‘Can I join this project, but be anonymous?’
‘Let’s try to figure it out. Anonymous to whom? And would you be willing to tell me why?’
Anonymity is often possible, but it can come in different forms. I can be anonymous in a drug trial but the doctor still needs a way of ensuring I am the same person who was in front of her last time. That’s a different anonymity than what is possible in a general distribution. Here data helps us customise the package, but it’s low risk for serious harm. Unless of course, you have a significant food allergy.
There are countless reasons someone wants anonymity. However, we also don’t want to be truly anonymous. Humans want to know and be known.
Clarifying to whom the person wants to be anonymous is an important question to ask. So can asking why. But not asking why so you can change their mind, but asking why so you can help them achieve their goal.
When you ask, you might be surprised at the answer you get.