Should the WSO Section End Seller Anonymity?

21 replies
Interesting article about a proposed law in New York to require websites based in NY to have a toll free number that anyone can call to complain about an online post. Once a complaint is made the post must be deleted or the poster has to disclose their real name and go through a process confirming their IP, name, and home address:

Lawmakers Call for an End to Internet Anonymity - Yahoo! News

Facebook wants real names of its users. Google+ has gone the real name route. As private companies they do not have the same 1st Amendment issues the proposed NY law faces.

Have abuses and problems from anonymity necessitated the need to end online anonymity? Should the WSO section end seller anonymity to curtail potential problems? Even if not verified by the forum, a requirement that sellers identify themselves?

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#anonymity #end #section #seller #wso
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    This should be interesting!


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  • Profile picture of the author Simon Ashari
    The only person who should be able to require that is Allen Says (since he owns the forum).

    You also have the right to pass on any WSO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    If that passes, every private forum and blog in New York will move their hosting out of state.

    As far as WSOs, I don't personally believe anyone should be selling anonymously without some intermediary escrow agent, here or on any other site. Pseudonymously, perhaps, with legitimate details for contact, but not totally anonymously.


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  • Profile picture of the author oda
    If your not willing to identify yourself then your hiding something in my book.

    I use my REAL name as my blog (neglected) and my name on my products.
    My support address is at my name.com /support

    I have nothing to hide and neither should good honest business people. I think this will only effect the shonks and really who can't just pay an outsourcer to man the 1800 number anyway.

    You'll never get rid of the dodgey *******s, its up to the customer to use their BRAIN and make informed decisions. The CONSUMER is only the one that can stop the scam artists by not participating.

    Unfortunately there will always be people that really think the Persecuted prince in Nigeria really does want to give them 20 Million dollars.

    Oda
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  • Profile picture of the author lingster
    well if you're selling a good product then you don't have to worry about putting your name out there or your phone number. I think it's a good idea at the seller's name and phone number be exposed that way the people that are selling crap to get crap back. Well those are just my thoughts
    thanks
    sterling Myers
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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    The WSO sellers who use a pen name don't concern me as long as they have a support email or help desk. No one is truly anonymous if they use Paypal to receive payments or any other payment provider. They have to provide satisfactory details to a payment provider and it's easy enough to complain to the payment provider should they skip out with the money without delivering the goods.

    On a forum, what's the difference to anyone whether you buy from the Dazzling Dynamo (with appropriate contact info) or John Smith (who might not really be John Smith)?

    I personally don't keep my name a secret, but it doesn't bother me when people do. As for that law in NY ... geeesh, you'd think lawmakers would have better things to do with their time. I guess not. But if it passed, like Paul said, there won't be a website hosted in New York when it's over.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    You see people on Facebook still acting like total dickheads or commenting on stories that have Facebook comments even though their real name is out there for all to see.

    So, anonymity? I think dickheads are dickheads and they don't care if they're anonymous or not.

    Same with a lot of the internet scammers you see that get fined in the news. Often they're using their real name and they have no self respect, only greed, so they don't even care if someone knows their real name.

    For some, it will make a difference, for others, it won't.
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  • Profile picture of the author GMT
    I think lawmakers need to focus on laws that benefit the people, not laws that make everything worse. Last time I checked they were elected to represent the people, not their own self interests or corporations, maybe i'm wrong?
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  • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
    For high ticket items, I can understand the need for a little more disclosure but a $9.95 WSO? Reputation on the forum is enough for me. I don't need to know (or care about) your secret tidbits.

    I say time and time again that privacy once lost can never be regained. And wanting to maintain privacy is not the same as hiding something or being crooked.

    About 6 years ago, some pervert sent Edible Arrangements and flowers to my house. So I'm very paranoid. As a woman and a mother, some information will always be kept private, period.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
    I use my real name everywhere. JaRyCu is just the first two initial of my first, middle, and last names added together (Jason R. Cunningham). The whole name's just too long to type (and write), and if you Google it, there was a USAF pilot who was killed a few years ago with the same name. I'd rather not try to compete against him as I think he deserves to have his story told, and I plan on doing a lot online, so I shortened my name and I'm branding it.

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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    My real name is Sarah.

    The government can and will continue to come up with ridiculous laws... the problem is they are trying to control the uncontrollable. If they beat down one problem another will appear in it's place.

    People need to start being more responsible and accountable for their own actions. We're not babies. If something looks too good to be true then don't buy it... just like you wouldn't walk up and buy a watch off a guy standing on the street corner with a paper bag over his head.

    This is why building trust and relationships with your customers will continue to be just as important as it always has been.

    Be real. People like it when you are.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Been waiting for this to happen. We all know how fast a new law can be adopted by other states, so we will have to wait and see if this goes nation wide.

    Possible simple solution.. Allen buys the states and changes the laws <joking>

    What about an LLC. Would a persons name be required or just the name of the LLC?

