Changes in Anonymous Posting Policy @ BPL

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    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    After a great deal of deliberation and review of comments, both good and bad (my goodness I sound like the USFS or something), we’ve eliminated the ability to post anonymously.

    The privilege was abused, it detracted from the quality of the content posted, and in general, it provided a relational barrier between forum posters that is unnecessary.

    If you want to post under a screen name, that’s up to you. You will have to either change your BPL Member account name (which could result in delays in order processing due to credit card validation issues), or create a new non-member account.

    However, if we find that non-member accounts begin to abuse the privelege of posting here, then we’ll have no choice but to limit postings to BPL member accounts only.

    This is a different forum policy, yes. But I’d rather reinforce and support people’s integrity that clutter the forums with a bunch of garbage postings. As for people’s concern for privacy, the choice is entirely up to you whether or not to post here. If disclosing your name is a consideration, then you don’t have to post. There are plenty of public backpacking forums elsewhere where you can post under a screen name.

    Benjamin Smith
    BPL Member


    Locale: South Texas


    David Bonn


    Locale: North Cascades


    Thank you.

    Ken Helwig
    BPL Member


    Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA

    Thank You Ryan.

    Timothy Chauran


    Excellent policy, Ryan, and I’m willing to stake my name that the overwhelming majority of members feel the same way. (And if not, they’ll have to divulge their true identities when the Flame me!)

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Good move.


    Mister Ultra-light


    Gee thats a shame Mr. Jordan. Your decision goes against all the Internet safety experts who recommend that you never post using your real name or give out personal information on the Internet. Some people do prefer to stay anonymous for common sense (net safety) reasons.

    I dont agree with not allowing anonymous posting and it will probably affect my decision to shop from BPL in the future.

    Mr. Ultralight

    kevin davidson


    Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson

    And of course, Mr. Ultralight is your real name. The policy doesn’t mitigate against internet security or privacy. Just a way to distinguish one nomme d’plume (should one choose not to use a real name) from another, so a real discourse can happen.

    Benjamin Smith
    BPL Member


    Locale: South Texas

    Senor UL – no one disputes a person’s right to conceal their real name – hence aliases and screennames. However, the anonymous posting policy makes it impossible to know “who” you’re talking to – is this someone I’ve interacted with before? Is this someone who has made reasonable comments before? Or is it just some troll making snipey comments from a coward’s vantage? I can’t imagine that anyone will have a problem with you posting as Mr Ultra Light.


    Bob Bankhead
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon, USA

    What’s in a name? You want annonimity – pick a name.

    Let’s assume I don’t make it an obvious fake like Zaphoid Beeblebocks. I could pick ANY realistic-sounding name (i.e. Jonathan Frasier) and you’d still not know who I was. I might even use my real name or my trail name (and I use both – just look at this post), and outside of a very small circle of friends in the long distance hiking community, you’ll still never know who or where I am.

    When necessary – say when I buy or sell something at the Gear Swap forum – I may post my email address since BPL does not offer an email or PM function. What I don’t post is my address and phone number. If we need to exchange that info, we’ll do it via email.

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