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Invision Community Blog


Managing successful online communities

Andy Millne
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Anonymous Posting

For a very long time Invision Community has allowed community owners to choose how open or private their communities should be. Communities could optionally allow guests to post without registering, they could allow the use of pseudonyms or they could require the use of real names.

This covers a diverse range of communities but feedback from our clients made us realize that some use cases have not been accounted for.

For some types of community, where discussion topics are particularly sensitive, community owners want to make sure that members register with their real details but are given the option to post anonymously where appropriate. For example, organisations dealing with abuse or sensitive topics might want the member to feel safe and disinhibited to post info without fear of being identified by the rest of the community.

With our next release, we are pleased to introduce Anonymous Posting to make this a reality.

When enabled, members will see the option to post anonymously when creating or replying to content.

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Starting a new anonymous topic

Author details for anonymously posted content is hidden throughout the community and instead a default profile picture and name is shown.

Total anonymity is not always desirable however and in some cases it may be necessary for trusted staff members to know who posted the content. Where allowed, these staff members will be shown an option to reveal the content author.

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Author details are hidden but can be revealed by trusted staff members

Anonymous posting can be enabled on a per group basis and also limited to specific forums, albums and categories etc. The ability for staff members to reveal who really posted the content is a moderator permission.

We hope this new feature is a useful addition and where appropriate makes your members feel safe or comfortable to share info they might not have otherwise.

How open or private is your community and what do you find are the benefits or disadvantages of anonymity?

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On 11/17/2020 at 1:46 PM, Matt said:

We're looking to find the right balance. Too many incremental releases (say weekly) and you push that burden onto admins to constantly update (and check compatibility, etc), too few and the release gets bigger.

How about doing patch releases on a regular schedule, such as on the first Tuesday of each month? That way, people can predict and plan for the work that will be needed (which for patch releases, with no new features or breaking changes, should be pretty minimal), and we get a reasonable cadence of bug fixes.

Features should be released in minor releases (4.6 etc). Personally, I would be happy to see more frequent but smaller feature releases, say every 6 months with a couple of changes each time, as long as the scope of a release is fairly clear (ie. there are no breaks in a patch release like 4.5.5) and it doesn't affect the cadence of bug fixes (so we're not waiting 1.5mo and counting for bug fixes).

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On 11/23/2020 at 1:13 PM, Runar said:

This looks very similar to the great plugin Post Anonymously in Forums by @TSP.

One question, though: Will this feature make it possible to tell different anonymous members apart, like the plugin does, or will all anonymous posts in a topic look the same?

It does indeed.

We had some fun with this plugin on our community, creating a ubuesque collective user, but it's no longer working now on 4.5.4.2

Invision, please bring to your platform the key features of this plugin.

Make it so only selected groups can post anonymously.

Make it so posts can appear as posted by a selected user.

Pleeeease.

Estimate time or arrival?

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