WoW_Ladies: Girl Gamers of World of Warcraft

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noabsolutes wrote in wow_ladies
Hi wow_ladies!!



This is the third installment in the our highly-acclaimed Master Post series "How Not to do Internet Privacy," brought to you by Blizzard/Activision. Today we're going to go with FAQ format!

Huh, what? What's going on?

Two days ago, Blizzard EU Community Manager Nethaera posted in the US General Forums about upcoming changes to the official WoW forums. While the majority of the changes range from "who cares" to "that's awesome!", one new feature in particular stands out - your REAL NAME, i.e., the name on your account, will now be displayed on all posts you make on the forums.

Wait, WHAT? Will this be retroactive? Do I need to track down and delete all the posts I've ever made to protect my privacy?

NO. US CM Bashiok posted a clarification of the new forum structure which states an entirely new set of official WoW forums will be launched with Cataclysm that follows these new rules. The current forums will "remain as-is" and will not be capable of displaying your RealID (as they likely won't have the capability of retrieving RealID information). It's unknown how long the current fora will be maintained. If you have RP posts or anything you wish to preserve up there, back them up now.

I heard that Blizzard employees will be exempt from this. Is that true?

No. Blizzard CMs Nethaera (US) and Wryxian (EU) have both posted reaffirming that Blizzard employees will participate in the RealID program as well.

I am really upset about this. How can I tell Blizz how I feel?

Snail mail address:

Blizzard Entertainment
P.O. Box 18979
Irvine, CA 92612

Information from their ESRB policy:

If you have any questions or wish to file a complaint, please feel free to e-mail us at, call us at (949) 955-1382, or send a letter addressed to Blizzard Entertainment Privacy Policy, Attention: Privacy Policy Administrator, at 16215 Alton Pkwy. Irvine CA 92618-3616.

Blizzard, through its parent company, is a licensee of the ESRB's Privacy Online Program. If you believe that we have not responded to your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactory addressed, please contact ESRB directly at or:

ESRB Privacy Online
Attn: Director, Privacy Online
317 Madison Avenue, 22 Floor
New York, NY 10017

Another important way you can let Blizzard know of your displeasure is through your wallet & by canceling your account. what9000 makes a compelling argument for cancellation here. Please note that I make this suggestion with a heavy heart, and not from any lack of love for the game. Blizzard is a great company who makes a great game played by a great community, whose parent company and/or executives made a dangerous decision compromising the personal security of their users, most specifically those who already suffer some degree of oppression. My most fervent wish is that the mass cancelation will cause Blizzard to post a retraction and an apology in the next few days allowing everyone to resubscribe, and those who make the choice not to cancel should in no way feel unwelcome or unsupportive for their decision to continue playing the game we all love.

Finally, ilaniel has made a post asking for responses from the community to pass along to Blizzard employees. I strongly, strongly, strongly encourage you to comment on her post and make your feelings to Blizzard heard on this post.

But...why are they doing this? This makes no sense!

The stated reason is to "clean up the forums." On the forum where this information debuted, US CM Nethaera posted:

The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences with other players -- however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before.

As multiple posters here, in the so-called "megathread" where this info debuted on the WoW forums, and on other blogs/forums elsewhere have pointed out, this is an odd choice to go with when alternate solutions - such as heavier penalties for abusive language etc, hiring more moderators, using a Global ID to eliminate level 1 forum trolls - seem as though they'd be better suited to fixing the problem & without the privacy concerns inherent to sharing the legal names of the posters. What seems more likely is that Blizzard is tailoring their forum policies to South Korean and Chinese law which dictate that forums above a certain size must identify their users by full name. Further context - that the Starcraft II forums will debut this policy; that the Starcraft II launch is worldwide; and that Starcraft is ravingly popular in South Korea, hints that Blizz/Activision may be hanging their Western markets out to dry in order to conform to Korean/Chinese law. Further context: this source is old, but back when WoW hit the 10 million subscriber benchmark, the Asian market was larger than the US + European markets combined.


Hey look at this link, this guy posted his real name on the forums and people found all his personal info-

NO. wow_ladies has taken the official stance that the RealID changes are dangerous and unnecessarily dismissive of personal privacy, safety, and security. Please do not post, repost, or otherwise distribute links that contain the real-life information of other players, especially with the intent to harass. The admin team will screen/delete these links or comments as we see them.


List O' Links (Stats, Official Posts, Uncategorizable of this Category)

List O' Links (Blogs)

List O' Links (News)


Psssst - If you have more links, give more links :]

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Yes, my information is out there. But it's not out there in front of the WoW community, and I have Googled myself enough to know that it is impossible to get to my real identity from my character names or from this blog. (And if anyone takes that as a challenge -- please do. I want to know if I've missed something.) Would you like to go over to /b/ and post HAI GUYZ MAH NAME IS JANE DOE LEZ BE FRIENDSORZ?

Also, please don't use condescending caps ("Great And Noble Cause") to mock people who are taking this seriously.

THANK YOU FOR THIS. I don't get where the disconnect is, logically, but there's a huge difference between having a Facebook with your real name and forcing real names onto forums. To the people I consentingly give my name to - friends, family members, schools, close friends in game, employers, etc - I have no problem with them googling me! None at all. Some of the info that pops up in Google searches is inaccurate, but plenty is accurate, and all of it is info that I'm just fine with people seeing - a few minimal bits of things from my locked down Facebook, something I wrote for my mom's professional blog, etc. THAT'S TOTALLY NOT THE POINT.

And I did now just google myself to see if my character names trace back to my real name; I saw nothing in several pages to suggest they would, because I haven't linked my real name with my character names except to trusted individuals who've not broken that trust.

So basically, it's not about if I'm on Facebook, because Facebook is for people who -already know my name-. If they know my name, they can attempt to add me as a friend, fine. I don't need a whole new potential set of people suddenly knowing my name - people I haven't personally given my name to, who may have no relationship or an adversarial relationship with. I can't think of anyone right now, but that doesn't mean it couldn't change in the future.

Anyway, the point is that I completely agree with you, and I don't think having a Facebook suddenly means you're fine with whomever knowing whatever, and I think that line of argument is total bullshit.

I'm tired of fighting this, but the point is, as I've said repeatedly, if your name is out there in any forum and some creeper with enough skills wants to get it, they will. I'm not talking about google. But I'm gonna let my total bullshit rest.

Copy pasting now. Just gonna finish this with what nerglish said, which is my larger point; we're all anxious about the future, just are dealing with it different ways. If anything, I've made some people google themselves and check their security in ways they never considered before just so they could fight back against me, and that's cool.

I'm speaking more generally than just you about the "but what about Facebook" thing that seems to be going around. I'm not fighting back against you, I'm fighting back against the whole damn thing. And yes, some creeper with enough skills could probably find some tenuous connection between my characters and real life, but it would take a helluva lot more dedication. More importantly, it would take a lot more intelligence and know how, which is where my concern comes in. Yes, there is always some tiny possibility of risk any time you post things on the internet under -any- alias or your actual name. The difference is that this risk is dramatically increased if your name is just casually, carelessly slapped up somewhere in the manner Acti-Blizz is proposing. Surely you can see the difference?

K. Sorry about the offensive caps.

I don't think people are reading what I said. Many of you DO take precautions, yes, but many people on this comm who are up in arms about this, I am willing to bet, do not. I've gotten responses specifically from people who DO take precautions, which fits in with my original thought.

Just gonna finish this with what nerglish said, which is my larger point; we're all anxious about the future, just are dealing with it different ways. If anything, I've made some people google themselves and check their security in ways they never considered before just so they could fight back against me, and that's cool.

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