Blizzard Reverses Real ID Forum Policy

Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -
Blizzard Entertainment, creators of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft, recently managed to do something it doesn't manage to do often: make people furious. All it took were plans to strip anonymity from its fans by making them use their actual birth names on Blizzard's message boards.

But all the venom of the last few days--this insane outpouring of hatred from devoted but scared forum users--is needed no more. Blizzard has announced that its real-name plans are toast. So, you can stop posting Blizzard developers' phone numbers, pictures, and other freaky information, jerks.

Blizzard community rep Nethaera posted a letter from company CEO Mike Morhaime on the World of Warcraft message board (via Kotaku) this morning explaining the decision.

I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.


== TEASER ==From what I gather, a big part of the reason Blizzard wanted to use this Real ID system was to clean up the forums--to keep people accountable for the words they share on the message boards. A vocal minority didn't like this idea. Protest in the original announcement thread was commonplace, as users voiced fears and concerns, like worry over Internet stalking for female World of Warcraft players.
 

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Real ID was going to be used first on the StarCraft II message board starting on the game's July 27 release date. The World of Warcraft board was to adopt this policy when expansion Cataclysm launched.

There was an uglier side to the rabble, as documented by VG247 and Kotaku. Some users began throwing out personal details of Blizzard employees, phone numbers and the like, in a sorry attempt to prove a point.
 
Changes are still coming to the Blizzard message board. Morhaime notes that post ratings and better searching is coming. He also mentions that Real ID in Battle.net games, which is primarily used to help friends communicate, will not be cancelled.
#1 Edited by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -
#2 Posted by sithy (48 posts) -

A vocal minority didn't like it? That means a silent majority liked it? Thats one of the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

#3 Posted by Teaspoon83 (623 posts) -

Yay!

#4 Posted by McPaper (254 posts) -

Privacy is golden.

#5 Posted by Nephrahim (1136 posts) -

Sigh... 
 
Like I said in the forum post, I don't like that they reversed it.  It would have really cut down on trolling.  If people want to get your real name...  they will get it.  Annoymus has proven that time and time again.  
 
There is no right to annoymusity on the internet.  All it does it make people dicks.

#6 Edited by frsty13 (85 posts) -

Personally, I don't know a single person who was in favor of using their real names on the forums.

#7 Posted by dvorak (1496 posts) -

Don't immediately discredit it as a "sorry attempt".  
 
For one, it worked. Second, they were making a point about how ridiculous it would get once people got other people's real names. The amount of info you can get from your local property appraiser, and clerk of court's website is staggering. It's free, and easy to get all the details on virtually any adult in the United States these days. I do it all the time for work.
 
There's a reason why people don't use their real names all over the internet.

#8 Posted by Sweep (8845 posts) -

Since I found out who MattBodega really is I have installed fibre optic cameras in his shower. We go live tonight at 11.
 

THESE CHANGES ARE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. THEY ARE PROTECTING YOU FROM  SICK BASTARDS LIKE ME. AND HS21. 

 
 
Mostly HS21...
Moderator
#9 Posted by Glak (613 posts) -

Although it sounds good in theoryby making people more responsible for what they say and their actions, using your real name could've made for a lot of creepy situations

#10 Posted by _Horde (839 posts) -

Great. Now dicks can hide behind their usernames again.

#11 Posted by Jerome85 (258 posts) -

LOL what a bunch of whiners. It works perfectly fine on iracing.  Heaven forbid people be responsible for their own actions.  makes sense though it is WOW we are talking about.

#12 Posted by billysea (103 posts) -

I think those guys who posted Blizzard's employees information did a great job.  They deserved it to be backfired.

#13 Posted by Protome (347 posts) -
@billysea said:
" I think those guys who posted Blizzard's employees information did a great job.  They deserved it to be backfired. "
Yes well done on them for posting employee info from a few years ago. Bet it terrified them.
#14 Posted by HS21 (2682 posts) -
@Sweep said:
" Since I found out who MattBodega really is I have installed fibre optic cameras in his shower. We go live tonight at 11.
 

