No more pseudonyms

Having been a member of the Sun Journal's online comments forum, it has always annoyed me that people were allowed to post comments behind an anonymous screen name without ever having to reveal their true identities.

That is about to change. People posting comments after Feb. 1 will have to post using their real names and not pseudonyms. I believe that will make them more accountable and less likely to post snarky comments whose purpose is simply to elicit responses from other members.

For those people out there who have avoided the online comments forum because they didn't like the secrecy, here is the opportunity to join in a discussion group that allows them to voice their opinions. For those people who have been hiding behind a nickname because they feel braver there, now is the time to come out of the closet or quit the forum. No more hiding.

Let's see how many actually do it.

Ed McCaffrey, Rumford

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RONALD RIML's picture

Now could you explain how that makes sense??

You want to remain "Unlisted" here for privacy purposes - but you have no problem picking up phone calls from "Unlisted numbers?"

Irritate me? No - Poison Ivy does that....... Entertain me with the flimsiness and fractured logic which are the hallmarks of most of your arguments? Yep.... That's what I enjoyed confronting and exposing.

 's picture

I’ve said it before and I’ll

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again;

Internet Rule #1: Never under ANY circumstances post your personal information on a website, ever.

Rookie move, and one encouraged by the LSJ. It is great to see the naïve folk proudly display their bright green badge of verification; it makes the search for suckers a little bit easier now.

RONALD RIML's picture

Better check with your mechanic, Barb

He mustn't have tightened down your Vitriol filter quite enough last time he changed it - a number of your posts have been dripping with it.

And you didn't have "Caller ID" several years ago??? Or don't you think callers should identify themselves??

Steve Bulger's picture

I am incredulous...

at the number of commenters who are averse to posting under their real names. While I frequently disagree with Ron's (veritas) opinions and never agree with Dan's (tron), I wholeheartedly agree with the use of their real names in their profiles. Thirty-five weeks ago, I changed my user name to my real name (even though my name was clearly posted in my profile) to demonstrate that I am proud not only of my name but of my opinions as well (regardless of how misguided some think they may be). In the final analysis, the only thing a person has is his/her word. Our republic was founded by people unafraid to identify themselves with their words to the point that one, John Hancock, reported stated that his signature on the Declaration of Independence was so prominent because he wanted to ensure that "... King George will be able to read that!" If you fear any reprisal for expressing your opinions, I would suggest that you keep them to yourselves.

RONALD RIML's picture

On the 'Birther Forums""

Do you have to provide your Birth Certificate?????

 's picture


I would be willing to send in a copy of my drivers license to keep the riff raff off of these forums.

 's picture

For the people that the LSJ

For the people that the LSJ plans to alienate, you can go to for intelligent debate. Pseudonyms are allowed, and identity is protected.

AL PELLETIER's picture

to common sense

You posted the type of discussion that makes sense and is thought provoking. Good for you!
I'll read it again in the morning and decide if I should be pro or con on your post. Either way I'll be polite and civil.
Best regards and a Happy New Year.
Al Pelletier

 's picture

Patti, As a business owner no

Patti, As a business owner no matter how convicted I am of the opinions I express here, how exacting the facts may be, I cannot express them using my name as there will always be clients who disagree, are offended, or could be adversely affected by what I disclose and would than not do business with my company or could even do harm. I also have to do business with suppliers who could suddenly change the terms of our agreements because of what I have expressed here. The same can be said for what an employee may say. If one of my employees were to come onto this forum and express an unpopular opinion make it known they are an employee or have it become known as a result of their working for me it could well have a serious negative impact on my business. If that same employee expresses an unpopular opinion under a pseudonym it will not effect my business as there is no way for anyone to know who the person is or where they work. Pseudonyms permit everyone to participate and to express themselves freely. Citygirl is correct under the new rules, you will end up with the Tron's and the Veritas's and nothing more.

RONALD RIML's picture

Admin should OUT any OFFENDERS! - Multiple accounts, etc...

Thats what they get paid to do.....

