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Thread: Privacy

  1. #1
    Random number herder Norm's Avatar
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    Privacy

    Member Classes

    First, I need to discuss the various levels of authority. Classes of elevation include moderators, super-moderators, and admins. Admins have full administrative authority over the site. I am the only admin. Super-moderators have the ability to delete, edit and move posts and threads. They also have the ability to ban members. In the Chat Room, they can also kick out members. There are also tools to examine IP addresses. Moderators are like super-moderators, but authority is limited to specific forums. For a list of members with such authorities, go to Quick Links - View Site Leaders on the navigation bar Forum menu.

    Private Messages (PMs)

    The PM function is designed for members to communicate without posting. Private, of course, is a relative term. It has been claimed, multiple times, that the moderators have access to PMs. This is false. There is no VBulletin function to examine PMs of another member. There is also no such admin function. However, the site admin has access to the data base. So, in theory, if I were to learn the structure of the data base, presumably I could find PMs and tie them to members. That is if fiddling with the data base didn’t scare the Hell out of me. I can imagine no circumstance that would drive me to go through this effort and risk to read what I imagine is a bunch of tedious, boring correspondence.

    If this bothers you, there is an easy solution. Don’t use the feature. Frankly, I vastly prefer e-mail and would far rather people e-mail me than use PMs. In fact, I have told several users to use e-mail or post questions instead of PMing me. Not due to privacy concerns, but because I like to have all my correspondence in one place. The main rationale of PMs is to allow members to communicate with one-another without revealing their e-mail addresses.

    Instant Messages (IMs)

    Moderators have no access to IMs. The admin can see the last couple dozen IMs from the IM control panel. I look at this whenever a payment for the feature comes up or a new update is available to see if anyone is using the function as it’s a pain to maintain. If you do not wish to receive IMs, don't Friend anyone. IMs can only be exchanged between "friended" members.

    Chat Rooms

    I believe super-moderators have ghosting capability, but haven’t tested this. That is, they can be in a chat room invisibly. However, the feature to enter a room ghosted is shut off. So, they would have to enter visibly and then ghost. If this bothers anyone, I can shut this off as I see no purpose. The chat admin panel has the ability to look at past chat. I don't know how far back this goes. Personally, I don’t even like chats myself, much less reading someone else’s chatting. The worst problem with the previous chat was that someone just entering a chat could see what earlier members were chatting about. The new chat room does not allow a new entrant to see any past chat. Unlike the old chat room, the new software resides on my server. Therefore, it is protected by SSL and can be used in a casino hotel without anyone snooping. (Same is true for IMs and PMs.)

    E-Mail

    vBulletin has a feature for one member to send an e-mail to another member without knowing that member's e-mail or without the receiving member seeing the sender's e-mail. The receiving member can respond, again without knowledge of the other member's e-mail. I have this function turned off as I'm not certain people would like to get such e-mails. Up to the membership. Individual members can shut this off, as well as shutting off PMs.

    Summary

    If you are planning to rob a bank, don’t use any Internet tools. If you are simply discussing something legal that you wish kept private, use common sense and a balance between caution and utility. Complete privacy is an illusion. On one extreme, paranoia is self-defeating. On the other, complete naïveté can result in lasting problems -- like explaining a Chumash shuffle.

    Contact Us

    Norman Wattenberger
    100 United Nations Plz.
    New York, NY 10017
    [email protected]
    Last edited by Norm; 03-11-2017 at 08:42 AM.
    "It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows." -Epictetus

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Norm, I really appreciate the effort you go to to be fair and open about how the site is operated. Thanks for this post!

  3. #3
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    I agree that it was a very good explanation and would like to again thank Norm for his efforts!

  4. #4
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    In time, it is my hope, that we can make this site the premiere BJ site in web world. This will involve everyones help in reaching that very possible goal.



    Ouchez

  5. #5
    Senior Member yesiamred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muffdiver View Post
    I agree that it was a very good explanation and would like to again thank Norm for his efforts!
    ditto, what he said

  6. #6
    Senior Member bebe's Avatar
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    I would like to thank you Norm you do a great service. Many years ago I was a member on bj21 green chip
    Felt like never really fit in. Here a few members have went above the call to make sure I was doing thing's right.
    To norm and the helpful members thank you.
    .

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