THESE CHANGES ARE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. THEY ARE PROTECTING YOU FROM  SICK BASTARDS LIKE ME. AND HS21. 

  Mostly HS21... "
I'm not a fan of the recent flood of 'news' on this site, but I was compelled to look in this one. Now I know why, we're drawn to each other you and I...and MattBodega's shower feed. 
#15 Edited by Daveyo520 (6688 posts) -
@Sweep: Mostly HS21, that sick fuck.

I didn't really care if people knew who I was. 
 
#16 Posted by Nephrahim (1136 posts) -

You can look up the real names of most blizzard employees.  Ghostcrab isn't known as Ghostcrab across the world. 

#17 Posted by Meptron (1078 posts) -

sounds like the internet tough guys have won again. now if only if they could talk to girls as well as they can bitch on forums...

#18 Posted by Gravatix (30 posts) -

Eh, I never did get the freakout.  Unless you advertise the state you live in at least how would anybody find you?  How would stalkers know what Jane Monroe from the thousand others.  I'm not really sure it would have helped forum dicks be less dick-like anyway for the same reasons.  Knee-jerk reactions all around.

#19 Posted by HS21 (2682 posts) -
@Daveyo520 said:
" @Sweep: Mostly HS21, that sick fuck.I didn't really care if people knew who I was.   "
Your shower is bugged too. Everyone will know you soon enough. 
#20 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

It doesn't matter if you use you real name or not. I'm pretty sure those Blizzard employee info is fake. They're just trying to scare people so they can get away with talking shit like they always do. And to prove it: 
 
Christopher Hedy 
 
That's my name. Go ahead and try to do something.

#21 Posted by Yzzerdd (521 posts) -
@_Horde:  As opposed to said dicks going internet detecitve on some poor dudes that pissed them off? This system was a trainwreck that just waiting to happen.
#22 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

Well, that's stupid, but I guess it isn't a surprise either.

#23 Posted by billysea (103 posts) -

Had it not been Blizzard, the backfire scene would have been uglier.
The people who try to defend for Blizzard are out of their mind.  What would you do if every other forums or things like Xbox Live start using your real name? 

#24 Posted by Kenshiro28 (73 posts) -

I think Penny Arcade, the post they linked to, and the ensuing Hitler video summed it all up pretty nicely....though I never post on the forums to begin with, putting up folk's real goddamn names doesn't sound very kosher to me....

#25 Posted by Landon (4139 posts) -
@ch13696 said:
" It doesn't matter if you use you real name or not. I'm pretty sure those Blizzard employee info is fake. They're just trying to scare people so they can get away with talking shit like they always do. And to prove it:  Christopher Hedy  That's my name. Go ahead and try to do something. "
I just found all your credit card numbers.
#26 Posted by Cataphract1014 (1313 posts) -

Blizzard already has every ones info.  If they wanted to cut down on troll, they just need to use the banhammer faster.  Make a universal forum ID that ties to your account, clicking on it reveals all characters on the persons account.
 
I don't troll the forums, I post some times to help people out, but if my name was going to be attached to it I would stop.  And honestly, real names wouldn't stop trolls.  Some guy named John Carter can troll just as much as DEATHXXKNIGHTXX because he has a common name.

#27 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -
@Landon said:
" @ch13696 said:
" It doesn't matter if you use you real name or not. I'm pretty sure those Blizzard employee info is fake. They're just trying to scare people so they can get away with talking shit like they always do. And to prove it:  Christopher Hedy  That's my name. Go ahead and try to do something. "
I just found all your credit card numbers. "
Lol. Damn if only that were true. Then I can say the reason why they're in collections is because you stole them.
#28 Posted by RaceKickfist (218 posts) -

Blizzard's idea would have been too dangerous. I can't even imagine what real-world trolling would be like, but I have to think that providing your real name is the first step. It's just too dangerous for people. Although, I like how they are at least acknowledging the trolling issue and are exploring ways to cut down on it. Heart's in the right place, just not the head.

