Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 01/22/2009 - 15:55.

Recently there have been reports/posts on Realneo which contain email addresses of private persons, ie not government/public employee email addresses.   Although it is certainly appropriate to post public employee’s public contact info, or the private email of a person who is on a public board and uses that email for board correspondence,  or a private email, home address, telephone # if the owner has given permission,  please keep in mind that there are valid reasons to not post private email addresses, private home addresses, and telephone #s.    

As a long time user of Realneo I have found out that putting email addresses on the web can lead to headaches for a number of reasons. 

One reason is that email addresses are “harvested” from all  urls on the web  by bots - and then sold to/used by spammers to email out garbage which fills up the email owner’s inbox.  

I believe it is inappropriate to use Realneo (or any web site) as a searchable source where private email addresses are posted (without due consideration) where they can be collected by anyone - and then used by spammers or others anonymously. 

I hope every Realneo user  extends “Golden Rule” courtesy to everyone who has trusted you with their private email address, and doesn’t  post them on Realneo (or any other web site for that matter) unnecessarily.  If you must post an email address, you can write it without the @.   For example, you could write “Johndoe AT” and the bots will be less likely to read it as an email

The same “Golden Rule” courtesy is true of private persons’ home addresses and private persons’ telephone numbers.  I  believe it is inappropriate to use Realneo (or any publicly accessible web site)  as a location to post person’s private home addresses or persons’ private telephone numbers.  

We all have enough headaches in our daily lives - with junk mail and telephone solicitation -without offering up to the world the private contact information of our fellow citizens. 

If you have posted any private emails or private home addresses or private telephone numbers, please consider this a request for Net Etiquette and, if you don’t believe there is some over aching,  redeeming social value to leaving the private information on line, go and edit the info out. 

I think that we will find that REALNEO RUNS BEST ON  “HIGH OCTANE” CIVILITY!

Please everyone, jump in here with your thoughts on the subject. 


Jeff Buster

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Email address obfuscation

Thanks for putting this together, Jeff Buster.

I strongly agree that it's discourteous to post folks' contact information without permission, and I believe that acknowledging this as a group is important for REALNEO to act and grow as a community of good netizens.

I've just installed a Drupal module here to obfuscate email addresses in posts. The addresses will look normal and act as links, but the HTML markup underneath makes them difficult to be harvested by bots.

So, if you want to post an address, you may manually disguise it as Jeff Buster suggests, but know that you might be better off posting as normal, and allowing our system to do it for you. Many bots understand "jeff DOT schuler AT realneo DOT us" and the like, anyway, but I'm sure you can be more creative than that...

well. how the heck

do you eliminate comments while  editing out email addresses? I want to read Jerleen's comment about target

i hear whining here............ 

disappearing conversations...

Someone trying to edit the post must've disabled comments in the process.

They're back.

Can the rest of that Threads posts be redacted?

Just would like to go back to the Sun News Story



Well, Debra I'll be glad to

Well, Debra I'll be glad to take care of that.  Front page West Side Sun News - dated Thursday, January 22, 2009, under West Side Sun 'Person of the Week'  second paragraph:

"Walmart made a donation to the Tremont West Development Corp. so it could reduce the burden of mortgages on low-income residents."

Why has no one heard of these funds?  Is this another 'SECRET' kept under the auspices of "privacy concerns."