I noticed that in the Slashdot Preferences, for Comments, the
Email Display section doesn't but *could* include an option to
"Show your email address to friends only" or "Show your email
address to friends and their friends only". If it had those two extra
options, this would immediately give Slashdot a function similar to
Friendster and Orkut. Since you have a people modifier system
that deals with "Friends" and "Friends of Friends", I'm presuming
this wouldn't be a very difficult feature to add.
This could also be applied to other user information like the
"Homepage", "AOL IM", "ICQ UIN", "Yahoo! ID", "Jabber", and
"Public Calendar" details. The problem with allowing just anyone to
access your email address is that you run the risk of being
slashdotted with emails, the same way that story links get
slashdotted. If you allow restrictions on who can access your
details, then it would allow people to meet and network through
discussions without having to deal with trolls and flamebait, the
way user information was intended to be used. With the current
system, the large user base of Slashdot prevents this.
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