User 'real name' privacy


(Josh Marshall) #1

My site (TPM) runs one of the earliest public discourse installations and we’re huge fans. But as we’ve expanded use there’s one question I wanted to ask about. At present, users real world names are not front and center - most of the interaction uses screennames but real names are used on the user pages and comment history. In some communities this works great. And personally I have a preference for fixed real identities. But in the political discussion world there are a lot of people who are paranoid (perhaps too strong a word) about having their political views tied to who they are, etc.

From what my tech director tells me there’s no simple way to change this in the current version of Discourse. Or at least no obvious one. Has thought been given to making this a possible setting, if not at the user level than at the administrator/tech level.

I’ve put this in kind of a wordy way, so to be clear: Is there a way that we can customize Discourse so that users real world names are not viewable to other users?


(Jeff Atwood) #2

This request has come up before and it is a reasonable one, so we will try to get it scheduled.


(Josh Marshall) #3

Cool. Great to hear it. We continue to have a great experience with Discourse.


(Bcguy) #4

This is a very important issue also with medically - oriented web sites like my own. You don’t want people to be able to google a person’s name and find out their medical history really easily.


(Sam Freney) #5

I would quite like it the other way around: to be able to default to showing users’ real names rather than a handle.


(Hamish Robertson) #6

Users can put what they like in the Name field… If they don’t want their real name to be public, they don’t have to enter it in the first place.

Am I missing something?


(Bart van Manen) #7

It is very easy to register an account with google/facebook/etc, but that does automatically suggest a similar username. People don’t always think about their privacy, certainly when they can just click ‘ok’ and continue. At some places, like a medical forum, you want to prevent people from making a wrong or uninformed choice.


(Bcguy) #8

yes - this is the issue. You want to make it easy for people to join the discussion forums - thus things like Twitter or Facebook signin - but lots of people do this without thinking about the privacy implications on medical / health-related discussion forums - so we want to protect them.


(Robin Ward) #9

Yesterday I committed the ability for site operators to disable names on the site. (Users can still enter them but they are not visible.)

If you go to Site Settings in the Admin section of your discourse install, you can uncheck enable_names and they’ll be hidden. We’d love you to try it out and let us know how it works for you!


(Bcguy) #10

Yikes - really bad news - this doesn’t seem to be working, or I have it misconfigured. Can you help me on this. Where exactly is this toggle. It needs to be much more clearly identified!!! This is really important for medical sites.

Is this the checkbox I need to uncheck?

OR Is it this one???

Or something else?

HELP Please - Urgent


(Robin Ward) #11

I just tried it out locally and it seems to working. The setting is called enable names and you can find it on the Users tab. If you can’t find it, just search for it.

You will have to refresh your browser to see the change. Can you try that?


(Bcguy) #12

Yes - under settings / users - “enable names”.

I’ve always had the “enable names” unchecked - which I think is what I want, correct?

Users are complaining that their names are showing up in google search results.

See the image below:


(Kane York) #13

I was about to say that I think I just touched that code (the noscript section) recently, but then I realized that I changed it from the full name to usernames.


Ah, you’re not on that version. Update, and it should look like this:

<b><%= post.user.username_lower %></b> <%= "(#{post.user.name})" if SiteSetting.display_name_on_posts %> at <%= post.created_at.to_formatted_s(:long_ordinal) %> — #<%= post.post_number %>

(If display_name on)
riking (Kane York) at May 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm — #13

(if display_name off)
riking at May 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm — #13


(Jeff Atwood) #14

Yes, so thanks for the pre-emptive fix a while ago @riking. Update to latest @BCHK.


(Jeff Atwood) #15