This is what I’m thinking. Simple and clean. Per user doesn’t make sense to me, we already have options explosion on the user preferences sadly…
Sadly this proposed obsfucation implementation is significantly more complex, I guess the difference between building the feature in a week or a few hours.
Plus it does not address the fundamental privacy concern
I was thinking about it from the perspective of leaking information out of the community, but I guess leaking info to the admins is a factor too, depending on the community and the individual.
Personally, I trust the admins of the site I use enough to not care if they see me sharing links. I mostly remove my username from the URL when sharing links outside the community itself, and even then that’s more to keep the URL clean than to hide the fact that it was me who shared it.
The problem is not that administrators see who you bring to the community, but that other users who read your link (for example, shared on social networks) know who you are in the forum, or not? So, I think that it would be enough to simply make sure that each user has a “referal id/code” random and not the same as their nickname, but associated with their nickname. This would probably also be the easiest, fastest and most functional solution with a hint of privacy.
Would just obfuscating the username so it wasn’t obviously a username work? Then you can continue to track without exposing any public info?
Is it possible to disable this now?
Now we have a site setting to disable the username.