Skip to Content
7-07-2010 @ 8:13AM
Anyone who thinks we're being paranoid is probably named John Smith.One in 12 women are raped. One in five are stalked. Someone's name is highly dangerous information to give out on a public forum filled with a large number of socially maladjusted basement dwellers and general Internet sociopaths.You have the intelligence of a paramecium if you think nothing bad will happen to anyone because of this stupid policy.You have the moral integrity of a NAMBLA member if you think the responsibility for the personal safety of online video game players lies solely on them or their parents.What if you're dumb or naive? What if your parents are negligent? You deserve the stalking, harassment, public humiliation, racism, rape, or murder that's coming your way?Hey, as long as it's justified by the baseless assumption that people will magically be constructive when they have to post under their real (or at least convincingly fake) names. As long as you get to prattle on the General forums without needing to have the balls to stand up to some random anonymous troll, it's fine if the Abduls and Mohammeds get called sand ****** on their server's trade, and Jennifer is asked to show her rack to everyone in the WSG they're in.
7-07-2010 @ 8:29AM
While I agree with what you're saying, I'm just not sure how looking like Marlon Brando lowers your moral integrity :D
7-07-2010 @ 4:09PM
nice one griffe lol
7-07-2010 @ 8:38AM
This, 1000 times this.I've seen a shocking number of people who say things like "Well it's not like people can't find out your information through other means, anyway." That *may* be true for some (probably a lot of) people, however, that does not mean that Blizzard gets a free pass on this ridiculous idea that will make it that much EASIER to track someone down.Seriously. How many incidences of harassment or stalking do you think there will be if Blizzard makes it this easy? I'm sure that there are going to be people who say "Well, don't post on the forums then. It is your responsibility to keep yourself safe." Victim-blaming (classic in the gaming community) doesn't change the fact that what Blizzard is doing is a gross violation of our collective privacy. We know that people are assholes. We've already seen Real ID backfire in game with a few people posting phone numbers and such based on the names they got from friends of friends. What makes Blizzard think that won't occur on the forums? Nevermind the fact that you'll probably end up with cases of mistaken identity as well. What happens when someone who doesn't even play WoW is applying for a job, their name is Googled, and someone with that same name pops up in a World of Warcraft forum post? There's still a stigma attached to gaming- that person loses a job opportunity because of something they don't even do. It's just a horrible idea all around and apt to happen a lot more than Blizzard thinks.They are either stupid or naive if they think for one second this is a good idea.
7-07-2010 @ 8:49AM
I have some experience with this, because I was cyber stalked by my long-ex husband. I was posting on an abuse victim support forum which was supposed to be monitored and secure. I did not use my real name, though I was discussing my situation. He found me anyway, even though I used a screen name. It scared the heck out of me, but a screen name did not stop someone who was determined to find me.He took clues from some hacked emails, I was foolish enough to not change my password to something he did not know. I learned my lesson, and when I moved to another forum, he could not find me because I made my email account more secure.Moral of the story: screen names will not protect you, but your vigilance is important to your security.This may not be a bad idea, only because of the depravity of what the forum posters did to the wrong person. If this were RealID, the victim would have access to their names and could find them, and properly sue them. I support accountability.I think that Blizzard should block the search function by poster's name when this comes about, and set up a way for people to notify them when their name from the Blizzard forums was used for illegal purposes. For those who have been harmed, then an anonymous ID should be set up out of courtesy.
7-07-2010 @ 10:15AM
@Sam: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm glad someone posted those statistics.@MW: I'm so sorry that happened to you. I was stalked online for a very long time by an unstable ex, and I wouldn't wish that kind of experience on my worst enemy. This is potentially dangerous for everyone, but I'm especially concerned for women, and gamers of color whose names are identifiably ethnic (especially people with Arabic names, in today's environment). I have a very feminine first name, and even beyond the concerns about harassment, I'd rather not have to deal with "get in the kitchen" bullshit. And while racists would never get my true ethnicity right by looking at my name, I feel for all the people who are going to get harassed because of that. People who are dismissing these concerns out of hand are either up to their eyeballs in privilege, or seriously underestimating the amount of harassment women and PoC can go through online when we're identified as either/both. The question isn't if it will happen, it's when and how often it will.Basically, with this move, Blizzard is telling me they don't ever want people with identifiably female or ethnic names posting on the forums. And as someone with the former, I most definitely won't be. This change isn't going to do anything but dissuade the good, intelligent people from posting on the forums. Trolls will always find a way to troll. There really needs to be a happy medium between enforcing some kind of civility on the forums, and making everyone expose themselves like that.
First time? A confirmation email will be sent to you after submitting.
Members enter your username and password.
Enter your AOL or AIM screenname and password.
Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.
When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.
To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.