"Identity escrow?"

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"Identity escrow?"

Postby nisiprius » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:24 pm

[Added]Having read about Münchausen by Internet I now think this idea of mine is a bad idea. Never mind. See my post below.

------
I for one have been distressed by the unexplained disappearance of bob90245 and his valuable website, and now bobcat2 points out that Lbill seems to have stopped posting.

I would like to see some kind of forum feature which I will call "identity escrow." Perhaps implemented in some very humble manual way, such as a user account named "identity escrow" to which forum members could PM their contact information.

The purpose of identity escrow would be to provide an avenue for administrators to determine what's happened when members ask why regular posters have stopped posting without explanation.

There are security and privacy issues surrounding the idea, but I think they could be dealt with by proper wording of something that people would view before sending their information... policy on how the information will be used, a warning that you are trusting the administrators and that the forum doesn't undertake to provide witness-protection-quality secrecy....
Last edited by nisiprius on Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby Fallible » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:54 pm

nisiprius wrote:I for one have been distressed by the unexplained disappearance of bob90245 and his valuable website, and now bobcat2 points out that Lbill seems to have stopped posting.

I would like to see some kind of forum feature which I will call "identity escrow." Perhaps implemented in some very humble manual way, such as a user account named "identity escrow" to which forum members could PM their contact information.

The purpose of identity escrow would be to provide an avenue for administrators to determine what's happened when members ask why regular posters have stopped posting without explanation. ...


A good idea. In addition, I've often thought that we forum members could arrange on our own with family/friends/co-workers to contact the forum if we're no longer able to post. Administrators could even ask or suggest that members do this to ensure that enough do.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby grok87 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:08 am

Fallible wrote:, I've often thought that we forum members could arrange on our own with family/friends/co-workers to contact the forum if we're no longer able to post.

Good idea!
Last edited by grok87 on Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:27 am

Remember that this is just an internet forum. We don't hold private information above and beyond what's needed to use this site (an email address). An escrow is an entirely new can of worms, from both privacy and security perspectives.

When looking for lost members, the most that the administrators can / should do is attempt to contact the member via the registered email address. We have already done that for bob90245 and there was no response.

If someone has information about a member that they would like to pass to the forum, contact us via our email support address, bhadmin@bogleheads.org, supply enough information to verify who you are, and we'll take care of it.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:43 am

If we include a small donation to the Forum in our wills, receiving of the donation would provide an irrefutable proof of our demise.

Cheers,

Victoria
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby nisiprius » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:44 am

Lady, my concept was that there could be some framework by which forum members could voluntarily provide more information to the forum administrators, together with directions such as "please contact XYZ if 1) I have not posted in six months, and 2) have not rescinded this request, and 3) a forum member has asked you to find out." There are gazillion issues with the idea, including trust issues and the workload it would make for someone, but maybe they are solvable. At the moment, we have bob90245, lbill, and munchkin man unaccounted for.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby market timer » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:45 am

VictoriaF wrote:If we include a small donation to the Forum in our wills, receiving of the donation would provide an irrefutable proof of our demise.

Cheers,

Victoria


I like this idea.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby The Wizard » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:45 am

VictoriaF wrote:If we include a small donation to the Forum in our wills, receiving of the donation would provide an irrefutable proof of our demise.

Cheers,

Victoria


A really excellent idea, but if they receive $100 from the estate of "Samuel Jones", then what is the BH screen name for that person?
Last edited by The Wizard on Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby sscritic » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:46 am

I don't get it. You are not my pesonal friends. If I die, there are people I would like to be informed; you aren't among of them. If I decide I don't like you and don't want to post anymore, that's my business; I don't owe you anything. I once posted that I was going to stop, and while there were some nice "we will miss you"s, there were some posters who acted as if I owed them my time and efforts.

If you have made personal friends with others, say at one of the annual gatherings, then put them on your list of friends to be informed at your demise; you don't need the forum to do that for you.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby nisiprius » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:03 pm

sscritic wrote:I don't get it... If I die, there are people I would like to be informed; you aren't among them.
Hence voluntary.

There is a spectrum of degrees of human connectedness, from "lifetime companion" at one extreme to "Facebook 'friend'" at the other. "I haven't heard from so-and-so in quite a while, gee, I wonder if he's OK?" is a shallow, but legitimate degree of connection. Of course nobody is obligated to satisfy that idle curiosity.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby NAVigator » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:04 pm

Sscritic, I agree. This is an anonymous forum. I receive a lot from it. I give a little back. When we leave, others will join.

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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:16 pm

The Wizard wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:If we include a small donation to the Forum in our wills, receiving of the donation would provide an irrefutable proof of our demise.

