Loomio
Thu 21 Nov 2013

Discussion-level privacy

RDB
Richard D. Bartlett Public Seen by 319

We’ve recently made some changes to how group privacy works on Loomio.

You can now configure your groups to be public, private, or hidden:

  • Public - discussions are public. Anyone can see the group name, description, and membership. Anyone can ask to join.
  • Private - discussions are only visible to members. Anyone can see the group name, description, and membership. Anyone can ask to join.
  • Hidden - only members can see the group and its discussions. People have to be invited to join.

You shouldn’t need to do anything, we just wanted to give you a heads up about the new settings :)

Let us know if you have any questions!

Feel free to email rich@loomio.org if you have privacy concerns that you don't want to discuss in public :)

CT

Chris Taklis Thu 21 Nov 2013

That's what I was waiting... Thanks

AI

Alanna Irving Thu 21 Nov 2013

Will this option be adjustable as time goes on, such as if a thread starts private but then you want it to be public or vice versa, or is it a set it once and you're stuck with it type decision?

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Thu 21 Nov 2013

Yep we're thinking discussion authors and group coordinators can change the discussion privacy at any time.

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Thu 21 Nov 2013

@mjkaplan suggested 'Confidential' might be a better word than 'Secret', due to some negative connotations with that word. What do you think @jonlemmon?

JV

Joshua Vial Fri 22 Nov 2013

+1 to Confidential

P

PauKokura Fri 22 Nov 2013

+1 Confidential

CT

Chris Taklis Fri 22 Nov 2013

+1 Confidential

MS

Marcos Siqueira Fri 22 Nov 2013

Sorry if newbie question again, but isn't it interesting that you guys are using +1 in the discussion instead of creating a proposal and voting?

JL

Jon Lemmon Sun 24 Nov 2013

I'm not so sure about 'Confidential'. I think it could be a slightly confusing term. I think I'd like to stick with 'Secret' for now unless people have serious concerns. We can always change it later.

JL

Jon Lemmon Sun 24 Nov 2013

@marcossiqueira sometimes proposals are too heavy-weight for certain discussions/decisions. For this reason, we plan on implementing an "ideas" feature in the future.

MB

Matthew Bartlett Sun 24 Nov 2013

'Confidential' is in my view insufficiently differentiated from 'private'

RG

Rob Guthrie Mon 25 Nov 2013

I like Confidential too. Feels more descriptive than private.

CT

Chris Taklis Mon 25 Nov 2013

i don't think the name is the problem... both are good.

Make this reality, and then as @jonlemmon said you can change it later... i think that matters more than how to name it!

P

PauKokura Mon 25 Nov 2013

I didnt realise before, but its confusing with private as @matthewbartlett said.
If I look strictly, I dont like neither "private"... you are not the "owner"! I wouls say something like members-only. But internet words are what they are and mean what they mean.

In my opinion, in an ideal world I would define groups like this: (excuse me if its poor translated):

  • For the commons. Visible without account. Sign in to enter the group. (no need to request membership). You cannot have confidential discussions in a commons group.

  • Free-association Visible without account. Need to request membership or invitation. Discussions can be public or members-only (default).

  • Confidential Need an invitation. Only members can participate. No one else can see anything, even the group existence. You cannot have public discussions in a confidential group.

BK

Benjamin Knight Wed 27 Nov 2013

Sorry if this is too late to be helpful, but this just an idea:

I was wondering if it might be clearer/simpler from a user perspective to have two levels of privacy, ‘public’ and ‘private’, but with ‘private’ groups you have the option of checking ‘do not display my group name/membership in the public groups directory’ and ‘do not allow public discussions in this group’.

(and public and private groups are differentiated by whether the default is for discussions to be public or private)

Thoughts?

@jonlemmon @hannahsalmon

BK

Benjamin Knight Wed 27 Nov 2013

(ps just take this as a lightly held suggestion to throw in the mix, I'm sure lots of layers of thought have gone into the current design thinking)

P

PauKokura Wed 27 Nov 2013

after all... agree with @benjaminknightloom --> Keep it simple, I say it again to myself... keep it simple.

