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Public Profile FAQs

Last updated Feb. 18, 2012

Below, you'll find answers to many of the common questions about our site. If you can't find the information you're looking for, send an e-mail to feedback@boston.com.



What is a Public Profile?
A Public Profile is a webpage available to any registered user (“member”) of Boston.com or BostonGlobe.com who has chosen a screen name and added a comment to an article, posted in the forums, or contributed other content to the site. The Profile page displays a variety of information about a member, including copies of all content the member has contributed to Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com(“public activities”). The member can control what information is displayed on their Public Profile by editing its content or settings.

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Who gets a Public Profile?
Everybody who contributes public content to Boston.com or BostonGlobe.com automatically gets a Public Profile. A Public Profile will also automatically be created for members who have contributed to a discussion on the forums in the past.

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How do I see my own Public Profile?
Your screen name will show up on all comments or other content you submit on Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com. You will be able to see your Profile by clicking on your screen name.

In the forums, when you are logged in, there will be a link to your Profile in the top right corner of the page.

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Can I change my screen name?
You cannot change your screen name – it is meant to represent you on Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com so that other members will get to know and recognize you. This policy also is intended to prevent members from trying to disguise their contributions or mimic other members. However, if you believe you have a special situation that may warrant a change (e.g. your screen name is almost the same as someone else’s), please send an e-mail to feedback@boston.com for help.

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What is public activity on Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com?
Public activity on Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com is contributing content that is meant to be shared with other visitors to the website. These include:
  • Commenting on articles
  • Posting to a discussion / forum
  • Recommending a comment, post, or member
  • Uploading a photo
  • Creating a personal blog
This list may grow as new features are developed.

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What information is displayed on a Public Profile?
By default, a Public Profile displays a member’s screen name and a generic image, or avatar. You choose your screen name to represent your identity on Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com . The avatar is a standard graphic given to all members by default; you can customize it.

A Public Profile also displays all recent public activities for that member. For example, if you have recently commented on an article and started a discussion in the forums, both your article comment and discussion will appear on your Profile page. You can hide your content from public view using the “Edit Profile” screen on your Profile page.

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What do I need to know about privacy and my Public Profile?
Your Public Profile is covered under our Privacy Policy, but here are some key privacy points:
  1. When you engage in a public activity on Boston.com or BostonGlobe.com that requires a screen name, that content will automatically be displayed on your Public Profile – unless you hide it by disabling that feature.
  2. Any visitor to Boston.com or BostonGlobe.com can see your Profile by clicking on your screen name when it appears next to a public contribution such as a comment or post.
  3. A Public Profile does not display any personally identifiable information that you may have provided to Boston.com or BostonGlobe.com during the registration process. However, if you reveal personal information in the course of a public activity, such as in a forum post, this information will also be displayed on your Public Profile. You should always be careful how much you reveal about yourself in any public activity on Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com.
  4. You cannot control which members see your public activities on the site – we are one big happy family. You can only control what content is displayed on your Public Profile.
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How do I change what is displayed on my Public Profile?
You can change the content of your Profile by visiting your Profile page and clicking the “Edit Profile” link that appears next to your screen name and avatar. You must be logged in. The Edit Profile screen allows you to add information about yourself, such as your town and hobbies. You also can upload your own image.

You can turn off the automatic display of your recent public activities on this screen. The bottom of the Edit Profile page offers two options:
  • “On my profile page, my comments are displayed”
  • “On my profile page, my photos are displayed”
To disable these two features, select the “not displayed” option and click the Save button.

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How do I disable my Public Profile?
You cannot disable your Public Profile, but you can control, hide, or remove most of the content that appears on it. By editing your Profile using the above measures, your Profile page will contain only your screen name and a generic avatar graphic. A Public Profile is a requirement for any member who contributes public content on Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com. If you want to fully disable your account, stop contributing content, and disable your Profile page, please send an e-mail to feedback@boston.com for help.

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Can I control who sees my Public Profile?
Your Public Profile can be seen by any visitor to Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com, as well as search engines and other Web crawlers.

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