RONALD RIML's picture

Then that's a 'Business Decision'

There are some business people I know who get involved in politics - and some who don't. One of our local businesses even includes political commentary in their weekly ad leaving potential customers with no doubt where they are coming from. Evidently it works for them.

As a seller of antiquarian, rare and used books - I have found my shop customers more likely to express liberal thought and opinion than otherwise though the perusers of my 'military section' tend to be ex or retired military. Back in my now past 'gun-collecting' days the shops I haunted were hotbeds of coservatism.

 's picture


I was merely using myself as an example of how people respond to an outspoken person in public. I would have used you, but I don't know you. I really didn't want to get into any detail about what I do outside of the political realm. It is off topic.

By the way, I like my eggs scrambled. :)

Mark Elliott's picture

That's right, if you are

That's right, if you are contractually forbidden to say certain things, then DON'T SAY THEM.

Mark Elliott's picture

or better yet, don't sign a

or better yet, don't sign a contract or agree in a verbal contract, to do anything that would hinder your free speech. Shame on you if you did.

 's picture

You mean do like Tron and

You mean do like Tron and stay home all day posting whatever you call it he posts, cashing in the welfare checks backed by the tax dollars of those of us who can't post because we can't use a pseudonym and posting under our name would cost us the job that is paying the taxes that are backing the welfare check that is supporting Tron's sitting in front of the computer all day posting his garbage. Makes sense, sounds fair, will lead to a great exchange of ideas, huh?

Mark Elliott's picture

Actually "Ben" you obviously

Actually "Ben" you obviously do not get as much info from my few words or my profile as you would like everyone to think. I am not an hourly employee, I am a commissioned employee under contract. Had the contract with my company been such that it would hinder my free speech outside of my work, I would not have signed it in the first place and I wouldn't be working for such a company. When you sign a deal with the devil, you lose your identity. It's your choice. If to comment would require me to breach my contract, I would simply not comment and move on.

Mark Elliott's picture

Ben, I don't want you to

Ben, I don't want you to think that I don't understand your position. I do understand and you are rightfully concerned, but how did you get into that "situation" in the first place? Did your employer force you to "sign your life away"? Did you feel you "had" to do it? Did you negotiate your contract? Did you have a lawyer go over that contract? Life is full of choices that we all must make.

Mark Elliott's picture

What is there to disagree

What is there to disagree with? I stated that I understand Ben's position and that he has a right to be concerned then I simply asked questions....... ???

Mark Elliott's picture

It's funny how you've made it

It's funny how you've made it a point to bring my identity to everyone's attention on this particular string in hopes to make me nervous but nobody has had the need to do that before, on much more controversial issues. My profile has never changed. It has always listed my real name and town......

RONALD RIML's picture

A lot of pithy, pizzy little people who've suddenly been

asked to act with responsibility and maturity. My God, rdarluv - It's more than they can handle!!!

You should see it when I ask them to provide a references or a citing.

I wonder if any of them wanna see Obama's Birth Certificate???

 's picture

My flights should not be cancelled, makes me testy

Actually, Veritas, the responsible among us insisted on seeing One Big Ass Mistake, America's Birth Certificate and you can too at that is being a responsible American Citizen voter. Secondly, acting resonsibly and maturely is not putting your self in a position where you are not employable, your identity has been stolen, your record criminal, financial, and civil has been trashed by identity theives and hackers, and family and friends have been injured physically, mentally, and financially because you had to see your name in the paper and run your mouth in the forums instead of follow the recommendations of every law enforcement agency in the world (so much for you having been a cop, ya right), child protection and search group from DHS to childfind to missing and exploited children along with every reputable website. Yup, we responsible ones did insist on seeing the birth certificate and we responsible ones are going to follow the recommendations of all those reputable and knowledgable organizations and not put our names on our posts.

RONALD RIML's picture

How did?

Looking for Bush's 'Certificate of Live Birth' work out for you.....

RONALD RIML's picture

So you want the LSJ to post your rants for FREE -

But won't abide by their TOS? (Terms of Service)

Are you a "Good Thief" or a bad "Thief?"

