Image of Do we track you?

Short answer – yes.

We use the terrific open source package Piwik Analytics, which places tracking code on each page, as well as tracking some of the buttons you click. Additionally, some of this information we allow you to access directly when you own/moderate a community (e.g., /c/mycommunity/mod/analytics).

Long answer – in our opinion, there is quite a bit of difference between a morally corrupt organization like the NSA tracking you to invade your privacy and ignore your human rights and a website compiling statistics on how you move through the site, what articles are of most interest to the community, and what pages don’t get much traction (thus serving as an indicator to us and community owners where we need to improve). That’s important feedback on how we’re doing at providing you value. It also helps us learn where we are making mistakes. We also use tracking data to recommend articles and communities from which you will likely receive value. After all, how can we suggest what you will likely value if we don’t know what you’ve valued in the past?

What we will not do is give this information to other companies who can use it with other data to build a profile of you. (We also won’t give this information to the government unless they compel us through force which, of course, is what they use.) We use the information we collect to improve the value we offer you. We will not sell your individual tracking information or give it to companies – including advertisers.

Among other things, valME is a content site. To understand how to improve the content, we track how you use the site. Additionally, we wanted to give non-technical users easy access to the tools that technical people already have. Pretty much every website you go to tracks your use of the site in some way. However, you typically have to be technically adept to install the software. With valME, limited analytics on your user base are part of the value we provide. In turn, (we hope) that allows you to provide more value to your community and, thus, get more value out.

The NSA is going to spy on you whether you like it or not. They are going to track your movements, track the websites you visit, track what you buy, track who you call and what you say on those calls, track who you email and what you say in those emails, track you visually through video and cameras, etc. That’s pure evil.

We’re just trying to improve your website experience and the value you receive. And we’ll even go further with this admission: if you’re getting value from the improvements we make, we feel pretty good about ourselves, so it’s good for us too. But, if you don’t believe us or prefer that we not track you, there are some good tools/browser plugins that prevent tracking, including DoNotTrackMe, AdBlock, and NoScript. (For a list of other alternatives, check out prism-break.org.)

Unless you’re communicating with us about something that’s relative to laws, we’re not interested in your real name. We’re not interested in your address. We won’t call you as we won’t have your phone number. And we will never sell any individual tracking data to a company. We would like you to allow us to collect information about how you use the site. We hope you will agree.

With that disclosure, can we still be friends?

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About FAQ


We’re not entirely sure it’s appropriate to call this the Frequently Asked Questions area as, candidly, we don’t keep track of how often these questions get asked. Consider this community as a place where we post answers to what we anticipate your questions will be. But, if our crystal ball is malfunctioning, feel free to post your question in /GettingStarted/Help. If we turn your question into an FAQ, we’ll credit you back the karma to post it. It’s the least we can do. We also welcome suggestions at /GettingStarted/SuggestionBox.

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