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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 danbert8 (1024253) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:31PM (#40737711)

    Somebody always bitches about the lack of options. Maybe Google should have included a "My name is Cowboy Neal" option?

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:42PM (#40737891) Journal

      For instance, if redtube [redtube.com] required you to use your real name...

    • by fractoid (1076465) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:43PM (#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 @12:45PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:51PM (#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 @12:55PM (#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 causality (777677) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:59PM (#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 Tom (822) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:20PM (#40738471) Homepage Journal

              Whatever happened to the concept of "it's just not your business?"

              It was slaughtered by the corrupt politicians when they realized that fear makes for much easier ruling than visions.

              Now it's "if you've got nothing to hide..."

            • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:44PM (#40738833)

              Have you considered that Google doesn't care if you use your real name or not? But chances are, if you use your real name you're not going to troll with racist, inane, idiotic, offensive, inflammatory, poorly spelled, quasi-literate trash which describes 99.9% of youtube posts.

              You can still do it, but you have to be determined. If you care, and you want to remain anonymous and post, you can still do it. Chances are you are not one of those filling the place up with bullshit.

            • by StripedCow (776465) on Monday July 23, 2012 @02:13PM (#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 Empiric (675968) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:17PM (#40738423) Homepage
            Bear in mind, that almost any (even possible) repercussion generally makes it, on a cost/benefit basis, just not worth posting at all. At least not about anything but the most trivial, uncontroversial stuff (see people's Facebook/Twitter posts when they know their family/friends may be collectively passing judgment, let alone future employers). People will censor themselves and/or soften their presentation on the controversial topics, such as politics and religion.

            IMHO, what historically made the internet great as a discussion medium is precisely the freedom to speak your mind, and your full mind, on whatever the topic may be. I think we would have lost a lot of quality frank discussion with the "chilling effect" of "everybody's you know is watching you, and realistically, most of those are just hoping for seeing something to indulge themselves in taking offense to".
          • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:25PM (#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 cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:28PM (#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 hoggoth (414195) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:53PM (#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 residieu (577863) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:19PM (#40738451)

        Meep Meep Meep Meep Meep Meep Meep

        Translation: Just because I'm a muppet, doesn't mean I want people knowing my real name.

    • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:46PM (#40737963)
      There is a European Union decision that people have the right to use Pseudonyms. Google has said they accept this. The only reason that "Cowboy Neal" isn't accepted is that is that their policy demands that names be convincing as normal every day usage. So; for now two suggestions
      1. All slashdotters should agree that our future kids will be named "Cowboy Neal" (no requirement to rename existing kids - especially the ones old enough to resist).
      2. Everybody should, for now, sign up to Google+ and Facebook from a European union hosted system with a fake but real sounding name and fake data
      3. When the children get to an age to legally sign up, we can use their names as a precedent to get the "Cowboy Neal" option open for everybody
      4. If either Facebook or Google+ resist on either point 2 or point 3 then be ready to take them to the European Court of Human Rights;
      5. For great justice
      • by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:49PM (#40738015) Homepage Journal
        Isn't it just simple to by pass this...by not having a Google or FB account...or at the very least, NOT telling Google about a G+ account when creating a new YouTube account?

        Hell....my YT account is with a non-gmail, throw away account...set up with another throw away acct...etc.

  • by conner_bw (120497) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:33PM (#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 Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:38PM (#40737821)

      I know I should be annoyed at the elimination of anonymous options, and in most any other setting I would be, but youtube? yeah I think I'd like to see this play out. just don't make a universal case out of it google.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:22PM (#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 TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:36PM (#40738721)

          simply, THIS.

          if you force us to expose ourselves, many of us just won't. we'll go away from that site. I have stopped posting to anything google based, personally. I never reg'd on FB or T and never will.

          its a shame that the internet is going down the Tubes (sorry..) but since it is, those parts of it that aren't worth it, just don't get my attention anymore.

          the fact that employers and governments are so invasive and so insistent on 'checking you out' - that's enough of a chilling reason to avoid posting using real ID's online. and they wonder why people object to using real ID's. boggle...

          in a way, its almost like an IQ test. if you don't use your real ID, you have 'passed the test'. not so good for those who have yet to learn about how things can (and will) be used against you.

        • by Hatta (162192) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:51PM (#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 steveg (55825) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:53PM (#40738949)

          My real name is probably more anonymous than my Google gmail address. I use the gmail username in a number of places, but it's relatively unique -- I don't think I've ever seen anyone else use it.

