Users Revolt Over Blizzard's Requirement Of 'Real Names' In Forum Comments

from the not-everyone-wants-to-be-known-as-a-gamer dept

Wasn't sure if this story was worth discussing here, but everyone keeps submitting it, so here goes. Blizzard, once again showing how little it seems to actually understand its own users, has decided that to curb annoying commenters in its forums, it's now going to require everyone post with their real first and last names. