Bad Netiquette from me or the Parenting Site?

I wasn’t sure where this should go. Probably nowhere.

I occasionally read a blog that posts lots of articles related to unusual parenting or fun child trends. I am aware that some(many) of the views espoused on the site are things that I will not agree with or support, and I usually move past those things and read things of interest to me. Sometimes it is because of weird baby toys, and sometimes people’s lives are just interesting to me from a sociological standpoint.

Today I read an article about a woman’s personal experience with having a child and how that turned her into an atheist. I made a comment. It was in relation to everyone else’s comments more so than the original post. The site allows you to post anonymously, but you must provide an email.

My post was ill recieved and the site coordinator used my name out of my email to remove my anonymity. Rather than remove or delete my post as is suggested may happen if people get too rowdy, I was outed as first initial.lastname.

This is my original post and a link to the article with responses

I’d just like to say that it is possible to be raised in a religion, be a critical thinker, and maintain the faith you were brought up in. I get the distinct feeling that many of you do not believe in that possibilty, and yes it is a little bit insulting.

I can appreciate that many of you would not want to give your children an upbringing that is forced or inauthentic. Seeing such infleuntial figures (parents) half-heartedly partake in religion for the sake of their children might be harmful to their overall spiritual health. Just please consider that religion is not the opposite of free thinking or critical thinking, and you are not making a choice between those two things when you choose secularism for your child.

My questions are these:

  1. Do you believe my post is inflammatory? Was I impolite? Simply too direct?
  2. Do you believe it is acceptible net ettiquette for an anonymous feature to be turned against you and out you with your name? (keeping in mind I did volunteer my e-mail adress, under the guise of anonymity) Clearly I did not display enough caution in the email I provided and clearly I had chosen a website that is certainly of no spiritual benefit.

I am not trying to send anyone to that site to back me up, so please do not give them your time and effort unless that was something you already wanted to do. I know that the internet is a wild and free place with ever changing rules. I just wanted someone else’s opinion on wether or not I have been wronged as far as net ettiquette.

I am not trying to do anything about it or make any complaints to the site. I have realized that there was nothing beneficial in my browsing there to begin with. It is just that this seems the only corner of the internet where I can identify with anyone, so I wanted the opinion of some of you guys.

I put it in this forum because it was a parenting website. I hope I have not misused this subforum. I love CAF and the posters here and the moderators and administrators. I will be a little surprised if anyone reads and posts about this but it is worth a shot and might either make me feel better or help me see how I was in the wrong.

She has since changed it to first initial. first four letters of last name and I am ok with that. I did not ask her to, she did it on her own and I feel a lot better. I was about to ask her nicely to delete my comment.

Sorry for junking up your fabulous, helpful, wonderful forums with this thread. It did make me feel better, even though no on read it. :slight_smile: I am glad you didn’t. There are much more pressing matters! :slight_smile:

I learned my lesson about commenting too assertively on the internet.

  1. No, I thought your post was fine. I however did not read the article or the comments nor visit the site so I don’t know what the overall tone of those forums are. But even for the relatively tame parenting sub-forum here, I think this post is fine. (for the not so tame other forums, this is down right angelic. :wink:

  2. If this is what happened then, this is terrible “Netiquette.” hmm, I wonder if this is grounds for a law suit, I guess proving some harm would be pretty difficult? (just curious ;)) I just browsed the names at the site and none of them were anonymous. I would suggest that you go back and look at the “terms” of posting just to make sure and if they did violate their terms send their moderators a “nasty” letter.

There wasn’t anything remotely inflammatory about your response. I read through all the posts, and feel very sad for those parents…and their children.

With regard to using your name…if she did it out of spite, shame on her. If every poster is required to have some “handle”, that is something else again; perhaps you can choose one and have her change your name to that. (I had the sense that she was “outing” you because your comments aggravated her, which is childish and uncalled for.)

I don’t think you were too direct or inflamatory or anything at all. :shrug:

Just looks like you were outnumbered by all the athiests who replied thanking the blogger for her post and agreeing with her. I think it’s good you replied, and it was a pretty good reply IMO.

I personally don’t get it…the blog post seems pretty illogical. It’s like she’s saying on one hand she has Seventh-Day Adventism and on the other she has athiesm and the choice for her was one or the other. If those were my only two choices I’m scared to say what I think I’d choose. Where’s the option for an organized religion that has some history to back it up and actually makes sense?

Not in the slightest. I thought your point was well stated and very charitable. You didn’t directly address or attack anyone, and your comment wasn’t inflammatory, extreme, or baiting.

To me, the determining factor of inflammatory is if I would be embarrassed to put my real name next to that comment. I would have no problem with that comment.

It is absolutely unacceptable. The Admin should have emailed you or deleted your comment. She had no right to release that information. That said, you’re never truly anonymous on the internet.