Cheers,

Victoria


A really excellent idea, but if they receive $100 from the estate of "Samuel Jones", then what is the BH screen name for that person?


As one goes through an effort of modifying the will, a short comment about the screen name is a minor add-on. For example, the will entry could state "$100 to the Bogleheads Forum (with a link to the Support this site page) in memory of the poster VictoriaF."

If this is a prank, and VictoriaF is still alive, she can refute the exaggerated rumor of her early demise. If she's dead, the Forum will receive the news and the money.

(The third person writing here is used pragmatically, and any resemblance to the Munchkin Man's style is purely coincidental.)

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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby livesoft » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:23 pm

This has to be a problem for many sites on the internet. So you have the opportunity to start a new service called http://www.TellThemIAmDead.com

One can easily envision how it would work: Clients register with a few contact methods and a few time points. One time point would be how often TellThemIAmDead will contact you and get a heartbeat from you ("Are you still alive? Yes!") so that they do not notify folks that you are unresponsive. Clients would also give the names of their forums and other contacts that they wish to have informed in case they are really unresponsive and also the length of time after you are unresponsive to do the reporting.

The site could also offer obituary services and hints on how to write you own. It could cover expenses by ads from gravestone markers, cremation services, funeral directors, the death industry, the Mayo Clinic, will writers, estate lawyers, and Fisher Investments.

As an added benefit, folks could let other registered users query the database ("Is livesoft@bogleheads.org still responsive?"). They might get a response from http://www.LeaveMeAlone.com or http://www.hell.com or http://www.heaven.com.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby nisiprius » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:01 pm

You call the site "Dead For Everyone Or Just Me?"
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby chaz » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:35 pm

sscritic wrote:I don't get it. You are not my pesonal friends. If I die, there are people I would like to be informed; you aren't among of them. If I decide I don't like you and don't want to post anymore, that's my business; I don't owe you anything. I once posted that I was going to stop, and while there were some nice "we will miss you"s, there were some posters who acted as if I owed them my time and efforts.

If you have made personal friends with others, say at one of the annual gatherings, then put them on your list of friends to be informed at your demise; you don't need the forum to do that for you.

I agree.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby Cherokee8215 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:46 pm

Who knows...maybe Google has already figured out some algorithm that "triangulates" stuff that people have posted on forums to figure out their true identities...wouldn't surprise me.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby NAVigator » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:20 pm

livesoft wrote:This has to be a problem for many sites on the internet. So you have the opportunity to start a new service called http://www.TellThemIAmDead.com

Alternatively, you could do the opposite. There could be a service that responds to every thread on the forum with a nondescript post such as "I agree", once or twice a day. In this way , you could be immortal, living on forever (or until your pre-paid subscription runs out). I suspect this service already exists. :wink:

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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby gkaplan » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:23 pm

This is all pretty morbid.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby Epsilon Delta » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:30 pm

nisiprius wrote:There is a spectrum of degrees of human connectedness, from "lifetime companion" at one extreme to "Facebook 'friend'" at the other.

An interesting continuum. Notice where "People I don't know exist" fit vis. a vis. "Facebook 'friends'".
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby chaz » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:27 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
nisiprius wrote:There is a spectrum of degrees of human connectedness, from "lifetime companion" at one extreme to "Facebook 'friend'" at the other.

An interesting continuum. Notice where "People I don't know exist" fit vis. a vis. "Facebook 'friends'".

I don't go on Facebook, so I can't be a "friend".
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby Mudpuppy » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:28 pm

livesoft wrote:This has to be a problem for many sites on the internet. So you have the opportunity to start a new service called http://www.TellThemIAmDead.com

Already been done, several times:
http://www.deadmansswitch.net/
http://www.thedigitalbeyond.com/online-services-list/
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby nisiprius » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:51 am

Second thoughts. I stumbled across the phrase Münchausen by Internet, and on reading about it I guess I'm just chalking up my idea "identity escrow" or anything like it as just another bad idea. It's a very unpleasant phenomenon. It says that "The LiveJournal forum reported in 2007 that of the deaths reported to them about 10% were real," and refers to the disturbing phenomenon of people pretending to have died or to have serious diseases in order to garner sympathy. Given that, I guess any attempt for a forum to do anything specific beyond letting social phenomena take their natural course could open up a can of worms. Never mind.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby VictoriaF » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:44 am

nisiprius wrote:Second thoughts. I stumbled across the phrase Münchausen by Internet, and on reading about it I guess I'm just chalking up my idea "identity escrow" or anything like it as just another bad idea. It's a very unpleasant phenomenon. It says that "The LiveJournal forum reported in 2007 that of the deaths reported to them about 10% were real," and refers to the disturbing phenomenon of people pretending to have died or to have serious diseases in order to garner sympathy. Given that, I guess any attempt for a forum to do anything specific beyond letting social phenomena take their natural course could open up a can of worms. Never mind.


