What Anonymity on Quora Is and Isn't
At Quora, our mission is to share and grow the world's knowledge. There are some occasions when knowledge can only be shared anonymously, such as in controversial topics or when it may endanger someone's life. We believe it's important for there be a place for people to share all kinds of knowledge in a safe and respectful environment.
We take anonymity as a serious responsibility and take many precautions — technical and operational — to protect your anonymity. Specifically, Quora's systems do not retain identity information for creators of anonymous questions and answers, and we have a number of technical measures in place to ensure that this remains the case. Even with these precautions in place, there is always a small risk that they break down and some identities could be exposed in a security breach.
Here's more about how anonymity works in the product:
I. The Basics: Asking a question or writing an answer anonymously
When you anonymously ask a question or write an answer, your name will not be associated with the piece of content. You can anonymously ask a question by checking the “Add Anonymously” checkbox when adding a question. You can anonymously write an answer by selecting the “Write Anonymously” option in the overflow menu of the question you want to anonymously answer.
Once you add a piece of content, you will not be able to add or remove anonymity. For example, if you write an answer publicly, you will not be able to change it to anonymous later and vice versa. An Anonymous Edit Link will allow you (or anyone with this link) to make anonymous edits to the question or anonymously edit or delete the answer. All actions taken on the public page (such as commenting, upvoting, etc) will be associated with your name, but you will not be identified as the contributor of any anonymous piece of content.
II. Important to know: What's always public
Any actions that are not taken using the Anonymous Edit Link will be public. This includes things such as:
- Commenting (including questions you asked anonymously or answers you wrote anonymously)
- Requesting answers from someone or from Quora
- Merging questions
- Suggesting Edits
- Editing answer wikis
- Reverting edit log operations
- Editing a question that you didn't ask (including the question, its details, or topics)
In addition to these actions above, there are many actions on Quora that can't be done anonymously, such as following topics, following other users, sharing to Facebook/Twitter, and sending Quora messages. So remember that these actions are always public, even if you take them from the page of a question or answer that you contributed anonymously. A good rule of thumb is that if the action is not done using the, it will be done publicly.
Your writing content & style: If you write personally-identifiable information or in a consistent style while anonymous, you should know that others may directly or programmatically be able to figure out your identity.