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search by username = stalking

(27 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

nocampinghere Sat 10-Feb-18 10:12:07

Why is it possible to search all historic threads by username?

Surely it only encourages stalking?

What genuine use is it for an indefinite time period?

Is it possible to block /or if not delete old posts?

Graphista Sat 10-Feb-18 10:22:14

For me it reveals posters agendas, disingenuous motives etc

Don't like it, nobody is forcing you to post you can even use a different username for each post it's really easy to name change on mn

HebeMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 10-Feb-18 10:29:11

Hi there NoCampingHere,

That is an interesting question. We do understand that sometimes the facility to search by name is used in order to drag up old posts and be a bit mean to a poster on the boards. When this is reported to us we tend to delete the post and will have a word with the culprit. It's not what we think the search facility is for and it feels a bit 'not in the spirit'. Having said that, it doesn't seem to happen too often, thankfully.

On the positive side, we think the search facility can be quite useful. It means an OP who has a bit of a long-running situation going on can say 'see my previous threads on this' and anyone can then go and read up if they want to.

It's also maybe a good way to get a bit of a bigger picture about someone if you're fairly new to the site and following a thread with an OP who has clearly been around a long time and everyone seems to know the backstory already. Having a quick search might save you feeling like a noob and having to ask for a precis, if you see what we mean?

We think that the fact that we allow people to name change means that there is at least the option to keep one aspect of your life separate to your other posts. So if you were, for example, going through a bereavement or divorce you could prevent that being advance searched by everyone you were posting on a thread about EastEnders with, where perhaps you just want the opportunity for a bit of a chat and escapism.

There isn't a facility to block or delete posts although if someone is in really dire straits we do occasionally do deletions of posts they are concerned about. This is usually if someone has been spotted IRL and they don't want that person to be able to search all posts under their name. We can either edit out odd bits of information or whole posts or we sometimes do a retrospective name change on a post so that a historic post appears under a different name to the one it was posted under and therefore can't be found under a search for their username. It's a bit fiddly to do so it's not something we do all the time but the facility is there for us to help out if anyone is really concerned about something.

Hope that answers your question? Do drop us a line again if we can explain any further.

HarveyKietelRabbit Sat 10-Feb-18 10:32:23

I don't think you know what stalking means.

nocampinghere Sat 10-Feb-18 11:44:49

Maybe a time frame limit would be helpful?

Thanks for that HarveyKietelRabbit you actually know nothing about the situation i'm in.

nocampinghere Sat 10-Feb-18 11:45:39

Who can i get in touch with hebemumsnetHQ? changing a username on some old posts would be v helpful

HarveyKietelRabbit Sat 10-Feb-18 12:45:01

You can't change a username on old posts otherwise people could go back and rewrite history but you could ask for your posts to be deleted.

There is a NC facility which is easily used which isn't an option on most sites. Most sites have the ability to access a posters posting history.

I NC regularly so I don't build up a posting history which could possibly (but unlikely) identify me in RL if someone who knew me put all the posts together.

MN is a huge anonymous site. Anyone can access it and as has been said numerous times, the internet is not a safe space. Don't post things that you don't want millions of people to be able to access. Don't post too many things that could be put together to identify you. It's not private.

HarveyKietelRabbit Sat 10-Feb-18 12:47:27

Sorry - looks like MN said you can change a name on old posts. Which makes a nonsense of the site IMO.

JaneyEJones Sat 10-Feb-18 16:26:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NewYearNiki Sat 10-Feb-18 16:28:42

Maybe a time frame limit would be helpful?

Im still amazed that people dont seem to know about 30 days only ...thread deleted after 30 days. Or chat....thread deleted after 90 days.

Post in those topics only if you have something you dont want hanging around.

It isnt hard.

Bluntness100 Sat 10-Feb-18 16:30:48

I think being able to change your name for new posts enables any avoidance of issues you have, but as hebe said, it's useful sometimes to see a posters history, many folks post and say ok, you'll have seen my previous threads. It also is good in helping spot discrepancies in what people post.

What is your issue exactly? Why do you not want people to see your history?

