Town Square

Post a New Topic

Weekly Mole reveals forum users identities

Original post made by WeeklyMole, Downtown, on Jul 30, 2009

Someone at the Pleasanton Weekly has been revealing the identity of both registered, as well as non registered forum users.

I find this to be of really poor taste and a really bad business practice.

Comments (26)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Interesting
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 30, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Interesting as I have seen examples of this and wondered myself. Sometimes I get the clear impression that one of more Weekly staff joins in as an alias in the forums at times, taking sides.

If a member is a registered user and they post both signed in as a member, as well as not signed in under a different identity, then IP address and log on a logged summary of use and posts can be cross referenced easily.

If an individual is not registered and uses one or more identities to post, the logged information would only contain the IP address on the servers.

It would take someone with a connection to law Enforcement, OR quite a bit of computer skills to find the identity of a user. But not at all impossible for sure.

One never quite knows when they choose to post anything on the internet.

We all know that big brother is watching as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I see monitoring and post edits, as well as publisher and editor posts at some really odd times of the day and night.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Privacy Policy
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Privacy Policy
We respect the privacy of the personal information you give us, such as your name, street address, telephone number and e-mail address, and other personal information you may provide. The following policy is intended to explain how we treat this information. This policy may change from time to time.

Traffic data
Each time a visitor comes to our web site, our servers collect some basic technical information, including, for example, the visitor's domain name (i.e., the ISP from which the user is logged on). We use software to keep track of traffic to our sites and derive such information as the location from which the traffic originates and which particular pages within the site are being viewed. After we analyze this information, we discard it. We may aggregate information about visitors and traffic and may share the results with advertisers. We will not disclose your individual identity or personally identifiable data that you supply us without your permission. It will only be used for us to contact you.

Use of Cookies
A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a Web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. We make limited use of cookies to keep track of your visits to our site and to facilitate the logging in process for registered users.

Other companies that place advertising on our site also have the ability to assign their cookies to you if you visit their sites. This is a process that we do not control.

E-bulletins
If you sign up to receive e-bulletins from PleasantonWeekly.com, you may also receive infrequent other announcements from us. Users can choose to unsubscribe from any new mailing lists we create (opt-out) at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions found in each e-mail.

Surveys
We may conduct voluntary surveys of visitors to the site to collect certain demographic information. This information may be compiled and shared in the aggregate with advertisers and other third parties, but no personal details will be traceable or associated with specific individuals. We may use the e-mail address you provided us for the distribution of other announcements. Users can choose to unsubscribe (opt-out) from any mailing lists we create at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions found in each e-mail.

Contests
We may sponsor contests or other events from time to time that require the collection, processing and storage of certain contact and demographic information (e.g., place of residence) for use as part of the contest. Sometimes these contests may be jointly sponsored with companies. In that case the user's contact and other information will be shared with the other company only if it is expressly stated in the rules of the contest.

However, such contests will include the option to receive e-mail from our partners regarding their products or services. If you sign up for such an e-mail list, we will release your e-mail address to our partner for the purpose of such mailings, and only for that purpose. We will not release any of your other personal information to that partner. If you do not sign up for such an e-mail list, our partners will receive no information on you – including your e-mail address – even if you enter the associated contest or promotion.

We retain the right to use your e-mail address collected for the distribution of other announcements. Users can choose to unsubscribe (opt-out) from any mailing lists we create at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions found in each e-mail.

Children's Privacy
Protecting the privacy of young children is important to us. For that reason, we will not collect or maintain information at our Web site from those actually known to be under 13. The sole exception to this is our mailing lists. If a child under 13 signs up for our newsletter or any of our mailing lists, they will remain a member unless we are asked to remove them by their parent or legal guardian, or they elect to opt-out themselves.

Other Disclosure of Personal Information
We will not otherwise disclose or make use of personal information without consent of the user except (i) as described in this privacy policy, or (ii) as required by law, court order or as requested by other government or law enforcement authority. This policy does not protect information you post to any online bulletin board, chat room, newsgroup, reviews or other public forum within our sites.

Other Sites
Our sites contain links to sites on the Internet operated by others. We cannot control and are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of such other Web sites.

Unsubscribe and Data Removal Policies
If you would like to unsubscribe from any mailing list, please follow the instructions at the bottom of the mailing list itself. If you want to remove your name and e-mail address from any of our mailing lists, you can send an e-mail requesting removal to webmaster@PleasantonWeekly.com. Please include which list you are asking to be removed from.

Further questions?
If you have any further questions or concerns about our privacy policies and use of personal information, please send them to webmaster@PleasantonWeekly.com.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Privacy Policy
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 30, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Key Points in Privacy Policy as follows:

Key Point to the Privacy Policy:

We respect the privacy of the personal information you give us, such as your name, street address, telephone number and e-mail address, and other personal information you may provide.

Each time a visitor comes to our web site, our servers collect some basic technical information, including, for example, the visitor's domain name (i.e., the ISP from which the user is logged on).

We use software to keep track of traffic to our sites and derive such information as the location from which the traffic originates and which particular pages within the site are being viewed.

We may aggregate information about visitors and traffic and may share the results with advertisers.

Use of Cookies a.k.a. (Tracking Cookies)
A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a Web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. We make limited use of cookies to keep track of your visits to our site and to facilitate the logging in process for registered users.

Other companies that place advertising on our site also have the ability to assign their cookies to you if you visit their sites. This is a process that we do not control.




