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Topic: Usernames vs real names, On Internet anonymity and freedom

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Doctacosa
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Posted on July 31, 2012 at 17:31:35 [Post link]
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An article catched my eye the other day: Google Begins Pratically Begging You to Use Your Real Name on YouTube

Google recently added to YouTube a new "feature": when you try to post a comment (and you aren't already using your real name through Google+), you'll be prompted to switch to using your full name instead of whatever nickname you picked when you registered. While they do their best to convince you to switch, you're still free to carry on as before. That is, for the time being. How long before they decide that this is mandatory?

The point of this move is probably to try and improve the quality of the comments on the site: by having real names displayed next to each message, some people might be more careful before starting to insult others for no valid reasons. Even yet, studies tend to show that this doesn't have any real effect.

I'm annoyed by this trend seen everywhere. Either it's real-name policies being put into place, or it's commenting systems are being torn apart and replaced by a silly Facebook posting gizmo (more of my thoughts on that here). I've been using the nickname "Dr. Cossack" for over ten years now. As of a year-and-a-half ago, I started using "Doctacosa" outside of the Mega Man fandom as something more personal, without any ties to gaming or existing people and/or characters. This is me. It's my Internet front.

I'm not hiding my real name. Anyone who's even remotely curious to know it can find it very easily. However, since the early rise of the BBS (then later the World Wide Web), we've all been able to select whatever name we want to represent ourselves online. I don't feel like this has been a major issue in the past, and it still isn't today. As such, why are so many media groups pushing for real-name policies, when it's as easy as before to use a fake-yet-realistic name?


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Posted on August 1, 2012 at 0:57:40 [Post link]
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Because big-name companies are trying to eliminate privacy, on the internet or otherwise, because they're trying to become more powerful than they have any right to. Simple as that.


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Posted on August 1, 2012 at 20:46:49 [Post link]
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Personally, it's not that big of a deal to me.

Lately over the last few years jobs have been referring to the internet to check up on the things you do on your own time, to see if they want someone like you "representing" their company when you work for them. So it's best to be upfront and open.

I'll still use a nickname/username over my real name though, because that's just personal preference, I like having neat nicknames.

Quote:
. I don't feel like this has been a major issue in the past, and it still isn't today. As such, why are so many media groups pushing for real-name policies, when it's as easy as before to use a fake-yet-realistic name?


I'd assume because if they have people using real names everywhere, then when something goes wrong with "Person A" that they can immediately find everything and anything that "Person A" did. Websites he/she was on, things they did, purchases made, etc. Pretty much makes it easier on them when it comes to "researching". Of course, I could be far off-base here, but it's just how I think the reason towards why they're doing it.


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Posted on August 3, 2012 at 4:49:33 [Post link]
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I tend to avoid these, and anything that asks for my phone number. They just don't need to know.

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Posted on August 3, 2012 at 16:00:14 [Post link]
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If they start making use of real names mandatory, what'd be the next step? Making it illegal to use a false name on the internet? Wait, that's already in place, isn't it?


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Doctacosa
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Posted on August 4, 2012 at 4:34:25 [Post link]
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Quote from post #230804:
Originally posted by Morphman
If they start making use of real names mandatory, what'd be the next step? Making it illegal to use a false name on the internet? Wait, that's already in place, isn't it?


In Google+ and Facebook, yes. If you don't use your real name, you're in violation of the Terms of Service and can get your account terminated at any time.

I can understand why those two sites require that, since the entire structure is based on people's real identities, but there's no need for it on a movies-sharing site... or most other places, for that matter.


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Posted on August 4, 2012 at 13:11:25 [Post link]
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It does seem that privacy on the Internet is becoming nigh-impossible, doesn't it.

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Posted on August 4, 2012 at 20:30:55 [Post link]
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I have to post with my real name on IMDb and Amazon. While I don't like it, it doesn't bother me. I'm going to say what I'm going to say with or without an username or real name. I rather post as a game or cartoon character because it gives a possible perspective on who I am. A random person may not care who or what "Nicole" says. But when they see and know who "Breakman" is, they might take a second to skim over my answer since they know I'm a fan of Megaman or general videogames.


