Youtube Learns Nothing From Warcraft And Moves To Real Names
By Alex Cranz
In a decision that’s maybe a little baffling and certainly commendable–if just for what it’s meant to accomplish, Youtube has opted to make a slow move to using real names on Youtube.
No longer will Pimpc0ckmaster2044 and Obamaistheworst be telling you you look fat in your Youtube tirade on Dark Knight Rising.
On the surface this sounds like a great plan. If 14 year old Todd or Tiffany can’t hide behind a name when unleashing their bile, venom and ignorance then maybe they won’t do it.
And back in 2010 it sounded like a great idea when Blizzard attempted to make the same move for their online forums.
Only it didn’t happen. Blizzard game subscribers and owners whirled themselves into a rage and accused Blizzard of encouraging identity theft and bullying.
That’s right, this move to stop bullying can have the potential to encourage it.
Like if you spend your off hours creating massive fan videos exploring the love of HG and Myka on Warehouse 13 then I would say more power to you and can you make them make out with CGI while Artie and Pete what while eating potato chips? But your boss, significant other or kids might be less inclined to learn about it.
Anonymity is a double edged sword. If creates the festering dens of hell that are 4-Chan and 90% of Youtube comments but it also allows people to peacefully explore their fandoms, engage in fantasies and disappear for just a few minutes at a time.
In the end Blizzard decided that the move to real names was not a judicious attempt at stopping online abuse and returned to the time tested method of heavy moderating. Youtube can’t make that move. They’re simply too big. But perhaps they could give video creators more control over the comments in their threads? Or allow them to give control to others (like friends and family). It might end up creating a whole new industry where people outsource their comment moderation, but that wouldn’t be too bad would it.
What’s your take? Should Youtube drop the axe on online anonymity? Or is there another way.
Photo Source [shawnwall]