What about the request membership feature? Is that even possible? And how about calling them "open" and "closed"?

  • Open group. All discusions and members will be visible in the public groups directory and can be indexed in the web. Option: Require invitation or request to enter? yes / no (any loomio account can enter without aproval).

  • Closed group. All discussions, the group name and members are private and will not be displayed anywhere, except for members. Invitation is required.

I think a combination of this two options is enough. For ex. an open group with open and closed sub-groups. This makes clear a private group is really a private group. A group with public and private discussions in it can be a mess, even if you mark with an icon public or private to distinguish them. (- I saw that, - I didnt. - Oh, sorry, it was hidden for you) In my experiencem that was (is) one of the major difficulties using n-1.cc

P

PauKokura Wed 27 Nov 2013

Well, now I realise the topic is "Discussion-level privacy" but... thats my opinion for groups. If we turn to a "discussion-first" model (discussions without a group) then they could also be "open / closed discussions"

JL

Jon Lemmon Thu 28 Nov 2013

@benjaminknightloom interesting idea... seems like it could actually be more confusing though. with radio buttons you only have to select one option, whereas with checkboxes you have to think about all the different combinations...

P

PauKokura started a proposal Thu 28 Nov 2013

Levels of visibility/privacy for groups and decisisons in two-step radio button question Closed Sat 30 Nov 2013

I'm making this proposal based on what its in the discussion but with some changes. I cant imagine any not-possible situation with this method and its as simple as I could. Probably there is no consensus yet, but we are not using too much "proposals". Why? WHY?

(The text should be written by someone with better english than me, please do not vote for the text but for the idea. Visible = public and hidden = private.

What kind of visibility do you...? (radio button)

1 Visible group with visible decissions.
2 Visible group with hidden decissions.
3 Hidden group with hidden decissions.

1 The group and its members will appear in the public directory. Anyone can see all discussions. If you want to hide some discussions, create a subgroup with the desired privacy.

2 Only the group name and members will be visible in the public directory. All discussions are hidden to non-members. If it has a parent group, it will also appear in the subgroup index.

3 The group name and members are private/confidential/secret and will not be displayed anywhere. As no one can see a "request membership" button, invitation is required. If it has a parent group, it will NOT appear in the subgroup index for non-members.

*What kind of acces do you... * (radio button)

1 Open
2 Aproved by members
3 Aproved by coordinators

1 Any loomio account can enter directly.

2 Request membership or invitation is needed. Any member can accept request or invite.

3 Request membership or invitation is needed. Only coordinators can invite or accept a request.

Results
Agree - 3
Abstain - 3
Disagree - 3
Block - 3
5 people have voted (0%)
P

PauKokura
Agree
Thu 28 Nov 2013

It should be explained better (see image in discussion, in the same style it is now)

QG

Quentin Grimaud
Agree
Thu 28 Nov 2013

CT

Chris Taklis
Agree
Thu 28 Nov 2013

MS

Marcos Siqueira
Disagree
Thu 28 Nov 2013

Too complex I think we can do better. I personally like just public/private radio button with one checkbox as to whether to list group in the directory.

P

PauKokura
Block
Fri 29 Nov 2013

Yes, we can do better...

P

PauKokura
Block
Fri 29 Nov 2013

Yes, can do better...

RJ

Raphaël Jadot
Agree
Sat 30 Nov 2013

At first glance, it seems interesting.... like it

P

PauKokura started a proposal Thu 5 Dec 2013

Lets consensuate the wording first Closed Sun 8 Dec 2013

Outcome
by PauKokura Mon 27 Feb 2017

Naming three levels of privacy, the term "Public" is fully accepted, "Private" presents some controversy, and "Hidden" is widely preferred rather than "Secret".

Lots of options have been proposed... The details (visibility-access etc) need more discussion, but if we agree the terminology first, the debate can turn to details. So...

Public, Private and Secret

Disclaimer:
yes - totally agree the three terms.
abstain - i would prefer another, but accept it.
no - Other option has not been considered enough!
block - I will never accept a word like "Public", "Private" or "Secret".