This policy does not protect information you post to any online bulletin board, chat room, newsgroup, reviews or other public forum within our sites.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Scary
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm

So, the Weekly Forum has a sleep over in your Hard Drive!

Use of Cookies a.k.a. (Tracking Cookies)


A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a Web server and stored on your computer's hard drive. We make limited use of cookies to keep track of your visits to our site and to facilitate the logging in process for registered users.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Careful
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 30, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Yes, so be careful what you post on the site!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wild West End
a resident of Willow West
on Jul 30, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Even though the Weekly knows what IP address is being used, they don't know who specifically is writing the message.

For example, we have a large family. We all use the PW Forum. We often use the same computer (the same IP address). The PW can only see the big picture - the single IP address used. Unless someone is watching, which is possible on some web cams (I think some Apple computers allow remote monitoring of one's laptop and there are probably hackers that can break a security wall), you don't have much to worry about. The PW could make assumptions based on multiple user names posting with the same IP address in a compressed time period. As a private business, that's their prerogative.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 30, 2009 at 2:00 pm

did somebody say cookies? I love peanut butter best!!!!

i've thought of pushing armadillo cookies in the past but i don't suppose that plutonians would like them like i do...yum yum...

hahahahahahahahahahahha...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pw not telling whole truth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2009 at 2:05 pm

The PW is not being honest about the privacy policy, specifically their violations of it. Just go back to Jeb outing Kathleen during the posts about Measure G. He clearly violated the policy, he had no regard for her safety/security and the publisher took no action other than "oops, my bad".
When people without integrity run the paper you have little protection for privacy. Once you post here you put your online security and identity at risk, just keep that in mind.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Outted
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2009 at 8:29 am

Both the president and editor of the Weekly were e-mailed at the beginning of the week regarding the apparent disclosure of personal information and ZERO reply's to the e-mail.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pw not tell whole truth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2009 at 11:28 am

No response? and that surprises you how? Like I said, no integrity.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No one was outed
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2009 at 7:56 pm

This whole thread is a fabrication. There isn't a shred of truth to it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by You mean?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2009 at 8:52 pm



You mean "This whole thread is a fabrication. There isn't a shred of truth to it." like the terms of service are a fabrication?

Very odd business practices you have Jeb!




 +   Like this comment
Posted by WeeklyMole
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 31, 2009 at 8:55 pm

The President and Editor replied back late today to the e-mail.

One basically denied the possibility, the other is going to "look into the matter"...

It's probably not right to post their replies here? I will wait for their response.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WeeklyMole
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm

The Weekly has been diligently looking into this matter, which I still see to be suspect.

At least they have traced posts and taken the effort to get to the bottom.

I am not going to speculate or hold my breath. It's water under the bridge at this point.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Question for mole
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2009 at 1:55 pm

So, at this point, it is best to stay anonymous when posting because it limits them to an IP address alone, correct?

Just want clarification, because, as an obvious dissenter to the majority of issues the PW endorses, I feel like meat ready for the grill when I post.

I would never want to be outed, which is also why I am using a "public" computer. 'Nuf said.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WeeklyMole
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I am not sure? One Weekly "staff" said that the only time they "trace" is during contests and another Weekly "staff" said they can't and don't "trace" and only have the ability to see what town a post comes from at best.



You decide!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 2ME4U
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 5, 2009 at 10:59 am

pw not telling whole truth - I understand if this post is talking about the single past incident with Jeb going crazy for a minute and outitng Kathleen. I also agree there was no real coinsequence of the action unless some private settlement with a gag order was agreed upon. Anyway Jeb's still here, and wouldn't make the mistake again unless he was going out in some blaze of glory.
Anyway, I read this post and RE(many seem off topic) but am unclear of any other incidents. Is this just a post with no basis? Examples please?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WeeklyMole
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 5, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Their was an incident where a person posting, referred to another person by name specifically, recently and blatantly. First name only was used by very directly.

In the opinion of the person who had never used their first name on the forum, they feel that the only way the other party could have used (revealed) their name, was if they had access to the Weekly Forum Registration records and or tracking statistics.

The Weekly was diligent in looking into the matter and their will be no final resolve, except the piece of mind that the Weekly took this seriously and did what they could to try and figure the issue out.

I am satisfied with the outcome at this point.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 2ME4U
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm

What post when? For the record more than once I have had someone who knows me pick out my posts from information given in the post.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WeeklyMole
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 5, 2009 at 9:28 pm

That would not have been possible in this situation.

I am not going to point to the specific post due to the fact I never wanted my name posted in that particular situation.

The End


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WM good try
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Aug 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Well then I think it didn't happen as you said. If I don't have the facts, and you aren't giving them, I will side with you being wrong. Nice post to get people pissed though.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WeeklyMole
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 8, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I was very concerned and the Weekly did what they could to figure things out. I am NOT playing games here, so since it has nothing to do with you, move on Please!

It's water under the bridge at this point.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm


Do you also have a small trailer in your front yard??

unclehomerr..
[ps. congratulations on the new computer. You sure learned it up fast!]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WM good try
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Aug 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

I see that the
"AROUND TOWN
What's going on with the Trailer ordinances & Where is this Famous Compassion They Keep Talking About?"
Topic post was removed is this what you are talking about?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 2ME4U
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 17, 2009 at 9:48 am

If it doesn't concern me or anybody else don't post about it. Posts get responces and questions. Nobody could possibly figure out who has a camo trailer in their front yard here in Pleasanton. There must be thousands.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Lulu is back home!!!!
By Roz Rogoff | 5 comments | 822 views