Get your own "Press' then you can set your own TOS

 's picture

Ah? Your name is not known,

Ah? Your name is not known, your employer is not known, and since your name is not know no connection can be made to your employer through anyone who knows you are an employee of that employer from outside the forum. And Patti, I notice you have VERIFIED Ed McCaffrey, he is employed by Rumford Community Hospital which is owned by Central Maine Medical Center. Central Maine Medical Center has very strict policies, no posting under your name under forums like this, don't list your employment on facebook, myspace, etc.; the policies at Central Maine Medical Center also apply to Rumford Community Hospital employees, Ed McCaffrey at the very least is now subject to repremand just for being VERIFIED here at worst, he may be looking for a new job very shortly.

RONALD RIML's picture

citygirl - so my heart pumps purple panther pizz for ya....

If you work for the public you may have to make these little sacrifices occasionally. If the most intrusive one you have to make is that you feel unable to publicly express your opinion - too f*ing bad. Some on the govt. payroll make sacrifices a wee tad greater in scope. Get a grip and deal with it.

RONALD RIML's picture


 's picture

I will say goodbye now. I

I will say goodbye now. I have no landline, and I have no intentions of giving the LSJ my cell phone number. Goodbye. Go ahead and deleted my account now.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Ed,s letter

Ed, I agree with you 100%. Just reading the responses to your letter convinces my that ID-ing
the author will help stop some of the useless discussion I have just read. But Ed, stop having a war of wits with unarmed writers. I think your above that.
Al Pelletier

 's picture

Hmmm...Veritas and I have

Hmmm...Veritas and I have often had a difference of opinion. At least he has the decency to back up his point of view and not resort to attacks.

 's picture

See the posts above ...

... by Ronnie Rim-shot and Danny Brat-on. That's the level of commentary you'll have here after 2/1. Let the 2011 snark-fest begin.

RONALD RIML's picture


You are now up to 2nd Grade Name Calling!!

It's obvious why you wouldn't want to post your parents' gift when there are folks like you on the Forums.

 's picture

Does this mean that the ass

Does this mean that the ass who keeps posting the following advertisements will be weeded out permanently as well?
[This comment has been edited by the administrator]

 's picture

Nope they will have to verify them to stay alive

The Sun Journal will have to verify the advertisment postering fiends in order to keep the forum alive come February 1 when all the quality participants head to greener and safer pastures. Tron, Veritas and Mac anti Savior won't have anyone to argue with except the one in the mirror, leaving SJ with a lot of blank space to fill. They will be welcoming the mad advertisers just to say they have the participants.

 's picture

Anti savior..haha! It

Anti savior..haha! It actually means literally Son of the carpenter and is the name given to Jesus in the Gaelic translation of the Bible.

 's picture


Sorry Mac, I ran your name on a national search and found nobody in the U.S. with that name. NOBODY.

 's picture

Lots more "advertising" SPAM overnight

Sure was a lot more advertising SPAM overnight from the same pseudonyms that where "SPAMMING" while you were on vaca. How is it they were not suspended like the folks that put up comments you don't like?

 's picture

Part of me thinks that it may

Part of me thinks that it may just be some poor moron who got duped via craigslist to post for a few bucks, but mostly I want to see them thrown into a woodchipper.

 's picture

Complaint Filed not in compliance to be VERIFIED

I have filed a complaint as you are not in compliance and should not be denoted as VERIFIED as you are using a pseudonym which is not permitted under the rules to be VERIFIED and permit posting after FEB 1.

 's picture

It was a rather interesting

It was a rather interesting choice of words to use in addressing a male of mature years.

 's picture

The rules very clearly state

The rules very clearly state that the poster must post under their full name just as the writer of an article does. That means first and last name no pseudonym. Doug whatever his last name is, is not posting under his name he is posting under Mac anit savior a pseudonym. That violates the rules for verification. You made them you get to deal with em. He has to have his full name over every thing he posts. Thems the rules you made em.

 's picture

Is mise Doughlas Mac

Is mise Doughlas Mac antSaior, amadan. It is well within my rights to have a deAnglicized name. I'm glad it's buying so much space in your little head however.

