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Posting of my discussion and appearing on a search engine

Posts: 272
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi everyone, I just got off of the phone with the American Cancer Society. I was doing a ASK.com search last night and I noticed that a discussion I posted on the ACS network appeared. I wasn't sure what it was, so I clicked on it and was surprised it was, in fact a discussion posted by me. I advised the ACS that I did not know how this happened but thought everything on this site was confidential. I don't think it's very confidential when everyone on the outside can read what we write. They did apologize and said they would look into it and contact their webmaster, as this should not have happened and they would call me back to let me know why it did. As much as I enjoy corresponding back and forth, probably for awhile I'll just read what others write. I just think it's not right that this happened and I just wanted to let everyone know in case it happens to you. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive about it, but I honestly don't think this should happen.

Posts: 208
Joined: Nov 2008

I can't put my finger on it right now, but I do remember reading this somewhere on our website. It may have been when I signed up. Our boards are subject to public search engines.
I do not like it either. There is another similar board that does the same thing. I'm surprised ACS didn't just tell you when you asked.
It will be interesting to see of you get anywhere.. Keep us posted.

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

Unless they fixed this recently, I've been seeing my posts on GOOGLE searches for years when I was researching other cancer-related topics. There used to be a warning that posts are subject to Search Engines in the whole "I accept" conditions of the Board when you register, although most never read the fine print on those things (and it may still be there). That's why CSN encourages you not to post your email address or phone number on their Boards. Since I post under my real name, my posts turn up even if I Google my name. I have nothing to hide or I wouldn't post under my own name. My business website also has my address, email address, and business address, so I feel I'm already 'out there'. But those of you that use an alias should take some comfort in that anonymity. And also take comfort that this is not a new phenomenon and I don't know of anyone that had any negative happenings because of it. It's creepy, but nothing I worry about.

anicca's picture
Posts: 335
Joined: Dec 2010

There are two sides to this issue. The first, of course, is privacy, which we all have a right to. The second, though, is easy access to useful information for those in need. I often find discussion boards when I search various topics, and they are often helpful. Some I join, others I just keep track of or forget about, depending on my needs. I was surprised to see so many posters here signing their posts with their names, as this is not usually done on boards where people feel the need for anonymity (such as work related groups.) On a board like this, where we all are fighting a deadly illness (or a loved one is,) I can see why names are posted, as our feelings are so important and we need to build bonds with others in our situation. If you are extremely concerned about your identity being known, it would be best to stick with your user name publicly, and send private messages in your own name to those you want to develop closer relationships with. This is how it is handled on other discussion boards where privacy is considered important.

I also post on a work related board, where I know several posters personally, and on several technical boards. I use the same user name on almost all boards that I belong to, but specifically because of privacy issues, I chose an entirely new name for this board.

poopergirl14052's picture
Posts: 1185
Joined: Nov 2010

your phone call did good and now there is a warning about public viewing at the top of page when you clik on discussion board for all kinds of cancer. Thanks for the post..val

Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

this a few years ago, when I googled something and found my own post. I do post under an alias but often sign my name. I was a bit surprised initally, but now realize I have nothing to hide and if something I share can help another survivor, then I am grateful. At the same time, I never post anything I would not want the whole world to read.

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