14 FAQ tagged with profile

Why are you asking for my email? How do I change my email address?

You need to register a working email address in your profile. Please use a real address that you check. We will not spam you, and we will not give out your address. (Only site admins can see it; they can also see the email address you used when you signed up.) We use your profile email address to send password reset emails, reply to messages you send through the Contact Form, or contact you about specific site matters.

By default, your address is hidden from everyone else and not shown on your user-facing profile page. Only if you set your preferences to show it, will your email address show up in your profile -- and even then, it only shows to registered logged-in users.

Being contactable by other users can sometimes be advantageous. Many members use a semi-disposable address for MetaFilter only so that people can contact them. You can use MeFiMail for contacting other users and being contacted if you don't want to have a user-facing email address.

You can edit your email address and the rest of your profile details by clicking on the preferences link at the top or bottom of the page when you are logged in.
(tags: ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions

Who can see the information on my profile page?

Short answer: profiles are mostly visible to the public, but non-indexed (not visible to search engines). Your Full Name, Picture, Webpage, and Blurb are visible to the public, and by default the profile-page listings of your comments and posts and contacts are too.

Among the user-editable parts of the profile page (where you choose what information to enter), the visible-to-the-public items are those under "Personal Info": Full Name, Picture, Homepage URL, and Blurb about you; and optionally, Social Apps. The visible-to-members-only items are: Email (required; private by default, but you can choose to make it visible to members), Location, Geographic Coordinates (members-only by default, but you can choose to make them private), Occupation, Gender, Relationship Status, Birthday, IM, and Social Apps (you can choose whether to make Social Apps visible to the public or members-only; older accounts default to 'public', new accounts default to 'members only'). The members-only fields have a dark background on the Preferences page to make it easier to remember which they are. Except for Email, all the user-editable fields are optional, so for maximum privacy you can simply leave them blank.

Among the site-generated parts of the profile page, everything is visible to the public by default: Join date, Funding message (unless you choose to hide it), Listings of your Contributions (posts and comments), Favorites, Social connections (contacts), and Tags. With the "Minimal Profile" option, members can hide the profile-page listings of Contributions, Favorites, Social connections, Funding Message and Tags from logged-out readers. To do this, check the "Minimal profile for non-members?" option under "Contact / Privacy Preferences". Note: this doesn't hide your actual posts and comments themselves - those remain visible to anyone on the internet. It only hides the listings on your profile page, and only hides them from non-members.

To illustrate the difference between Standard and Minimal options, here's a standard MetaFilter profile page, as seen by a non-member (or logged-out user):

Here's the same profile, again as seen by a non-member (or logged-out user), but now with the "Minimal profile" option checked:

Regardless of what's visible to human readers, Metafilter profile pages are set to be "non-indexed", which means reputable search engines will not make their contents searchable. For this reason, please don't bring profile information over to the main part of the site, where it can be indexed by Google; doing so is potentially a bannable offense. This MeTa comment discusses a little more about the ins and outs about what you should and shouldn't do with information you get from people's profile pages.
(tags: ) December 15, 2010 - permalink - back to questions

Can I publicly mention details from someone else's profile page?

Generally, no. User profile pages on MetaFilter are not indexed by Google. This means if someone's profile says that they live in a certain city or gives their real name, that information is not considered "public" on the site. More details here.
(tags: ) December 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

What should I know about privacy at Metafilter?

Moderators have access to your sign-up information and other information, such as your IP address. That information may be used for site purposes (such as checking out potential spammers), but it is kept strictly private from other members and the wider internet. This means that if you choose not to display your real name, email address or location to other members, moderators will not reveal it. Mods also will not reveal the identity of second (sockpuppet) accounts as linked to your main account if you do not reveal this.

Members are also expected to respect each other's privacy in certain basic ways. Members' profile page information is not visible to search engines and should not be brought over to the rest of MetaFilter. Similarly, copying and pasting MefiMail to any other part of the site without the writer's permission is a bannable offense.

In emergencies--such as cases where someone has threatened to harm themselves, or if we are contacted by law enforcement--we cannot guarantee user privacy. Likewise, the Anonymous question function in Ask Metafilter is only intended to keep your details anonymous from the MeFi community, not to provide absolute anonymity--see here for details.