JUDY MEYER's picture

The Sun Journal is now in the

The Sun Journal is now in the process of verifying people who have requested to be verified, but the real names component goes live Feb. 1. So, Mac anit savior is verified and, on Feb. 1, his name will begin appearing with his post.

 's picture

Is Myrmidon

your new word for this week? I noticed it on another post too. I see that you chose to take the more vulgar of meanings to use as your definition.
The original meaning was used to describe a people who were great warriors and went into battle behind Achilles without hesitation because they believed in the reason.
You chose to use the modern definition which describes "yes men".
I prefer the old meaning.

 's picture

I agree with one point

if you are going to post something, be ready to defend your position.

THAT is why we need to be open about who we are.

 's picture

You can't say she isn't entertaining

Entertaining, but inaccurate. I would give her high marks for creative writing.
1. I never "worked" for the local access TV station. I was the founder, and I was a volunteer. I may have served on the board, but I don't recall.
2. I do not currently, nor have I ever had a weekly TV show. in my comments, I was referring to my speaking at the televised Rumford Selectmen's meetings.
3. I do not attend any other municipal meetings in the valley. I rarely attend any others in Rumford.
4. I work for four companies, none of which is owned by any of my family members.

ArmyMom's comments just go to show how little she knows about me. It is easy to make up lies about someone.

 's picture

Please do...

I am sure that Terry Karkos would provide you with a very illuminating expose on me and certain other people in town. :)

 's picture


Everything I have posted in this discussion about myself is truth.

 's picture

I disagree

As anyone who knows me, knows of me or may even think that they know me will tell you, I am quite open about my opinions wherever I go. I post here, I talk with people in public, and I am seen twice a month on TV expressing myself at the municipal selectboard meeting. I also have run a blog for a number of years, and participated in forums regarding our region. In short, I express myself A LOT. As you can see from the responses here, my openness is not as appreciated by some as it is by others, and not everyone agrees with my viewpoint. I respect people's right to disagree, however, as they say on MSNBC, "you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts".

My point is that I rarely am confronted by anyone anywhere about my opinion. Many people who disagree with me just refuse to acknowledge that I exist, and will pass by me on the sidewalk without so much as a look in my direction, but I have rarely had anyone confront me. Those who do, approach it in a respectful manner. They initiate a conversation, referencing something they saw me post, or said on TV. Most times, the only feedback I get from the public is in the form of an "attaboy" in support of my action/statement. Some of the least political people in town have encouraged me to stay on top of the town political situation.

I have had one person attempt to get me fired from my job over political views, but the coward didn't sign the complaint. My supervisor showed it to me and told me to be more careful when discussing things in the workplace.

Once verification is required, it will be easier for the SJ to bounce someone for being abusive on the forum. Currently, violators need only wait a few days and apply for an account under another email address. But when a person gets bumped using their real name, it will be more difficult to get back on.

 's picture

You just gave me an idea Ben

Here is another angle I hadn't considered with this mess. There is nothing that says you have to be a member to read the comments. There sure is nothing that says you have to be a member to call someone's place of employment and complain about what they post here. Or report that someone you work with is posting when your place of employment prohibits employees from doing that kind of thing like Central Maine Medical Center and Rumford Community Hospital do. Or in some other way make their life miserable. I hadn't thought of that before. Another excellent reason not to become "VERIFIED" and have your name plastered over your comments. I mean there are people who will find fault and take offense with anything even, "have a nice day," or "what a nice sunny day." And then of course there are the stalker types. And someone earlier made an excellent point about the quadraplegic who uses a computer board to even communicate and has his own business but some with a heavy duty direct line to DHS dollars manage to be on here day and night but can't manage to get a work at home computer job. With the names of those people flashing like neon over all those posts, it would be very easy to drop a dime to DHS or the new governor's office and say hey ya know. . .

 's picture

So far I have seen three

So far I have seen three verified, Tron, Mac Anti Savior and Veritas, and Rex claimed he had over 100 requests days ago and that's the hese three stooges is all that have been verified? The three biggest losers on the forum. I think everyone else pulled their verification submissions when they realized what the potential is. From the postings a bunch of folks are contacting advertisers notifying them what is going on. I drafted a letter for the wife to get out advising all the advertisers we would be switching to the Portland Press Herald, if they wanted to see our money in their businesses they would have to make the switch too since we would not be seeing their adds in the Sun Journal any longer.

