Using real names on the forum

Some of you have recently pointed to the fact that Dr. Kieran Breen has posted on the forum using his real name.

We ask users when registering for the forum to use a name other than their real name or something that would identify them. This is because the forum is public and posts can be found using search engines such as Google. Many people joining the forum do not realise this when registering so we take a number of steps to make sure that all are aware of this. In the past, forum users have been concerned after posting that their entries could be read by employers or close family members.

We hope that despite some of the risks of allowing anonymous usernames, this will ultimately allow users to speak frankly about the issues that concern them.

Obviously, for members of staff those considerations are not the same. Posts that we make are a part of our work and it is our obligation to make users aware that our statements are from Parkinson’s UK staff. This is also true for experts who take part in our Q&As. (Imagine medical advice or research updates posted by “bgeek” or “casper”. Would you take it seriously or follow it?)

We will therefore continue to identify staff members who post on the forum by their correct name and their affiliation to Parkinson’s UK.

If you have questions or concerns about this, please let us know.