Malice/Pettiness and Anonymity
Thread poster: Roomy Naqvy

Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:09
English to Hindi
+ ...
Oct 26, 2001

Answering Jacek, Mats and others...

As a Moderator along with Jacek, Mats as also others there, we have debated this issue a lot in the last few months. I have been a Moderator since Sept 2000 and I can vouch for this fact.

Many efforts have been made to remove anonymity at ProZ and I think they have been successful. I have kept my real name as also my complete resume online and I see no reason why it should not be there. After all, this is a Professional Workplace and in a workplace, I guess one does not hide one\'s identity.

I would rather take an off-tangent stance and ask: Why should someone hide behind a facade or a nickname? What is there to hide? In my culture, one hides only if there is something unsavoury to hide.

I understand the bogey about online privacy quite well but for the betterment of this site as also for the translation fraternity, it would be welcome if members tried not to hide behind false identities.

I have had healthy interactions with many ProZ members and that has been possible for they have not hidden themselves behind a screen.

Less anonymity leads to transparence and better dealings as also less malice.

Roomy Naqvy



Literature & Poetry Forum.


Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:39
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

Thanks Roomy! Oct 26, 2001

I couldn\'t agree more.

A professional translator should be open and give as much data as possible.

(Check my profile page heading manipulation: AND HENRY: Make it possible for all to publish their address, phone etc. in the page heading)

Nobody, though, should scold Henry if some PREFER to remain a bit secret (for instance, someone working part-time and who does nto want his boss to find him/her). They can also be valuable members of this community.

The same goes for agencies. It\'s up to the parties to unveil themselves.

BUT: I see openness as a competitive edge building confidence and anonymity as a disadvantage leaving a number of question marks.

Greetings to all

Mats J C Wiman

Übersetzer/translator deu/eng/fra/esl>sve

Moderator DEU>SVE

Träsk 729

S-872 97 Skog



Fax-54182. Via eMail: -54181 &


French to English
+ ...
Why I choose to remain anonymous Oct 26, 2001

I have read your posting and feel that I must, as somebody who chooses to remain anonymous, add my two cents’ worth.

Although this site is used by many professionals, it is accessible to anybody. A quick search in Google is how I was initially introduced to the site, and I am confident that scores of others have stumbled across ProZ in the same manner. Although the vast majority of these people are probably favourable and morally sound, some are not. Unfortunately, I have had to learn the hard way that one must be overly cautious when posting any information on the internet.

As any of you who have read my profile know, I am currently employed as a Language Specialist. I teach in an elementary school, and last winter joined a “professional” site for teachers. My e-mail address and name were posted and soon thereafter I began to receive unpleasant and frightening e-mails. Although my phone number was not posted, anybody with half a brain can easily track down individuals using the many tools available on the World Wide Web. It was not surprising then, that the harassing phone calls followed. Not knowing who my e-tracker was terrified my husband and me, to say the least. Fortunately, the offender seems to have lost interest, which is an answer to our prayers.

I am a happily married woman with two young children. I am a good and decent person. I have never been in trouble with the law, and I have nothing unsavoury to hide. However, there are many out there who do not share the same values and morals that I have and I have chosen to be anonymous for this reason.

Since discovering ProZ, I have been quite pleased to have had the occasion to assist many. As well, the experience has been a wonderful learning opportunity for me. I am open and honest on my Proz home page about who I am and why I wish to translate. The only thing that is not real is the pseudonym I use. Perhaps since I am blessed to be in a situation where I am able to translate for experience and not money, I am able to hide behind the security of anonymity. Possibly some feel that I am letting fear win, but for me this has become a necessary choice. In my culture, we put our trust in God above, but He expects us to make wise decisions and do our part as well!

Roomy, I do understand your reasons for wishing openness on this site, but I trust that I have been able to answer some of your questions regarding an individual’s wish to remain anonymous. I do not wish to upset anyone, but I must do that which I feel is necessary for my own well-being.




