ONTD Political

World of Warcraft maker to end anonymous forum logins

3:15 pm - 07/07/2010
A row has erupted after Blizzard - the publishers of the popular online game World of Warcraft - announced that users on its site forums would have to post under their real names.

The firm say the move is to put an end to heated online arguments and topics started purely to cause trouble.

But users reacted angrily, citing concerns about safety and privacy.

Blizzard said they would start implementing the changes over the next few months.

A post, by Vameras - one of the site community managers - said that the forums had become " a place where flame wars, trolling and other unpleasantness run wild".

"Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven't been connected before," the post continued.

Blizzard new system - Real ID - means that users will have to post under their real first and last name.

The firm said it will implement the changes over the next few weeks, with the StarCraft II forums - a section dedicated to the forthcoming real time strategy game - making the switch by the end of the month. The World of Warcraft forum will change soon after.

In addition to users now posting under their own names, the site will allow others to rate post and interact with other users, creating a "social-networking platform".

"As the way gamers interact with one another continues to evolve, our goal is to ensure Battle.net is equipped to handle the ever-changing social-gaming experience for years to come," the post by Vameras went on.

The online community was swift to respond, with almost a thousand replies in less than 24 hours; the majority of which expressed their displeasure at the move.

"I can't even begin to fathom why you would do this", posted one user, while another wrote that it seems "like someone who likes Facebook came up with it, while being blissfully unaware that an awful lot of people deliberately avoid Facebook".


One World of Warcraft player, Jim Brand, contacted BBC News to say how disappointed he was over the change.

"I have been using the forums for over five years, reporting bugs and trying to be helpful. Now, to have the privilege to help people on the forums I have to reveal my real name; I'm dead against it," he said.

"I work in a charity and deal with governments officials. If they do a search and see I am a gamer, it could affect my employment prospects," he added.

Although most social networking sites have links to a person's real world name, gaming sites have always used anonymous handles.


There have been a few rare cases of online gaming disputes spilling out into the real world, and users are mostly reluctant to reveal personal details, given that video games can sometimes elicit strong emotions.

Mr Brand said that one Blizzard employee posted his real name on the forums, saying that there was no risk to users, and the experiment went drastically wrong.

"Within five minutes, users had got hold of his telephone number, home address, photographs of him and a ton of other information," said Mr Brand

The post and topic has since been removed from the Blizzard forum.

Source.
Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>
lisaquestions 7th-Jul-2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
Almost a thousand replies? The thread on the WoW forum had 19,000 replies alone the last time I checked, 8 hours ago.
morningapproach 7th-Jul-2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
I think they meant pages - this morning it was at 1000 pages. :p
erunamiryene 7th-Jul-2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
Besides the fact that posting real names on line is fucking stupid ... half of the WoW forum, um ... charm is the fact that's it's anarchy run wild. Some of the most entertaining flame wars I've ever read have been on those forums.

"I work in a charity and deal with governments officials. If they do a search and see I am a gamer, it could affect my employment prospects,"

What the fuck? And I thought being passed over for jobs because of visible tattoos was bullshit.
lisaquestions 7th-Jul-2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
There were articles about this last year. I googled them yesterday but am too lazy today.

Google WoW recruiter jobs or something. I think one place the story was posted was BoingBoing.
scarlet_pencil 7th-Jul-2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
As someone who actively avoids Facebook, if they do this, I will never buy their game. I like not having my identity stolen more than I like playing games, thanks.
tacky_tramp 7th-Jul-2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
I happily use Facebook, and frankly, that's WHY I hate this. Some of my identity information is out there. I don't want my WoW forums posts drawing attention to that information. I might as well go post my name, phone number, and photograph on fucking /b/.
(no subject) - Anonymous
thenakedcat 7th-Jul-2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
No. Shit. There's a whole academic subfield devoted to reputation systems and secure-but-private transaction systems online. You don't need to hang wanted posters, you just need to know which IPs/credit cards/alts mean TROLL.
simply_blah 7th-Jul-2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
"Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven't been connected before," the post continued.

Motherfuckers, do you even go on the internet? Who the hell thinks that this is a good idea? Assholes.

Also, I was hacked on the Fourth. :(
ladypolitik 7th-Jul-2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, WoW~
sauron 7th-Jul-2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
... lol
unedited 7th-Jul-2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
This is the problem with this policy, right here.

This and everything else.
petalsinthewind 7th-Jul-2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
j f c
tartary_lamb 7th-Jul-2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
I just started playing and I was looking forward to seeking advice on the forums. But now, uh, no. I'd rather be a crappy player than to have my real name on display like that.

And, frankly, I like people not knowing if I'm female or not. It simplifies things considerably. >_o
lyssna 7th-Jul-2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
One World of Warcraft player, Jim Brand, contacted BBC News to say how disappointed he was over the change.
[...]
"I work in a charity and deal with governments officials. If they do a search and see I am a gamer, it could affect my employment prospects," he added.


I think it's likelier that they see it on BBC News, to be honest.
trialia 7th-Jul-2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
Doesn't mean that's his real name, though.
ladylothwen 7th-Jul-2010 11:03 pm (UTC)
This makes me glad I don't play anymore. Other then it being terribly addictive.
dagnirovanaliel 7th-Jul-2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
I've only played WoW a couple times, but... NO.

Now that many employers are actively searching potential employees' Internet presence, and particularly for people with uncommon names, this presents an incredible risk--in some cases, first and last name is all you need to track someone down.
advancedcookie 7th-Jul-2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
People shouldn't have to feel completely exposed to strangers online, just like how we shouldn't have to feel completely exposed to strangers in the real world. I don't wear a nametag with my first and last name wherever I go, so why does Blizzard feel like exposing this kind of personal information is a good idea?
Seriously, I can't even fathom why anyone would feel this is a good idea.

What about all those kids who play WoW? You want to expose their first and last names to all the pedophiles of the interwebs, Blizzard? WAY TO GO.
lied_ohne_worte 8th-Jul-2010 07:55 am (UTC)
People shouldn't have to feel completely exposed to strangers online, just like how we shouldn't have to feel completely exposed to strangers in the real world. I don't wear a nametag with my first and last name wherever I go, so why does Blizzard feel like exposing this kind of personal information is a good idea?

Exactly. I have a unique first name-last name combination, because my last name is very rare and I got a somewhat antiquated first name. So, anything you google under my name will be me. What I do in my free time (use LJ, interact in various forums, play computer games, read and write fic) is my own business. If I go to a book store and buy something or sit in a park to relax, that won't be google-able either.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
shrines 7th-Jul-2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
not to mention totally outing any trans players who haven't legally changed their name. yeah, awesome, gj blizzard.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
illusivevenstar 8th-Jul-2010 02:18 am (UTC)
comes up page not found
Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>
This page was loaded Oct 22nd 2019, 4:39 pm GMT.