#29 Posted by Curufinwe (1262 posts) -
@Meptron said:
" sounds like the internet tough guys have won again. now if only if they could talk to girls as well as they can bitch on forums... "
I think you'll find that regular, non-tough,  female WoW players are more happy that Blizarrd backed down than anyone.
#30 Posted by JusticeReturns (63 posts) -
@sithy said:
" A vocal minority didn't like it? That means a silent majority liked it? Thats one of the stupidest thing I've ever heard. "
so true, this dude has no idea what hes talking about. all the posts ive read from him he is some elitist prick, i remember one where he was talking about how he goes to the gym 3 times a day.
#31 Edited by Malchom (96 posts) -
I was all for this change, but I don't mind it coming back to how it was before either
 
It's strange though how this played out. Perhaps this was a stunt to renew the community's faith in Blizzard? It was waining ever since Activion merged with them.
#32 Edited by TintPole (8 posts) -

I am all for the Real ID and disappointed that they chickened out. 
 
My name Is Cason Dotson by the way.

#33 Posted by Arbie (1449 posts) -

RealID in game is fine, but having it compulsory on the forums seemed a bit, I don't know, it would make me uncomfortable though...that's if I ever posted on the forums, which I don't, so I guess I don't really care either way!

#34 Edited by SJSchmidt93 (4894 posts) -
@ch13696 said:

" It doesn't matter if you use you real name or not. I'm pretty sure those Blizzard employee info is fake. They're just trying to scare people so they can get away with talking shit like they always do. And to prove it:  Christopher Hedy  That's my name. Go ahead and try to do something. "

Yeah. I just found you on Facebook. I'm not a fucking weirdo, but trust me, if I wanted more information I could figure it out pretty easily. 
  
People on forums get real worked up and when some maniac can see your full name right there who knows what he'll do.
#35 Edited by misplacedcircus (56 posts) -

When I mention RealID to a few friends, they immediately showed their disgust and contempt. 
 
I am more than surprised that a few people here show the opposite reaction. Brad M. also seems like this issue was placated by a vocal minority..

#36 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2470 posts) -
There was an uglier side to the rabble, as documented by VG247 and Kotaku. Some users began throwing out personal details of Blizzard employees, phone numbers and the like, in a sorry attempt to prove a point. 
 
I strongly disagree with the implication that this was some sort of sorry perverted vendetta. You know, I could just as easily check up on a certain Brad Nicholson. I bet you would be thrilled to read every detail of your private life.
#37 Edited by donaldkhogan (168 posts) -
@ch13696 said:

" It doesn't matter if you use you real name or not. I'm pretty sure those Blizzard employee info is fake. They're just trying to scare people so they can get away with talking shit like they always do. And to prove it:  Christopher Hedy  That's my name. Go ahead and try to do something. "

Seriously, I have no issue with using my real name.  I vote they re-reverse the reversal!  People in real life have to be accountable for the words they use.  People have to deal with stalkers in real life too.  Granted I am not a woman (most days) so I can't imagine what  a woman who plays games might feel about this issue.  I hadn't heard about this until today (so screw you dude saying GB was late).  I use my real name more and more these days when joining forums.  Is this like the internet's version of the Marvel Civil War? 
 
btw, my username on here is my real name.  And the avatar is my real face, albeit a bit obscured by my AWESOME NINJA MASK.
#38 Edited by ProfessorEss (7324 posts) -

  @_Horde said:

" Great. Now dicks can hide behind their usernames again. "

I say dealing with forums dicks is a small price to pay for a little privacy.
It's funny that people got so concerned when Blizzard employees started having their information put out there for all to see (bullshit or not), but users who would like the same sort of privacy are "out-of-line"?
 

@BradNicholson

said:

A vocal minority didn't like this idea.

