To AccountingWeb re anonymous postings
With reference to this afternoon's email, I must ask that you DO NOT reveal the names of anonymous posters in any circumstances. I have just spent about an hour undertaking the procedure that you have outlined and have only so far found about 15 of possibly hundreds of comments that I have made over the years. It is easy to miss some as the name obviously does not appear and it is only possible to find postings I have made by looking for the "edit" box and you then have to go back to the list of postings to see if there are any others. In many cases I have made multiple comments so this is extremely laborious.
It also seems to be impossible to edit the original posting, although I could be missing something here and it is unclear from your email whether this is necessary.
Many AWeb contributors have posted anonymously for important reasons of confidentiality. Identification of the commentator could in some cases give rise to the identification of the client concerned (perhaps the client will recognise himself or the Revenue will be able to identify particular cases). This could have VERY SERIOUS consequences, especially in relation to money laundering queries, tax avoidance questions etc.
Surely there must be some way that your programmers can give a blanket facility to anonymise the previous postings. In the meantime I would ask in the strongest possible terms that you do not publish names of posters by 5pm 22 June 2009 as you have threatened.