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Dear registered forum users:
I'd like to get input on a proposed change that I've been kicking around. Namely, a change in the registration system that would require posters to identify themselves (name, location, email, phone, etc.) to TDCAA, even if their personal information is not available to other posters.
Right now, ID information is requested but not required. This leads to some confusion for the site administrators at TDCAA when (for example) "John D" posts a legal question. Currently, our only way to confirm that person as a member of our service group (prosecutors, investigators, et al.) is to email them and ask them who they are -- which is frequently awkward (whether they are a member or not) or fruitless (when they don't reply or the email is bad), and inefficient in both instances.
Specifically, as I envision it, the new registration system would require more personal information but then allow the user to opt out of making some or all of that information public. The goal is to facilitate better management of the forum's content.
Would anyone object to such a system being implemented? If so, please explain. I welcome any and all* comments.
(* - except for comments about "privatizing" the user forum by limiting it to only TDCAA members; that idea is not being considered at this time. )
Requiring a proper disclosure of identity, at least to TDCAA administrator, is a good idea. Experience has shown us that people who don't identify themselves tend to be less judicious in their comments. In addition, as the site is for prosecutors, it helps to clarify the request for information when we know it comes from a prosecutor.
As for anonymous or false identies and the results, has anyone heard of MySpace.com?
I have an alternate username I sometimes use to post, but I believe the Admin knows it. It's my "I don't want to get fired" username. As long as I get to do that, sounds good to me.
Really, John??? We had no idea.
Yes, John R.'s secret alter-ego (and those of others whom we already know) could remain secret to the prying eyes of the world under my proposal.
I would never blow Clark Kent's cover!
Sounds like an excellent idea for controlling input. Generally, when a person is identifiable their comments are more cautious.
I knew at least one poster was using a pseudonym but I had had not realized it was more widespread. If we all had more than one handle, we could really have fun. Of course, the administrator would need to operate like a Swiss banker and never tell. I wonder though if our posts are protected by the First Amendment? See Garcetti v. Ceballos, No. 04-473 ---US---,(May 30, 2006). It is a public forum.
quote:Hey now, I'm not using it just to keep my posting numbers low . . . it's different for you elected guys.
YES. I certainly think that, at a minimum, TDCAA is entitled to know who is using their forum.
And personally, I believe information on whether a poster is a TDCAA member, associated with the defense bar, or a non-criminal law practitioner should be available to all [and perhaps the option "anonymous by request." It would affect both my decision to post as well as the content.
Thanks for keeping the forum available and maintaining it. TDCAA has been my homepage for years.
PS if you are monkeying with the forum, it would be really nice to add a preview option to review the content and appearance before posting.
I agree with the proposed change and would like spellcheck added also.
I agree with Jeff Garon's idea of letting us know if they are a TDCAA member, defense lawyer, judge or a non-lawyer.
It would help greatly in knowing how to respond.
I agree as well. Rolater, you're a rascal.
For years, I have posted comments using, as a pseudonym, the name of a brilliant civil attorney in the Lubbock Criminal DA's Office. I'll never get caught because he is far too busy conducting the important legal business of his county to ever lurk in this forum.
How do you update this info?
At the top and bottom of the screen, you should see buttons labeled "MyPop". Click on either of these. On the next screen, click "Profile", which is the tab on the far right. You can change your info there.
Jeff Garon has certainly expressed my sentiments on this issue very well (except that the Forum is not my homepage).
But, Jeff, the preview feature is already available. You can press "post now" and your entry will be posted. If you do not like what you see next click on the "edit or delete" function icon and completely remove your post if you want.
But when you post and then edit, there's a tag at the bottom of your post showing when and how often you edited. I don't like having to show everyone how long it takes me to find and correct typos!
I'm really surprised that you haven't required actual id to register in the past, at least for administrative purposes. I have continuing concern with some sensitive law/research requests posted on the forum. Seems like requiring information to register, and requiring logon to view the forum, would at least clue you guys in about who's picking your brains. And Rolater, I'm ashamed of you - no guts, no glory buddy.
Sometimes I'd love to use the forum & am afraid that some nonprosecutor here will read and figure out something I'd like to keep private, so I can't ask.
As one on the Civil end of a criminal district attorney office it has come to our attention that some posts are too "hot" to discuss in this very dry environment. I doubt that screening users et cetera would have much effect. But if you screen out all that German stuff I saw on the Criminal forum I might never come back!
The German discussion on the criminal forum is simply a means of broadening our horizons. Besides, there was only one proper translation offered. Mine.
With that said, I see no harm in requiring users of the forum to provide identifying information, if for no other reason than to ensure that a poster can be contacted if their comments have to be removed for offending Shannon's delicate sensibilities. But people will use noms-de-plume regardless of security measures, so I don't know how practically effective such measures would be.
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