Metafilter occasionally allows use of site data for academic study and there is an Infodump available for number crunchers. Members can download a copy of their site activity as a text file (see links at the bottom of your Preferences page).

Your posts, questions, and comments here are visible to the whole internet, and they will remain associated with your username permanently. If you need to ask about things that you want kept separate from your main username, you can get a second account that you use just for that.
(tags: ) December 12, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

What does "I help fund MetaFilter" on profile pages mean?

On May 19th 2014, Matt posted a MetaTalk thread about MetaFilter's financial problems: State of MetaFilter. In that thread, community members and casual readers began contributing to the site's PayPal account through one-time donations and recurring payments. This new source of revenue is a step toward being member-supported rather than advertising-supported. We wanted to acknowledge those members who are providing this additional help to keep this place running with a note on their profile page.

For those who don't want the note to appear on their page, there's an option in site preferences to disable the note. Uncheck the box next to "Display funding message?" under "Contact / Privacy" settings. If you donated but somehow didn't get the profile message, just let us know via the contact form and we'll set it up manually.

If you'd like to contribute, you can Help Fund MetaFilter.
(tags: ) May 21, 2014 - permalink - back to questions

How do I view my own (or someone else's) previous posts, questions, and comments?

They are all viewable from your profile. Go to the My Profile link at the top of the page, or click your username anywhere it appears on the site. Your contributions are broken down by subsite, and by post/question and comment.

For an alternative view of all your comments/answers, you can go to these URLs, replacing number 1 with your user number:
Mefi comments
AskMe answers
MeTa comments

To see someone else's activity, go to their profile page, or substitute their user number in the above URLs.
(tags: ) June 11, 2007 - permalink - back to questions

How do I find someone's profile page if I only know their username not their user number?

There are three ways:
-You can search for their username in the search box, then click on the tab "Users" within the search results.

-You can find a comment or post by them, and click on their username in the byline.

-Or you can do it manually, by adding their username to the end of a string like this:


This works with usernames with spaces or some with other odd characters and is not case sensitive

http://www.metafilter.com/username/PUKE & cry

Please note that this does NOT work with a small subset of usernames [for example c:\awesome].
(tags: ) March 23, 2007 - permalink - back to questions

What is the etiquette concerning members' or non-members' personal details and profile information?

User profile pages on MetaFilter are not indexed by Google. This means if someone's profile says that they live in a certain city or gives their real name, that information is not considered "public" on the site. Bringing a user's personal details into an unrelated thread to hector or harass them (especially details from other websites that they participate in) is generally considered not okay. Use care when deciding to bring someone's personal information into a thread, and try to err on the side of mentioning without linking.

Bringing WHOIS and other personal information into a thread [i.e. "Here's this guy's phone number!"] is also not okay. We harbor no illusions that this stuff isn't available, but bringing it into a thread can cause trouble for the site and creates an atmosphere that we'd rather avoid. When in doubt, please feel free to ask a mod.
(tags: ) August 20, 2009 - permalink - back to questions

Why doesn't the timestamp in live preview match the time in my actual timezone?

The live preview doesn't match the post time because when live preview was implemented it was too much of a hassle to make it work. Your comment will be posted with your the correct timestamp for your timezone. If your timezone is set incorrectly, you can change this in your profile.
(tags: ) March 14, 2007 - permalink - back to questions

How do I link to my other online communities/social sites in my profile?

If you contribute to other online communities, you can link to your profiles at some other sites from your MetaFilter profile page. (announced here) To add a link, click on "Preferences" at the top of any page, and scroll down to the bottom of the "Customize Metafilter" page. Under the heading "Social Apps", choose a service name from the drop-down menu and then enter your username at that site. If you want to add another link, click "add another service" and you'll get another menu/name combo. When you're finished, click "Save your Preferences" to save everything.

If you want to remove a link to a site you've added, go back to editing your profile. Clear your username for the link you want to remove and click "Save your Preferences". The link won't show up on your profile anymore.

