By elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy. -George Carlin
Question #92890 posted on 01/31/2020 8:21 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Has a reader ever figured out your identity? Any funny stories surrounding said figuring out?



Dear B,

This has happened as far as I know 4 times. I am not a careful human being. To be fair though, 2 of those 4 were people who read the board and knew that I wrote, so it was pretty easy. I have been figured out by 2 ordinary readers however. Those stories display my general carelessness.


Story 1

Once upon a time a reader emailed me and asked me about the application process. We emailed a bit, and at one point I sent them a screenshot of something on The Board. Foolishly, I failed to realize your account info is in the upper left hand of the page and they totally saw my real name.



Story 2

Twice upon a time (see what I did there?) I was emailing a reader who was considering applying for the board. This time, they figured out my identity because a picture I posted on The Board was also posted on a public website. I kinda figured that might happen, but I didn't care cause I wanted attention and likes. So win/fail?


If you, dear reader are curious. Those two readers were Guesthouse and Goldie Rose respectively. Props to them.




Dear Lee,

It gave me the shock of my life when my research adviser kicked off a meeting one day by addressing me by my 'nym, followed up with a scolding over a year and half old answer. I do not believe this professor is a Board reader, though; she figured out my identity through a most uncommon sequence of events.



Dear Hal,

Yes. The story isn't funny though. And I don't want to give you ideas so I won't get into it.

-Another writer


Dear I Can Dream Harold,

I answered this question and originally had my talk linked as a file. Apparently they found out my nickname and maiden name with the metadata attached to the file. (I don't even know if I'm saying that right since I have no idea how someone can do that.) But I'm actually one of three people on my Dad's side that have/had that exact same maiden name. I don't know if they tried to find my identity since they left a correction to let us know that the metadata was there. (Thanks reader if you're reading this!) But no one has accused me of being a board writer thus far! I feel like if someone tries hard enough, they'd be able to figure it out.

-Goldie Rose


Dear Holder of the Purple Crayon, 

I feel like a lot of us don't hold tightly to the anonymity anymore. I've told my SOC 323 students to go read my answer on reparations, so at least 50 people were told who I was. Probably they don't remember or care. I also openly use the Board in my classes.  

Also, I am abnormally attached to a very small number of things, so it's VERY easy for people who already know me to figure it out. Coldplay and cinnamon rolls? Dead giveaway. So. Most of the people who know me in real life also know me on the board, which is both good and bad. Sometimes it means I'm more cautious about what I say. Sometimes I'm not and then I have to do some extra explaining in real life.

So ultimately, a lot of people know my identity, but only because I've made it obvious to those that know me or specifically told them who I was. I've never met a stranger or had a more random reader ever email me to tell me they figured it out though. 

I wouldn't be mad if it happened.