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Sign Up Without Email Address

Started by hottakes, February 27, 2023, 07:22:46 AM

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hottakes

I was looking for the option for users to register without providing an e-mail address.

If it doesn't exist, it could be added. Even some major websites like Reddit don't require it, so it's not such a crazy idea.


But there should also be a "require approval of new posts for new users without an email address" option. That would make dealing with spammers much easier.
Once you see that the user is legit, you can turn it off for that user.

Arantor

And what happens if you forget your password? You won't be able to reset it unless you use the secret question feature which almost no one does.

Edit: also need to heavily rework both notifications and newsletters that assume every user has an email. Also, bans.

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

Honestly, if it was just an option, left up to the admin, it wouldn't really be a bad idea IMO to allow registration without contact details, perhaps even allow the admin to decide whether to log IP addresses in SMF.

That said, I do understand and agree it would mean having to rework many things, and this kind of usage could actually even be illegal in some jurisdictions. Publishers may be required by law to have some form of identification or contact for user created content.

Slava
Ukraini!
"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

How you can help SMF

Steve

In which case I'm marking this solved and moving it to 'Declined Requests'.
DO NOT pm me for support!

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

Well, that might have been a bit fast - but yeah, I would say most likely not happening any time soon.
Slava
Ukraini!
"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

How you can help SMF

Sir Osis of Liver

It's actually not too difficult to remove email address upon account activation (wasn't in 2.0, anyway), but as noted will break some functionality.  If a member wants to remove their address they can just put a dummy address in profile settings.
Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend,
 we were all equal in the end.

                                     - R. Waters

Arantor

It's bad practice to just make changes that leave things actively broken like that, though - and as noted potentially without a user being able to recover their own account if they forget the password.

Sir Osis of Liver

About ten years ago someone had asked about anonymizing a forum in 2.0.  Don't remember the reason, or know if it was ever used, but still have the files.  Basically involved removing email address on activation in Registration.php, preventing ip detection in QueryString.php, removing related functionality in templates, and some other things I see that don't ring any bells.  It was understood that some features would be removed, and if members lost password they would have to register new account.  There were some data logged on server (ips/timestamps, iirc) that could not be removed without access to Apache config, but forum database did not contain any trackable member info.  Obviously a special case, not something anyone would ordinarily want to do.
Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend,
 we were all equal in the end.

                                     - R. Waters

Arantor

I assume they also understood that notifications wouldn't work, nor would newsletters, nor would bans, at least not properly.

landyvlad

reddit doesn't require an email?  Yeah and look at reddit quality.  That's enough argument to insist on emails in my book!
"Put as much effort into your question as you'd expect someone to give in an answer"

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with questions on astrophysics or theology.  You will get better and faster responses by asking homeless people in the street. Thank you.

Be the person your dog thinks you are.

Sir Osis of Liver

Quote from: Arantor on February 27, 2023, 01:28:21 PMI assume they also understood that notifications wouldn't work, nor would newsletters, nor would bans, at least not properly.

Yes, that was explained, and things that wouldn't work were removed from ui.
Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend,
 we were all equal in the end.

                                     - R. Waters

hottakes

So why is this being rejected? Just too much work or something else?


Quote from: Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen on February 27, 2023, 08:39:16 AMthis kind of usage could actually even be illegal in some jurisdictions.
Er... seriously? Is Reddit illegal somewhere? Or Hacker News? Both very popular forums that don't require email.
But even if it is illegal somewhere, I don't see why that would affect SMF. An admin can already do plenty of illegal things with SMF as it is.

In fact this setting could make it easier to respect some privacy GDPR laws or whatever, laws that discourage collecting users data.

Sir Osis of Liver

As explained, it breaks a lot of basic functionality.  And if an admin wants to do something illegal with SMF, there's no way we can prevent it, but they won't get any support here.
Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend,
 we were all equal in the end.

