back to article Site news: Unique commenter handles coming

We have changed the way we manage reader “handles” for story comments. Each commenter will now have a unique ID published on the site. This means that some readers — about 5000 — will see their handles change. These are people who share the same handle as others, or who have registered using more than one email address, using …


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  1. Scott


    I ama not a number!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Morning has broken / like the first Mark

    So who was the first Mark? Is there a Matthew, Luke, and John? Are their comments particularly insightful?

  3. Karl
    Paris Hilton


    Is paris == Paris? Worth making clear, IMO.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    @ Scott

    Clearly you’re not an English teacher either…

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I am not a number.

    I am Spartacus

  6. Anonymous Coward


    > You want to change your handle?

    I can't see how to change my handle.

  7. Tom


    Sounds a bit like the whole ID card database to me...

  8. Lis 0r

    Previous posts

    So what will happen to the names on our previous posts? Will they remain the same, or will they be corrected to our new handles?

  9. Jaap stoel
    Thumb Up

    Super handy!

    Now I won't have to log on every time I want to post a comment.

    Thumbs up for lazy conveniences!

  10. Liam Pennington

    In before...

    Mark0001 is taken....

  11. Peter Simpson

    I'll just mention this

    Many people:

    - have more than one email

    - post from more than one IP

    - are adept at masquerading

    Good luck!

    // mine's the one with several passports in the pocket

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    you guys added my full last name to the end of my origonal handle which was a bit of an unwelcome suprise - I don't mind sometimes not being anon but first name and surname was a bit of a oncern especially considering the nature of the article lol.

  13. Greg


    Cheers El Reg. There are several Gregs on here, and I didn't realise the handles weren't unique when I signed up. Off now to get my handle changed.

  14. Reality Dysfunction

    How many people....

    ....were using anonymous coward as their title I wonder

  15. Scary


    Can we track comment threads we've posted to for new activity on the site?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, I see

    This is why Mark's comments have been becoming less rabid, it's just because there have been more of them overtime so there is a regression to the mean 'opinion'.

  17. sig

    Display nymous:anonymous ratio

    How about displaying a poster's tendency to post anonymously? Some posts ('My employer is evil, though claiming not to be...') I can understand, but others ('WTF?!!!! LOL!!!') I don't see what they might need to hide, save their obvious mental deficiency.

  18. Ray

    meta meta meta comment

    i am commenting on a comment about a comment about comments

    oh so post mo

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @Scott 0

    I don't mind being a number

    as long as it is number 1....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Matt Ashworth

    At least he's not a self righteous t**t

  21. StillNoCouch
    Paris Hilton

    I feel sorry for Paris69

    ... or maybe not.

  22. the midtoad

    how to edit handle?

    In the Profile, I don't see any way to edit my 'handle', only my forename and surname.

  23. Alastair

    You mean to say

    That I could have been impersonating aManFromMars all this time?

  24. Sampler
    Thumb Up

    Can we avatars too?

    200x200 px?


  25. Rob

    can we have a tally?

    i'm pretty sure there's at least 2 other rob's on here, i'd quite like to see a tally of the names in use, for no particular reason.

  26. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up


    ...No-one else has my name. Occasionally useful.

    Steven R

  27. northernmonkey 1


    ...what will you do those with multiple-personality disorder?

  28. Alan


    would be nice if I'm the first Alan...

    btw you can already look for all posts by yourself/someon in a kinda crude way by googling


    or "Alan Parsons"


  29. David Jackson
    IT Angle

    So what...

    ... is my name now?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have my doubts..

    As you guys know, some of us cannot speak freely. We can give you hints, tell you where scratching the surface may give new clouds of smelly stuff you can report on etc etc. But not with a real name.

    I'm OK with a handle as long as it bears no relation to a real name, but that's not what I saw on the login/account details page (which, incidentally, is a b*tch to find). If that handle requires any coupling with the real "me" I'm out..

    Of all people, you guys should know that speaking freely and having your own opinion has been thoroughly attacked in the Blair-Bush era. Freedom of speech, nay, even of personal opinion is no longer possible so without a means to go anonymous to a degree it would present too much risk to most people I know.

    So, I understand the effort, but please be careful.

  31. peter

    I wonder

    Will we find out if we truely exist in this reality

  32. Kenny Millar

    Eh, What handle?

    What do you mean? My profile doesn't have a handle.


  33. Professor Falken
    Thumb Up


    it worked for me...

  34. Lionel Baden

    im guessing

    this is because of people posting in the 100.000 web sites down as somebody else

    personally ithought you had to have unique handles anyway suprised me

    kind of a standard nowadays that you need to have unique identifiers on the site !

  35. Tim Bergel

    Can you make sure

    that the handle 'amanfrommars' is retained by the real one - wouldn't want to get confused...

  36. Dangermouse

    I'm suspicious...

    ...they have our details already, and *now* they want us to use unique handles. So when we bitch about Jack-boots and the sorry-arsed sadsack that is our Dear Leader, we can't hide anymore when the spooks demand details from the Reg.

    Consider my subscription cancelled etc...

  37. Ian Ferguson
    Black Helicopters

    I do hope

    There is only one amanfromMars.

