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Corey | Founder |
Sep 17, 2018

New Rules | Genuine Identity

8 comments

Edited: Sep 17, 2018

Hi all,

In order to foster more genuine communication we will start requiring people to change their display name to their real first name followed by their last name's initial. Additionally, everyone will be contacted by a site administrator to confirm your identity via social media (you will be asked to message us using a facebook, twitter, or instagram account with your name a picture and photo).

 

Some of you may have noticed that this forum and our facebook page were targeted by a troll campaign a number of months ago. We are implementing this because having to work with facebook, twitter, and law enforcement to identify these folks and have these fake facebook accounts removed burns time and has lead to some delays in the past.

 

This new rule will begin to take effect on October 17, 2018, those not compliant by the end of the year will have their accounts frozen until we can confirm that you are a real person.

 

Additionally, for some upcoming experiments, we will use the forums for discussions about quality of product samples. These parts of the forum will be limited to those who are in the Alpha Program.

 

If anyone has any questions, please shoot an email to info@laforgeoptical.com

Adam DB
Sep 18, 2018

Mandatory social media accounts? Not a very good idea to start demanding that sort of commitment from customers…! Some people might value their privacy enough to not have a public, identifiable social media account, so they'll have a hard time living up to it. Not to mention it's kind of not legal. How about just trusting the credit card info used at the time of purchase?

Corey | Founder |
Sep 18, 2018

We are not publishing your social media accounts anywhere. You will be asked to direct message us.

Corey | Founder |
Sep 18, 2018

We know who our customers are, but there are also people who have been posing as customers who have been making up things and posting them.

Adam DB
Sep 19, 2018

@Corey | Founder | I'm not so much doubting your discretion in handling personal information, as I'm questioning your demand for a recognizable social media account. Especially AFTER the purchase has been made!

Lots of people have no wish to create an account with Facebook, Twitter or any affiliate hereof, and they would most certainly balk at being forced to use their real name and a photo to identify themselves for all the world to see.

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David L
Sep 19, 2018

It's... a little chilling, certainly. In any internet forum, one of the two-edged swords is anonymity. Personally I don't mind updating my display name (although an online nick is much more comfortable), but - as an example - I would have outright refused to change my profile picture to an actual picture of me. You will certainly find many different levels of this type of scruple in your customers, I'm sure, and for many different reasons. Technologically-inclined people are likely more privacy-oriented than the average person, because understanding what technology is and can do tends to make us (rightfully, IMHO) paranoid.

 

One thing I must point out, before someone else does in a less kindly fashion... you are using proof of identity as a way to weed out trolls and fake accounts. Okay. You are working with "facebook, twitter, and law enforcement". Okay. This means that LAFORGE is already a company working with other companies and law enforcement. When LAFORGE comes to me and asks for even more personal information, saying "we just want to prove that you're real", is it not reasonable to wonder, "How long before my information is shared with facebook, twitter, or law enforcement as part of some investigation?"

 

I respect good intentions...which is why it's worth pointing out this possible perception now. I would also suggest the following (although I'm not a lawyer):

 

- you may wish to reassure users that you've consulted with lawyers who say this is legal (because "is that legal?" is a fair question when it comes to privacy lately and generates bad PR pretty quickly when the question can't be answered)

- you may wish to update the Privacy Policy (https://www.laforgexd.com/privacy-policy) to mention this site (it only lists the main site right now despite where it's hosted) and call out the identity requirement specifically

- you may wish to clarify whether "accounts frozen" means the forums, the product, or both

- you may wish to clarify whether LAFORGE as a company is instituting this policy permanently or whether this is temporary (say, as part of the ongoing investigation)

- you may wish to clarify what, if anything, is going to be done about easily accomplishable actions like "creating a fake Facebook account and providing LAFORGE with a random internet clipart while claiming that's me" (it's trivially easy to do so and any of your social media-averse customers are going to think of it right away)

David L
Sep 19, 2018

I would also point out (nicely, I promise!) that people will be very upset if the change doesn't apply to Mods, Founders, etc. no matter how busy they are :)

Corey | Founder |
Sep 19, 2018

@David L This is just in reference to the forums. Just the forums. Again, we are not asking anyone to post a real picture of themselves or their entire name anywhere.

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