                                     - R. Waters

Kindred

There are a lot of issues within SMF that would have to be changed to remove emails.
So, yes, this is rejected as a feature request.  We will not do it... legal issues aside, it would require a major rewrite of ALOT of code... for a request that has one, maybe two, people who want it.
Слaва
Украинi

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

hottakes

Quote from: Sir Osis of Liver on February 27, 2023, 08:42:53 PMAs explained, it breaks a lot of basic functionality.
If implemented properly, the functionality (email notifications etc.) would just not be available for those users and that's that. I thought this was implied and obvious. I don't think this is the same as something being broken.

But I won't insist. I can accept "too much work" as a valid argument, I just wanted to know.


Quote from: Kindred on February 27, 2023, 08:44:54 PMThere are a lot of issues within SMF that would have to be changed to remove emails.
So, yes, this is rejected as a feature request.  We will not do it... legal issues aside, it would require a major rewrite of ALOT of code... for a request that has one, maybe two, people who want it.

Alright.

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

#15
Quote from: hottakes on February 27, 2023, 08:35:58 PMEr... seriously? Is Reddit illegal somewhere?
You are thinking about that the wrong way around. I'm not gonna get in to a deep discussion over the legality of this, but I will say that there are places and situations where forums, chats, etc. are legally obligated to require registration and provide moderation, for example to provide protection to minors online.
Also, Reddit requires identification to register. You need a Google account, an Apple account or an email address. ( All of those mean an email address if you think about it. )
Slava
Ukraini!
"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

How you can help SMF

hottakes

Quote from: Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen on February 27, 2023, 11:50:18 PMthere are places and situations where forums, chats, etc. are legally obligated to require registration and provide moderation, for example to provide protection to minors online.
Yes. For example, some 18+ websites require uploading an ID in some places.
Does this mean that SMF and all other forum software is in some legal trouble, because it doesn't have baked-in ID upload that you can't turn off?
Of course not, that would be ridiculous. It's the responsibility of the website admin to pick the correct software for the job and to configure it properly.


Quote from: Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen on February 27, 2023, 11:50:18 PMReddit requires identification to register. You need a Google account, an Apple account or an email address.
No. You can leave email blank and register with just username and password.

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

Slava
Ukraini!
"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

How you can help SMF

Arantor

Also note that old.Reddit.com signup also asks for email first.

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

I stand corrected, old.reddit does allow you to skip that, which is surprising actually.
Still, if you are looking for an anonymous platform, at this point it is best you seek out an anonymous platform. SMF is not it.

Quote from: hottakes on February 28, 2023, 04:50:10 AMIt's the responsibility of the website admin to pick the correct software for the job and to configure it properly.
Slava
Ukraini!
"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

How you can help SMF

Arantor

It does? That's so not obvious that you get presented with an email box and can just next through it.

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

Yup, didn't test if it would go through to the end, but it did allow just pressing "Next" and getting to the next page. I was honestly surprised and would not have even tried without this discussion.
Slava
Ukraini!
"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

How you can help SMF

Random Username

I think it's a good idea as an option. You can get disposable email addresses. If they forget their password, they can make a new account. I don't send any emails to members ever anyway, unless they go in and set to receive them on their own.

Kindred

As already stated... it's not going to happen in the core product (and any mod to do so would have to re-write large sections of the core product)


just a few points...
The email is used as an alternative login
email is used for lost password
email is used for notifications
email is used to announcements and newsletter mail-to members
in 2.0 some members could email another (via a form)

I'm sure there are also a few other points that I missed.




Your edge cases do not indicate that we should even consider the major changes needed to remove the requirement -- let alone to make it another option to confuse admins.
Слaва
Украинi

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

Sesquipedalian

If you really want this, you're best bet would be to hire someone to create a mod that would allow the email address to be left empty on the registration form and then automatically generate a throwaway email address for the user if the email address is in fact left empty.

If you do try this, you'll want to make sure that those throwaway addresses are with a service that (1) really exists and (2) just silently discards anything sent to nonexistent addresses. Otherwise you'll get lots of bounce messages coming back to your SMF webmaster email address. This might be of interest in that regard.
I promise you nothing.

Sesqu... Sesqui... what?
Sesquipedalian, the best word in the English language.

