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Old 01-14-2023, 05:11 PM   #1
Spirit of Mist
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 3,338
Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Post your stories about the Barrow-Downs here

I posted my version of a History of the Borrow-Downs Forums, over the space of multiple posts, a while back. In this thread, I invite you to post discrete stories, funny, poignant, nostalgic, about your experience here. I'll lead off.

During the early years of the Forums, Barrow-Wight reached out to me about a message he received. A parent of a younger member logged into his daughter's account and sent him a PM. It seems that his daughter had received some inappropriate communications from another member that may have bordered upon stalking and the parent became alarmed. After an exchange of several emails with the parent, I learned that a bit of an on-line romance had commenced, with initial communications between the parties done via PM. The communications had graduated to email and the parent had come across a racy message between the two. After the parent attempted to shut down the romance, the young man may have suggested something of an elopement. Hence the stalking concern.

This raised multiple issues. I advised the parent that: (1) while we police the forums, we do not police PMs; (2) we respect our members' privacy and had never peeked at anyone's PMs and were not inclined to start; and (3) once the matter moved on to email, it was certainly none of our business. Nonetheless, there were things we could do, and as an initial matter, we agreed to quietly investigate.

You may never have thought about this, but every time you log onto the Downs, the Administrators, if they happen to be on the site and paying attention, can see what members are on the Forums. Yes, this is even if you are set on "ghost" mode. In addition, we can see other information, such as your IP address. Not that we use it for anything, but it is available information. An IP address can, generally, be looked up to provide a general physical location, not a specific address and often not even a specific city or town. This is less reliable in this age of remote work. But 15 or 20 years ago, this was enough for me to tell the concerned parent that a rather large "Pond" separated the two young people. This was coupled with a brief "lecture" about who was responsible for keeping an eye on his daughter's internet use, and a suggestion that he communicate directly with the young man. This was, apparently, effective...
Beleriand, Beleriand,
the borders of the Elven-land.
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