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Post Anonymously in Forums

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14 hours ago, Epi said:

What does the  Unique board anonymous key setting do and is it possible to disable hash so the username use is 'guest'

Theoretically, if you knew all the information that makes up the anonymous identifier code, someone could try to generate an md5-hash from this information for each member to get an exact match on the code, and thus reveal the identity. 

Although I view it as unlikely, the unique key setting is available so you could add in a string that you choose, so it's much less likely that someone will guess all the information that the md5-code is made up of. 

In order to remove the code from the post itself atm, you could change the language string anon_poster_hash in your default language pack. You can search for "Anonymous poster hash" within the language pack translate screen to find it. Replace it with  

I currently don't have a way to remove this from the guest name when you don't have a user configured, but you could connect it to a user account named "Guest" or whatever you choose, and then it will use that account name. 

I can provide a way to disable this in a later update, I thought it was possible to deselect all for the md5-setting, but that doesn't work, so I'll fix that. 

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What if I specify poster name? All anonymous posts will have one author? Would it be possible to determine the author account by the admin?

If user makes a post and after that want to edit it or want to reply to the questions of the other users. Can he do that? Or it technically would be an another user and nobody can guarantee that these two posts belong to the same user?

I don't understand why does this plugin use ugly MD5 in nick names. It looks too complicated and user unfriendly. Why not to simply show original names to those who can see them and show default name for the others?

What would happen if I delete this plugin?

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2 hours ago, motomac said:

What if I specify poster name? All anonymous posts will have one author?

All anonymous posts will be tied to that one user account. But there can of course be multiple "real authors". 

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 Would it be possible to determine the author account by the admin?

Yes, you can find out who the real author was. There is a "Check anonymous"-link next to the IP-address in all posts that is tied to the anonymous user account. You can see this in the images provided: 

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If user makes a post and after that want to edit it or want to reply to the questions of the other users. Can he do that?

It's not possible to edit a post that has been posted anonymously. (Unless it's a moderator with permission to edit all posts)

The user can continue to post new replies inside the topic anonymously in order to reply to any replies to their post. 

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Or it technically would be an another user and nobody can guarantee that these two posts belong to the same user?

Multiple users can post anonymously within the same topic. 

In order to differentiate / determine whether it's the same user or not, posts are appended with a anonymous poster hash/code. This code is made up of values you determine yourself from the plugin settings. This is mentioned on the plugin information page here.

  • Generate md5-hash from (Multiple select: Topic ID, Forum ID, Member ID of original author, Email of original author, Joined time of original author, Unique Board Anonymous Key, Community Install Date)

With the default settings the same user will generally receive the same code as before for any new anonymous posts within the same topic. If two posts within the same topic has the exact same identifier code, then you and your members can be confident that the same member has written those two different posts. 

(Please read the entire plugin information page and view all images.)

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What would happen if I delete this plugin?

Then all existing posts posted anonymously will continue to exists in the same way as before. 

  • They would still exist under the same md5-generated guest names or tied to the user you defined as the anonymous user account, as when it was posted.
  • They would still contain the identifier code within the posts. 

You would (as the administrator) no longer be able to check the real author behind these posts. The reason is that the table that keeps track of that information is deleted by IPS 4 when the plugin is uninstalled.

Edited by TSP

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Quote

I don't understand why does this plugin use ugly MD5 in nick names. It looks too complicated and user unfriendly. Why not to simply show original names to those who can see them and show default name for the others?

1. Because privacy is important to me. In my opinion, even those with the permission to view the real identity, should not be presented with this information right away. They should feel a genuine need to have that information revealed. If the post content does not go against your community guidelines or any extra guidelines concerning the intended use of this feature, then there is likely no need for you to know it, besides just being a nosy person. Most people on your community wouldn't have the permission to check this anyway, so I really don't see the problem. 

2. Because development suddenly gets a lot more involved/advanced. Let's say I don't have a problem with the moral implications I explained earlier, I would still have to ensure that privacy is upheld when regular members view posts posted anonymously, while still conveniently display the real information for those able to. There are numerous places where author information for posts is presented, some of the basics: topic view, search view, forum view, activity streams, notifications etc. All of these views would be areas where I would potentially have to test more properly, hook into and add extra queries to ensure the privacy for users and/or convenience for admins. It would involve extra SQL-queries and PHP logic in a lot more places. 

This creates a vast amount of potential points of failure. Failures that could lead to private information being leaked to users not intended to have that information. For example: IPS could, in new versions, change code in such a way that my code would break. Depending on what approach I would take to this, it could potentially make private information non-private in some or all places.

It creates a risk and amount of complexity I'm not willing to go into when privacy is on the line.

3. Because efficiency is also important to me, as I personally work with communities that has tens of millions of posts. I don't want to add any extra SQL queries that would be necessary to be executed inside the topic view. Neither do I want to add extra columns to the posts table, as the posts table is generally large enough already.

As for using md5: There may be better ways to randomly generate a "human-friendly" word or sentence that could be used instead, that would always be the same for the same user within the same topic and different for different users. I feel though that the md5-method provides the most reliable and easily implemented solution. 

Edited by TSP

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Thanks for the explanation! Now I'm confused only with MD5 hash. May be it's better to generate unique names for every user who use this function like Guest 1, Guest 2, Guest 3 e.t.c.? It would be much easier for other users to distinguish different guests in one topic. I don't think, it would require additional SQL load, because User instance, if I'm not mistaken, would include new column automatically.

