  5. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    l use a user name that is not me...but that describes me, with my full name, where to find me and qualifications at the bottom.

    And am quite surprised at the amount of referral work l get as a result of my activity here.

    l agree with all the above but as Simon stated, some just lie to hide, question is what are they here to achieve?:butcher:
  6. Even though that may be the case, a quick background check with google would likely raise suspicion that the person in question was indeed making up the name Kylie Munter which would raise even more doubts about their honesty.

    My point is exactly as Paul said. If the person really wants to be taken seriously here on Podiatry Arena, they need to come out from hiding behind the shadow of their screen name, let us know their real name, and accept full accountability for their comments here on this international academic forum for health professionals. I'm asking for nothing more than the same common courtesy that has been present within the medical profession for at least a century: a health professional needs to properly identify himself/herself when communicating with other health professionals.


    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  7. Ros Kidd

    Ros Kidd Active Member

    Totally with you Kevin on this one. Over my years of practice in Sydney (Liverpool Hospital High Risk Foot Clinic) I have taught many students. Despite my status and qualification I was often addressed as "your Roberts wife". Before that for years I was "your Sarah and Jos' mum". I have no wish to be nameless but sometimes it gets thrust upon you.
    Happy New year.

    Rosalind M Kidd
    Podiatrist (retired and now known as Granny)
  8. Selwyn Firth

    Selwyn Firth Member

    Your views are similar to mine.
    I post using my real name because I think everyone should own what they say. It would make the world a better place. If you want respect you must earn it.
    Thank you and all the best in this new year.

    Many thanks
    Professor Kirby.

    Selwyn Firth

  9. I have had 2 patients travel from other countries and 1 ask advice from Stockholm from my ramblings on here, and agree if you would not sign your name to a comment then it was best unsaid
  10. Ian Linane

    Ian Linane Well-Known Member

    I guess it depends on what you are posting. In terms of general and/or controversial podiatric opinion then certainly why not post under your own name (be it a boot n all or twirly style whose handles we quite love).

    If you are posting in an area of, certain podiatric employment issues say, where you are seeking peers opinions on a delicate matter, which might leave you vulnerable if your real name is publicly displayed, I can sympathise with and have no initial problems with anonymity of avatars.
  11. Agree wholeheartedly. I'm all for free speech in whatever guise it can be delivered, preferably clearly and courteously and hopefully with some wit and humour - but anything goes as far as I'm concerned. But the rights to free speech also comes with responsibilities - and top of that list is the accountability to what you say. As you have a right to what you say, those who you address have a right to know from whom it comes.

    Perhaps regrettably there may come a time where it is mandatory as part of the forum rules on entry where a verifiable identity is registered for other members to view in the profile. I have no problem with sobriquets or nicknames on forum posts, but I would also like the option to know the identity, should I wish, of the person behind the name.

  12. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    From an official point of view, I have no problem if people want to post under an anonymous username or have no identifying info in their signature. There are many legitimate reasons that they may want to do so. For example:
    - some new members are nervous about posting for the first time, so prefer to be initially anonymous (we want to encourage new members to post)
    - issues they are posting on may cause issues with their employer (we dealing with one of those at the moment!)
    - avoidance of stalkers (we have dealt with a couple of these in recent years here)

    If it makes the difference between contributing to discussions or not, I would go with the contributing.

    HOWEVER, I agree, if people want more credibility, then identifying yourself will help and if you want more replies to a query, then yes, a number of posters are more likely to respond if they know who you are.

    As several have alluded to above, I am surprised that more have not woken up to the business potential and opportunities of participating appropriately in forums and social media.

    We have had this in the FAQ's since day one:
  13. blinda

    blinda MVP

    Yep, gotta love Twirlys' handles.....