Local time: 17:39
French to English
Anonymity does not necessarily equal "something to hide"... Oct 27, 2001

I\'m not very keen on the apparent assumption that choosing to remain anonymous means someone obviously has something to hide, or is working illegally, etc. It might be the case, but isn\'t necessarily so. I don\'t agree with Mats\' implied statement that those who choose not to give details are not as professional.

I\'ve already explained why I don\'t give any personal details in the thread on \"Is malice and pettiness a problem..?\", so apologies for any repetitions in what follows. But I never considered my pseudonym as a screen to hide behind, more as a sort of game. I am a bona fide, tax-paying freelance translator, I don\'t work for an agency and never have done. Now I haven\'t had any unpleasant experiences like Juliaabc has, but I just don\'t feel comfortable giving out too much on the internet. I haven\'t actually used ProZ to look for work. Since my participation in the site is restricted to KudoZ and the forums, I hadn\'t thought of this anonymity being a problem for anyone, except perhaps myself, because if anyone wanted to contact me with a job, they would be quite likely to think twice if no \"real\" identity was posted. But - that\'s my problem. At least, that\'s how I\'ve always seen it.

As I also said before, I could fill in a completely imaginary name and profile if I wanted to!

If people are using their \"aliases\" to be unpleasant to others, then obviously there is a problem, and anonymity makes this easier - but not inevitable or compulsory! The real problem is the unpleasant attitude, not the name or lack of it. You only need to look at what\'s actually being said to see how someone is going about participating, and take action with the person concerned where necessary. We can all be contacted whether we\'ve given our full names or not.


Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:09
English to Hindi
+ ...
Anonymity etc Oct 27, 2001

Thanks for such a spirited reply. I understand that is a concern. The only problem is that it allows many others to perpetuate fraud.

I don\'t mean to disagree with you. But I would like to answer your fears:

1. I haven\'t had that kind of an experience. That does not mean it will not happen.

2. I am sure you or your husband would be listed in the telephone directory in your city. What is stopping anyone from accessing you folks from there? Would you like being unlisted from the telephone directory as well?

3. \'Translate for money\'/\'don\'t translate for money\': very problematic interpreation, lady. If you have seen my profile, it would be clear that I have a full time job as a University Professor. That proves nothing.

I must reiterate I agree with your fears but the only problem in it is that it allows many others to carry on with a fraud.

I agree with your genuine fears. But I must chip in and only state that just hiding behind a veil may not be an excellent solution. If the phone calls came, I am sure a Caller ID would help. Also a phone to the police would help.

Even without hiding behind any veil, harrassing phone calls can come. We have got them at our place in the past much before I had an internet presence.

Hiding really proves nothing. Believe me that the real world can be far more dangerous than the online world. But we can not stop living, can we?

Best wishes and sorry if I did offend you at any stage,

Roomy Naqvy


[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-27 02:21 ]


French to English
+ ...
My response Oct 27, 2001

Thank you for responding personally to my reply, Roomy. I will now clarify a few points, but then will agree to let you disagree with me. You say you do not mean to disagree with me - this is not necessary! We are two individuals with two different views and that is fine. I know that you will not change my mind, and I will not change yours either (which is not my intent).

1. Be thankful you have not had this problem. Unfortunately, I do feel that it is one that affects more females than males.

2. Yes, we are listed in the telephone directory, but not with our full names. I do not have a page listing information about myself. I do have a page at Proz, and it contains more information than the telephone directory would allow. In my eyes, this is a different situation altogether, although I do agree that one could certainly gain access to us through the phone book. Would I like to be unlisted - only if it stops the tele-marketers from ever calling again!!

3. With respect to not translating for money, I feel you missed my point. As I am not looking for employment, and as there are no cheques to be written, there is no need whatsoever for me to reveal my true identity. I have gone to your Proz page and do see that you say you are a university professor, but fail to see what that has to do with anything. You also mention that you plan to begin a new translation company, and, as such, I assume that you translate for money. For this reason, among others, you have chosen to reveal yourself. I was simply stating that this is not necessary for me.