 I'm normally fine with the guy's articles (a fan even) but I'll be damned if this one isn't over-the-top with his personal opinion - I get the impression that Brad N was very in favour of this new Real ID thing?

Anyone stop and think that maybe that "vocal minority" may have consisted heavily of female gamers and people with kids?
As a father, the more ideas like this that get crushed the happier I am.
#39 Posted by Keenblaze (471 posts) -

I have no idea who thought Real ID would be a good idea. Like I couldn't just make a fake name and still troll the forums? 

#40 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

GTFO, this was an incredibly stupid idea from blizzard and any and all advantages were by far outweighed by the fact that making private info easily accessible for anyone is dangerous.

#41 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

I like the thought behind the original move, but I think some of the creepy privacy issues probably outweigh the considerations. I do feel that there should be greater accountability for the things some people decide to say on forums. Maybe we'll move past the days of the internet tough guy/psychopath, but one has to wonder how.

#42 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2470 posts) -
@donaldkhogan said:
 People have to deal with stalkers in real life too."
People also have to deal with employers who don't want video gamers working in their company.
#43 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -
@Curufinwe said:

" @Meptron said:

" sounds like the internet tough guys have won again. now if only if they could talk to girls as well as they can bitch on forums... "

I think you'll find that regular, non-tough,  female WoW players are more happy that Blizarrd backed down than anyone. "
Seriously. 
 
Fuckin' weirdos on the internet....
 
 @donaldkhogan said:  
 
Outside of celebrities:
 No, most people don't.
#44 Posted by Keenblaze (471 posts) -
@ch13696 said:

" It doesn't matter if you use you real name or not. I'm pretty sure those Blizzard employee info is fake. They're just trying to scare people so they can get away with talking shit like they always do. And to prove it:  Christopher Hedy  That's my name. Go ahead and try to do something. "

http://www.facebook.com/chrisdhedy   
 
It's quite possible you put a fake address there for lulz, but otherwise everyone can find your address. I don't want random WoW trolls finding my address, but that's just me.
#45 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -
@Keenblaze said:
" @ch13696 said:

" It doesn't matter if you use you real name or not. I'm pretty sure those Blizzard employee info is fake. They're just trying to scare people so they can get away with talking shit like they always do. And to prove it:  Christopher Hedy  That's my name. Go ahead and try to do something. "

http://www.facebook.com/chrisdhedy    It's quite possible you put a fake address there for lulz, but otherwise everyone can find your address. I don't want random WoW trolls finding my address, but that's just me. "
Yeah I had to use an old address because my ex got into my Facebook and threatened to have some dudes come down to my house to do some shit. So uuummmm yeah. Try to figure out my new address. Lol. I'm pretty sure it won't happen.
#46 Posted by ProfessorEss (7324 posts) -

C'mon everyone! Big party at Chris's place!! Woot Woot!!!

#47 Posted by JuggaloAcidman (285 posts) -

Blizzard has pissed me off lately. It all started with the Activision merger and moved on too Starcraft 2 being broken into 3 seperate sku's. Hope you don't want to play the Terran and Protoss campaign... Cause it's going to cost you. They're new MMO is just World of Starcraft... You know it, I know it. Blizzard, the worlds biggest one trick pony!
#48 Posted by Metiphis (388 posts) -

The article says vocal minority, but frankly it was a vocal majority.  The entire gaming internet was on fire over this one.

#49 Edited by Crushed (884 posts) -

This was a terrible idea. 
 
Making people attach their names to what they say sounds good at first blush, but then you realize that for every troll forced to use their real name, there would be 1000 good users who would have had to compromise their privacy in order to keep posting.
 
  @ch13696 said:

"Yeah I had to use an old address because my ex got into my Facebook and threatened to have some dudes come down to my house to do some shit. So uuummmm yeah. Try to figure out my new address. Lol. I'm pretty sure it won't happen. "


  Are you really not seeing the irony here?

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