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Posted on December 8, 2012 at 23:59:19 [Post link]
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While I'm all for anonymity in certain ways, the internet tends to be full of good people letting their bad side loose because they know no one can find out who or where they are. With the rise in companies and government gathering a large chunk of their data from online searches, we're seeing a lot of people either getting screwed (IE post pictures of yourself drinking online, get turned down for a job because of it) or being outright paranoid (me) because of their online speech or behavior. Anonymity or it's lack thereof both have outstanding pros and crippling cons.

On the one hand, with anonymity, we have the option to voice opinions that are not mainstream without fear of immediate and terrible reprisal. But on the other hand, WITHOUT Anonymity, I'm pretty sure things like online gaming would be a lot less stressful. To a more extreme degree, things like cyber-bullying would be a lot less likely to happen if people knew that their username had to be John Smith and not 5m0k3xW33dx420. Also, pirates are kind of killing a lot of things. My annoyance with Diablo III is proof enough of that.

It's all an issue of balance. How much of our individual freedom are we willing to gamble for the potential protection of everyone? Personally, I vote for a certain level of anonymity to be stripped.


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Posted on December 15, 2012 at 5:15:00 [Post link]
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It depends on what I'm using it for. Facebook and G+ I tend to be communicating with people who know me by name. Here, on Twitter and YouTube fewer people would recognise me by mu real name than by an alias, so really it's down to how useful it would be to use whichever name.


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Posted on December 24, 2012 at 17:51:05 [Post link]
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Im just glad FB hasnt decided to ban me yet. My fb name isnt real. I have gone against what youtube has tried to push and created yet another pseudo name to put in. What are they gonna do? Find me and spank me? I just dont want my real name all over the net.


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Posted on December 31, 2012 at 10:24:43 [Post link]
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My name isn't Fred.
Never has been, and "Frankly," I'm thankful it isn't.

I'm not quite shy about my identity IRL. If anything, I'm an arrogant bastard and I'm quite proud of what few achievements I have out in the real world. However, the last ounce of humility in me is telling me, "Nobody cares. Post something relevant, don't brag and don't treat yourself like a celebrity. You're not important and what happens on the internet means nothing."

Also, the new forum layout is ugly. :D


So I'm not going to have anything spectacular in my signature.

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Posted on December 31, 2012 at 22:21:51 [Post link]
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I'd be extremely limited if my actions on the internet were tied to a real-world alias. Not because I do anything WRONG, but it'd change a lot of things to the point of it being overwhelming and destructive.

I submitted well over 700 wallpaper images under the alias TopHat. An accomplishment I would never tie to my real identity; not because I'm not proud of the work but because I wanted to contribute something pseudo-anonymously. Things like this carry a different message when it goes from "TopHat did a thing" to "Actual Name did a thing." It feels a bit more selfish and devalues it, I guess?

There's also the whole Salty Tears thing, which I don't think I need to clarify as to why I'd rather not have a real name tied to that~

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Posted on December 31, 2012 at 22:37:44 [Post link]
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That's okay, Teej, after Salty Tears is done everyone's going to know you as Caprice anyway~


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Posted on February 5, 2013 at 2:47:53 [Post link]
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I hate real names on the internet. It makes me feel like I'm leaning over and looking into someone's window, bursting into their house while they're gone, rifling through their personal belongings.

I guess it's because once you find a name, and especially if it's a unique one (like my own), then people can find where you live/your family/nearly anything on the internet.

So I'm staying as Hol.


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Posted on March 16, 2013 at 9:55:28 [Post link]
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Because the government is trying to kill you. Duh.

No, I am serious. That is the reason. They want to track everything you do so they can make more illegal arrests and torture more people. Using a "real name" won't get MOST people killed, but it will sure make it easy to arrest you for some so-called "violation" like "not mowing your lawn" or "tending to annoy". Have you seen the list of word which will trigger the monitor of your phone call? No, not in prison, IN THE WORLD. The list is very long.

[Edit] By the way, except in rare cases, using your "real name" DOESN'T MAKE YOU ANY LESS ANONYMOUS. Anyone who knows me IRL or who already knows what I am called also knows that any posts by the username on my Youube account were also made by me. Everyone else just DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT. No one knows who "John Simmons" is anymore then they know who "Slipknotluver6559" is, so it doesn't make you any less anonymous!!