4. Whether or not I choose to remain anonymous has no bearing whatsoever on the fraudulent behaviour of others.

5. Thank you for your suggestions, which, incidentally, were routes we had already taken. We also called the telephone company for their assistance. Caller ID was unable to trace the calls that I received. After having contacted those in authority, we were informed that the individual harassing me was most likely calling long-distance, or had an unlisted number. I was told that there was basically nothing that could be done. Obviously, caller ID and a phone call to the police did not help - although I did receive some good suggestions from both the police and our phone company. Perhaps, had the problem persisted, more would have been done. This, thankfully, was not necessary in our case.

6. Hiding behind anonymity, I am certain that I will continue to get other harassing calls which are totally unrelated to my time on the internet. However, I also know that in choosing to remain anonymous, I could possibly eliminate other unwanted calls and e-mails. Perhaps this is not an excellent solution for some, but it is perfect for me.

7. I live life to the fullest. I am a happy, well-adjusted individual. I do not plan to stop living simply because I do not want to give the world access to my personal information over the internet! Yes, the real world can be a dangerous place, and I take precautions there as well. For me, this is simply being smart about my surroundings and the choices that I make.

Feel free to disagree with me, Roomy, but I am still not planning to give out any personal information without first feeling a sense of trust in those who will view it. It was never my intent to upset or offend you. I just wanted the opportunity to give my say, and I do thank you for allowing me this opportunity. Frankly, I am quite pleased to have been able to think through my decisions and why I have made them. I know who I am and I am true to myself. When all is said and done, this is what truly matters in life.

All the best



English to Spanish
+ ...
Anonimity vs security Oct 27, 2001

I completely agree with \"Juliaabc\", her personal security comes first and not what other people may think about it.

Personal information should be given as a priority, only to prospective employers (and they will always receive that information, if you are really interested in translating for them).

I think that immediate openness to others is a fallacy, mutual confidence can be gained only progressively.

If someone decides to remain private, a good idea is to find a nickname that will be somehow related to translation, and that will call the attention of prospective employers (that too can become a competitive edge), I think it should be intended foremost for that purpose.

Also, many persons who publish their names, choose to publish only a logo and not a picture, as a way to keep some privacy.


Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:39
French to English
A personal choice Oct 28, 2001

Speaking as a woman, I can understand anonymity, or the wish to feel guarded about personal information. I quite naturally suppose that most women nowadays are careful on questions relating to this sort of issue.


Telesforo Fernandez (X)
Local time: 22:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
here is another case Oct 30, 2001

There is a guy whose wife is a very nice person but this person has a bad track record, probably involved in some nefarious activities, difficult to figure out. He wants to victimise people very covertly. Since he wants to hide behind a cover he uses his wife. His wife is coaxed by him to put up her name in some welfare organization web site offering baby sitting services, without any fee. His wife\'s name is Maryxyz. He conveniently uses the Internet to hook people; once he gets the details of the victims through the profile of his wife posted on the Internet, who says that she voluntarily helps people to find babysitters, and swears to remain anonymous( and the site allows her to do so in good faith). Once he gets their name and address the malicious husband victimizes the innocent people. See how anonymity can be used to victimize people. So, there are always two sides to a story or an argument. So, not all those who want to remain anonymous are honest enough(although a large majority would be dead honest) and are not beyond suspicion.This is just a ficticious story to illustrate the more sinister side of anonymity.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-30 08:17 ]


gianfranco  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:39
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Internet use and anonimity Oct 31, 2001

I understand some caution about giving out personal details on the Internet unnecessarily, but we should also distinguish between professional sites and the Internet at large.

While I would never give out my details undiscriminately I decided to put all my contact details on my ProZ profile (full name, email address and phone numbers).

I\'m convinced that the risks involved are minimal or nil, but a full personal identity is essential to be able to use this site for professional purposes (contacts, networking, acquiring customers, bidding for jobs).

After all the Internet is only part of this big bad world, and to live (or rather hope to live) hiding inside a shell is just not realistic and not possible.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-31 03:14 ]


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