Random Username

Personally, I think the forum emailing people is spam. I don't see a problem with those broken features, for my sites. I'm going to tell my developer to do it.

Kindred

So, you don't care that people won't be able to recover a lost password?

Every time you "insist" on a change like this, you remind me of why I would never ever want to use your forum....  practically every feature you have altered goes against good UX policies.
Слaва
Украинi

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

Quote from: Random Username on March 01, 2023, 11:43:06 PMPersonally, I think the forum emailing people is spam. I don't see a problem with those broken features, for my sites. I'm going to tell my developer to do it.
Just noticed this - You know, 2.1 doesn't really send much email by default, and with some proper configuration you can basically cut that down to no email at all unless specifically requested by the user.
Slava
Ukraini!
"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

How you can help SMF

Random Username

"Every time you "insist" on a change like this, you remind me of why I would never ever want to use your forum....  practically every feature you have altered goes against good UX policies."

Kindred, I'm truly sorry you are so annoyed. Listen, some of the things I've talked about here, I didn't end up doing. Some I have reversed for reasons I didn't consider. Some stuff is just peculiar to one site I'm running and isn't applied to the other and soon to be others. Why such hostility about it all? There is none on my end.


Arantor

Because we've learned in the (many) years doing this that being super blunt is the only way to get through to people about changes we know have major consequences that have absolutely not been thought through.

Random Username

Well, bluntness and hostility played no impact on any of my decisions. There was one change I was talked out of but not because of the hostility. There was one change I reversed due to changing needs and the rest are decided by the customer, not me. But things are generally working great. I like customizing so I explore lots of ideas. Cheers

Arantor

The customer is not always right ;)

Random Username

I didn't say the customer is always right. I said the rest of these particular decisions was made by them. The customer is always right in terms of the aggregate demand for a product, however, unless you get government subsidies/bailouts/etc or something.

Kindred

Blunt  !=  hostile

Don't assume that I am being hostile just because I call your decisions ill-thought.

And no, the customer,  even in aggregate, is frequently wrong.
Слaва
Украинi

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

Random Username

No, the customer is always right in the aggregate. Fail to satisfy them, and you're out of business. That's wrong, if you want your business to succeed. I judge you extremely hostile. Perhaps it stems from saying I am a libertarian. You do seem to have a bias there. I would just add you to the ignore list, honestly. Will that work for you?

Arantor

Nah, he figured that out without you even saying it.

And if the customer were truly right in aggregate, why is it that so many customer-hostile businesses continue to succeed?

Random Username

No, he didn't. Let's ask him. I know he is an honest bloke. Kindred, did you know I was a libertarian before I said so? As for the question, Arantor, about how customer hostile businesses might survive, this is obviously a reference to a subjective assessment of what constitutes hostile to the customer. As an economist, I cannot engage in such a discussion, have no comment. What I can say is that any business has to make more money than it spends or it will pass, even with government support. Because that support will inevitably end. But this is not much of an assertion. All businesses fail, eventually.

I can elaborate at great length on economics if you wish.

landyvlad

Let's keep politics out of this please.

No idea, random username why you felt in necessary to mention you are a libertarian at all.
Nobody cares.

If you want to put Kindred - a 'Lead Support Specialist' on ignore then you have no right to complain about any lack of responses or support in future. 

You don't get to pick and choose who offers you support and advice.
"Put as much effort into your question as you'd expect someone to give in an answer"

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with questions on astrophysics or theology.  You will get better and faster responses by asking homeless people in the street. Thank you.

Be the person your dog thinks you are.

Steve

Locking.

@Kindred - by all means, unlock it if you think it shouldn't be locked.
DO NOT pm me for support!

Kindred

last word (because I can)

What I think about Libertarians has nothing to do with any comments I have made to @Random Username regarding their support requests. If I call a support request idiotic -- well, then, there it is (and, no, that is not hostility, that is just plain speech because I don't have time or spoons to rephrase my thoughts in softer language.)
Слaва
Украинi

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

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