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Google Wants You to Use Your Real Name on YouTube 602

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-your-handle dept.
Google has launched a pop-up dialogue box on YouTube that urges you to use your real name when trying to make a comment. From the article: "When you try to comment on a YouTube video, a box will pop up that displays your username as it’s currently seen, along with a side-by-side comparison to what it will look like if you let YouTube pull your name from Google+. You can choose 'I don’t want to use my real name,' but that will lead to another dialogue box that basically guilts you into agreeing. If you still insist on remaining anonymous, you have to tell Google why: 'My channel is for a show or character' or 'My channel name is well-known for other reasons' are two options. 'I want to remain anonymous, is–unsurprisingly–not one."
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Google Wants You to Use Your Real Name on YouTube

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  • by conner_bw (120497) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:33AM (#40737729) Homepage Journal

    Obligatory:

    http://xkcd.com/481/ [xkcd.com]

    The comments on YouTube videos are a plague of idiocy, racism, hate-mongering, astro-turfing...

    Something has to be done, no?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:33AM (#40737743)

    Broken reply buttons, half-baked beta-test attempts, terrible commenting system, booting users because they might make youtube look bad with their content, and C&Ding sites that use youtube a little bit differently. All around, it's turned to crap. And with this, I'm just going to delete my account. There's other video services out there, and I can still access the content on youtube anonymously, so who cares.

  • by MitchDev (2526834) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:35AM (#40737775)
    Take one of the biggest, most popular sites in the world and start driving people away from it.
  • by fractoid (1076465) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:43AM (#40737911) Homepage
    Trolololo- no. Lack of options in a multiple choice question is almost always a way to manufacture a false N-chotomy for the reader. Referendum-type votes do it all the time to manipulate the results. If the question is "Why would you not like to reveal personally identifiable data online" then one of the fields should be either free-form, or "because I'm not a complete muppet."
  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:45AM (#40737951) Homepage Journal

    Trolololo- no.

    Lack of options in a multiple choice question is almost always a way to manufacture a false N-chotomy for the reader. Referendum-type votes do it all the time to manipulate the results. If the question is "Why would you not like to reveal personally identifiable data online" then one of the fields should be either free-form, or "because I'm not a complete muppet."

    If they did add that, they would need to also include (and make default) the option that is almost certainly the correct one: "I want to troll with no repercussion."

  • by fractoid (1076465) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:47AM (#40737977) Homepage

    My Google+ profile is just some bullshit I made to check out the service. I can delete it or fill it with fake info any time I want.

    You sure? I think you mean you can ask them and hope they delete it, or you can fill it with fake info which is irrelevant because the contents of your gmail archive contains far more than enough to uniquely identify you. /tinfoil >.>

  • by Sancho (17056) * on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:51AM (#40738055) Homepage

    Insert obligatory "First they came for..." post here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:51AM (#40738069)

    There would never be any repercussions to begin with.

    But there are valid reasons to remain anonymous, including avoiding getting fired/not hired by insane employers or staying out of sight of insane people. No need to stifle people's speech, either. The Internet is great because there is so much anonymity. Otherwise, more people would be afraid to speak their mind. Much less interesting.

  • by fractoid (1076465) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:55AM (#40738115) Homepage
    So between our two viewpoints, it comes down essentially to what your motivation is in posting. Any way you look at it, the only reason to wish to post anonymously is to avoid some form of repercussion (whether identity theft, stalking/harassment, or simply being outed as a douchetard.)
  • by Andrio (2580551) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:57AM (#40738157)
    I love YouTube comments. They are * hilarious*. No matter what the video is of, you find that the comments always degenerate to the most bizarre, hate-filled arguments imaginable. It makes for some hilarious reading.

    But, like sugar, you can't have too much of it. It quickly becomes nauseating. Best is to get a small taste and then take no more. Just like too much sugar will eventually destroy your pancreas, too many YouTube comments will eventually destroy your faith in humanity.
  • Re:Why Google Why (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:59AM (#40738175) Journal

    I have historically been a believer in google, and thought they where one of the few companies who put principles like free information etc ahead of profit (my naivety).

    But moves like this are further cementing my belief that something is rotten at google, and it started to get real bad once Page became CEO. The one good thing about this is that it opens up the doors for competitors to take business from google imho, creating competition.

    I want the freedom to have access to the information about who is saying what, and this is a step in the right direction. Eventually, my slashdot pseudonym will disappear into my one identity for all to see, and that's ok too. If we're all going to have control over our political voice, we have to behave like politicians and be public figures... they go hand in hand. Anonymity is the tool of the disenfranchised... it's better NOT to be disenfranchised, and that requires the end of privacy.

  • by causality (777677) on Monday July 23, 2012 @11:59AM (#40738181)

    So between our two viewpoints, it comes down essentially to what your motivation is in posting. Any way you look at it, the only reason to wish to post anonymously is to avoid some form of repercussion (whether identity theft, stalking/harassment, or simply being outed as a douchetard.)