Results
Agree - 4
Abstain - 4
Disagree - 4
Block - 4
11 people have voted (1%)
P

PauKokura
Abstain
Thu 5 Dec 2013

I dont like connotation of private and secret, but proposed alternatives seem unclear for others.

CT

Chris Taklis
Agree
Thu 5 Dec 2013

MI

mix irving
Agree
Thu 5 Dec 2013

MS

Marcos Siqueira
Abstain
Thu 5 Dec 2013

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett
Abstain
Thu 5 Dec 2013

Out of character for me, but I don't care about the words on this one. I think 'hidden' might be a good alternative to 'secret'.

RG

Rob Guthrie
Abstain
Thu 5 Dec 2013

We can change this as we get a feel for it. Currently I think Private is not that self explanatory. Public and Hidden are good.

MT

Miles Thompson
Agree
Fri 6 Dec 2013

I think public, private and secret easily understood and for something like a radio box setting clarity is paramount. The word(?) consensuate makes me twitch, though ;_)

MT

Miles Thompson
Abstain
Fri 6 Dec 2013

I think public, private and secret easily understood and for something like a radio box setting clarity is paramount. The word(?) consensuate makes me twitch, though ;_)
EDIT: sorry changing my position because public, private and hidden are better.

RA

Ricardo Araújo
Agree
Fri 6 Dec 2013

RJ

Raphaël Jadot
Agree
Fri 6 Dec 2013

Hidden or secret are both ok to me :)

BK

Benjamin Knight
Abstain
Sat 7 Dec 2013

I personally think 'secret' sends an odd message and would be more comfortable with 'hidden' or some alternative - but can live with secret as an intermediate step

SJ

Sophie Jerram
Disagree
Sun 8 Dec 2013

I think the word secret is pretty odd and would much prefer hidden or Ben's suggestion of private with 'do not display' option.

P

PauKokura started a proposal Thu 5 Dec 2013

Lets consensuate the wording first Closed Sun 8 Dec 2013

Outcome
by PauKokura Mon 27 Feb 2017

Naming three levels of privacy, the term "Public" is fully accepted, "Private" presents some controversy, and "Hidden" is widely preferred rather than "Secret".

Lots of options have been proposed... The details (visibility-access etc) need more discussion, but if we agree the terminology first, the debate can turn to details. So...

Public, Private and Secret

Disclaimer:
yes - totally agree the three terms.
abstain - i would prefer another, but accept it.
no - Other option has not been considered enough!
block - I will never accept a word like "Public", "Private" or "Secret".

Results
Agree - 4
Abstain - 4
Disagree - 4
Block - 4
11 people have voted (1%)
P

PauKokura
Abstain
Thu 5 Dec 2013

I dont like connotation of private and secret, but proposed alternatives seem unclear for others.

CT

Chris Taklis
Agree
Thu 5 Dec 2013

MI

mix irving
Agree
Thu 5 Dec 2013

MS

Marcos Siqueira
Abstain
Thu 5 Dec 2013

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett
Abstain
Thu 5 Dec 2013

Out of character for me, but I don't care about the words on this one. I think 'hidden' might be a good alternative to 'secret'.

RG

Rob Guthrie
Abstain
Thu 5 Dec 2013

We can change this as we get a feel for it. Currently I think Private is not that self explanatory. Public and Hidden are good.

MT

Miles Thompson
Agree
Fri 6 Dec 2013

I think public, private and secret easily understood and for something like a radio box setting clarity is paramount. The word(?) consensuate makes me twitch, though ;_)

MT

Miles Thompson
Abstain
Fri 6 Dec 2013

I think public, private and secret easily understood and for something like a radio box setting clarity is paramount. The word(?) consensuate makes me twitch, though ;_)
EDIT: sorry changing my position because public, private and hidden are better.

RA

Ricardo Araújo
Agree
Fri 6 Dec 2013

RJ

Raphaël Jadot
Agree
Fri 6 Dec 2013

Hidden or secret are both ok to me :)

BK

Benjamin Knight
Abstain
Sat 7 Dec 2013

I personally think 'secret' sends an odd message and would be more comfortable with 'hidden' or some alternative - but can live with secret as an intermediate step

SJ

Sophie Jerram
Disagree
Sun 8 Dec 2013

I think the word secret is pretty odd and would much prefer hidden or Ben's suggestion of private with 'do not display' option.