RONALD RIML's picture

So got an anchor tied to yer Azz?

This 'Stooge' (as you say) will be more than happy to pipe you over the side...

Mark Elliott's picture



 's picture

"It isn't easy being green" - Kermit the Frog

I am hoping to "go green" tomorrow :)

 's picture

Hurray!!! I'm Green!!!!

What a nice pleasant person Patti is on the phone. I can barely wait.....

 's picture

Gil, let me put this another way

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I have always believed that if you were going to voice an opinion then you ought to be man/woman enough to stand behind it. This has nothing to do with whether or not I agree with the new policy at SJ. This is something that I have said from the time I joined this forum.
I have never censored myself and have never been afraid to stand up straight and tell people who I am and what I think. Sometimes I've been wrong and I admitted as much when I realized it. I like having others do the same but it can't be done when they hide.
If a person is afraid to say what they really mean and back it up with their name, then that opinion, in my opinion, is just hot air. I raised my children to think the same way. Anything else is cowardice or deceit.
It really is a shame that our society has reached a point where people have to hide behind fake names out of fear that they might be called to stand up for what they believe in. It's so much easier for them to spout off at the mouth when they can't be called to task.
As far as the date with Rex goes, at least people would know that I'm not afraid to put a face with the name as well. Also, I wrote the letter last week. The editorial staff is slow I guess.

 's picture

Ed there are times and places

Ed there are times and places that I would agree with you on what you are saying, SJ forums and other websites aren't among them. At town meeting you can stand up in front of your neighbors if you so choose and speak your mind. In front of your wife and children, by all means, stand up and speak your mind. But, man, you have no idea what kind of crazies are out in this cyper world, correction out in this world that are watching what you say from long distance on here and just might decide you are their best friend, the love of their life, or the enemy of the state they are sworn to protect and come hunt your down to be your bossom buddy whether you are interested or not, replace your spouse even if they have to kill them to do it, or take you out as a matter of duty and you will never see it coming. I respect your integrity man, I really do, now stop and give some consideration to the safety and well-being of your wife and children and to how they need to have you stick around.

 's picture

CommonSense, since you chose to play by your own rules

and drag my family into this, as well as disclose my place of employment which as far as I know I've never posted here (something I would never have done to you), I feel obligated to return the favor. At some point in time, I will.
As far as the crazies go, I have lived and worked in places that would make your toes curl up. I know all about them, they're predictable. It's the normal ones who scare me. Some of the people who post here that wouldn't say boo if you met them on the street but become rabid when they can comment behind a computer. Those are the truly crazy people. If people would just ignore them they'd probably go away, but nooooo!
People get dragged into their little political or religious frenzies without even meaning to and it descends into chaos from there. All semblance of civility is gone because people don't know enough not to engage in a battle of words with a fanatic. Nobody wins.
Right now however. I have a simple question to ask. This question is for everyone. When and why did you become such paranoid people and have you made any children you might have this paranoid too?
My family knows that I sometimes lack tact and tend to tell it like I see it no matter the consequences. My two oldest boys usually settled these matters, when they came up, with somebody bleeding. Sometimes it was them, sometimes it was somebody else. Usually, if you're willing to back up your mouth with your fists, people back down. Not everyone is willing to fight for what they hold to be the truth, at least not in this day and age.
My youngest is a little more tactful and when her friends mention something that a parent may have said, she asks them to prove me wrong. If the parents themselves say something she gives them my phone number and tells them to take it up with me. She learned this from her mother.
Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe to be true. Be willing to listen to opposing viewpoints and be willing to admit you're wrong when you are but above all, be true to yourself and be proud to say, I am "whoever" and this is what I think. It's what this country was founded on and what I see now is a populace that is afraid to speak out for fear of being tagged as a dissident or rabble rouser.
Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly. If someone stopped you on the street and said "Hey, aren't you "------" from the Sj? I thought your comment on --- was wrong and I'd like to talk with you about it." would you be man enough to say 'sure, lets talk" or would you tell them they have the wrong person? Then think about your answer. I think you know where I'm going with this.
What has this country come to when people have to fear that what they say might offend somebody? Where is it going when people have to hide behind false names in order to be unafraid to speak their minds. Whatever and Wherever that place is, I don't like it and I'm not going to go.

