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Birthday Threads and Security; Input requested!
Topic Started: Oct 19 2014, 09:33 PM (1,030 Views)
MurderWeasel
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Hey, everyone!

So, in thinking about birthday threads today, I realized something: they might be better moved to fun and games.

This isn't at all about the post count aspect; I don't really care about those. The thing is, birthdays are one of the easiest ways to identify someone online. A lot of people on SOTF hide their birthdays on their profiles because of that (including me). Some of them still have old birthday threads, though. General Discussion is viewable by guests, meaning one may well come up on a Google search. Fun and Games, meanwhile, is closed off to viewing from non-members. This is because it's already home to some personal info, specifically the picture thread, and we don't want that stuff to be visible to just anyone.

By moving birthday threads to Fun and Games, we'd increase the security a bit and keep them more private. The tradeoff would be that they'd spam up the Fun and Games board more, be less visible, and not contribute to post counts.

I'm floating this to the general community because this is an issue that affects a lot of people, and also because I'm one of the heaviest birthday thread makers. What does everyone think about this? Is there anything else we might want to do about birthday threads? A subsection just for them would be very easy to create, but would feel a bit redundant to me and would push them completely out of the areas where people normally look. I guess we could also post the threads in GD and then archive them later, but I'm not sure if that's too much hassle.
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The Burned Handler
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Pardon my ignorance, but what makes a birthday in itself so easily identifiable? Lots of people are born on say, March 3rd.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


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16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
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The Burned Handler
Oct 19 2014, 09:36 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but what makes a birthday in itself so easily identifiable? Lots of people are born on say, March 3rd.
it's easy to identify someone by it if they have any other info floating around. + since a ton of us have pictures up, location info in profiles or go by our real names it could def be a concern

i'm all for it. i'd hate for someone to get found or doxxed or something b/c of unnecessary public info. they feel more like fun & games material anyway, it's not like we're discussing birthdays

on that note tho- can guests view birthdays in profiles or the calendar? i keep mine hidden too, but it'd be nice to auto-hide from guests if that's possible
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The Burned Handler
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Yeah, it was a stupid question once I thought about it. But in that case, what's stopping a handler who's especially angry at another from doxxing them anyway?
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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MurderWeasel
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It's when connected with a name or username. Basically, if you're going digging for someone you tend to google their UN and/or name. If the birthday matches between two sites, it makes it way easier to say that it's the same person, whereas if it's missing in one place or the other it's a lot harder to be sure. Usually when I go digging, a large part of it is correlating different accounts and building a picture from the pieces of overlap to then find more info.
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Rattlesnake
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It's not a big issue in itself, but it's a huge force multiplier if you have a little bit of information. When you have 800 Bob Joneses to pick from and then you find out the birthday for the one you want, suddenly it's down to ~two. Or if you don't know the username but there are a few that have some possible connection, suddenly you can say, well, we called this guy Rattlesnake in highschool and this one's got his birthday, so it could very well be him.

Edit: late to the party lol.

But it's another layer of security at least.
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MurderWeasel
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trash
 
on that note tho- can guests view birthdays in profiles or the calendar? i keep mine hidden too, but it'd be nice to auto-hide from guests if that's possible


Pretty sure I can turn calendar off for guests, but I think it shows in your profile no matter what. I'll go digging, though.

TBH
 
But in that case, what's stopping a handler who's especially angry at another from doxxing them anyway?


That'd almost certainly result in some really heavy clampdown by staff. Becoming an offline threat to people is a huge issue and we take it really seriously. I'm pretty experienced at getting stuff taken down from sites where it's hosted without permission/to cause trouble (thanks, PDF Converter, for uploading my resume to the internet complete with my address and phone number!).
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
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Yeah, I guess where I'm coming from is this would make it harder for non-members to doxx people, but we don't have any in built protections from members who might be inclined (this is purely hypothetical, nobody is being alluded to) aside from "we will be very cross with you."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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trash
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The Burned Handler
Oct 19 2014, 09:56 PM
Yeah, I guess where I'm coming from is this would make it harder for non-members to doxx people, but we don't have any in built protections from members who might be inclined (this is purely hypothetical, nobody is being alluded to) aside from "we will be very cross with you."
zeta's security options are pretty subpar and it's an issue. at a certain point it's up to the community to identify and protect each other from toxic members + harassers. i think this bunch has historically been pretty good about that tho, and an little extra security takes some of the pressure off

@rattle: i hope they called you rattlesnake in high school for the reason i'm thinking they did
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
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Yeah, I'm fully on board with this extra measure, I was just also taking the opportunity to draw attention to aforesaid lacking security options.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


Things SOTFers say
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NotAFlyingToy
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Please do this! One of my earliest memories of SOTF Is bring INCREDIBLY uncomfortable because Toben wished me a happy birthday in a public spot without my consent. I'd love for this to be moved.
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Aura
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Yeah, I'm all for this. Security is a good thing.
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TwelveFourtyFive
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I guess I'll just change my birthday to February 30.

But yeah, I think it is a real cool idea, Toben! Due to the reasons stated above.

However, I personally would actually prefer just 1 general birthday thread where people can post and congratulate whenever somebody has his/her birthday instead of having thousands of threads in a forum. But that's just my opinion. I'm curious how General Discussion will look like without the Birthday Threads. I bet I'd discover threads that nobody has ever seen before. And then Fun and Games suddenly won't have 9 pages anymore o_o
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Badb
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but what will we use general discussion for if we can't flood it with birthday threads?

(birthday threads should always be in f&g. they're low-effort posting and there's too many of them. also, privacy i guess?)
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Namira
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This is a good idea.
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