Privacy matters for constructive posters, not trolls

Okay, so I waited a whole day before I started a blog post about the WoW forums changing to their Real ID (Your real name) instead of your character name.

So, now if I want to help people on the druid forums or the customer service forums, I have to put myself at risk by exposing my first and last name. After 5 years of making a division between my real life and my game persona, I’m suddenly being told that I’m not allowed to have that division anymore, OR I can just choose to not post on the forums where I’ve posted pretty much every day for the last 5 years.

People only recognize Lissanna because of the fact that I’ve made so many darn posts on those forums, two of which are now stickied on the druid forums. At this point, I’m pretty sure that if this change goes through, I’ll be forced to chose to stop posting on the forums – at least for a while. It might even be healthy for me to take a 6 month to a year break from the WOW forums when the change goes through.

Why I don’t want to give up my privacy:

  • Because telling people you meet in-game who you are in real life should be a CHOICE, not a requirement for participating in the WoW community.
  • Because I would have to associate a character (Lissanna) to my real name to be able to have any of the credibility I built over 5 years, and to be able to maintain guides.
  • Because I have an uncommon/unique name, where it would only take 2 seconds on a google search to find me.
  • Because I worked so hard to maintain my privacy over YEARS of being a semi-public figure, and I don’t even have a face book account because I think it is too invasive of people’s privacy.
  • Because people on the forums don’t always like me and make posts like this at least once a year. I’m not really sure I want to give my phone number, address, work information, and all my other personal information to every troll who decides to have a personal grudge against me.
  • Because trolls don’t really care if we know who they are, and they’ll just keep trolling – and the forum change is going to chase away a lot of the good people who I want to interact with. A this point, the druid community is trying to figure out how to move the feral and resto posters to an outside forum like the moonkin repository.
  • And most importantly, I don’t want to have to post on the WoW forums with my real name because I feel like I’m being punished after all these years of being a constructive, helpful poster by having my privacy stripped away. There is too much risk of a future possible employer, the other staff at my grad program, a random angry troll, people I kill in PvP, or a creepy stalker will find the info I post on the forums (or just the fact that I spend too much time doing WoW and not enough time doing actual real work) and use it against me. The entire point of Blizzard wanting to use names is so that there is real life consequences for what you post – whether or not what you are posting is good or bad. Those consequences will happen to some % of the playerbase (people will get fired, have stalkers show up at their doors, etc), and I’m not sure that as a public forum figure, I would want to put myself at an increased risk above and beyond the standard trolling posts that I receive on the forums and my blog. I’d rather have them trolling my armory than have them trolling my street address.

Instead of using everyone’s first & last names, I suggest that Blizzard change it to only show first name and last initial, linked to a character so that you have enough variations. You have the same sense of being a real person, but you don’t give away your address and phone number to every person who you kill in a battleground and wants to retaliate. If Blizzard thinks that no bad real life consequences will ever happen to people who post on their forums, then they’ve got their head in the sand, since people report on stalking problems on a regular basis right now, even with you having to tell people your name for them to find you. You could have last name as being optional (to show or not), for people to be able to make that decision about whether or not they care about their privacy.

So, I’m sorry to everyone that has loved having my guides on the WOW forums (the over 2 million page view leveling guide over 4 years), I’m just not ready to give up my privacy and put myself at risk of negative RL consequences just to not get paid to help you. I will, however, likely still be maintaining and updating my guides for Cataclysm on my blog, even if I choose to leave the forum community. If someone wants to be the person who takes the info from here (while giving me credit) and maintain it on the forums (with frequent updates and such), please let me know, because at this point, I plan on giving up my forum sickies and retreating to this blog as a safe-haven where I have a choice of how much I want to tell you about myself. I was in tears yesterday thinking about how to write this post and how to make this horrible decision, where whatever path I choose when the new forums come out, I’m going to be unhappy and I’ll disappoint people. I wish Blizzard wasn’t forcing their helpful posters to have to make this choice.

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41 Comments

  1. lilham
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I completely sympathize with you. Your guides have helped me a lot when I level my druid alt. And it’s because of the guides on the druid forums that bring me to this blog.

    I’m a female gamer and I guard my privacy fiercely. I do not even share my gender with random people I met in game, let alone real name. With this change, there is no way I’ll be posting on the official forums anymore.

