charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
[personal profile] charmian
The discussion on whether openID is undesirable seems to have picked up a bit here.

In general, though, there seem to be two potential ways openID may be undesirable under discussion.

The first is that openID accounts may be bots/spammers. However, according to what people have said, on DW openID accounts haven't been a major source of spam. Also, both on LJ and on DW, an unvalidated openID account is considered equivalent to an anonymous account, but an openID account which has been validated is considered equivalent to a member. So, just like a regular account, an validated openID account is presumably more likely to have a real person behind it. Therefore, I can't really see much difference, anti-spam-wise, between the two.

The second is that treating validated openID accounts as equivalent to members constitutes a security flaw. Coming from only the LJ-perspective, I don't agree with this either, because restricting comment to members only strikes me as more of an anti-spam measure than a security one. If anyone can sign up for an LJ account at any time, it doesn't make sense to me to consider LJ users at large a 'trusted group,' since any person can sign up for many accounts. Also, LJ doesn't require people to provide any public information about themselves to other users, so I can't really say that making an LJ account makes a user more 'known.'

I also think that the LJ devs didn't want to encourage users to consider LJ members as a 'trusted group,' as shown by their refusal to implement 'members-only security level.' IIRC this was dismissed as 'security by obscurity.'

(That said, I'm not so sure people are unable to navigate the concept of members-only-security as much as the devs thought they would be able to. It seems to work out ok on social networks which have this feature. However, I would be strongly against this on DW UNLESS they stop having invite codes, in which case I'd personally not really care one way or the other.)

(Also, I'm against the idea of a members-only (excluding openID) commenting level on DW as long as invite codes remain. If there's open registration like LJ has, I have no problem with it.)

Date: 2010-10-18 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
I kind of have a problem with it, just because I'd rather that people use their primary identity Internet-wide. I like being able to use my Dreamwidth account to comment elsewhere, and I think it's unpleasant to be forced to sign up for things just to comment on them (Facebook and newspapers, I'm looking at you).

Date: 2010-10-18 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
Ah yes, sorry. >.> That's what I meant. Replace what I said with "I'd like people to be able to," yes.

Date: 2010-10-19 03:04 am (UTC)
kareila: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kareila
You might want to keep an eye on this bug: http://bugs.dwscoalition.org/show_bug.cgi?id=90

Date: 2010-10-19 04:27 pm (UTC)
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
From: [personal profile] yvi
It seems to work out ok on social networks which have this feature.


Mostly, I think, because it's the only way to prevent search engines from indexing the profile.

Date: 2010-10-21 05:18 am (UTC)
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
From: [personal profile] yvi
Well, Dreamwidth/Livejournal allow you to have a robots.txt file. Which at least most of the search engines honor.

CAUTION: contains speculation

Date: 2010-10-21 06:14 pm (UTC)
daweaver:   (Default)
From: [personal profile] daweaver
I also think that the LJ devs didn't want to encourage users to consider LJ members as a 'trusted group,' as shown by their refusal to implement 'members-only security level.' IIRC this was dismissed as 'security by obscurity.'

I agree with your recollection: that (or some close approximation to it) was the official reason cited by Livejournal for public consumption. I can't find a specific quote to back up this memory.

My personal suspicion (and it is only a suspicion, based on no actual hard evidence whatsoever) is that the decision may have been influenced by Bradley Fitzpatrick's close involvement with both Livejournal and OPENID. In the era when Mr. Fitzpatrick was the benevolent dictator of Livejournal, it was not entirely out of character for him to privilege his other projects and inventions on Livejournal; indeed, many of them arose to meet the requirements of Livejournal. It is possible that this attitude carried forward into the early months of Six Apart's ownership of Livejournal, and Mr. Fitzpatrick used his influence to push OPENID further than he himself believed it should go. Such a decision would allow OPENID to appear like a trust system without actually being one.

Again, the above is my speculation. It is not grounded in any verifiable fact.

Re: CAUTION: contains speculation

Date: 2010-10-21 09:50 pm (UTC)
ext_3679: (Default)
From: [identity profile] fiddlingfrog.livejournal.com
Most recently (2009), Andy commented in Suggestions: http://community.livejournal.com/suggestions/986435.html?thread=16000579#t16000579

And before that, towards the end of the SixApart days, there was this discussion: http://community.livejournal.com/suggestions/693466.html

And this old suggestion (2001) was considered and rejected in ten minutes during Brad's ownership: http://community.livejournal.com/suggestions/14074.html

I also have vague recollections of Andy commenting on a similar discussion on a more recent suggestion, but it may also have been in one of the many freakout comment threads regarding Facebook and Twitter (which are dozens of times harder to search through).

I really don't think this common request, nor the equally common dismissals of it, have anything to do with openID. With large open membership groups, like LiveJournal, people lose sight of the fact that membership in the group is not indicative of anything beyond membership in the group. It become a huge blindspot and leads to the failure of the transitive property of relationships.

Re: CAUTION: contains speculation

Date: 2010-10-22 06:06 pm (UTC)
daweaver:   (naomily)
From: [personal profile] daweaver
The searchlight of fact pierces the fog of doubt, and dispels the shadow of speculation. It's clear my original thought was speculation and not terribly well rooted in reality, and thanks to all contributors for that insight.

With large open membership groups, like LiveJournal, people lose sight of the fact that membership in the group is not indicative of anything beyond membership in the group.

This is true. It is possible to draw certain conclusions about people with Dreamwidth accounts, but these tend to be weak - members had control of an email address at some point in time, they understand sufficient English to complete the signup process, they actively wanted a Dreamwidth account enough to seek out an invitation code or to pay for it, etc etc. For sites with a trivial barrier to entry, the conclusions tend also to the trivial.

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