P

PauKokura Thu 28 Nov 2013

This is now.

DC

Dario Castañé Thu 28 Nov 2013

Sorry for not being more active but I want to share a little reminder.

With this last proposal, "now you are thinking in liquid organizations" ;) http://lyd.dario.im/ Please, feel free to use this blueprint as you want.

AI

Alanna Irving Thu 28 Nov 2013

I <3 u @zombilechuck for making a mockup! Thanks for all the thought you're putting into this.

Would be great to hear from some people on the product team who have been working on designing this feature @johnirving @jessedoud @jonlemmon @hannahsalmon

HS

Hannah Salmon Fri 29 Nov 2013

Thanks for the feedback @zombilechuck! I must say I'm not 100% clear on what's being proposed. We did do a mockup for this feature that involved 2 group privacy settings and more options to customise these settings but it seemed like it might be overwhelming for a first-time user to be inundated with so many options when attempting to start their first group. I think it's important to note that this is just an interim step. We are in the process of building features that will support us segueing into discussion-centric Loomio, in which people can be invited into discussions without having to belong to the group, with the long-term focus being on people starting discussions from the home page, not exclusively from within a group. The group privacy interface as it currently stands is just for this transitional phase. @robertguthrie, @jonlemmon, do you have anything to add?

TS

Tathra Street Fri 29 Nov 2013

Apologies, I haven't been part of the conversations that lead to this. And I'm a bit unclear. Isn't the point to provide a platform with transparency and inclusivity? That's one of the things I appreciate about Loomio.

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Fri 29 Nov 2013

So there's two pieces to this puzzle: visibility and participation. I started the discussion with just the first, but I see @zombilechuck has brought in the second piece too.

Visibility is about 'who can see this?'; the design is described at the start of this discussion.

Participation is about 'who can interact with this?'; the designs we've come up with provide three options: anyone can join; anyone can ask to join; only people I invite can join.

As I understand it, this is providing the same functionality as zombilechuck's proposal, but with a slightly different way of asking the questions.

p.s. Sorry for the delayed response; I'm away from the office this week (Jon too).

P

PauKokura Fri 29 Nov 2013

Sorry, I will try to explain it better. I think @richarddbartlett understood what I was trying to explain.
“Visibility” and “participation” (think it like “see” and “edit” in a google doc) has the same issues to resolve in all levels: a group, a subgroup, a discussion inside a group, or an independent discussion (discussion-centric), also in possible “sub-discussions” (seen in feature ideas).

The question is how items interact, when you want some private items inside public items or viceversa. (Maybe you want others to see the discussion but not to participate, now this is made simply not accepting the requests)
If we accept that public items are allowed inside private items (that was my first concern), then every new item (group or discussion) could be configured with the same question, but an icon or color should mark the difference between public and private items (in groups and in root - home).

New proposal… phew!

Who can see this?

Anyone can see.
Only members in the parent item can see.
Only members can see.

Who can interact with this?

Anyone can join
Anyone can ask to join
Only people I invite can join
AI

Alanna Irving Fri 29 Nov 2013

I love that you blocked your own proposal (0)

MI

mix irving Fri 29 Nov 2013

we've talked about this a lot in person and it's a slippery problem to make something which has subtle complexities easy for a user..

I hope we can communicate what we're thinking shortly.

I like that you're discussing who can join, we haven't talked about that so much but I think it's a good idea

P

PauKokura Fri 29 Nov 2013

Moreover, I erased de "we" in "we can do better". All of you are doing great XD
To block yourself is really useful to keep on moving! It's what I just said in my last comment in other thread.

P

PauKokura Fri 29 Nov 2013

@johnirving "in person" ;( I would love talk HOURS about it (with some beers). I'm not very sure, but the "who can join" option can be related in unexpected ways (unexpected for me) with the "share link" in @jonlemmon 's mobile mockup.