  2. Treeboi
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I cannot believe how stupid this real id on forums thing is. I hope someone at Blizzard gets fired over it. If this change goes through, I predict….

    1. Female posters are going to get real life stalkers. It’s not hard to do a google search, and figure out who someone is.

    2. Identity theft and account hacking is going to be rampant. Again, google plus known, true facts, makes for easy targets.

    Solving the forums problems requires a totally different solution than this real name thing. And in my case, my first name is pretty unique, while my last name is extremely common, so just choosing to show a first name is not a good solution for me – I’d want to just show my last name, but in reality, I’d rather use an alias or my toon’s name.

    The way to solve the alt issue is to just use the highest level toon you have, the one with the most achievement points, and that’s the forum toon.

    The way to solve trolls is to use a limited voting system, where you can up rate or down rate any post, but you can only do so once per week. Yes, that’s per week. With 11 million players, that’s plenty of votes available to make good posts stand out and push down bad posts, but it means any single person has little effect on the overall system.

  3. Berry
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Blizzard may indeed scare away some trolls, but they will definitely scare away the very people they are trying to protect. When Cataclysm comes, we won’t have an avenue for tech support, customer service… or to react when they pull yet another trick. (but perhaps I am feeling a trifle paranoid today)

    My investment in the forums is small, mainly bumping guild recruitment threads. I hate to imagine being forced to walk away from such a greater investment in time and personal energies. You have my sympathy.

  4. Wooglie
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    My guess is people will just move to fan forums and one of those will become the new place to find all the useful information you require.

  5. Maor
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20100707

    This comic pretty much covers my opinion on what the Real ID change will do to the trolls. They could just as easily do something where you create a forum account for your Battle.Net account where you can’t change the name, and that is what you use to post.

  6. Neil
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    There’s really no silver lining to this mess. Any exposure of real identity on the forums is a bad, bad thing. Even your suggestion, of exposing a first name, will open up a can of worms.

    * The gamer community is, sadly, prone to serious misogyny. Women who are taken seriously behind character aliases will be open to attacks when their real names are attached to their posts. Likewise, women who prefer not to reveal their gender will, in most cases, no longer have that option.

    * The gamer community is, also sadly, prone to serious racism. I have no fear of posting my first name, Neil, in some places. It’s a fairly generic male first name. But if my first name were Ahmed, for example, I’d be a lot more uneasy about it (I see a lot of anti-Muslim vitriol in my server’s /2).

    I can also only imagine what kind of blow this could be to RP enthusiasts. That said, I’m not very familiar with that community/playstyle, and I don’t know how much actual RP takes place on forums.

    I really, truly hope Blizzard sees reason on this and backs down. I’ve seen the issue circulating among a few social justice blogs, which tend to have strongly activist member bases, so perhaps enough letters will be written and calls will be made to encourage Blizzard to revise their decision.

    Please, if you’re opposed to these changes, speak up outside of the forums. Blizzard’s snailmail address:

    Blizzard Entertainment
    Attn: Mr. Mike Morhaine, CEO
    P.O. Box 18979
    Irvine, CA 92623

  7. Tom
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Have a nice break.

    Hopefully with you gone druids can get useful feedback!

  8. Chezza
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    One solution would be to use a single forum username which might be a “main” character you choose to use as representative of your information. But wait, that doesn’t work for roleplayers who are perhaps participating in forum based roleplay. Another possibility, wait for it…wait for it…

    The current username system isn’t actually broken; why is Blizzard trying to “fix” it? All of the other options such as allowing users to vote up or down posts, threading, etc. are great ideas. But requiring people to post with their real first and last names isn’t just a bad idea, it’s a frightening idea.

    On a lighter note, if I can’t rely on the Druid forums, where will I go to get my awesome waffle recipes? (#)

  9. Lissanna
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Chezza – I could post waffle recipes on my blog!

  10. Posted July 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    While I had, and still have, no problem with the in game Real ID, this forum change is going way too far even by my standards.

    I don’t see any way that this change is going to actually be the solution that Blizzard claims it is going to be and I see much more potential for bad than good with this one.

    We’re no longer talking about a small feature that you’ll use with a handful of other people that you know and trust.

  11. Tammy
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I admit I was wondering when you were going to post about this since you’re so active on the forums *grins*.

