Private profiles - why is this enabled?

On the Discourse forum, there is an option for users to make their profiles private.

Now unless they add some information to it, there isn’t anything publically visible on a user’s profile aside from number of posts/visits/likes etc.

Is there a reason why the option for users to make profiles private is enabled? It doesn’t seem like a good way to foster an inclusive friendly forum.

You are posting this because I made mine private the other day and you would like to view it! Some of us do not appreciate others trawling through our posting history and checking other information about us. Privacy is a right, NOT an option!

If I want to view all of your posts, I can just use a search engine, or just actually look at the rest of the forum.

The number of posts etc. that you’ve made is the only thing that you’ve really made private, and since you’ve physically made those posts on a public forum, that privacy doesn’t really exist to start with. Everything on this forum about you is something you’ve chosen to provide.

When you made your profile private it made me aware, but it wasn’t the reason why I made this post.

You could find my posts by typing in @wulf in the search box at the top of the page but you will NOT find them on a search engine as I have disabled that function.

Any option you’ve disabled in your profile will not stop a search engine indexing the threads you’ve posted in, so within a short period of time they will all be visible there.

And as you rightly state, you can find others’ posts from a search on the forum so they’re not exactly hidden here either.

Yes it will stop them or I will be sending a strongly worded legal letter to the managing director of Bulb!

Which option is it that you’ve enabled (or disabled)?

Why would you posting in someone else’s thread (this one for example), stop a search engine indexing it?

Personally it’s my thread and I’d like a search engine to index it.

I don’t think you quite understand how all of this works.


When reregistering a few days ago I was given that option when setting up the account. I have been posting on forums of many different kinds for many years and some of these are set to private and are not indexed by search engine crawlers. Others allow your account to be invisible to search crawlers. It varies from forum to forum. Webmasters can also delete content that is visible from search engines including cached items. I have been using blogs for years and sometimes I have needed to do this. Indeed earlier this year I deleted 100% of the content from 3 of my blogs from various search engines before deleting the blogs themselves.