My idea is that neither users, nor admin don't have to think about hashes and internal mechanism of the plugin.

Thank you!

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55 minutes ago, travis brooks said:

Is there a way I can force users to post anonymously, like back with 3.4.7/8?

No. Uhm, was that something I coded for this on 3.4? :unsure:

 

Edited by TSP

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@TSP I'm having problems looking up posted by anonymous. It looks like the logs aren't properly loading up?

When I look up a post ID that I know that I personally posted as anonymous it asks me if I was sure it was posted anonymously as there is no log for it.

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6 hours ago, Morrigan said:

@TSP I'm having problems looking up posted by anonymous. It looks like the logs aren't properly loading up?

When I look up a post ID that I know that I personally posted as anonymous it asks me if I was sure it was posted anonymously as there is no log for it.

Do you have anything in the SQL error logs related to it? Sounds most likely that the connection haven't been saved for some reason. I would have a look at the SQL error log saved by IPS for the day the comment you have trouble checking was posted on.

Send me a PM if you need me to log in to see further or you find me the error message.

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On ‎7‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 2:40 AM, ResPecT My Authoritah said:

This is not working at all.  I tried to select the user then I clicked on select all for anonymouse post.. and everytime I go in.. its unselcted again.. this doesnt work.

@TSP Has the issues been resolved? 

I'm interested in buying this app if it works as expected. :)

Edited by GrooveOnBeat

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On 3.1.2017 at 3:11 PM, GrooveOnBeat said:

@TSP Has the issues been resolved? 

I'm interested in buying this app if it works as expected. :)

Sorry for my delayed reply, I'm rarely on this community anymore. 

I missed the post from ResPecT My Authoritah. I'm not entirely sure what issue he is talking about, last time I checked everything worked as it should. 

EDIT: If there is any bugs, I will work to resolve them for you.

Edited by TSP

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Hi @TSP I tried creating a topic with anonymous function enabled, but it doesn't change the "Username" to "Guest xxxxx". I am using latest IPS version 4.1.17.1. Any similar report? Thank you in advanced. :)

My plugin settings allows all member groups to post anonymously, only admin can see the real identity and can post anonymously in all forum sections. I can't see what's causing it to not working.

Edited by Shyuan

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1 hour ago, Shyuan said:

Hi @TSP I tried creating a topic with anonymous function enabled, but it doesn't change the "Username" to "Guest xxxxx". I am using latest IPS version 4.1.17.1. Any similar report? Thank you in advanced. :)

My plugin settings allows all member groups to post anonymously, only admin can see the real identity and can post anonymously in all forum sections. I can't see what's causing it to not working.

If you could send me more details in a personal message with a link to a post like that on your forums, then that would be appreciated. :)

Edited by TSP

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On 13.6.2017 at 5:05 PM, Eerand Wright said:

Any chance we can get this updated to 4.2? Will definitely pay additional. My forum depends on this plugin.

Are you experiencing any issues on 4.2? It seems to work for me with some quick testing. 

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14 hours ago, TSP said:

Are you experiencing any issues on 4.2? It seems to work for me with some quick testing. 

Yes - for some reason, the 'check anonymous' feature for moderators doesn't show up on the top of each post. 

Is there a way to force this to show? Maybe a template edit?

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I've now released an update here: https://invisioncommunity.com/files/file/7862-post-anonymously-in-forums/

These are the release notes: 

1.1.0:

  • A new setting has been added that lets you log to the moderator log who have checked the identity behind anonymous posts
  • The "Check anonymous" link on posts have been moved from the IP address area to the post controls below the post
  • "Check anonymous" will now display the result inside an ipsDialog, so you don't leave the page upon left-clicking it
  • Some safe guards have been put in place in order to prevent issues elsewhere in the suite from causing a post to be double-posted or be posted as the actual user.

I also changed some of the images on the file page. 

Price for new customers has been increased from 7 USD to 10 USD. 

This file is no longer 4.1 compatible or tested for 4.1. This version is made for 4.2.

 

IPS42-PostAnonymously110-AnonPostCheckAnon.png

5992ac1363f28_Skjermbilde2017-08-15kl_10_08_19.png.fc681df79f51eb195f93b60896e69cbb.png

IPS42-PostAnonymously110-ModeratorLog.png

IPS42-PostAnonymously110-CheckAnonInline.png

Edited by TSP

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I really could do with this plugin. Unfortunately such was my excitement, I failed to read the description properly and didn't see that I have to upload a file, which as a CiC customer I can't do.

My fault 100%, I accept that.

Do you have any plans to make this available for CiC customers? 

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2 hours ago, Bill Edwards said:

I really could do with this plugin. Unfortunately such was my excitement, I failed to read the description properly and didn't see that I have to upload a file, which as a CiC customer I can't do.

My fault 100%, I accept that.

Do you have any plans to make this available for CiC customers? 

You can still ask IPS if they're willing to upload to the server, which they do for select customers (mainly Enterprise I think). 

I also think it's reasonable to request a refund.  

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10 hours ago, Joel R said:

You can still ask IPS if they're willing to upload to the server, which they do for select customers (mainly Enterprise I think). 

I also think it's reasonable to request a refund.  

Thanks for the suggestion, I've asked support - fingers crossed :)

It does't feel right to ask for a refund, it's my fault for not reading the description fully, although in my defense I haven't seen a plugin that needed an upload for a long time.

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