“Comment confusion”

Songwriter Sue C. Smith laments the frustrations of unintentional quasi-identity theft in comments threads (ftr the blog she’s talking about is avfl, where she occasionally comments here as just “Sue”). Ah the curse of the common name.

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Comments

  1. Alan wrote:

    As honorable as it is for you to show your whole name, Sue, might it be wise to use something like “St. Louis Sue” or another handle that leaves your name out? You could inform your good friends what your avery handle is, so they’d still know. Just a thought, but your blog saddened me when I thought of the ramifications of your plight.

  2. Tom wrote:

    I’ve seen comments posted under familiar names and wondered if it was posted by that well-known person or if it might instead be a coincidental shared name or, more nefariously, an attempt to impersonate or impugn someone else.

    This sure seems to me like a good counterargument against all those who insist that people use their “real names” when posting comments. Maybe we’d all be better off if everyone made up some sort of unique “handle” (e.g., millard1258, as used at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330075405123) to identify themselves instead of using first and last names–especially if they have common names like Sue Smith (or, in my case, Tom). But even those “handles” could be used to impersonate someone–so the problem remains if it’s intentional. Plus, I’m not creative enough for that, so I’ll stick with Tom for now, even though there is at least one other person out there who posts on sg blogs and boards under the simple name Tom.

  3. Songwriter Sue wrote:

    Thanks, Alan and Tom. When I comment here, I will do more to identify myself. The problem is that I can’t assume readers will know that I am not the “Sue Smith” posting here.

  4. Rod wrote:

    I think Songwriter Sue says it all…Hey everyone it’s songwriter Sue not Sue Smith…:)

  5. quartet-man wrote:

    It is bad enough when people have used a handle close enough to quartet-man on other boards (I already had that name so they chose one perhaps confusingly similar). Your situation is harder. Hopefully the Sue Smith who has posted here will make adjustments to her name.

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