One thing you can do is open a Gmail account with some random handle. Then you can set that Gmail account to forward to your real address. So instead of giving them your email address:, you give them your gmail address: and that forwards to That way the site admin can’t get your name from your email address. (and if you start to get hard-core spammed because some website gives out your email address to a spam list, you can close and open a new one)

Thank you all for taking the time to read and respond. I knew I could count on this forum for some level-headedness. I needed to hear trustworthy people tell me if I was being rude and if it was an odd thing for her to do.

Thanks! I got that sense too, which I think is why she changed it a little bit later. I don’t think I will ask her to change it anymore. I simply will not post there, it was probably not a good idea in the first place.

I cannot think of any situation in my life where I would seek a lawsuit and especially not this one. I am not suggesting that is what you would do either, I just got the sense you mean that she should be careful. She should be careful behaving like that though. If a handle is required, say that a handle is required and do not offer an anonymous feature with the default name as “anonymous.”


Thank you. I thought I was careful to be nice and make a concession (where they are doing right in not faking it and screwing up a religious formation.) Yes, my inclusion of that particular email address was foolish and I think removes her from any culpability (not that I was seeking it) aside from bad manners.

Never use an email account that has obvious identifiable info about you. Set up some dummy email accounts at google, yahoo, or hotmail. Create a name like dragon5taco or something. Then use that email when moving into forums. If you find it worthwhile to divulge your real identity, then the option is yours.

I just saw that CoffeeHound already covered this. Well, it’s good advice anyway.

Good netiquette required me to read all the responses before posting. Good netiquette also gives me the out by using the old “too long, didn’t read” line.:slight_smile:

LOL I don’t think you’re allowed to use that one though when the thread is only 8 posts long. :wink:

I don’t see the post as insulting. Granted, you have different views, and you made it clear…so, DK why anyone would take offense.
The only thing might be when you stated that you were insulted. Mind, you went on a BB where the people didn’t share your views, and you were aware of that.

Now, me, I wouldn’t take offense to that at all, but some might.

I do the same thing…go on BB that are in some contrast to my views, this BB being an example, and I go on another BB that is in stark contrast to this one…always good to get different POV, know what I mean?

I’m not really sure why the community would out you with your name or any other identifying info. What is the purpose, except to flame you? That’s odd.

Post looks good to me, I think it’s very well worded for an Internet site. Looks to me like that site has an immature and/or very un-self assured moderator.


I agree with the other posters that what you posted was fine, and I just wanted to say that I hope you do not decide to tone down what you say just because some other people took offense where there was none to be taken. We need as many articulate and nice people as we can get :slight_smile:

Is there a ‘higher-up’ you can report this person to? If the site provides the option of posting anonymously, they should honor it. I would feel violated, especially since I can’t imagine your post broke any rules. The person who reported you acted inappropriately out of what appears to be spite.

I think I did feel a little violated, but also stupid because I knew immediately that I gave a serious email address. Not too long ago all of my email addresses had stupid names because well… I was a teenager, but I did the whole grown-up put your real name in your email address and mostly had no reasons to give it out and this was a foolish slip.

As to higher ups, she is the top of the top, I think… I mean she is a published author and her series of blogs evolved out of the book she wrote about unusual weddings. Frankly, I am surprised she had time to fidget with me like that. As for who reported me, probably everyone and their dog hahaha because I said something that upset all of the pats on the back going around.

I had a similar experience with a military wives site that I use to post at. And boy does it sting when you are “outed” like that. ((hugs)).

1, your post was great, and you made a very good point. Nothing insulting or inflammatory (in a bad way) in it. :thumbsup:

2, the mod was absolutely out of line to out you as your real name. That is completely unjustified as having your real name known will NOT help the conversation and is not proper mod work.

:)Indeed it was more of academic exercise on my part. However, she should be careful. Those “terms of agreements” can be seen as contracts and if she breaches those terms and someone came to harm because of if she could be liable. (like if you were receiving threatening emails and letters at your house, so you had to go and get your address and phone unlisted, etc.).

If things do start to get bad, and you start receiving threats because your true identity was exposed, document and save every single email or PM and contact the police.

I am confident it will not get that bad. The really strange thing is that I have not recieved a single email even though they have my email address.

I felt I should stop posting there, but this morning I feel differently. I feel that I am about to unleash a firestorm of politely worded responses that they will somehow find venom in where ther is none.

Things I will try to avoid commenting on are the way I was treated, there is nothing polite to say about that. I want to really let that lady have it but I won’t. If she feels that anonymous posts are used for cowardice or for being sinister and reacts that badly, she should de-activate the capability rather than setting traps in her wierd little corner of the internet, but people will do what they want.

If someone sends threats over that post… wow. They must not get out on the internet much.

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