BrainTalk Communities Inc FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Can one person register multiple times under different usernames? Isn't that being dishonest? What about people who ABUSE this ability?

Yes, you can register MULTIPLE usernames as long as you have multiple (different) email accounts. Each username has to be registered with a different email address. I do not restrict this.

In my opinion, having "multiple faces" on these forums is NOT being dishonest. It is merely allowing some people to explore different aspects of themselves. This is also fundamentally different from creating new multiple personalities, since in this situation people are exploring parts of themselves that already exist...they're not creating anything that wasn't there in the first place.

In the past years, I've seen some people using different "faces" in the forums, and the vast majority of the time this ability is not abused. Most of the time, I notice that a person will want to ask a REALLY sensitive question or post something that could make them feel VERY vulnerable, and the person will sometimes feel VERY uncomfortable about having it "linked" to their "primary" username here. By allowing people in that situation to post under a DIFFERENT "face," they feel less vulnerable. Users here have repeatedly told me that they really appreciate this feature.

Regarding ABUSE of this ability: There is no technical way to prevent people from having multiple "identities" on the Internet. I can't prevent that here...NOBODY can prevent it anywhere. Anyone can sign up for multiple email addresses....from multiple ISP addresses. Granted, some people abuse this. But to be honest, all you ever hear about are the never hear about people using different identities who never cause trouble. The only news reported is bad news, as the saying goes. :) So, yes, it is sometimes a problem when people abuse multiple identities online. But, please think about many of you here are using your full real name? You are in a sense already wearing a "different face" here to protect your privacy. This is what I mean by the POSITIVE effect of being able to wear different "faces" online to help you communicate. Anyway, I'm truly sorry for people who abuse this. But the fact is nobody can prevent it. And I honestly feel, in the end, the good outweighs the bad. I wish I had an easy answer and solution to this issue for everyone, but I simply do not.

If you or anyone else is interested in this phenomenon, I HIGHLY recommend reading the book "Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet" by Sherry Turkle, a Professor of the Sociology of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology here in Cambridge. She has explored this "multiple faces" phenomenon on the Internet for years. Basically, she sees it as a postmodern "decentralizing" of the "Self," and NOT a sign of dishonesty or mental illness. It's natural, it's happening everywhere on the Internet, and it's helping people express themselves in new, creative ways.

Here's an excerpt from her book:

**** "RL is just one more window, and it's usually not my best one." These are the words of a college student who considers the worlds he inhabits through his computer as real as "RL"--real life. He's talking about the time he spends "being" four different characters in three different multi-user domains (sophisticated computer chatrooms) as well as the time he spends doing his homework on the computer. As he sees it, he splits his mind and "turns on one part" and then another as he cycles from window to window on his screen. The computer and the Internet allow him to explore different aspects of himself. ****

If you'd like to know more about this book, check out Dr. Turkle's website!

How can I change my user profile? How about changing my Username? What if I want to "un-register?"

You may easily change a great deal of your info stored in your User Control Panel.

You CANNOT change your username. Allowing people to randomly change their username would lead to problems with trust and responsibility. In BrainTalk, who you are is essentially your unchangable USERNAME and WHAT YOU POST.

If you REALLY want to change your username, simply register a NEW account with a NEW email address. You cannot use the same email address as your previous MUST register with a new one.

As for "un-registering," there really is no such thing. If you do not want to use this service any more, simply do not log on anymore. When I delete user accounts, it only deletes the user does NOT delete all the POSTS made by the user. A deleted user will NEVER be able to edit their old posts or profile. I will NEVER divulge your email address to anyone, and if you ever decide to COME BACK to the forums, you will still be able to login with your old username.

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