          My real name, however is incredibly common -- no one would *ever* be able to tell it was *me* from the name. Which is one of the reasons I came up with the name I use for for gmail -- there's no way I could ever find a name relating to my real name to use on any service that has more than a few people on it. It's always taken. I got away with it on Slashdot, but that was on a much smaller Internet.

    • by cellocgw (617879) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `wgcollec'> on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:41PM (#40737883) Journal

      Oh, I thought you were going to link to this http://xkcd.com/386/ [xkcd.com] .

      But actually I was going to post: "What: real people actually post comments to YouTube?"

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:45PM (#40737947) 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?

      Yeah, link them to your Google+ which requires a "real name"*

      * my real name is Bob 4. Apples.

    • by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:50PM (#40738029)

      Something has to be done, no?

      Nothing has to be done. Just down vote the comments and you will no longer see them.

    • by w_dragon (1802458) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:52PM (#40738081)
      I'll see your xkcd and raise you a ctrl-alt-del [cad-comic.com]
    • by causality (777677) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:02PM (#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.

      • because, as a look at youtube posts, or slashdot browsing at -1 proves, it destroys the forum

        a communication channel will be abandoned by serious people if there is no signal and just a lot of useless noise. tragedy of the commons. so you need to police the commons

        perhaps youtube could embrace moderation instead, but either way, you WANT to squelch, aka, censor, useless anonymous speech

        i would be posting anonymously if i were in syria

        but in the usa, if i post anonymously, my intentions are not in the interest of a good forum, but just abusing the forum for some antisocial problem of mine

        there's always 4chan. for everything else serious, you need moderation or integrity of word and speaker with real life ids

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:33PM (#40737749)

    Anonymous Coward

  • by P-niiice (1703362) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:33PM (#40737751)
    No, you don't have to tell them why. you can choose to choose later if you ....choose to, hehe.
  • by MitchDev (2526834) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:35PM (#40737775)
    Take one of the biggest, most popular sites in the world and start driving people away from it.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:36PM (#40737791)

    So if you don't have a Google+ account, would it bring up any warning?

    At first I didn't join Google+ because Google literally would not let me - I had a paid Google Apps account and giving them money meant you were dirt as far as they were concerned, they wouldn't let you join Google+ for months (I guess they figured they were already collecting the personal information they wanted from you through your account so strip mining your Google+ data was irrelevant).

    After paid accounts could join, I thought - why should I if they didn't want me at the start?

    Turns out to have been a great choice, getting better by the day.

    Really makes you think twice about having a Google account for anything, although there's really no great replacement for some of the services they offer...

    • by Eightbitgnosis (1571875) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:41PM (#40737889) Homepage
      I don't have a Google+ account, and do not see any prompt when commenting on youtube
    • I had a paid Google Apps account and giving them money meant you were dirt as far as they were concerned, they wouldn't let you join Google+ for months (I guess they figured they were already collecting the personal information they wanted from you through your account so strip mining your Google+ data was irrelevant)

      Actually, there were technical challenges with enabling Apps accounts. I don't know what they were exactly, but I think they had to do with ensuring that nothing broke for big enterprise users of Apps.

      When Google+ came out there was huge internal demand for Apps-enabling it -- I'm sure it wouldn't surprise you to know that many Google employees have their personal domains hosted on Apps -- and if it could have been done any faster, it would have. For those intervening months the question was raised in virtually every TGIF (weekly company-wide meetings during which, among other things, employees have the opportunity to question management in front of the whole company) and the Google+ team was getting really apologetic by the time it finally rolled out.

    • by modecx (130548) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:22PM (#40738499)

      As of today I found if you have a google+ account and opt to not use your real name in lieu of a username, you can't post replies to comments, even to your own videos. They didn't warn this would happen when you denied to use your real name, and it was immensely frustrating to not have a working reply button, and more so to not know why. Well, there it is.

      While I have no habit of spewing vitriol, and write every comment as though I am accountable, I also have no want or desire to make it easy for any number of stalkers to come straight to my own front door; and without compromising their anonymity! Even if I were comfortable with putting my real name out there and associating it with my YouTube content, there's such a small handful of people in the world with my name that it's effectively unique. Talk about opening yourself up to ambush.

      What did I do, you might ask? I deleted my G+ identity, and nothing of value was lost. I can now keep in touch with my subscribers. If they keep this up, I will have to abandon their services, and I won't feel the least bit of remorse.

