Anonymity just became even scarcer, at least with YouTube. YouTube is now recommending that you switch to your full name when posting videos and comments. They will pull your real name from your Google+ account in fact. Google+ has not been a big fan of anonymity and prefers to keep online comments free of pseudonyms to try to mitigate things like sexism, racism and other issues. Now via a pop-up dialogue box YouTube will urge users to use their real names.
If you try to comment a box will pop up showing your real name and show you what it will look like if you allow YouTube to pull from Google+. For the time being, at least, you still have the option of "I don't want to use my full name." If you choose to remain anonymous Google will want to know why, where you have to select:
"My channel is for a show or character" or
"My channel name is well-known for other reasons"
There is not an option to simply say "No I want to stay anonymous."
According to YouTube, this was added back on June 29th, many users just haven't began seeing it until now.
The Tech-Stew Take Home
In the early days of the internet, especially when we were younger and growing up, it was always warned, "Don't use your real name on the internet." Flash forward to today's world and this idea is becoming harder to maintain. Many will state that the main reasoning behind such a move is to prevent the flaming and trolling that goes on in the commentary systems that exist online. What happened to freedom of speech? Sure this may help with such commentary trolling, but just because people make a comment may not necessarily mean they want their name blasted all over the internet, especially if they aren't a blogger or writer where their name already exists out there. For the common person who just wants to put up generic comments and content but not expose themselves to the world, this task is becoming harder. There are often valid reasons for not wanting your real name out there as well. There could be events associated with a persons comments that are personal and sharing such information would break that privacy. Or perhaps revealing a real name could be tied to their physical location in the world, something obviously many don't desire to make known. Either way, no one who uses the internet should consider what they do there to be private. As time moves on we will surely see more on this subject as user backlash may occur or as other internet based companies move to this type of practice.
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