Adding a Flickr, Twitter, Vimeo, LibraryThing or This Is My Jam username to your profile will give you the option to add a widget with your recent activity from those sites to your profile page. (Please note that only Twitter offers a secure version of their widget. If you have "Use Secure Browsing?" checked in your profile, you will only see Twitter widgets on profile pages.)

It's not always easy to figure out your username at other services, so here's a quick guide to finding your username/id at some of the more challenging sites:

To add your Facebook account to your profile you'll need your Facebook URL Name. To find it, go to Facebook and click on your name in the upper-left corner of the page. On the following page note the URL in your browser's address bar, it should look something like this:

http://www.facebook.com/[url name]

Copy the entire url name and paste it here. Sometimes the URL Name contains periods, but keep in mind it will never contain a space.

Your Flickr photostream URL does not necessarily contain your Flickr username, and your Yahoo! login is not necessarily your Flickr username. To find your Flickr username, sign into Flickr and take a look at the line at the top of the page that says, "Signed in as...". Whatever appears there as a link is your official Flickr username. Make sure your Flickr profile isn't set to hide your profile from searches.

Go look at your public profile page (you'll have to log in if you haven't already). Your profile page will show you your public profile URL and whatever is at the end is what you need to enter. You'll need to customize your profile URL to be something memorable/personal on this page if you haven't already. When you're done, your profile URL should look like this:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/[some name]

Grab [some name] and enter it as your LinkedIn Name in your MeFi profile.

Log into SportsFilter and click on your profile page. You should see a URL like this:

http://www.sportsfilter.com/member/[some number]

Jot down the number, and enter it as your SportsFilter ID in your MeFi profile.

Same drill as SportsFilter. Find your profile page and you should see a URL like this:

http://www.politicalfilter.com/content/member/[some number]/

Jot down the number, and enter it as your PoliticalFilter ID in your MeFi profile.

Log into the Steam website, and click the "View my SteamID" link toward the top of the page. You should see a URL in your browser address bar like this:

http://steamcommunity.com/id/[some name]

Use the name as your Steam Name in your MeFi profile. If you see a URL like this instead:

http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/[some long number]

Go into your Steam profile settings and set up a "Custom URL". Note what you enter for that custom URL value and use that as your Steam Name in your MeFi profile.

For Shelfari you need to find your internal user ID. Go to Shelfari and find your profile. The URL should look like this:

http://www.shelfari.com/o[some number]

Note the "o" at the beginning of your Shelfari user ID, you'll need that. Enter the whole thing including the "o" as your Shelfari ID in your MeFi profile.

Gawker Media
Gawker profiles show all Gawker Media sites.

World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft profiles are character and realm specific, so you'll need to specify the realm name and the character on that realm. To do that, find your character at World of Warcraft and note the URL. It should look like this:


Now that you have the URL, copy the realm and character name as it appears in the URL and paste it into your MetaFilter profile. You should have a something that looks like "realm/name". We need both pieces separated by a / to link to your WoW profile.

Go to the blog you want to link and look at the URL. It should be in the form of [prefix].blogspot.com. Note that prefix and add that at your MetaFilter profile.

Go to the blog you want to link and look at the URL. It should be in the form of [prefix].tumblr.com. Note that prefix and add that at your MetaFilter profile.

Go to the blog you want to link and look at the URL. It should be in the form of [prefix].posterous.com. Note that prefix and add that at your MetaFilter profile.

Urban Spoon
Go to your Urban Spoon profile and note the URL. It ends with both a numeric ID and name, like so:


Copy everything after profile/ and paste it into your MetaFilter profile. So the bit you paste will look like this: 12345/myname.html.

Log into Fitbit and find your "view profile" link. Note the URL, and copy everything after user/. It's typically a short string of numbers and letters like this: 224MH2. That's what you want to copy and paste into your MetaFilter profile.

Finding your Amazon profile ID is a little tricky. Go to amazon.com and click the "Your Account" link in the upper right corner. From there, look for the "Personalization" section at the bottom of the page. Under the "Community" column, click "Your Public Profile". Note the URL. It should look something like this:


The section you want to copy is everything after the final slash and before the question mark. In this case that's: A6N8HSYO8DN1R. Copy that ID and paste it into your MetaFilter profile.