    Perhaps you should also charge for 'verified' accounts to avoid celebrity impersonation :D

  38. Steve Foster


    So firstly, I have to tweak site and cookie settings in my browser (Opera) to get this profile page to work (although cookies were already enabled for the site of which the login page is part), and then, when I do get to the profile page, I find:

    a) my name is blank (which is odd),

    b) there doesn't appear to be anywhere to enter a "handle" (or is this to be formed from my [blank] name?), and

    c) despite the fact that I haven't opted in to receive any emails from ElReg, several "send me email" tickboxes show as checked.

    It doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

  39. Michael Fremlins

    What about anonymous coward

    I've always wondered how he managed to post so many comments!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About Time...

    There are too many people using silly name on this web site.


    Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern Schplenden Schlitter Crass Cren Bon Fried Digger Dingle Dangle Dongle Dungle Burstein von Knacker Trasher Apple Banger Horowitz Ticolensic Grander Knotty Spelltinkle Grandlich Grumblemeyer Spelter Wasser Kürstlich Himble Eisenbahnwagen Gutenabend Bitte einen Nürnburger Bratwürstel Gespurten mit Zweimache Luber Hundsfut Gumberaber Schönendanker Kalbsfleisch Mittelraucher von Hauptkopft of Ulm

    Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel

    Malcolm Peter Brian Telescope Adrian Umbrella Stand Jasper Wednesday (pops mouth twice) Stoatgobbler John Raw Vegetable (sound effect of horse whinnying) Arthur Norman Michael (blows squeaker) Featherstone Smith (blows whistle) Northgot Edwards Harris (fires pistol, then 'whoop') Mason (chuff-chuff-chuff-chuff) Frampton Jones Fruitbat Gilbert (sings) 'We'll keep a welcome in the' (three shots, stops singing) Williams If I Could Walk That Way Jenkin (squeaker) Tiger-drawers Pratt Thompson (sings) 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' Darcy Carter (horn) Pussycat 'Don't Sleep In The Subway' Barton Mainwaring (hoot, 'whoop') Smith

  41. Peyton

    my vote

    Ditch AC altogether. I'd say the ratio of insightful comments over waste of times from ACs is effectively zero. I'm not saying things posted under "peyton" are all that enlightening, but it just seems the AC posts cruft up a lot of comment threads with people just wanting to vent. Of course, the comments section is very free form - perhaps their functioning as a sort of psychiatrist couch is intentional ;)

    Or - if you really want to allow for those rare whistle-blower posts or something - maybe a quota?

  42. Rod MacLean

    Changing Handle

    I just logged in and all it asked me for were my first name and surname... information about how to change my handle - or have I somehow misunderstood?

  43. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Changing Handle

    "Tomorrow we are changing the way we manage reader “handles” for story comments."

    That's Wednesday, not today.

  44. Sarah Bee's Love Slave
    Thumb Up

    I've just done mine...

    but as you can't see it anywhere, this is the only way of checking it.

  45. BlueGreen


    1. @Peyton: don't ditch AC. I don't like the silly posts but there are plenty that are AC+actually good, and plenty that are signed+nobbish. I (like to think I) post relevant stuff under AC because it's sensitive and because my handle will inevitably be linked back to my real name (just the way that it is).

    2. If you're soliciting for other suggestions, howsabout unfixing the sodding width. Then I can dump greasemonkey.

    3. Some kind of rating system a la slashdot would be useful so silly posts get hidden, either globally or per reader (for instance if Flocke Kroes or jake or a few others post then I want it up in lights. If Mr. digraph-with-probabilities AMFM posts I'd rather not see it). Globally would be infinitely easier in any event, but it's a big ask.

  46. r

    I also cannot see any where to change my 'handle'

    Are you sure it's a handle and not a knob?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @AC 14:37

    I, for one, am terrified that the ex-Bush whitehouse will find my snarky reply to your post expressing the belief that The Man is forcing your IT news web site comments 'underground'.

    Seriously, people - there are important, legitimate concerns vis a vis intrusive security measures and restriction of free speech, but pretending that the issue extends past the bounds of the ludicrous only cheapens the entire debate and makes everybody fighting the issue look like a crank.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see no options..

    To change my handle.

    Also apparently although I'm allowed not to have a Job Role (I'm currently unemployed) I HAVE to provide a Job Sector (which makes less sense than making me give my job Role) and I have to tell you how big the company I don't work for is and how big an involvement I have in IT spending.

    Methinks you need to look at that part of the profile too.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Peyton

    Re-read the comment from AC@14:37 GMT.

    Some people simply are not in a position where they can speak in public about anything that might entail a personal opinion or belief, or even personal knowledge, about anything, if there's a chance it could be traced back to them. If you're simply ignoring out of hand anything said by someone for the sole reason that no name was attached, you're missing out on an awful lot of potentially valuable content - and just because someone attaches a name doesn't inherently make whatever they've said intelligent or informative.

    Being a blank gives one freedom to be honest in some ways. Aren't we tracked enough as it is?

  50. Stevie Silver badge


    Wouldn't it just be quicker to delete the fake "Sarah Bee"s and be done with it?


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