    Agree with Mike; I've had more than a few pts (and GP's) contact me by email after reading my posts on the Arena. Which was nice.
  14. Accept that and I would tend to agree, however I think that it's also worth bearing in mind that whilst participation is to be encouraged I think it should take place in an environment that is neither harmful or exploitative. Whilst the above examples hold firm, what happens when a malicious post is made? Say for example a disgruntled patient or colleague decides to post some malicious, unfounded gossip about another clinician? As you point out the internet is a powerful tool - and google will cache even edited or deleted pages. Tag a name alongside a sex act for example and you have another MacAlpine scenario. Registration with user identity will give the forum greater security - if other members cannot verify identity directly then I think as site administrator then you might want to consider holding these details. I understand the counter argument, but if it's a choice twix some of the experienced contributors or someone who can't quite find the courage to write under their own identity, I know where I would rather be.
  15. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

  16. At least once a week I receive e-mails from individuals in the USA and internationally who have read something I have written on Podiatry Arena and want advice about their medical condition. They generally want a referral to someone who has good knowledge regarding their specific complaint. Many of them have become my patients because of my postings on Podiatry Arena and some travel very great distances to see me.

    I would think that most posters here on Podiatry Arena would also want to take advantage of the potential benefit to their practices by letting others who visit Podiatry Arena see who they really are and where they practice. There is no better advertisement than superior knowledge and excellent clinical skills for any health professional.
  17. For me the issue is not so much about the fact that people post anonymously as WHAT they post anonymously. There are anon posters on here who's opinion is valuable and respected. Luckylisfanc and Atlas spring to mind. Them I'm quite comfortable with.

    Some people, however, avail themselves of the anonymity the Internet affords to behave in a way which they would never usually allow themselves to.
  18. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Everyone knows who Lucky is!!!!! No? I'll keep my mouth shut then!

    PS: He could be superman!
  19. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    When I first came to Arena, about a million years ago, I went under the handle "OH8". Anyone that knows my work will know straight away that this was me. I was counselled by Admin over the issues, and I changed straight away to my real name. I agree with all the comments above - but sometimes, you know, a handle is a part of what we are. OH8 will be with me until I join it. Rob
  20. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    Sometimes modesty prevents some of us from us from revealing too much. That, and a prior history of problems from 3rd parties on public internet forums.

    My day job is protecting Gotham City BTW.:D

  21. fabio.alberzoni

    fabio.alberzoni Active Member

    I think that people that is nameless could feel ashamed of their lack of knowledge....
    Personally I feel ashamed, even for my english, but that motivates me to ask more.
    Anyway ...Happy new year in late!

  22. blinda

    blinda MVP

    I get that. But still, I would dearly love to know....

    BTW, my Username was originally a typo, which carried over from another forum so others would know me :eek:

    Belinda Longhurst
  23. I thought you were Spartacus!
  24. It has been brought to my attention that my original posting on this subject of being anonymous on Podiatry Arena has now caused some feathers to be ruffled on That Foot Site. I didn't know "That Foot Site" even existed until someone told me recently about it.

    Seems like some people truly don't like me and say that I'm an egotist, am belligerent and am an "internet bully". Oh well, if anyone else wants to join the Kevin Kirby Internet-Bully-Hate Club, then I suggest you take a number and get in line.

    I've got more important things to worry about.:drinks
  25. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    I cant possibly put my eyes through the strain of viewing that website let alone the content on it. It burns my eyes reading websites designed with 1970's code.

    Hint to owner of that site - its 2013 - get with the program!

    Ok I snuck a little look and it's ironic coming from a site that doesn't identifies its poster at all! Good proof how if you are anonymous you can defame, bully, be belligerent and put people down as much as you want!

    Point proven - and thanks to that godforsaken website for doing it! Now if the internet gods would be so kind as to delete that website from existence and send it back to 1981 where it belongs!!!!!
  26. toughspiders

    toughspiders Active Member

    I agree with Fabio, i have seen people ridiculed on here for asking what other deem to be simple answers with remarks like, if they don't know the answer they should go back to University. So, what i am really saying is,, there are some bullies on here!!!
  27. fabio.alberzoni

    fabio.alberzoni Active Member

    My experience is that more expert podiatrist always tried to help me, I'm grateful. Bullies are everywhere, I don't care about this...It's a proud matter, by me one who helps me can even tell me that I suck but if he helps me I don't give up.