To find your Google+ profile ID, head to the front page of G+. Click the profile icon at the top of the page. (It's the circle with the head in it.) You should see your profile, listing your posts. Click 'About' and note the URL in your browser's address bar. It should look like this:


Copy the long number you see in the URL and paste it here.

You'll need to find your Glitch URL ID to add it. Visit your glitch profile and take a look at the URL in your browser address bar. Here's what it looks like:


Copy everything after /profiles/ and before the closing /. That long alphanumeric string is your Glitch URL ID. Copy that and paste it here.

Log in and click on your name at the top of the page. From there click 'public profile' on the left and note the URL:

http://userscripts.org/users/[some number]

Jot down the number, and enter it as your Userscripts ID in your MeFi profile.

Log in and click on "My Books" at the top of the page. You should be at a URL with a numeric ID:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/[some number]

Copy the number at the end of the URL and enter it as your Goodreads ID in your MeFi profile.

Log in and click on "My Profile" in the nav at the top right of the page. You should be at a URL with a numeric ID:

http://app.strava.com/athletes/[some number]

Copy the number at the end of the URL and enter it as your Stava ID in your MeFi profile.

Go to your airbnb user profile page. The URL should look like this:

https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/[some number]

Copy the number at the end of the URL and enter it as your airbnb ID in your MeFi profile.

(tags: ) August 8, 2007 - permalink - back to questions

What is MeFi Mail?

MeFi Mail is a private messaging system for MetaFilter users and allows contact with users who may not have an email address in their profile. It is enabled by default but can be turned off in the profile editing area. Members can opt to have these messages sent directly to their profile email address.

There is a little envelope on the header bar of each page of MetaFilter, next to your username. The little envelope will turn orange when new messages are received. To check your Mefi Mail, click the envelope; it will take you to your Mefi Mail inbox.

To send someone Mefi Mail, go to their profile page by clicking their username. Members that have this option enabled will have a "send MeFi Mail" option visible on their profile page underneath their username that can be used to contact them.

Users can also opt to block MeFi Mail. Users who have blocked MeFi Mail can not send or receive MeFiMail and their profile page will say "MeFi Mail Disabled". To block Mefi Mail on a per-user basis, scroll to the bottom of a Mefi Mail from that user and click "Block this sender." If you have blocked a user and want to unblock them, you can do this from your contacts page at the bottom where it says "Manage blocked senders".

HTML cannot be used in MeFi Mail messages but URLs on a line by themselves will turn into hyperlinks. Banned or time-outed users cannot use or access MeFiMail.

Unless you have specific permission, reposting someone's MeFi Mail is a violation of site guidelines. Do not use MeFi Mail to harass or stalk other users. Abusing MeFi Mail in this way can result in your account being banned.
(tags: ) October 20, 2007 - permalink - back to questions

Why are you asking for my birthday?

This was a feature that some users had requested and it is totally optional. You can indicate your birthday [day/month/year or just year] and your age will appear on your profile to logged-in users. If you decide you no longer want to make your age/birthday visible you can revert to having no birthday showing. You can click on your birthday in your profile and see which members share your birthday.
(tags: ) April 10, 2008 - permalink - back to questions

How do I suggest a new online community/social site for the "also on" section of the profile page?

There is a page on the MetaFilter wiki called SocialStuffs which is where you can suggest a new social site. That page has additional information on the information that pb will need in order to add the site. We try to add a group of new sites every few months.
(tags: ) March 6, 2011 - permalink - back to questions

Why are you asking for my geographic coordinates?

It is entirely optional to give your geographic coordinates in your profile. If you give a longitude and latitude, you will be able to use certain features that are geolocation-based. These features include: seeing which other members live near you (you can specify a distance for "near"); getting a message if there is an IRL meetup scheduled near you; seeing how far away from you each job posting is in Jobs. You can choose whether other members will also be able to see your location by selecting 'Available to Members' or 'Private' in the Geographic Coordinates section of your site preferences.
(tags: ) December 12, 2012 - permalink - back to questions