    I’m one of those people who knows first hand what it is like to be stalked and I think the people who say we’re overreacting have never had that experience. I limit my online identity and don’t do any sort of social network just because of this one simple fact.

    There will definitely be repercussions from this and it’s sad that Blizz’s answer is ‘if you value your privacy, just don’t post’. I can live with that I guess but now you’re limiting people’s freedoms when you should be protecting their anonymity. Yes, I know Internet + anonymity = a$$hat but it also equals peace of mind.

    My name is also very unique. I know my stalker combs the Internet looking for me so he can harass me so it’s just better it stays anonymous.

  12. Chezza
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    LOL! Awesome! That, or we’ll have to actually get Ikagawa to maintain the waffle weekly blog that started up as a joke.

    Everybody at work and church thinks it’s hilarious that I actually cook with recipes I’ve found on the WoW forums, particularly waffles. I just tell them that they’re full of druidy epicness and good for you :)

  13. Lissanna
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I had blueberry pancakes for breakfast. They’re like waffles without the ridges. Fruit in the waffle maker is harder than putting ‘em in pancakes. We used dried blueberries, so they added a fun texture to the pancakes instead of being mushy.

  14. Chezza
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    “There will definitely be repercussions from this and it’s sad that Blizz’s answer is ‘if you value your privacy, just don’t post’. I can live with that…”

    I wonder how well Blizzard will be able to live with that once the only people left posting are spammers and trolls?

    I’ve played this game since the summer of 2005. Right now, I’m having to consider very seriously the possibility of letting my account run out.

  15. Lissanna
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been able to actually play in the new questing areas on the Beta for Cataclysm. Honestly, the new quest zones are so much fun that I want to keep playing the game. However, the forums are about HALF of what I do in the game, so by not posting in the forums, I actually run a much higher risk of burning out of the game. We’ll see how things go. I’m hoping that this blog, twitter, and unoffical forums will keep me entertained enough to keep going.

  16. Kioshi
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Liss,
    I completely agree with everything you said. When I read about this yesterday, I felt like Blizz has finally gone off the deep end.

    I have posted on the forums many, many times. I have never posted anything I wouldn’t gladly “sign” my name to. On the other hand, in my 5 years of playing WoW, I have met some fairly unhinged people; people who I would NEVER want to know who I really am. I am also a female, and as some of your other posters have mentioned, that alone makes me largely want to stop posting on the forums at this point.

    I do think most of the active forum community will move their communications to “private” (i.e. non-blizz) forums/blogs.

  17. Bailey
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m most angered by Blizzard’s choice of priorities.

    The key selling point of the Cataclysm is the revamped zones—which is essentially fixing the flying mistake Bliz made with WoW 1.0—yet Silvermoon will not be integrated into the world.

    There are no new talents and the Path of the Titans was scrapped.

    There are a few new spells per class and only five new levels.

    In the past I’ve accepted these limitations because I thought Blizzard didn’t have the time and money.

    Now I realize they do have the time and money, they just chose to spend it on RealID.

    Instead of making the Warcraft better, they chose to spend the time and recourses on Facebook.

    They didn’t spend the money on balancing new talents, on more zones and levels, on Guild/player housing or any of the other cool ideas players have been asking for since WoW classic. They spent it on Facebook.

    This is the first time Blizzard has underwhelmed me. Screw Cataclysm. It’s half-baked.

    Blizzard has lost their way.

  18. Lissanna
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Well, to be fair, the class/content designers are not the same people that have any real say in the battle.net forum changes. Ghostcrawler works really hard for the classes to become more fun & enjoyable, and he doesn’t have control over the forum decision change. So, the real ID changes have nothing to do with class and WoW content design, and I’m still going to stand behind Greg Street, the developers, artists, and QA team that help make Cataclysm so much fun to play on the Beta. The gameplay changes that don’t have really anything to do with the battle.net crap.

    They really did put a LOT of time and effort to making the 1 to 60 content more enjoyable. They decided to completely change how talents work, created guild leveling and rewards, and are having to revamp all of the professions to go with the new changes to the game.

    Cataclysm is FUN, and the battle.net stuff hasn’t detracted from what the game developers and content designers have actually done.