    Whatever happened to the concept of "it's just not your business?" It's the idea of "if I wanted you to know or thought you were entitled to this information, I would provide it willingly without being prompted for it." Is that disappearing along with the idea of focusing on what is being said rather than making everything into a petty personal matter focused on who is saying it?

    I mean sure, Google can do what they like with their properties. That doesn't make it a worthy or noble idea, though.

  • by causality (777677) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:02PM (#40738233)

    Obligatory:

    http://xkcd.com/481/ [xkcd.com]

    The comments on YouTube videos are a plague of idiocy, racism, hate-mongering, astro-turfing...

    Something has to be done, no?

    What should be done is so easy, so simple, that its value is often overlooked.

    What do do? Expect adult people to be able to handle speech they dislike. That means overlooking it, ignoring it, countering it with speech they consider better, or simply not viewing whatever it is they have a problem with.

    I'm telling you, emphasizing that would make for a better world.

  • by ichimunki (194887) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:05PM (#40738273)
    You must be new here. Slashdot links should *all* be considered NSFW until proven otherwise.
  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:05PM (#40738275)

    That they can doesn't mean they should. It also doesn't mean they can't be criticized for it.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:06PM (#40738291) Homepage

    No, it's more likely a reaction to the pathetically low quality of Youtube comments.

    Similar to how Rotten Tomatoes disabled commenting on Dark Knight Rises reviews entirely when the trolling shit to everything else ratio got so skewed that they couldn't ignore it anymore.

    Too many people online think that "anonymous" = "license to be a complete fuckwad".

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:10PM (#40738333) Homepage

    Not all "repercussions" are the fault of the person who seeks to be careful and not expose himself.

  • by conner_bw (120497) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:21PM (#40738489) Homepage Journal

    " I do want to keep some aspects of my private life secret from my boss or colleagues, which are none of their business, but wouldn't stop them from being critical."

    I don't want to single you out here as most everyone I know does this, and maybe you know this to be true already and don't care, but it's trivial for me to type gbjbaanb into Google [google.ca] and build a profile on you. Four clicks in and I know where you work, your country of origin, your YouTube account and the comments you make there...

    The age of "assumed anonymity" is over. If you want to be anonymous on the Internet in 2012 you have to make herculean efforts to do so. You can't just say you want to be anonymous with words and imagine that's what is happening ardound you.

    You can start by not using a unique primary key as your username all over the web? Alias, handle, real name, these are all moot point in on today's web IMHO. All of these "names" are still are you.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:22PM (#40738497)

    The part the summary left out: If you refuse to use your real name, then you can no longer reply to youtube comments. The option is disabled. AND the reason I don't want my realname is because I know how google & the internet operates. I can still find posts under my real name from 1988! The last thing I want is my youtube comments hanging around for 60 years for anybody (especially a future employer) to find and develop a profile about me. Or dig-up potentially embarrassing comments that I later regret saying (when I'm older/wiser).

    I haven't used my realname online since 2002, because I don't want to have an online history that employers, governments, et cetera can use to develop a personality profile.

  • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:25PM (#40738547) Homepage

    Any way you look at it, the only reason to wish to post anonymously is to avoid some form of repercussion...

    Or perhaps you just believe anonymity improves the quality of the discussion—since you don't know who anyone is, there is less basis for personal attacks and more pressure to debate the substance of an argument, rather than the person who made it. The fact that you can participate in discussions without revealing your ethnicity or gender has always been one of the online community's strengths; forcing people to reveal their real names undermines that implied equality.

    A "real name" policy also tends to favor those with popular names (John Smith), who remain effectively anonymous, at the expense of those whose names are relatively unique.

  • by shentino (1139071) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:27PM (#40738569)

    I have plenty to hide, and it's stuff I simply do not wish to share.

    I do not trust strangers to not abuse my private information.

    Staying out of jail is not one of my motivations.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:28PM (#40738601)

    >>>Any way you look at it, the only reason to wish to post anonymously is to avoid some form of repercussion (whether identity theft, stalking/harassment, or simply being outed as a douchetard.)

    No. Shit. Sherlock.
    Your comment shows you don't think long term, or wide. I want to avoid the repercussion of employers, governments, et cetera using my comments from 10, 20, 30 years ago against me. (Example: Finding a reason not to hire me. Or finding a reason to put me on a Do Not Travel list.)

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:36PM (#40738733)

    >>>Which of these reasons (or any other for that matter) for remaining anonymous are not fundamentally driven by concern regarding repercussions?

    There's repercussions, and then there's misinterpretations. I've had people unfriend me simply because I said I was libertarian. More scary: A government might choose to put me on a Do-Not-Travel list, because I said on a youtube post (of a girl with her jaw blown-off) that it should not be bombing Libya. With anonymity I am free to post; with realname I have to be afraid.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:41PM (#40738791)

    so the "fire in a crowded" theater guy should retain his anonymity?

    If they had, they wouldn't have ended up in court in a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

    You do realise that the 'fire in a crowded theater' argument was an attempt to justify government censorship of political speech by anti-draft activists in WWI?

    No, didn't think so.

