moderated Re: Web-only group #suggestion

Jim Higgins

Received from J_Catlady at 9/28/2018 06:00 PM UTC:
ps If I misread your point please for the love of god.. er, me!!!

I don't know if you got it all or not. I do know that I didn't conclude that the feature wasn't important or desired, so if that's what you got, then that wasn't it.

My point is that your suggested method of implementation excludes membership via email. I think that's wrong and unnecessary to achieve the goal of anonymity.

Since I know that much was missed I'll lay it out again... because I really think it would work for you and be better than a via-web-only approach.

We already see Gio rewriting "From:" headers in some cases, so why not rewrite ALL "From:" headers in an "anonymous" group so that the "From:" address is always the address of the group. Then members - via web or via email - who know nothing about other headers can't see real email addresses and a simple reply goes nowhere but back to the group.

Once we get that far, we have to deal with other headers that can contain definitive identifying information that savvy members can see... often an email address. Those headers could be stripped. All we really need are Date:, To:, From:, Subject:... with "From:" having already been rewritten to be the address of the group.

Now we have a functioning anonymous group except the Owner who has a problem member who needs to be "handled" in some manner doesn't know who that member is because no email address is in the problem messages. The (or at least one) solution to that is to absolutely require some sort of "Display Name" (for lack of a better term for it) that's chosen by the member to be completely disconnected from his/her real identity... and preferably used nowhere else lest Google find it and tie it to a real person. With that the Owner can identify members sufficiently well to manage them if necessary, and individual members have no ability to determine real personal identity.

Via the above approach members can participate via the Gio interface or via email, where via your proposed approach it's web only. Also your approach didn't address the info hidden in headers not normally visible. Nor did it include a required "Display Name" to give each member an identity that my 16+ years of experience in managing groups says is vital to building a sense of community. (Maybe that was addressed in the years ago discussion, but not recently so let's not go there.)

So... with the above all goals for anonymity are met and no one is excluded from participation. The latter is a major improvement without which I'd oppose the concept of anonymous groups. Do them "right" - meaning don't make them exclusive of a large group whose characteristics don't deserve exclusion - or don't do them at all. A chacun son bout, is fine up until it denies the many via-email members an option to participate. Or so it seems to me.

My darn email program (Eudora) doesn't handle the non-ASCII part of UTF-8 well so I can't send (or at least can't render properly) accented characters in French. Lo siento. ;-)

Jim H

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