MeatballWiki | RecentChanges | Random Page | Indices | Categories

UseRealNames may be sexist; since we are mostly men here, it is hard for us to know for certain how women feel about using their real names online in a place like MeatballWiki. Whether or not you plan to participate here, please help us by answering a few questions below if you are a woman.

1. Would you use your real name here given that is our policy (UseRealNames)?
1.1. Do you feel unsafe doing so? If so, due to a specific threat or a general fear?

2. Would you contribute if you could use a pseudonym (PenName)? Do you use a consistent pseudonym across the Internet?

3. Do you feel uncomfortable that we record your IP address or domain on RecentChanges? If so, due to a specific threat or a general fear?

4. Would you participate here? If not, for what reason?

Thank you for helping us improve our policies. -- SunirShah, Editor of MeatballWiki

For comparison, see the very interesting Wiki:GirlsDontWiki and Wiki:GirlsDoWiki, and the case of StarlaPureheart. See also UseRealNamesForWomenDiscussion

I'm a guy and looking at these answers, I don't really see anything that is really specific to girls as to why or why not. --MahyarMcDonald?



I do use my real name here and elsewhere. It is very meaningful to me and I don't feel comfortable writing under some other name. HTH, Wiki:YonatSharon.

  1. If I was going to contribute, I would use my real name. A few months ago I wrote a different answer here, but last month my name became fairly well known in AnotherPlace, so I've got used to this now. 1.1) Partly, but that isn't the only reason I am, or certainly used to be, averse to using my real name. It's more about the fact that if I leave everything I've said will still be there and attributable to me long after my views might have changed, and whilst I might have the RightToVanish, this is no guarantee I could actually remove my name from the internet.
  2. Unsure about this. I don't use a consistent name across the internet.
  3. No. It used to make me slightly uncomfortable when I had a static IP, but now that's no longer the case it doesn't bother me at all.
  4. A few things put me off. Partly, the site seems to be dominated by very few people, so it's hard to see how a newbie could fit into that without causing a disturbance. Another reason is that I'm not convinced I believe enough in the principles of the site - the focus on soft security for example. I also think I would bring too much of a WikiPedia bias if I did write here. -- [AngelaBeesley]

When i look at RecentChanges i can see it looks like only a few people, but many of the names that you see once or twice or not at all are participant-leaders, including me. (e.g. I just noticed the front page had been "cracked" by some excited kid, and put it back) It took me several visits to the original wiki before i felt the social freedom to just go ahead and write or edit anything where i thought it'd help. Hope you decide to keep checking things out here and join in if/when you like. --JohnAbbe

My Answers

1. No. I like the idea that I can use a gender neutral pseudonym elsewhere. It's nothing to do with safety and much more to do with people's perceptions. Also I have a life outside wikis and don't want a search for my real name to bring up all this.

2. I try and use a consistant pseudonym across the internet. I may contribute if I could use it, but I'm not exactly sure what the point of meatball is. I also don't like the copyright/lack of right-to-fork issues. And there is an excessive use of jargon.

3. Doesn't bother me.

4. See 2.

My Answers

1. No. My real name is very unique, and I don't like the idea of googling it. In the past I had very low self esteem, and using my real name in online communities felt then even more horrible than now. I wrote with a PenName, people thanked me and my confidence rose.

2. I don't use a consistant pseudonym. However, I mostly lurk.

3. No, it isn't threatening.

4. No, because I don't moderate an online community.

Although you'd use a PenName, you could still put your RealName in your FrontLawn.

My Answer:

Of course I use my real name on the internet. I think it's silly if you don't.

My Answer

  1. Yes.
  2. Fake Names? I'd rather UseRealNames, and initially, it was the use of pictures at [Community Wiki] that I think made me feel more comfortable contributing to a wiki. (It took me a while before I put up my own image though).
  3. IP: I am conscious of this, and it bothers me more when I am at school, because you can see the name of the school, and it becomes quite obvious exactly where I am.
  4. Yes I would participate. But only recently, I've gone through a kind of change in how I'm presenting myself online. I had a little moment and [reflected on this], if you're interested.

My Answer

1. I don't feel bad about using my real name, tho I really like my netnikname (Deamonath) but because it's poilicy and everyone does it I don't mind ( I shouldn't be treated differently because I'm female.

1.1 If I ever felt threatened, say by getting pestered, I'd simply choose a male name and duplicate my identity.

2. Maybe, I'm already known as SusannahWilliams? now so not point changing. I'm almost always called Deamonath anywhere else on the net. I think that sometimes there's a need for initial annonimity and I cretainly don't want the world knowing my real name and ip address (internet security aspects) for the same reasons I don't use internet banking or fill in marketing information will my real telephone number or home address.