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  • Profile picture of the author Nicola Lane
    Originally Posted by oda View Post

    If your not willing to identify yourself then your hiding something in my book.
    I'm glad that you have never had a stalker, had to escape an abusive relationship or had a relation in either of those circumstances. I am also glad that you have never had the same (or sometimes even a similar name) to anyone famous or infamous. Or just generally been in a position where having your name and address details made public will result in some self entitled nut bar appear on your doorstep.

    Unfortunately not everyone is in that happy position.

    Originally Posted by oda View Post

    I think this will only effect the shonks and really who can't just pay an outsourcer to man the 1800 number anyway.
    Unfortunately that isn't the way the legislation is written. Any website (including blogs or forums) that allows users to comment will be affected. An example would be the personal blog of a mother of a child with a rare condition - who blogs as a coping mechanism for herself - and to help other mothers around the world who would otherwise feel isolated.

    here is the actual proposed legislation:

    Bills
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    • Profile picture of the author DoubleOhDave
      Originally Posted by Nicola Lane View Post

      I'm glad that you have never had a stalker, had to escape an abusive relationship or had a relation in either of those circumstances. I am also glad that you have never had the same (or sometimes even a similar name) to anyone famous or infamous. Or just generally been in a position where having your name and address details made public will result in some self entitled nut bar appear on your doorstep.

      Unfortunately not everyone is in that happy position.
      Too true.
      I joined a "couch surfing" type site many years ago at the dawn of the internet.
      4 years afterwards I ended up in a relationship with a girl who turned out to be very psychologically damaged (and I mean VERY!!) and it transpired that she had stalked me online for the 4 years using the info that that site had visible to it's visitors.

      It took me a while to piece it together and in fairness back then no one knew what the issues around privacy might be regarding the internet. The particular site is now very secure and I don't blame them for their early ignorance of possible consequences.

      Suffice it to say I only felt truly safe from my stalker after I left my job, moved house, changed my car and my phone number...
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      • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
        You know, I've lived in New York all my life and they still manage to come up with things that are just so assinine I can't possibly comprehend the mind that would think this sort of thing is logical, fair, constitutional or even at all do-able.

        So every website owned by someone in New York is supposed to have a toll free number (Who is going to pay for that?) so that if someone doesn't like a post or comment they can call it (anonymously I'm sure) and either request the person's personal information (private personal information) or the webmaster has to delete the post or comment in 48 hours (how are they going to enforce this???)

        I wish they had a toll free number that we can call to complain about our tax dollars being wasted. In a state with so many problems I can't believe this is the sort of thing they spend their time on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    The people who proposed that law are idiots or despots.

    All the best,
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
      This whole proposed law is just a publicity stunt, the whole bullying thing is really big in New York right now and this politician is just trying to cash in. The bill assumes a "right to know" who is posting on a website but the concept that you have a "right" to know who is posting things online is ridiculous. I'm not even going to talk about it anymore.

      I didn't, however, comment on the actual topic of this thread.

      Should the WSO Section end anonymity? No, what could that possibly achieve? If you want to share your personal information with people when you sell something then that's up to you. Forcing people to prove who they are, which is more complicated then it sounds, really serves no purpose.

      There seems to be a growing trend on the net of "protecting the buyer" but the majority of this comes at the expense of the seller. People are responsible for their own actions, they're responsible for their own due diligence. We can't expect services that facilitate transactions between two individuals to become parents to people who don't take any precautions before performing an action.

      You can't even make an email address public on the web without receiving tons of spam. Could you imagine what would happen if you had your home address and phone number posted publicly all over the web?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by Halcyon View Post

      I don't need to know (or care about) your secret tidbits.
      What if you found out that anonymous person you just sent your $10 to was using it to fund some kind of terrorist acts?
      Originally Posted by Nicola Lane View Post

      Or just generally been in a position where having your name and address details made public will result in some self entitled nut bar appear on your doorstep.
      I know this kind of story all too well myself as well.

      I'm somewhere with Big Mike and Paul on this one.
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      • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
        I've been stalked to the point where I had to get law enforcement involved, and let me tell you it is no picnic.

        Since then, I do not readily give out my home address. A law requiring it to be accessible to anyone who complains would get me running fast to another jurisdiction.

        I don't think this legislation would have a positive impact, and I hope it gets quashed.

        Marcia Yudkin
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          There are not many places online where you can give a false name, no contact info or address - and run a paid ad selling a product. There are not many places online where you can post ads without an age limit.

          I'm not saying a seller's personal info should be visible to every buyer - but I do think that info should be on file with the WF for anyone running a WSO. I also think anyone under legal age should be required to disclose that fact to buyers.

          I don't expect this to happen any time soon - but I do think it will cause a problem at some point.

          Blog commenting has become a bad joke online - hate speech, rhetoric, bullying and insults are common. I doubt anyone posting those comments would have the guts to say such things in person. Why should anyone posting in that way have their identity protected?

          kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Tamer
    If this act is passed...
    I would say that entire data centers will "immigrate" from state of NY...

    It's amazing to see what law makers are doing with their times & energies...

    instead of ACTUALLY trying to put laws preventing fraud... they waste their times (and our tax money), suggesting useless procedures that can be bypassed in a minute!

    Tamer
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