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7-07-2010 @ 2:16PM
Even as someone who deeply cares about personal security (I don't have a Facebook or MySpace because I like keeping my information private) I can still see both sides to this whole issue... I am arguing with myself! Here is a piece of my inner dialog:Pro: "Ok, this system WILL reduce trolling / flaming / racism. PennyArcade had it right: normal person + anonymity + audience = fuckwad. And so, with anonymity removed, many normal people will cease to act like fuckwads."Con: "I truly doubt that this will stop all fuckwadery on the forums."Pro: "Yes, Fuckwads will still exist, and probably in far more numbers than Blizzard estimates, but there WILL be a huge drop in their population. And isn't ending the mass amount of hatred people spew out on the forums is a good thing?"Con: "Yes, I agree that killing off the hatred spewing Fuckwads is a good thing. But, is reducing the Fuckwad population to endangered status actually worth the loss of your privacy? Aren't there better ways of holding them accountable?"Pro: "Name some ways."Con: "Well you could, for example, supply a list of all of their characters on Armory - thus removing the ability to post on level 1 alts. Or making an account wide pseudonym? Or removing the ability for trial accounts to post? Do I really need to alert the world that "Hey, Johnny Franco plays Kromdar the Orc Warrior!" to kill of some Fuckwads? Seems like a steep price to me."Pro: "Ok, let me stop you there. Yes, the RealID system runs off of your real name. But is your first and last name truly that important? For instance, what information can you glean about me? Not my bank account, not my credit cards. When I was looking for a job I gave my full name out to anyone who asked. I call up restaurants all the time for delivery or carry out and give my full name when asked. I rarely scrutinize who I tell my name too when out in public, and they not only know my name but what I look like, the area I live in, as well as other things."Con: "Yah but.." Pro: "Let me finish. And... and the reason I don't care is because I am one of a thousand people that Walmart cashier will see during that day. Even if I came up and purchased cat food and condoms I truly doubt the cashier is going to care enough to look me up online - even with my full name and zip code blinking at them on their checkout screen. I am not important enough... yet. So for me, the average person, I am still "technically" anonymous simply because I am a single person in a huge crowd."Con: "Ok, but there are still dedicated people who can sniff out people in a crowd. I have never been stalked, but I could see how this system (Like Facebook or Twitter) is pretty much a digital Bloodhound for stalkers. There are people who may deem you important, not because your a millionaire... yet, but because your an ex, or because your a girl, or because you have an ethnic name. Do you really want people who are looking for you to have an easy way to find you?"Pro: "But I can still be found by dedicated people. All the stories I hear tell of angry ex's that hack email accounts or look over Facebook until they find the person. My internet pseudonym can be tracked back to something personal and used to identify me. No amount of security can stop a dedicated individual, they will find ways to subvert it."Con: "But do you really want to help your stalker or assailant? Your home alarm system isn't difficult to disable for a skilled thief, but do you really need to go post the exact schematics to your alarm system on the internet for any thief to see? Why help them find you? An jaded ex may take the time to match your pseudonym to your real name, but an ex guildy probably wouldn't. But now, said guildy doesn't have to do all the hard work of matching your pseudonym - you did it for them."Pro: "But now your just being paranoid and we're back to the catfood and condoms! Why would someone do that? As you said, only a dedicated individual would care enough to find you - and an ex guildy is not going to be dedicated enough to do that."Con: "But it will be easier now. Before it took a lot of time to find you, time only a dedicated person would invest - as you said. But now if your real name is publically available on the forums that ex guildy doesn't have to put in as much time to find your real name. And thus, the bar of entry into stalking you is lowered drastically."Pro: "I still don't think I am that important."Con: "Ok, then lets look at people who are important. We can all assume that Olivia Munn of G4's Attack of the Show has played World of Warcraft at some point or plays it now. She is important and thus would not be able to post on the forums simply because people will spam her in game. She doesn't want or need 1000 whispers of "Hey, talk about on AoTS tomorrow!" or "You're hot, show me your rack!" while she's raiding Deathwing. But, in the realm of MMO's she is far better suited than you or I to post on the forums regarding game changes and such because she is a reporter (kinda) in the game industry."Pro: "Ok, true. But she doesn't have to put which character / realm she belongs too when she posts so your point is moot."Con: "Not if she posts on her own realm's forum. Then we have the "Olivia plays on Darkshire! Lets go find her!" mobs racing around causing havoc because she asked if anyone was selling Fish Feasts on the forum."Pro: "These are pretty isolated examples, I don't think that they matter too much. You can pull "What if's" out of a bag over and over and it doesn't discredit that this is a good system." Con: "But Olivia, and anyone else in her position, is still a person. And why are we adopting a system that will hurt the fun these persons have in World of Warcraft?"Pro: "To kill the Fuckwads who kill the fun for people in the forums."Con: "Yah but..."Me: "And that's all the time we have slotted for my insane schizophrenic arguing today. Tune in next time to hear my mind ramble on and on about some other random topic..."
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