  19. Atoyot
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    No matter what they say this has nothing to do with forum trolls & everything to do with making money with the Facebook agreement.

    For all intensive purposes our info / name is being used by Bliz/ Acti-NO-vision for their profit.

    If anyone is going to profit from my name it will be me.

    As of now 23000 replies & 1270 pages of replies to this. Mostly Negative. not counting over 200000 views

    WoW.com has a yes / no poll for Real ID it is running between 82-83% negative with over 10000 votes cast.

    I do not know what more proof they want that this is a bad idea but if there is not a change or response forthcoming in regards to this shortly I will be no longer be playing this game.

  20. Selinya
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    This change is the last straw for me. If it goes through, I will no longer be able or willing to post on the forums for many reasons –

    1) I have been on the receiving end of internet stalking in the past, and to those who say it’s not a big deal, they obviously haven’t experienced it.

    2) I have a fairly unique name and it would be easy to find where I live and work using it. While most people wouldn’t bother, I don’t want to have to deal with the crazies.

    3) On the work comment, I work as a teacher. It would make my job harder if my students knew my characters and could harass me. Not to mention, while my superiors are fairly lenient, we are expected to maintain a professional standard even when not at work. With all the examples, such as the waitress fired over some Facebook comments, even if I didn’t post anything offensive, people could still make trouble for me, and WoW isn’t worth risking my job over.

    4) I play this game to relax and escape. I want a break where I can enjoy myself, I don’t want to have it linked to real life.

    5) With the rampant nature of ID theft online, not to mention spammers and other parasites, this is just asking for more trouble.

    6) There already is a Facebook, there is absolutely no reason to turn a game into another copy of it. I refuse to have anything to do with Facebook, so this change is very appalling to me. If it was optional, that would be one thing, but they’re forcing everyone to use this new WowBook. Ugh.

    All in all, the downsides of this far outweigh the few positives. I’ve been getting burned out on WoW recently, and the forums have been one of the few things to keep me going. I don’t post regularly, but if this change goes through, I won’t be posting at all and I’ll be canceling my subscription soon after.

    It’s a real shame they feel the need to do this. Liss, I’ve been following your posts and blog for a while now, and they’ve been extremely well-written and helpful. While I applaud Blizzard wanting to clean the forums up, this change seems to be driving away more quality players than trolls. I really do feel sorry for you, your posts helped me and many other players. You shouldn’t be the one punished by this.

  21. Tammy
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    @Chezza:

    You left out the but in my quote! *laughs* Just joshin’ ya.

    But seriously, I don’t think Blizzard will lose tons of subscribers to this latest fiasco. My husband and I have been playing since the Beta and we’re not going to cancel our subscriptions over this. Now granted, we hardly ever post on the forums anyway so it’s not a huge loss to us. We don’t like the idea of real names but we can avoid it by just not posting.

    There is a point where we would quit playing this game we love due to the RealID mess but it’s not there yet for us. It does seem that the forum users aren’t the majority of WoW players so that’s why I don’t think we’ll see a giant exodus.

  22. Selinya
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to mention, this seems like just one more step on the road to having RealID be a mandatory part of the game. I’d rather get out now, before we no longer have character names, but have to use the RealID name.

  23. Posted July 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
  24. Bailey
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    @Lissanna

    I’m definitely not blaming GC, or any of the actual game designers. I have no idea what the corporate structure is, but I imagine my ire is directed at someone higher up the ladder.

    When discussing new features and bug fixes, Bliz designers always remind us that they are limited by time and money. I understand this.

    It just bothers me that someone in the company chose to allocate funds for RealID instead of spending them on actual game development.

    I fear that Bliz is diversifying too much and has perhaps bitten off more than it can chew.

    When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the late 90’s, he canceled numerous projects and instead focused on the areas where Apple could succeed. All effort went into those 4(?) areas of development.

    With the expansion into RealID, Blizz has lost it’s focus both philosophically and financially. Perhaps they’ll crash and burn with RealID. Perhaps they’ll succeed wildly and become come new FaceWarcraftBook monstrosity.

    All I know is, I wish they had spent the money giving Ghostcrawler and the other designers more resources instead. And privacy violations=bad.

  25. Brian
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I think the only reason you need is the first one…linking your real life and your WoW identity in public should be a CHOICE, not a requirement for being a part of the community.