MT

Miles Thompson Sat 30 Nov 2013

I like the wording public, private and secret - because they immediately convey the differentiation - especially that between private (behind closed doors) and secret (there is no door, what door? did you say there was a door?)

Never mind the connotations, clarity i feel is more important in this context.

RA

Ricardo Araújo Wed 4 Dec 2013

I agree with @milesthompsonkapit

P

PauKokura Thu 5 Dec 2013

So, let's go part by part... new proposal!

JG

John Graham Thu 5 Dec 2013

Apropo of nothing, here's a cryptic riddle:

What do you call a public, private secret?

JG

John Graham Thu 5 Dec 2013

Back on topic - people seem wary of connotations of whatever we come up with, so, the plainer the better.

Riffing off 'confidential':

The core issue seems to be, people want to be confident that they can speak in confidence - so how about, simply,
"In Confidence" as a setting?

AI

Alanna Irving Thu 5 Dec 2013

I just want to thank everyone who is engaging on this topic - feedback from people from different kinds of groups, who speak different languages, and have diverse perspectives is incredibly valuable.

Just a reminder, decisions made in this group are non-binding. That's mostly because our design process is very iterative. We make something, try it out, learn from what happens, and then change it.

So when it comes to something like the wording of these new group types, it's likely not to be set in stone for a long time. No matter what happens going forward, though, we're going to value and learn from the opinions shared in this thread to inform the decision.

JG

John Graham Fri 6 Dec 2013

Great, thanks for the reassurance @alanna, makes it more fun.

In which case, how about I suggest additional settings like "Paranoid" or "Conspiratorial", for those of us less confident about confidentiality online. :)

AI

Alanna Irving Fri 6 Dec 2013

"Stalk me", "Meh", and "Go Away NSA"?

HS

Hannah Salmon Fri 6 Dec 2013

The thinking going forward is that we are going to change the 'secret' group privacy option to 'hidden'.

P

PauKokura Sat 7 Dec 2013

It seems hidden is better considered than secret. (So public and hidden for now)
Although if we find a good alternative to private, I think we could have a 100% green pie, prepared for the three levels if they are developed.

@alanna I know, this is just an aproach. But it also helps (me) to translate to my language, it's important for non-english versions.

@milesthompsonkapit I dont know what do you mean with the word consensus "makes me twitch"
I think its the same in all languages and consensus is the spirit of loomio. I'm wrong?

Help me, simple-english wikipedia! -->

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus

JL

Jelle Langbroek Mon 9 Dec 2013

why not call it a "closed" group?

RG

Rob Guthrie Mon 9 Dec 2013

@jellelangbroek closed could be interpreted as a group that once was active and now is not.

JL

Jelle Langbroek Mon 9 Dec 2013

ah right. then it's a bad translation from Dutch I did :s (luckily we do have a word for it)

I searched for the synonyms for 'secret':
Synoniem van secret: clandestine
Synoniem van secret: classified
Synoniem van secret: concealed
Synoniem van secret: concealed
Synoniem van secret: confidential
Synoniem van secret: covert
Synoniem van secret: furtive
Synoniem van secret: hidden
Synoniem van secret: hush-hush
Synoniem van secret: illegal
Synoniem van secret: not to be disclosed
Synoniem van secret: not to be mentioned
Synoniem van secret: off the record
Synoniem van secret: private
Synoniem van secret: restricted
Synoniem van secret: secretive
Synoniem van secret: stealthy
Synoniem van secret: surreptitious
Synoniem van secret: top secret
Synoniem van secret: undeclared
Synoniem van secret: undercover
Synoniem van secret: underground
Synoniem van secret: unprofessed

AI

Alanna Irving Mon 9 Dec 2013

I think we should use "furtive group" "hush-hush group" or "unprofessed" group! LOL (those sound funny in English)... sorry @jellelangbroek it seems translation when we don't even know what things mean in English is a pretty hard job :/

JL

Jelle Langbroek Mon 9 Dec 2013

@alanna :) I know. But sometimes just seeing these kind of translations make thoughts spring up in peoples minds. No harm done I say ;)

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Tue 10 Dec 2013

Update

I've just released the new language: "public, private & hidden". Let's see how that feels and we can change it again later if it doesn't fit.