  • by Tom (822) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:48PM (#40738897) Homepage Journal

    I have plenty to hide

    Of course you do. One of my more common answers to "if you've got nothing to hide..." is: "So you're ok with me installing a camera in your bedroom?"

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:51PM (#40738921) Journal

    I haven't used my realname online since 2002, because I don't want to have an online history that employers, governments, et cetera can use to develop a personality profile.

    That's exactly why Google wants you to use your real name. The more personal profiles Google has, the more valuable its ads are. The solution is, don't use Google products.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:52PM (#40738943) Journal

    ACs do from time to time post insightful comments. /. would be poorer for the lack of them.

  • by hoggoth (414195) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:53PM (#40738955) Journal

    > "I want to troll with no repercussion."

    Bullshit. I like things that are irreverently funny. I like things that are sexy. I don't believe in a magic old man with a white beard watching over us and getting pissed if I wack off. The majority of my extended family would have a problem with all of these.
     

  • by Moses48 (1849872) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:00PM (#40739045)

    I think the problem here is that everyone is a dissident in some circles. So while I hold opinion A and like to promote it, my (family/boss/co-worker/government) don't know that opinion and will keep treating me normal. If I start publicly promoting opinion A then I would be disowned/fired/disasociated/killed.

    So we are all dissidents in that respect when we want to remain anonymous. Early supporters of rights for minorities and females would fall into this category. If you try and define what is legitimate to disagree with anonymously and what isn't, then you have already ruled out dissidents from opposing you without being subject to your prejudice/judgement/punishment.

  • by StripedCow (776465) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:13PM (#40739191)

    Also, the internet never forgets. So a teenager who makes some stupid comments may regret this for the rest of his life.

    Me now != me in five or ten years.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:24PM (#40739389) Homepage Journal

    When you speak in public, your name IS our business. You can stand behind your words or you can keep quiet. Choose.

    Persons at risk are excepted: children, whistleblowers, dissidents, people discussing medical conditions. If you're not one of them, you have no legitimate reason to hide under your Klan bedsheet.

    Why should it all not be protected speech that is capable of being disseminated anonymously?

    Who is to be the judge of what speech can be protected anon or had to be 'stood by in public'....

    To truly allow free speech....you must take the good with what you perceive to be the 'bad' and possibly distasteful, otherwise....someone has to be the judge over what is and isn't permitted.

    And, one great way to allow true freedom of speech...is to allow it anonymously.

    People are allowed in this country to whistle blow....be pro or anti-gay, and yes....you can think racist thoughts and should be able to freely speak them (and no, it isn't just white people not liking blacks). Do you find it distasteful....ok. But it has to be allowed....otherwise something *you* find to be important, might be later become distasteful to someone with more power than you, and if you could not express your views anon...they you're viewpoint might be squashed.

    Remember, it wasn't that long ago that many things could be freely discussed, that just are not politically correct in the past 5-10 years. What if in 5 years...popular culture and thinking swings, and it becomes politically incorrect for you to speak what you find to be an important topic for discussion or call to action?

  • Unique names (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:34PM (#40739561)

    A "real name" policy also tends to favor those with popular names (John Smith), who remain effectively anonymous, at the expense of those whose names are relatively unique.

    You hit the nail on the head there for me. If I post something with my name, people could find me. Not ten people, one of which happened to be me. Just me. I have a relatively rare first name combined with a relatively rare last name. Combined, you get me. Whenever I have to put my real name on something in public, I pause to think 'this will be traceable to me forever'. Usually, I'm not saying anything important enough for someone to care, but it's still a sobering thought.

  • by jvkjvk (102057) on Monday July 23, 2012 @02:25PM (#40740333)

    I have no idea where you get avoiding repercussions is a bad thing.

    That is simply a stupid argument.

    OF COURSE I want to be anonymous to avoid repercussions.

    I find it obvious that one needs to avoid repercussions when discussing controversial and/or political topics with a worldwide audience.

    I find it obvious that both governments, corporations, groups, and individuals might decide to act in a way I would find objectionable, based on comments I have/will make.

    Please let me know what you find wrong with that.

  • by lgw (121541) on Monday July 23, 2012 @05:13PM (#40742691) Journal

    Where is it written that "freedom of speech" necessarily includes "freedom from responsibility"? Nowhere that I've ever seen.

    The Founders were big on anonymous pamphleteering - the 18th century equivalent of Youtube comments (and every bit as nasty). Anonymous speech was understood as crucial to free speech from the beginning. Without freedom from repercussions, how much freedom can you really have to criticize those in power? Why do you think those in power want the ability to de-anonymize all speech (by forcing ISPs to keep IP logs indefinitely, and logging all Internet traffic data indefinitely)?

  • by BeanThere (28381) on Monday July 23, 2012 @08:21PM (#40744403)

    That's fucking stupid. Even Nelson Mandela operated under false names at times, and for good reason - he could have been murdered simply for believing in freedom and equal rights. And what about all the Jews in WWII Germany, you think the ones trying to sneak out of the country should have openly shouted their real identities on the streets rather?

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