  28. toughspiders

    toughspiders Active Member

    I too have not been bullied as such but i have seen it on here! I personally know of podiatrists who won't post on here for fear of it!
  29. fabio.alberzoni

    fabio.alberzoni Active Member

    that's their matter. they lost an oportunity cause of their shame.

    Even the best podiatrist in the world has always something more to learn.

    My tought was only to try to explain why some people is anonymous.
  30. toughspiders

    toughspiders Active Member

    I agree, but imo the reasons people do not post their names are for fear of being ridiculed or they are indeed being a bully themselves. There is also a matter of professional privacy (who wants the competitor down the road knowing their inadequacies) or embarrassment for what they feel may be a stupid question.

    I do not think people don't post their name as a matter of rudeness.
  31. blinda

    blinda MVP

    I think the term `bully` is quite subjective. Yes, there may have been times when a poster may have been a bit curt in their reply to, what could be perceived as, a naive/inane question at times. This could be for a number of reasons;

    • The question has been asked and answered many times before and can be found easily on the site,
    • Formulation of the question can come across as accusatory, therefore the reply is defensive...again subjective on both parties.
    • Directness of a short reply can be taken as aggressive or rude, when the poster is being straight or maybe just doesn`t have the time to construct a considered post at that moment.
    • Etc, etc

    I`ve said this before, but I think it’s important to remember that forum speak/text does not lend the luxury of inflection, tone of voice, body language, etc. Therefore, when you enter into a debate here, you should be prepared to withstand constructive criticism when your point of view is questioned without taking offence.

    That said, we are all aware of a minority of posters who have abused the right to anonymity by repeatedly belittling posters whom they feel should not be practicing, for whatever reason. That, IMO, IS bullying.
  32. fabio.alberzoni

    fabio.alberzoni Active Member

    what's IMO?

    International Mathematical Olympiad??:)
  33. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Hi Fabio,

    IMO means: 'In my opinion'.

    Kind regards, Mandy.
  34. blinda

    blinda MVP

    No, no Twirls...it`s an emo with an ipod. Or a potato. Fabio was close :drinks

    Urban dictionary IMO
  35. blinda

    blinda MVP

  36. toughspiders

    toughspiders Active Member

    I hear what you are saying Mandy and i agree although i cannot give direct examples of these incidents. The ones that come to mind were posters who had very little experience of posting on the site. Asked straightforward questions and appeared not to have any other motive than ask a question they were unsure of.

    With regards to searching.. i guess i must be doing something wrong when i look for answers but when i put in my search terms i get loads threads which are completely irrevelant and very numerous.

    I think we need to remember that this site is for all pods worldwide and not everyone has the same value but to be sarcastic,curt or mean is really unacceptable.

    I remember someone once telling me to google it!!! Well if that's the case what's the point of the forum and is assuming that i must be that thick that i wouldn't have thought of it....

    I once asked a few colleagues about this site when i worked in the UK and one of their answers amongst many were that they were made to feel inadequate and also it was too bitchy. This came from a few not just one.

    I on the other hand enjoy this site and see the value of it, and it has helped me immensely. What i don't enjoy is the other side of it when people intentionally try to belittle others.

    PS: Thanks for your help in the past!!
  37. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    I think you may be using the term "bully" a little too liberally? Just because someone doesn't agree with you or has some advice you may not want to hear I don't think that can be classified as bullying can it?

    Regardless this forum still allows anonymity - so if people are afraid of asking questions using their real name, they can do it using a fake name then none of us know who they are.
  38. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

    TFS just reflects the overall decline in professionalism of the profession here in the UK. No other country seems to have that problem.
  39. toughspiders

    toughspiders Active Member

    Maybe the term bully may be a little too subjective but to deliberately belittle someone or make them feel inadequate is really not on.

    Never thought of using a false name :)
  40. blinda

    blinda MVP

    Agreed. 100%. Yet, those who deliberately have were/are, in the main, anons/pseudonyms.

    When readers know who you are, you have to be more careful and respectful in what you write. After all, it is your own professional reputation at stake.


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