3. No because I know that I have taken the necessary precautions not to be targeted and also how to remedy any problems of that nature that I run into (i.e. changing my identity) although questions like these make me very suspicious...

4. Not sure what this question means exactly. Can't really see the difference between this and WikiWikiWeb where I already contribute (by having a HomePage and doing the wiki thing). -- Wiki:SusannahWilliams

Another Answer

1. No ... it puts me off contributing here
1.1. 'Unsafe' is a stronger word than I would use. I'd rather the majority of my on-line activities were kept separate from my MeatSpace ones. I do use my real name online, but very rarely and only in places where I control (can re-edit) the content if my view changes and where it relates to my MeatSpace activities. Contributing to a wiki, slashdot, LJ or anywhere else is something I like doing but don't want easily associated with 'me' (the real-name version) although I'm happy for it to be associated with 'me' (the online version). In part this relates to what I do off-line (Politics and Consultancy) where my online writing and content may not be 'appreciated'.

2. Yes and Yes. In just about all online environments I use the same name, indeed many of my friends in MeatSpace use it also as it differentiates me from people with the same PersonalName?. (I note this practice is becoming more and more common!) One thing I would add is that I don't consider an 'online' name to be a 'fake' name; if anything it is the reverse as, for a given service, there can only be one person by that online name whereas there can be many people called (IRL) 'Jane Doe', thus identification of a person is more definite online than offline. An additional advantage for the use of non-realnames is that just as they may be non-gendered, they are also likely (able) to remove clues to the authors age, race and creed. As such, therefore, an individual's use of a consistent but separate online name and identity is a way to promote equality; the reader has to go by what they actually say and do and not by the assumptions the reader makes from other perceptions.

3. I have no problem with IP recording; mine changes regularly anyway due to my ISP and it is sensible to retain the information in case of a need to trace the source of a post.

4. Not with the RealNames requirement, otherwise yes.

Real Names Constrain Expression

I will comply but I object to this policy because I beleive it runs counter to the rich customs and practices of literary license and free speech. There is nothing inherently objectionable about using a pen name and, in fact, some of the best authors and philosophers have. George Elliot had a reason, E. Publicus and Mark Twain had their reasons. Was Mohamed Ali's REAL name Cassius Clay? Did Malcolm X violate your code? Generally these were not adopted to deceive anyone, but for totally legitimate purposes.

Can you recall the film "A Thousand Clowns" where the little boy was empowered to select a name every year on a specific day. That would be the name he used for the following year. Our name is universally recognized as something we are free to choose as a form of self-expression. My friend had a classmate named Sheldon Lipschutz. He was constantly told, "You're Lipschutz? My ass talks." I would like Shelly to use a different name on the list just to avoid the joke twelve times a day.

In these days of university speech codes and wild irresponsible accusations of "hate speech," of offensive, insensitive, disrespectful language, nom de plumes are more necessary than ever.

Thanks, TerrySeale

My Answer

1. As a woman, I feel unsafe using my real name on the Internet. This is due to fear both specific and general. It is justified fear.

2. I prefer to use a pseudonym, and I do so pretty consistently across the Internet.

3. I'm not too thrilled that you record my IP address or domain on RecentChanges, but I understand that you must protect yourselves as well.

4. I have participated here because I feel very strongly about the issue of women's safety in general, and on the Internet in particular. We have not committed a crime by being women, and we should not be transgressed against.

Yet another answer

1. I don't like enforced real name policies, so probably not.

1.1. Feeling of unsafety (or more a "better be careful") was the initial reason to not use a real name in the internet. This has gone away - I simply had no bad experiences, and now everyone who does a little bit of research on the web can easily associate my pseudonym to my real name.

2. I prefer to be known under my pseudonym, for a simple reason: It doesn't disclose my gender so I don't get any special attention as woman, neither good nor bad one.

3. no.

4. I would like very much to participate, I enjoy reading meatball wiki occasionally, but I'm already active in too many wikis.

The policy said either real name or no signature at all? so this posting will remain signatureless.

Another response:

1. Nope. There's really no one who cares as long as I stick to one name, is there? If it's a mostly well-respected policy I'd probably contribute siglessly, it hardly matters.

   1.1. Not particularly.  My name's my property tho.

-- HansWobbe

2. I have several pseudonyms and I use them entirely without permission.

3. Nah. I like to think my configuration's pretty secure. If not, bah. Mine's not the only IP out there anyway.

4. Yeah, sure, I like the place and the discussion.

Overall, I don't think it is particularly hurtful if I use a psuedonym, and I have three or four that I use as they suit particular situations. I keep them consistent per community so they don't mix or conflict. Most people can't tell they're fake at all and it keeps me clear of giving out my real name.


MeatballWiki | RecentChanges | Random Page | Indices | Categories
Edit text of this page | View other revisions