Thanks for teasing this out @zombilechuck!

JG

John Graham Tue 10 Dec 2013

And to round out the discussion from my end....

@jellelangbroek, continuing the spirit of fun and brainstorming: I know some people hate this kind of cryptic riddle. I expect groans and rolling of eyes...

BUT

There is another word, synonymous with 'hidden'(in some contexts)

The answer to my cryptic riddle was a bit, well, cryptic.

"What do you call a public, private secret?"

...

It's hidden in plain sight!

...........Cryptic. :)

MT

Miles Thompson Mon 6 Jan 2014

hiya @zombilechuck! sorry for massively delayed response here - just saw that you had mentioned my name some time ago.

My apologies if this was an english as second language barrier for you - not something to worry about as it doesn't matter at all.

But for what its worth I love the word 'consensus' and yes I think it means much the same in all languages. 'Consensuate' is the one that made me twitch. I guess you would call that the verb form of 'consensus' but it's not technically a word, rather an impromptu 'verbing' and as Calvin said 'verbing weirds language'... http://www.strangehorizons.com/2006/20060313/verbing_weirds_language.gif

That said languages are meant to evolve.. and since there doesn't seem to be a word for 'bringing to consensus' ya'll have it !

'Focalize', though is another story. I will never be able to hear a request to 'focalize' on something without twitching... since there is already the perfecly good verb 'focus' for that purpose.

P

PauKokura Mon 6 Jan 2014

Thanks for the response, no matter how late. In the 15M we had a claim that said: "We're slow because we're going far" ;)

English is not my second language, it's my third one... and my other languages have this verb consensuar ;)
I supose verbing is something more common in romanic languages... either in esperanto verving is normal and accepted: konsenti (verb) konsento (noun) and if it makes sense... konsenta (adjective) konsente (adverb).

"Focalize" and "focus", thats a difficult one for catalan speakers, as "focus" sounds like a noun (in catalan "un focus" means a lamp) so focalize (for us) seems more as a verb like in "visualize"...

Nevermind, good job everyone and happy new year or... in Esperanto... Feliĉan novan jaron!

CT

Chris Taklis Mon 6 Jan 2014

now i see 2 different things...

1) first of all in subgroups the posts remain hidden even to main group, and members can't access discussions.

2) i don't like if a group is private everyone can see the members (i think that must be available only to public)...

NM

Neil Morris Mon 6 Jan 2014

Perhaps there is room for a fourth option:
Anyone can see the group. Discussions and who's in it are only visible to members by default.

DS

Danyl Strype Tue 9 Jun 2015

Trying to find the right discussion to fit a suggestions in. I see it's now possible to have private discussion in a public group, which is useful, but it makes for some confusion about whether a given discussion in the group is private or public. I can think of two ways to differentiate:
1) Supplement the icon scheme you have with other visual cues, for example differences in colours or layout for public vs. from those for private
2) Replace "post" in "Post comment", so that in a private discussion the box shows up as "Private comment", and and in a public discussion as "Public comment".

If you go with 2), you could add another features that allows people commenting inside public discussions to toggle between public and private comments .

In either case, those logged in and able to see private comments should see a visual difference that reminds them those comments are confidential.

RG

Rob Guthrie Tue 9 Jun 2015

Thanks @strypey. Right now we're thinking of just reminding people as they are posting. A line of text "Your comment will be public" above the post comment button might do it.

DS

Danyl Strype Tue 9 Jun 2015

@robertguthrie that would deal with suggestion 2). I presume your code would check the privacy level (public/private?) of the page, and concatenates the text string "public" or "private", as appropriate, to the end of a string variable holding "Your comment will be".

Seems to me it would be about the same amount of work as putting the code in the button object, and have it concatenates "public" or "private" to "comment" in the variable that currently holds the text "Post comment"?

I hate to be pedantic, I just really like that the information about whether the comment was public or private would be right in the button they are clicking, the thing they're focusing on as they post ;)