Anonymous question selection criteria. April 21, 2007 6:52 PM   Subscribe

This question about replacing an old Packard Bell computer is anonymous, but there's no obvious reason why. It's the type of question that would really benefit from some followup from the submitter.
posted by odinsdream to Etiquette/Policy at 6:52 PM (30 comments total)

Every now and then anonymous questions come through that don't have any obvious reason for being submitted that way. Either the people asking these questions aren't clear on why one would really need to ask anonymously, or they're not making it the reason clear.
posted by odinsdream at 6:54 PM on April 21, 2007


Well..........the question mentions pirated DVD software. Flimsy, but possible, reason for anonymity.
posted by googly at 7:07 PM on April 21, 2007


Perhaps the poster is ashamed of his or her association with people who buy Packard Bells? It's not something I'd brag about.
posted by jewzilla at 7:07 PM on April 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


I assume it was the pirating issue that made it anonymous. I assume the OP will see that the question was approved and hopefully chime in via one of us to add more information.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:15 PM on April 21, 2007


I assume it was the pirating issue that made it anonymous.

That makes sense. I assumed the whole thing was code for "On the weekends I like to get jacked up on crystal-meth and crash my car into churches. Naked."

Your read makes the reason a bit clearer, really.
posted by quin at 7:46 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can we please stop questioning the need for anonymous AskMe posters to be anonymous? The posters can't respond, and I find Matt does a decent job of filtering out the questions that have no possible necessity for anonymity. Maybe you can't think of a reason, but then again, it's not your life at issue.

Later that same day there was another discussion about the value of questioning the value of someone else choosing to use anonymity, but after re-reading that thread, I'll pass on linking it. Ugh.
posted by mediareport at 8:07 PM on April 21, 2007


Reading the question:
"what can they say and do to ensure that the computer is replaced instead of repaired?"

I think the implication may be that he is willing to erm.. spin the truth or underhandedly sabotage hardware to achieve his goal of a completely new computer, and as such, might not want this question traced back to him. Perhaps that's needlessly pessimistic, but that's what I got, anyway.
posted by blenderfish at 8:29 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I mean "his friends." "His friends" might be willing to spin the truth or underhandedly sabotage hardware to acheive "their" goal of a completely new computer.
posted by blenderfish at 8:33 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, if a poster can be anonymous for asking a question about cat sitting, I guess this person can too. Rhyme & reason aren't necessarily mandatory, right?
posted by miss lynnster at 9:10 PM on April 21, 2007


AUGH YOU BASTARDS YOU TRICKED ME INTO ANSWERING A QUESTION
posted by loquacious at 9:19 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


On the weekends I do like to get jacked up on crystal-meth and crash my car into churches, naked, but that's the one part of my life I don't really need help with.
posted by Methylviolet at 9:35 PM on April 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


The mods could be posting anonymously for themselves. Now, I'm not saying that cortex is a catnapper . . . but, well, you never know. Of course, I mean a really nice piece of furniture not someone who steals cats.
posted by who squared at 9:36 PM on April 21, 2007


Could they be using anonymous to post a second question within a week of previously asking? Or is that not possible?
posted by kisch mokusch at 10:16 PM on April 21, 2007


Another obvious answer:
They want to be able to show the thread to their friend without revealing their MeFi handle.
posted by Many bubbles at 11:26 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe that one really IS Spartacus.
posted by wendell at 12:20 AM on April 22, 2007


I hate my mother.
posted by Dizzy at 12:55 AM on April 22, 2007


Could they be using anonymous to post a second question within a week of previously asking? Or is that not possible?

It's technically possible but with a question that has a "huh, I wonder why this is anonymous?" feel to it, we'll usually check that sort of thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:57 AM on April 22, 2007


I hate Dizzy's mother.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:48 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, if a poster can be anonymous for asking a question about cat sitting

I don't mind that one. If asked publicly, there are crazy cat people around here that would hold a grudge forever.
posted by smackfu at 8:02 AM on April 22, 2007


I considered the pirated DVD thing, but it didn't really seem relevant to the question. That part could have been left out entirely.

If you're suggesting that the poster was hinting that they wanted to blackmail the retailer using the pirated DVD as leverage, well.. that's another thing. It wasn't clear, however. And, if it's anonymous, why not go all the way and lay that out there, if that is indeed the plan?
posted by odinsdream at 8:28 AM on April 22, 2007


If Matt decided it was a valid anonymous question, why is it anybody else's business? Should Matt have to append a box to every anonymous question explaining why it's anonymous? Why not just answer it or ignore it?
posted by languagehat at 9:32 AM on April 22, 2007


Because this is a community of web-based busybodies?
posted by wendell at 9:43 AM on April 22, 2007


languagehat, we're just talking. Nobody's made any demands.

It's been helpful, too, since I hadn't initially considered that the question was really: "How can I use the fact that the store gave us illegal software to get a new computer in exchange for my shitty old one?"

That would certainly warrant an anonymous question, since the real poster would, rightly, have a difficult time with their reputation after asking it.

If that isn't what the question is:
1. Why is it anonymous?
2. Why include the bit about the illegal software?

In regard to number 1. specifically, I do think discussions are helpful in shaping community policy. I'd personally like to see anonymous questions restricted to those where the subject matter is embarrassing, or the results of being identified by coworkers, friends, family, etc., would otherwise cause the question to go unasked.

I do not, however, want anonymous questions to be available for any reason or no reason. It doesn't make sense, and this is exactly the kind of question that would benefit from followup discussions about specifics.
posted by odinsdream at 12:46 PM on April 22, 2007


or the results of being identified by coworkers, friends, family, etc., would otherwise cause the question to go unasked.

Just so you know, there are actually at least two ways this can happen:
1)Poster's coworkers, friends, family, etc., know Poster's MeFi handle, and Poster doesn't want all these people to know they're asking that question.
2)Poster's coworkers, friends, family, etc., don't know Poster's MeFi handle, and Poster would like to keep it that way, but if these people saw the question, they would be able to identify Poster, because they know Poster is having this problem. And, Poster doesn't want to create a sockpuppet.
posted by Many bubbles at 2:17 PM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I hate my mother.
posted by Dizzy

I hate Dizzy's mother.
posted by miss lynnster
That's nothing. I've managed another level entirely; my mother hates me.
posted by Firas at 3:32 PM on April 22, 2007


I have found me brother!
posted by Dizzy at 3:38 PM on April 22, 2007


Yo mama, Obama.
And while I continue to reserve personal judgment on this Presidential Candidate (it's still 9 months until the first primary!), word has gotten to me that, because of my previous disrespectful posts, Obama hates me.
posted by wendell at 4:13 PM on April 22, 2007


Dollars to doughnuts Mr. O would give you a big wet one if he met you, Wendell.
posted by Dizzy at 4:38 PM on April 22, 2007


Obama will not wendell...
posted by po at 5:36 AM on April 23, 2007


Many bubbles writes "2)Poster's coworkers, friends, family, etc., don't know Poster's MeFi handle, and Poster would like to keep it that way, but if these people saw the question, they would be able to identify Poster, because they know Poster is having this problem. And, Poster doesn't want to create a sockpuppet."

I never thought of this but it's a good reason.
posted by Mitheral at 3:17 PM on April 23, 2007


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