    Lissanna and others have proven that you can be an extremely valuable member of the community without people knowing who you “really” are. Because as far as those of us in the druid community are concerned, she’s Lissanna…end of story.

    The reason Facebook works with real names is because it’s primarily about relationships you have in the real world based on real names. My WoW relationships, on the other hand, are formed entirely as a result of WoW…linking it to my real identity doesn’t add anything to my sense of community, but it does raise potential issues. In fact, with the exception of “stopping trolls” (which I don’t think it will do), I have yet to hear ANY concrete ideas as to what about the WoW community this change will improve.

    Basically this feels to me like the result of the success of “social media” like Facebook, and some executive at Blizzard deciding they need to cash in without really thinking it through.

  26. Chezza
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    “And then something like this will happen:

    http://seewhatyoudidthere.com/2010/07/07/realid-changes-the-very-real-ease-of-stalking-in-the-internet-age/

    >.>”

    ^^ My response to reading through that was “Holy Shit!”

    @Tammy, that’s what the … in the quote was for :)

    @Lissanna, sorry, missed the part of that post about blueberry pancakes, but waffles are definitely superior. Syrup traps, double sided cooking surface that keeps the entire exterior crispy, plus a good waffle maker will seal and keep the moisture from escaping during cooking, unlike an open griddle. Come on now, you know all this is true, it’s been thoroughly debated on the internet :P

    In all seriousness, I hope this doesn’t come to pass, and I’m not sure what decisions I will make if it does. If it does, I will definitely stop posting on forums that are made potentially dangerous by Blizzard, and I may cancel my subscription all together. Nevertheless, I hope that you all are able to adapt and keep the wonderful Druid community thriving, possibly thriving in an environment other than Blizzard’s forums, but thriving none the less.

  27. Chezza
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    “Select Product: World of Warcraft
    Select a Category: Account Security/Compromise
    Description:
    It seems that on July 27, 2010 Activision-Blizzard is planning on causing any future forum posts I make to compromise my privacy in the form of my real first and last name. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this. I feel this will cause identity theft, compromised accounts, real life stalking, and cyber stalking to increase dramatically. Further, this will effectively chastise constructive forum posters into silence if they are concerned about their individual privacy. Writers of leveling guides and other game guides are already discussing options for moving their information to third party sites that respect the privacy of their contributors. Why is it that Blizzard, a company that has prided itself on encouraging users to protect their account information and privacy, suddenly cast that commitment to the four winds?
    I’m not a regular contributor to the WoW forums, but I have enjoyed utilizing them. On July 27, I will no longer feel safe or secure on Blizzard’s forums.”

    The above is what I just submitted to Blizzard Support. The form does say that we may use it to “…contact Blizzard Support regarding any issues that you may have with one of our games.” This is a major issue in my mind.

  28. Tympanic
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Another issue I have seen, but not seen answered, is technical support. Currently, we are usually directed to the tech support forums to post any issues we see. If they continue this practice, how optional is this really? Providing tech support is mandatory.

  29. Lissanna
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I sent a message to the ESRB about my worry about people needing tech support help and customer support needing to post with their real names.

  30. Edricthenav
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree with your more Lissanna!

    From talking to one of the MVPs, out of the 11 that are currently in the program… 1 or 2 might be staying on after the changes go live.

  31. Posted July 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    –Quote: Nethaera–
    The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm.
    —–

    Looks like the WoW forums won’t be hit with this until cataclysm fortunately, so, we still have a bit of time.

  32. Merdrah
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Blizzard could stop the “troll” problem in-game and on the forum if they actually issued penalties instead of giving so many chances. The listed steps on the Penalty Volcano is more than sufficient if you used them and stopped holding people on one step. Being nice about it will not “educate” dishonest people because it doesn’t scare them.
    Is Blizzard seriously willing to uproot the community? I’m starting to wonder if Blizzard has a chose in the matter. Perhaps merging with Activision wasn’t a wise move. I would not have given up my voice in exchange for the resources to complete my projects.