The accuracy of betting markets is predicated on people betting their money. One may lie to a pollster, but one does not lie when placing cash on a bet.

Thus, naming Bogleheads in one's will would produce more accurate results than mere solicitation of sympathy. And even a serial death (of a single individual) would not be that bad if each instance manifested itself by a donation to the Forum.

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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby The Wizard » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:26 pm

I have a dormant FB account because I found it to be largely a childish waste of time, for me anyway.
But I will give them credit for using people's REAL NAMES, not fictitious ones.
This would be a simple solution to this problem, especially on this forum, where personal attacks are discouraged...
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby Default User BR » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:01 pm

The Wizard wrote:I have a dormant FB account because I found it to be largely a childish waste of time, for me anyway.
But I will give them credit for using people's REAL NAMES, not fictitious ones.

What gives you that idea? I created a Facebook account with a fake name. It's not like they make you send in ID or something.


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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby Honobob » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:15 pm

Default User BR wrote:
The Wizard wrote:I have a dormant FB account because I found it to be largely a childish waste of time, for me anyway.
But I will give them credit for using people's REAL NAMES, not fictitious ones.

What gives you that idea? I created a Facebook account with a fake name. It's not like they make you send in ID or something.


Brian

Fake name AND my dog's pic for mine!
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby Epsilon Delta » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:17 pm

Honobob wrote:
Fake name AND my dog's pic for mine!


You sly dog.
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby The Wizard » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:50 pm

Honobob wrote:
Default User BR wrote:
The Wizard wrote:I have a dormant FB account because I found it to be largely a childish waste of time, for me anyway.
But I will give them credit for using people's REAL NAMES, not fictitious ones.

What gives you that idea? I created a Facebook account with a fake name. It's not like they make you send in ID or something.


Brian

Fake name AND my dog's pic for mine!

I didn't mean to imply it was impossible, but I'd guess over half of FB users use their real name on their account.
Compare that to here on Bogleheads where only 1% or so use real names or put it in their sig (like Mike Piper).
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:11 pm

The Wizard wrote:I didn't mean to imply it was impossible, but I'd guess over half of FB users use their real name on their account.
Compare that to here on Bogleheads where only 1% or so use real names or put it in their sig (like Mike Piper).


I use my real name in my signature.

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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby chaz » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:17 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
The Wizard wrote:I didn't mean to imply it was impossible, but I'd guess over half of FB users use their real name on their account.
Compare that to here on Bogleheads where only 1% or so use real names or put it in their sig (like Mike Piper).


I use my real name in my signature.

Victoria

How do we know?
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby nisiprius » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:18 pm

VictoriaF wrote:I use my real name in my signature.
Are you related to the Mr. and Mrs. F in William Pene du Bois' book, The Twenty-One Balloons?

(Twenty families live on the volcanic island of Krakatoa, emigrants to the island and part-owners of the fabulous secret diamond mine there. They are all Americans by origin but have originated their own systematic system of identities and their own internal island "restaurant economy." Their surnames are the letters of the alphabet, from A through T. They have each adopted the architecture and cuisine of a nation corresponding to their letter, their calendar has twenty days to the month, and on A day everyone eats at Mr. and Mrs. A's Armenian restaurant, on B day everyone eats at Mr. and Mrs. B's British restaurant, and so forth. The F family lives in a replica of the Petit Trianon and serves fine French cuisine.)
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:19 pm

chaz wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
The Wizard wrote:I didn't mean to imply it was impossible, but I'd guess over half of FB users use their real name on their account.
Compare that to here on Bogleheads where only 1% or so use real names or put it in their sig (like Mike Piper).


I use my real name in my signature.

Victoria

How do we know?

I would not put anyone else's name next to Albert's. ;-)

Victoria
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby graveday » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:15 am

So once someone has pretended to die, they are now de facto pretending to live?
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Re: "Identity escrow?"

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:28 am

VictoriaF wrote:
chaz wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
The Wizard wrote:I didn't mean to imply it was impossible, but I'd guess over half of FB users use their real name on their account.
Compare that to here on Bogleheads where only 1% or so use real names or put it in their sig (like Mike Piper).


I use my real name in my signature.

Victoria

How do we know?

I would not put anyone else's name next to Albert's. ;-)

Victoria


NOTE: This is an old thread. At that time my name was next to Albert's.

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