Blizzard Retracts Controversial Real ID Policy

Well that was short lived.

If you can recall (though if you’re like me your short-term memory isn’t that fantastic), yesterday the world was up in arms over Blizzard’s new Real ID policy that puts players real names on their forum posts.  Apparently there was so much backlash that Blizzard has already retracted the policy.

A statement was posted on the World of Warcraft forums today, laying out what will happen instead of the initial proposal.  Instead of posting across the many platforms with your real name, each platform’s forums will pull up your characters’ names and you’ll post as them.  If you’re writing on the Starcraft II forum and you’re character is Ormagoden, then you’re post will be under the name Ormagoden.  However, if your World of Warcraft character is Solektra, then that will be the name attached to the WoW forum posts.  I’m not sure if it means more coding for Blizzard, but I guess it’s better in the long run.

The aim of revealing a real name was to stop the trolling on the forums, but privacy issues came into light.  Sure, you reveal names of trolls, but you also reveal names of victims who can now be stalked outside of the game, thus bringing the trolling into the realm of cyber-bullying.

The idea wasn’t the greatest one to begin with, so it’s good to see that Blizzard has decided to scrap it.  We have enough of our private information plastered all over the Internet (I’m looking at you Facebook!), so it’s nice to see Blizzard listening to their customers.

Real ID will still be implemented in game, but in order to see someone’s name you have to know their account email address, request a connection, and have the connection approved by the other person.  The only problem I can see with this is if your friend gets hacked, now the hacker has your real name.