  • by ZackSchil (560462) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:38PM (#40737827)

    Is Google seriously trying to use the power of Google+ to twist people's arms on a real name policy? Google, you can't do that until the service is actually popular! 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. It means nothing to me. If you insist on linking it to services I don't want it linked to, I'll just stop using the service I like less. Which is gonna be Google+!

  • Why Google Why (Score:5, Interesting)

    by magsk (1316183) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:39PM (#40737849)
    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.
    • Re:Why Google Why (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:59PM (#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 xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:41PM (#40737879)

    I tried this this morning...and still registered fine with a fake/temporary account to make comments on videos. I think all this means is that your posting aliases are more likely to be interrupted by a space than before.

    On the other hand, when Google does mine, they'd probably wonder why I watch so much Dora the Explorer on my business account. (It's tied to my business cell phone, which I use most often to keep my daughter entertained.)

    • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:48PM (#40738001)

      > On the other hand, when Google does mine, they'd probably wonder why I watch
      > so much Dora the Explorer on my business account. (It's tied to my business cell
      > phone, which I use most often to keep my daughter entertained.)

      Yes, we were kind of wondering about it. Thanks for clearing that up. It's been added to your file.

      The Google, Inc. Team

    • by aevan (903814) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:53PM (#40738953)
      I feel your pain..one of my computers at work has a history of Beiber and OneDirection for pretty much the same reason, Thankfully: headphones.

      "Why are you signing out first?"
      "Some shames you just cannot live with."

      Amusingly though, even if you're not signed in youtube still knows what that computer has seen from which to draw recommendations.
  • by acidradio (659704) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:50PM (#40738045)

    So much for the Internet staying this amazing free marketplace of discourse. Since we all have jobs and need to make a living we need the anonymity afforded by these sites to say what we truly want to say. I used to get into great discussions and debates with people on various news websites, until they all started requiring you to post under your Facebook account. Conveniently my full name, photo, job title and employer get tagged in with those posts. So basically now all of my posts have to be something my employer would approve of; they are a conservative Midwestern insurance company and probably wouldn't approve of many of my ideas. You will all tell me to remove my employment information from my Facebook page but why should I have to?

  • by Andrio (2580551) on Monday July 23, 2012 @12:57PM (#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.
  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:23PM (#40738511)

    Google Wants You to Stop Commenting on YouTube

    There, fixed the summary headline.

  • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:42PM (#40738803) Journal
    I don't have a Google+ account exactly because of this issue. I wasn't happy using my real name, and as I use a lot of Google's other services I deleted my G+ account to avoid impacting other services. So if I allow them to pull my G+ name, what happens?
  • by Petron (1771156) on Monday July 23, 2012 @01:55PM (#40738995)

    “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
            -Oscar Wilde

  • ... on this issue and say that I actually don't have a problem with Google doing this.

    This is *NOT* because I believe the premise that if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide, because, in fact, that premise is wholly specious (anyone who claims to genuinely believe that statement is true must be either a liar or else a public nudist).

    Rather, I don't have a problem with Google doing this simply because I firmly believe in the principle of personal resposibility, and if a person is not prepared to be held personally accountable for the things that they do, then I'm afraid I'm just going to have a hard time recognizing any alleged right that they might have to do it. That's not to say that I don't think that people are entitled to privacy... giving people privacy shows them respect, and I resolutely believe that every human being is entitled to that level of respect. There is, however, a distinct difference between privacy and public anonymity. I don't see how not giving people anonymity in public disrespects them as individuals, so I simply don't see the importance of it.

    • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Monday July 23, 2012 @05:12PM (#40741977)

      Rather, I don't have a problem with Google doing this simply because I firmly believe in the principle of personal resposibility, and if a person is not prepared to be held personally accountable for the things that they do, then I'm afraid I'm just going to have a hard time recognizing any alleged right that they might have to do it.

      That is really naive. Personal responsibility to who? Society? Or the Government? And whatever happens to be the law/populist opinion at the time? What happens further down the road if the law becomes intolerant of your then opinions? What happens if your Government happens to be an oppressive regime? What happens if someone just really doesn't like something you say - even if it's not widely held as offensive, and decides to come track you down over it?

      I suppose nothing you write is ever indefensible in the eyes of another?

  • You do know that Google really does not NEED for you to display your real name since THEY ALREADY KNOW YOUR REAL NAME (assuming your G+ account is correct). Im thinking this is more about enabling folks to google %John Doe% and see everything you have posted (assuming that there are small number of John Does online).

    KIDS DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME
    you could post somewhere even under a Nym that "I am going to Blow up %location% sometime next week" and i would bet that THIS WEEK you will have a No-Knock Entry at your house.

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