Edited by God on March 16, 2013 at 5:01:24

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Posted on March 19, 2013 at 1:15:38 [Post link]
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Having read (see: skimmed) a lot of what people have said here, my attitude amounts to such.

There are some here who think this whole thing is absolute hogwash and shouldn't even be talked about.

But there are a few of you here who think that some people just don't deserve the way-too-often-abused shield of anonymity, and it is with these people that I agree.

The sad part is that a lot of the issues we face with anonymity could be solved without having to reveal everyone's identity if the people in charge of the websites where such abuse occurs were less... for lack of a better term, "Lazy".

Granted it'd take an overwhelming effort to even begin eliminating trolls and the like, but if a large team of dedicated mods were actively patrolling and regulating what's being said and done, it would at least send a message.

It's bad enough that we don't already have people willing to do this, but the sites where these things happen don't seem willing to hire such a team in the first place. Once again, it's pretty sad...


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Posted on March 20, 2013 at 19:40:28 [Post link]
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You've been trolled, haven't you.

I haven't, so anon doesn't bother me. Most of the time, anon only goes after the people who deserve it, anyhow--and they're usually stupid enough to post their real name/location/date of birth/god knows what else.

I guess I don't see the harm in someone trolling someone else. But trolling to me is like water off a duck's back. I had some idiot on DA draw hate art of me, and I insulted him so bad he blocked me and I was done with him forever. :lol:

Trolling is just words. Stalking is a different story entirely.


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Posted on March 27, 2013 at 5:55:25 [Post link]
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Quote from post #231714:
Originally posted by HollowTorment
You've been trolled, haven't you.

Not really on the internet itself, but in games, yeah. But not like, in chats or boards or anything. (Not for lack of trying, mind you.)

Quote from post #231714:
Originally posted by HollowTormentI haven't, so anon doesn't bother me. Most of the time, anon only goes after the people who deserve it, anyhow--and they're usually stupid enough to post their real name/location/date of birth/god knows what else.

I guess I don't see the harm in someone trolling someone else. But trolling to me is like water off a duck's back. I had some idiot on DA draw hate art of me, and I insulted him so bad he blocked me and I was done with him forever. :lol:

Trolling is just words. Stalking is a different story entirely.


You've never been trolled in a game have you.


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Posted on April 3, 2013 at 16:44:22 [Post link]
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Then mute voice chat? It's not hard.

I don't have an Xbox or PS3 because I hate FPS, but my friends say you can make private rooms and all that sort of thing.


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Posted on April 5, 2013 at 10:09:50 [Post link]
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Overall, my greatest fear for the Internet is the scenario when 20 years down the line, probably less, we start to tell kids about how the internet was a free and accessable databank of limitless knowledge, before promptly concluding with "Man, those were the good days."


Reality swirled in a wholly blue manner, revealing absolutely nothing of merit. Things flashed madly in and out of existence like some entirely other sort of phenomena. On a whim, Kurt Vonnegut imploded, taking a sizeable hunk of Massachusetts with him. However, seeing as Massachusetts wasn't entirely sure it existed, the chunk wasn't all that big.

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Posted on June 24, 2013 at 7:28:40 [Post link]
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Google can beg all they want, but I will continue to refuse. In fact, I started using Youtube without signing in because of this exact reason. (Well, this was the second reason; my very old Youtube login cookies stopping working was the first.)

And i'll even applaud those people who take advantage of that to mock Google by using a totally non-real name. Such as that of a fictional character, or a phrase (e.g. "Bad Apple" or "Rubbing Alcohol";).

I also know one person who was repeatedly kicked off of Facebook despite using her real name, in part because she shared a first name with an anime character, whom she really liked and used as her profile photo.


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Posted on August 24, 2013 at 7:27:18 [Post link]
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Quote from post #231481:
Originally posted by HollowTorment
I hate real names on the internet. It makes me feel like I'm leaning over and looking into someone's window, bursting into their house while they're gone, rifling through their personal belongings.

I guess it's because once you find a name, and especially if it's a unique one (like my own), then people can find where you live/your family/nearly anything on the internet.

So I'm staying as Hol.


Yeah, this. As a real life entity I am pretty much non existant on the internet. It's too much hassle to interact with people I know in real life online and nobody ever, will be able to track me.

I'm not even the least bit paranoid. I just like being non existant.


 

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