Is having an email attached to the Forum account necessary?
I got asked this question by a ZH user today, the person also mentioned that this is likely the case for many other ZH users. (Obviously the person is not able to post this themselves, as they don’t have an email attached to their Wiki account; this is why I am asking this question here for them ) What is your view?
I assume that the concern for not sharing an email address is privacy? If this is the case, what about creating a single-purpose free email address on a privacy savvy service like Tutanota or ProtonMail? (more alternatives exist, and I’m not a privacy expert)
Because we believe that you shouldn’t have to provide personal information to participate in the free knowledge movement, you may:
Read, edit, or use any Wikimedia Site without registering an account.
Register for an account without providing an email address or real name.
After thinking a bit more… Technically it is possible to allow anonymous users to post on a Discourse forum. The setting is disabled by default and there hasn’t been any thought or discussion about enabling this. I understand that this would be different than what you request, @Alsee, but it’s the only other technically feasible solution we have at hand. Or users in your situation create a single-purpose email address on a privacy-friendly service like Tutanota or ProtonMail , which also would solve the problem technically. Qgil-WMF (talk) 23:59, 20 August 2022 (UTC)
Qgil-WMF, Discourse is open source software. It shouldn’t take undue work to enable access for OAUTH-without-email by generating an arbitrary unique string in the email-as-id field. In particular the domain of example.com is defined not to exist. If necessary that could be used as the base for a not-a-valid-email ID value. If Discourse requires email verification, that step would also need to be skipped. Note that somewhere between 20% and 45% of all of our users have no email set on their Wikimedia account, and a majority have no verified email on their Wikimedia account. (I saw those figures posted by the WMF somewhere recently.) This clearly impacts a large number of our users, and many of our users have good reason to be averse to anything that might remotely facilitate surveillance by certain governments. Alsee (talk) 00:38, 21 August 2022 (UTC)
Sure, as maintainers of the MS Forum we have no interest in requiring users to have a verified email address. Having one improves the user experience with email notifications and the periodical digest (that users can tune in their user settings) but we agree that this should be an optional feature, not required. Other people have asked before at the Discourse forum, and the implementation of this feature isn’t trivial according to the Discourse developers. I have asked about the specific setting you are suggesting, @Alsee. Qgil-WMF (talk) 10:10, 21 August 2022 (UTC)