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Why do people nc on mumsnet>?

43 replies

thatwasme22 · 17/04/2021 17:55

I have seen threads where people they are are changing their username as friends/family are on por to hide their identity. Eh isn't the point of this to have anonymity-who actually tells people who they are or what their username is. I don't get it.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Ahbahbahbah · 17/04/2021 17:59

Well under a previous name I posted enough details about an unusual situation that people who knew me in real life would have recognised me.

So then if I want to post anonymously I need to change my name.

It’s not that I told anybody my user name, just that I recognise I could be identified.


Carryonlikeaporkchop · 17/04/2021 18:30

Some situations are so recognisable that anyone who knew you would know it was you and be able to search for anything else that you had ever posted.

e.g. I could post a picture of a piece of sewing that I am doing, or my fireplace, or my cat and be identifiable from that.

I have no issue with anyone seeing the above items, but I might not want them to do an advanced search and find out that I have been posting about money troubles or medical issues or how much I hate my sister.


EastWestWhosBest · 17/04/2021 18:35

I name charge often. I like to be able to talk openly about myself. If someone didn’t like my posts and wanted to dox me then there would possibly be enough information on mn to do that.
I’ve posted about my home town, my job, marital status, children, health problems etc. If someone was determined they could work out who I was.

There are a lot of men people who don’t like mn and it’s posters and will do what they can to annoy people here.
There has been a case of someone sending armed police to a posters house.


FusionChefGeoff · 17/04/2021 18:36

I don't do it - but if anyone Advanced Searched me there's enough info in my posts to guess it's me if you know me.

However, I don't mind people knowing what I think and I try not to be horrible about anyone online or in RL


needadvice54321 · 17/04/2021 18:40

I don't name change often - usually if I want some advice about something. I have quite a distinct background, which I'm happy to talk about on here if it'll help others in a similar position, so i think there's a chance people could have worked it out that it's me!


Jumpers268 · 17/04/2021 18:40

I thought it was quite obvious why people NC? I don't often NC but that's only because I've not posted anything that I wouldn't want someone I know IRL reading. Some situations would be so unique that someone would know who the person was, especially when linked with other postings.


FrankButchersDickieBow · 17/04/2021 18:41

I understand name changing as a way of keeping anonymity, but I hate it when people announce they have namechanged, and then reel off a list popular threads from times gone by, to show they have been around for a while.


GlassBoxSpectacular · 17/04/2021 18:44


I have seen threads where people they are are changing their username as friends/family are on por to hide their identity. Eh isn't the point of this to have anonymity-who actually tells people who they are or what their username is. I don't get it.

It’s really easy to fathom why people do this, isn’t it? Confused

If you post something that contains potentially identifying details (i.e. a blow-by-blow account of the argument that broke out at granny’s birthday picnic yesterday) but you haven’t name-changed, someone could spot you, AS you, and find out a load of stuff you don’t want them to know about you because you posted it with the assumption of anonymity.

FoxyTheFox · 17/04/2021 18:44

If someone did an Advanced Search on your username and pieced together various pieces of information they could work out who you are in real life so lots of posters regularly name change, alter small details (e.g., refer to their daughter as their son or flub their age, etc), use a throwaway username if posting something potentially identifying, etc.

There was a poster a few years ago who started a thread to demonstrate how much you can find out about people based on their posts. She got people to comment on the thread, went off and did her Advanced Search followed by googling, searching social media, and so on then PM'd them with what information she'd found out. For some posters it wasn't a great deal but for others she was able to track down their real names and other information.


Happycat1212 · 17/04/2021 18:45

Because people might recognise the situation they are posting about and then be able to read all their old posts, thought that was obvious Confused


FoxyTheFox · 17/04/2021 18:45

I understand name changing as a way of keeping anonymity, but I hate it when people announce they have namechanged, and then reel off a list popular threads from times gone by, to show they have been around for a while.

They do it to show that they're not a brand new poster or potential troll otherwise someone will pop up to say "interesting first post, OP..."


BillMasheen · 17/04/2021 18:46

@FoxyTheFox I seem to remember she sent a few posters a picture of their own front door.