* Please see my profile by clicking on my name for a disclaimer regarding my employer* Once again, thank you CommonSense for making it necessary for me to take this precaution.

 's picture

Ed you missed the points completely

Ed you missed the point completely on your employer. Whether I posted it here or not people who read these pages including your fellow workers, supervisor, HR department, local administration, and corporate office in Lewiston will be reading your name and know that an employee is violating the rules. That sir was the point. It is the point not only for you who I know to work for RCH where I know there is a strict rule against what you are doing with or without your disclaimer or Joe Blow at company XYZ I know nothing about that also has such a rule. In your case the CMMC's rule has been publicized here by another employee CMMCs employee who kept there affiliation secret participating using a pseudonym in compliance with CMMC's rules made it clear that she/he will not be able to continue once the rules take effect because of this. You would have been outed one way or the other insisting on posting under your full name in violation of your employers policies even before the rules change.

We all have to wonder why your being outed on where you work is such a big deal for you since you by your own words have no concern for the effects on even your children as to what you say. You don't even have a problem with your children being beaten up for your actions when you have the choice of expressing yourself without putting them in harms way you insist on taking the most distructive route irregardless; I find that disturbing. I find it exceedingly disturbing that you claim such knowledge of "places that would curl your toes" and "it's the normal ones that scare me" yet you insist on putting your family in harms way. In my opinion the problems are going to arrise primarily on two fronts, people attacted by those they don't recognize, never met, no prior contact, in both physical forms and through identity theft and hacking type activities, secondly assaults on unwitting innocent family members and friends who don't see it coming and have no reason to see it coming. I expect these to be primarily acts of physical agression to both person and property, as well as identity thefts and hackings. The attacks on family members, places of employment and friends may be by persons known to the writer but not to the one attacked which will facilitate the attack. I wont put my family, my friends, my business associates, in that position, it isn't necessary, the internet has been setup for the use of psuedonyms for this very reason.

While, I won't be reading after Feb 1, imagine we will be hearing through radio and TV news what is happening.

 's picture

First Amendment

If an employer wants to terminate my employment over my exercising my First Amendment rights, I will work somewhere else. I am not willing to sacrifice that right for anyone.

 's picture

I don't know where you got your info

About company policy, but you couldn't be further from the truth. As a matter of fact I went and verified it again last night just to be sure.
Any employee is allowed to post whatever they want as long as they don't drag the employer into it as well or pass along information that is restricted to personnel only. And if the employer does happen to come up, that the same disclaimer that I posted on my profile should be displayed with the post.
They are aware that there are services like facebook and twitter and that employees will use them in their off hours. The NEW policy, dated August 2010, takes these things into account so as not to infringe on peoples free speech rights. All they as is that you be respectful in any and all postings so as not to mortally offend anyone. If you'd care to meet IRL I'll show you a copy. Didn't think so.
One more time, How the he## do you know where I work. I must know you, in which case I'll eventually figure out who you are.
And again, I've used my real name on this forum and on EVERY other one that I belong to and have for YEARS and not once have I had any weirdos bother me or mine. It's the normal people who are the ones you have to watch. My children, when they did get beaten, were usually attacked by someone older and bigger who had been brainwashed by a radical parent to think that their way was the only way. Sort of the same way children of racists hate because their parents do, because they've been molded. Or Republicans, or Democrats, or Catholics, or any garden variety American who has never met a Muslim but thinks they're all terrorists.
Also, I noticed that the two things that you pick out of my post were the employer issue, where you were wrong, and my family again. I have chosen, and they have agreed that it is better to face the world with their heads held high rather than cowering in the shadows , afraid to say anything that might be in the least bit offensive unless it can be done anonymously.
Last point, you didn't address anything else I said. How can you be a proponent of free speech when you're afraid to speak freely?


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