JaneyEJones Sat 10-Feb-18 16:32:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HarveyKietelRabbit Sat 10-Feb-18 16:43:07

Janey - you thought that posting on the internet wouldn't 'hang around'? What did you think happened to posts on the internet?

That's the very basic internet safety that we tell children. You post something and it is potentially there forever.

Weezol Sat 10-Feb-18 16:46:28

I have used the name search thing only when what appears to be a goady/trollish OP starts a thread and doesn't mention 'NC for this' or 'new here, first post' or similar.

It either shows up a posting history which means I'm being oversensitive/triggered/anxious and need to put the interwebs away for a few days for MH reasons.

Or it shows no history which means I'll stay off the thread/hide it so I don't get sucked in by a troll or, more importantly, say something harsh to a genuine new poster or someone who may be vulnerable or fragile.

In RL friends tend to come to me for help fixing things or hashing something out. They know I'm not a person who can just be vented at and not try to find a solution (no matter how hard I try to keep my mouth shut, and I really, really try!).

Different people need different things from different friends - I apply the same thinking online as in real life.

JaneyEJones Sat 10-Feb-18 16:57:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Charismam Sat 10-Feb-18 17:01:54

I agree. But maybe I'm naive. I'm always surprised when posters say ''18 months ago you had a new born boy and now you have an only child who is a girl''. If I noticed I'd just assume poster was changing details for anonymity. Some of the detectives here think that posters OWE mumsnet truth like it's the passport office.

HarveyKietelRabbit Sat 10-Feb-18 17:07:25

So you know stuff hangs around as it is the internet...but don't think it should on MN?

I don't understand where you're coming from? You know stuff hangs around forevermore after being put on the internet but MN shouldn't have stuff hanging around on the internet?

If you put something on the internet- it is on the internet. Forever usually. I don't understand why you think MN should be different? Genuinely.

Graphista Sat 10-Feb-18 17:16:23

Even without AS it's not hard.

I just googled "Graphista mumsnet" and all my posts came up.

Its honestly so easy to name change on here you could have a new name for each thread you post on.

It's not up to mnhq to handhold adults posting on an open forum.

paxillin Sat 10-Feb-18 17:18:09

changing a username on some old posts would be v helpful

But you can change your username once every so often if you want. If it is about something deeply personal which must never be spotted and connected to your current name, this might be prudent anyway.

People complaining really loudly about it on threads are sometimes those who are pulled up on previous goadyfuckery for their current contentious thread. One poster I remember had a toilet, PE and punishment related question for the umpteenth time under the same username.

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 10-Feb-18 19:24:20


Who can i get in touch with hebemumsnetHQ? changing a username on some old posts would be v helpful

You can either report one of your posts on this thread or drop us a line at If you tell us (in private!) what your concerns are, we'll see if there's anything we can do.

nocampinghere Mon 12-Feb-18 11:09:31

wow lots of lecturing on here! glad to see you're all so perfect and have never posted anything, that in retrospect years later you'd rather some people didn't go back and read.

i've learned my lesson so am not going to explicitly state the situation/reason on here! But it is one you could all find yourself in unless you name change every fricking thread you post on.

I still don't see a real need for anyone to be able to search by a username indefinitely. the past 18 months or so, fine.

thanks mnhq. will be in touch.

paxillin Mon 12-Feb-18 11:13:43

But even without AS, one could google it and get the same result, so it wouldn't make a difference. Try it, type your username and "mumsnet" into the google search bar. Nothing to do with you're all so perfect, there is very little privacy on the internet unless you, as you suggest, change username a lot.

Graphista Mon 12-Feb-18 11:34:42

Yep t'interweb is as public as it gets, it's what we teach our children - don't put anything online you wouldn't want granny/teacher/future employer to see!

There's a degree of anonymity behind usernames but if you post information that can identify you that's your conscious choice.

JaneyEJones Mon 12-Feb-18 13:11:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Graphista Mon 12-Feb-18 13:17:15

Yes but unless there's identifying info in those posts there's nothing a weirdo can do about it.

Plus it's really easy to name change on here.

Plus if someone does have an obsession there's not much will stop them anyway (unfortunately)

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