  33. Chezza
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    This was posted by gamespot around 5:00PM pacific time.
    http://www.gamespot.com/news/6268568.html

    This is what boggles my mind: “more than 30,000 messages in a 1,500-pages-long thread. ” Holy cow…

  34. Chezza
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  35. Zohra
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry and also sympathize with you. The forums used to be a great place to go for helpful information. Yes there were trolls, but there are trolls everywhere, so I would just ignore them and move on. That’s pretty much what every logical person does. If blizzard moderated their forums more, for these kinds of posters, then maybe they wouldn’t feel the need to implement Real ID. It’s a shame we’ll lose such valuable posters such as yourself. I too will not even be visiting the forums, much less posting on them, because I don’t even want to give them the traffic of my visit. My husband argues that I’m not hurting them enough as I could by not giving them my money, but I argue that currently I have no problem with the game. So as long as this doesn’t go to the game I’m fine…but as soon as it does I will be looking elsewhere for my gaming. :(

  36. Zohra
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Forgot to mention something…
    I personally don’t think you should find someone to post in the forums for you. If someone wants to put your stuff up (after asking) on their own choice, then that’s fine. But I don’t think you should actively find someone because if you don’t agree with this enough to not post yourself, but find a replacement then you’ve done nothing to show them this is a bad idea. The only way we can show them we don’t support this is to not give them bodies to post on the forums at all. By finding replacements all we’re doing is continuing to support it, just not with our own accounts.
    I agree it’s a terrible thing to lose the viewers who so greatly love your posts, but if they were able to find you on the forums they would be able to find you here in your blog too. Just make a post on the forums(before Real ID) that you’ll be continuing here. That way you’ve covered your bases. :)

  37. Marc
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I came across a post earlier today, that for the life of me I just cannot find now. It essentially reported how Blizzard’s employees will *not* be displaying their real names through the real id system.

    I guess they haven’t heard the saying “What’s good for the goose…”.

    Personally I can’t see them getting away with this, a person’s right to privacy is protected by Human Rights Laws (http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/privacy/index.html).

    Hell, even Facebook has privacy options. At even the most fundamental level, I can hide what I post/share by simply not adding people as friends.

    Lissanna, I have been a silent reader of your blog for a while now. All I can say is that you have my sympathies for such a difficult situation. It’s taken me a long time to be comfortable posting on the Internet using my real (first) name. There is not a snowball’s chance I would use my full name for anything outside of business and/or family related stuff.

  38. Jen
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’m missing something — I’m certainly no lawyer — but why isn’t Activision Blizzard concerned about the prospect of legal liability in the event that someone is seriously injured or even, gods forbid, killed by some deranged stalker empowered by Real ID?

    I don’t get it.

  39. Posted July 9, 2010 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Liss –

    You have some very valid points. Would it be SO BAD as to not post on the forums for sake of privacy?

    I mean, you have your own blog! Anything useful and helpful you have to say (and you always do!) can be on your blog. Screw the forums. If they won’t safeguard your privacy, then do as they say and don’t post. Go elsewhere. When Blizz see that all their left with is morons and troll who’ll just keep on trollin, they’ll change their minds.

    But you have blog here. I feel sorry for those good forum posters who don’t.

    As for me, personally, I don’t post on the forums nearly enough for something like this to phase me. The only time I’ve posted is in the Customer Service forums. But other than that…nothing. But I fully support people who have genuine concerns over their privacy.

  40. Selinya
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    @Aramis

    The thing is, if you really value privacy, even logging on is risky. Currently, anyone can access your RealID info, even if you don’t have it turned on.

    /run for i=1,100 do if BNIsSelf(i)then BNSendWhisper(i,”RealID whisper from yourself..”);break end end

    Just run that little command in the chat line, you’ll get a message from yourself showing your first and last name. With a little modification, you can use this command to get anyone’s name who is currently online. You don’t have be RealID friends, or even on their friends list or anything. If they’re online, you can find their name.

    I tested this on a level 1 alt, and it’s scary that I can get my info, even with RealID not activated. I’ve canceled my account, and I’m not re-subbing until this gets changed.

    It’s not just the forums that will be unsafe, your name currently is unsafe in game. And as for not posting on the forums, that’s part of the service we pay for. Shouldn’t people be free to use that service safely?

  41. Lissanna
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    At this point, I’m not going to post on the new forums because I don’t feel SAFE posting on the new forums, and the reason why I post on the forums is to help other people the vast majority of the time. If I have to put myself at risk to help people, then maybe Actiblizzard’s experiment should just fail.

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