Anonymous Follow-Ups and Respondents June 3, 2007 4:06 PM   Subscribe

PonyFilter: Since anonymous questions were first introduced, there's been the need for anonymous questioners to easily respond as a follow-up to their own question, and, to a lesser degree, given subject matter, for people to contribute their answers to the question anonymously. I imagine the admins have already thought about this, and I'm just wondering if it's a feature that will never seen because of the possibility of abuse or the difficulty of coding.
posted by WCityMike to MetaFilter-Related at 4:06 PM (16 comments total)

I also just have this feeling in the back of my head that there's an answer that could be done entirely without admin intervention or reprogramming, but the idea's not quite hashed out. Something like community-shared anonymous Ask MeFi accounts, with rotating passwords? Basically, just wanted to broach the topic both for admin comment and for community brainstorming, if the latter would prove useful.
posted by WCityMike at 4:06 PM on June 3, 2007


Yeah, it's impossible, so STFU.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:07 PM on June 3, 2007


And a merry merry Christmas to you too, buddy.
posted by WCityMike at 4:12 PM on June 3, 2007


I believe that there is nothing that pb can't code if he sets his mind to it.

We've been talking about this topic on and off since AnonyMe questions were introduced, most recently four days ago. There are very few people that use the AnonyMe feature more than once. There are ways for people to follow up anonymously that have been mentioned previously and work totally reliably (sock puppet, email to mods). At the end of the day, this is not a feature that is so in-demand that the level of hassle involved to make it work, including possible new admin headaches, has been deemed to be worth it.

I think having a mechanism for the OP to follow-up is something we've looked at. Letting members of the community anonymously follow-up is unlikely to happen.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:13 PM on June 3, 2007


most recently four days ago

[honestly embarrased tone] Oh, sweet Christ. Sorry. Feel free to close this thread.
posted by WCityMike at 4:23 PM on June 3, 2007


The FAQ is less forthcoming about this than your post above, jessamyn. :-)
posted by Tuwa at 5:13 PM on June 3, 2007


'howie did mention in a MeTa recently that he was working on re-associating anonymous posts with the accounts that made them, so that the potential for marking best answers or providing anonymous feedback exists.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:35 PM on June 3, 2007


WCityMike: Hey that's a good question and I missed the one four days ago too.

I've done the anony thing and definitely wished there was a way to respond. Since it wasn't available, I just posted as myself commenting as the OPer (me) might.
posted by snsranch at 6:24 PM on June 3, 2007


...AnonyMe...

Of course, I'm skimming the page too quickly and read this as "AnnoyMe."
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:21 PM on June 3, 2007


I conjured up a solution in my head (I'm sure matt and cortex did too). When a user submits an anonymous question, he/she gets a automatically generated key that's associated with the question. If it's approved and goes on the green, the OP can then contribute to the thread via a anonymous commenter page using that key. Of course the OP has to save the key after posting the question but that's just a minor inconvenience imho.
posted by special-k at 7:38 PM on June 3, 2007


I have a plan in my head to recode the anon feature so that this would in fact be possible. It'll happen after a few more major things get fixed, so I'd say it's coming in the next couple months.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:08 PM on June 3, 2007


At the end of the day, this is not a feature that is so in-demand that the level of hassle involved to make it work, including possible new admin headaches, has been deemed to be worth it.

Understandable, Honorary #2, and yet the fact that it keeps coming up anyway implies that the community disagrees with the admin's assessment of the value.

I have a plan in my head to recode the anon feature so that this would in fact be possible. It'll happen after a few more major things get fixed, so I'd say it's coming in the next couple months.

Cool Beans, #1. Any chance of a FAQ update to reflect this?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:40 PM on June 3, 2007


We'll update the faq when it's available.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:58 PM on June 3, 2007


(random potential implementation idea; I'm sure mathowie is way ahead of me on this one, but here goes:) Mefi could create a one-time throwaway account (like 'anon619031') (which could only be used to follow up and mark answers on the one post, and would expire in like 1 month) and mail it (with autogen'd password) to the OP's real account's email address when they send in the question. That way you could still preserve the lack of association between the two in the Mefi db- the existence of that 'new anon account' email in the OP's personal email box would be the only retained association.
posted by blenderfish at 9:12 PM on June 3, 2007


so I'd say it's coming in the next couple months.

No rush. If you grant this current favorite of the ponies, the madding crowd will inevitably start obessively chanting for some other occasionally-useful feature.
posted by desuetude at 6:03 AM on June 4, 2007


Sounds like mathowie already has something in the works but you probably wouldn't have to go through all the trouble of a throwaway account...

Say when you post an anon askme a 10 digit/letter code is generated and displayed on the next page. You can then use those 10 digits to follow up to that specific askme thread as anonymous. That way it isn't linked to someones account but prevents anybody except the poster from following up under the anonymous handle.
posted by puddpunk at 1:47 PM on June 4, 2007


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