FoxyTheFox · 17/04/2021 18:49

Yes, that was her!


Iheartbed · 17/04/2021 18:51

Because in one name I’ll describe my job, the next name describe my family, the next a problem I’m having etc
The three things can’t be linked and therefore my real identity can’t be rumbled


DrSbaitso · 17/04/2021 18:51

I just change when I get bored or have an idea for a new one.


ScarletZebra · 17/04/2021 19:01

I didn't used to name change, then the Daily Mail and others started lifting threads from here regularly.

While none of my family is likely to be on here reading my threads, there is more than a slim chance that reading a story they recognised in the Fail they could then come on here and search all of my posts (& I've been here far too long).

I NC at least once a year and more often if I'm talking about something sensitive.


FoxyTheFox · 17/04/2021 19:01

It's scary how easy a determined person could find out lots about you.

For example, PosterA posts a thread asking about UK holiday recommendations within four hours drive of Newcastle. I now know she lives in Newcastle. I do an Advanced Search and find a thread where she's given a poster advice about fixing a problem with their phone and has said she sees this problem all the time because she works for Apple. There are only two Apple shops in the Newcastle area so I now know she probably works at one or the other of them. On another thread she is chatting with a poster about where to grab lunch in the Metrocentre and makes a remark about popping somewhere on her lunch break, now I know which of the two stores she works at. On a thread about school uniforms she says her DC wears a blue blazer and tartan skirt for school, I now know which school they go to. On yet another thread she mentions that her DC was in the local paper for winning a sports prize so now I can Google the name of the school and the prize and look up recent articles. There are five DC in the article but all I need to do is look up each surname on social media and use filters until I find the profile of the one with that surname who works at Apple. Bingo. Hello, PosterA. And now that I know her name I could out her on MN, out her in real life as PosterA, or I could go further, find her address, rock up to her house, doxx her, and all sorts of other unpleasant things.

Name changing periodically is a good thing unless you are very, very careful about details you post.


Timper · 17/04/2021 19:02

Because they ‘out’ themselves by revealing their husband has that incredibly rare hobby of playing golf.


TabooNCoke · 17/04/2021 19:05

If you post over several topics people can piece together who you are i.e. you mention your DHs bike on one topic, your childs ballet class on another, photo of your cat..... you become more identifiable than if you'd NC for each topic.
Also there are a lot of troll hunters and people who track what you've said in the past, so you might feel safer to keep changing name.
Of course, then there's the post you've made the mistake of posting in AIBU, where it goes horribly wrong and you get the on: squinky face emoji, and the "you're vile. You're not very nice" (if you're lucky) and you want to just forget the whole thing with a NC.


NannyR · 17/04/2021 19:07

I've namechanged in the past when I've posted about something very specific and identifiable. I don't want someone I know in real life working out who I am from that post then advance searching me out of curiosity to see what else I've posted about.


DrSbaitso · 17/04/2021 19:07

I've actually seen quite a few posts on here that I could have written and wonder if anyone I know saw them and thought it was me.


Batteriisincluded · 17/04/2021 19:07

I change my username regularly and on a whim. I've had this name for 2 days. Previous name for about 3 weeks I think. That seems a sensible way to stay anon. Well, that and avoiding posting very detailed threads that any other person involved would recognise, but they generally turn out to be fantasising trolls.


Trunkysbun · 17/04/2021 19:13

Have you seen the carnage that goes on on TikTok ? ... people stalking people, getting folk sacked, making up twisted accounts about poster's parents and children!! 😲

I name change regularly - I've recognised 2 people on here (one by her horses name and description and one by a very unique situation)

I'd prefer to stay anon, I can then post about my haemorrhoids in peace!!


Whereisthewarmth · 17/04/2021 19:14

I have always name change and fudge details.
There are some nutters on here who search and track down posting history too


PiccallilliCircus · 17/04/2021 19:18

I have written about some very personal things on this forum and anyone with a brain could link them together and have a very good idea who I am. So when I think I've said enough about myself under one Un I change it to another. Current Un is a day old.

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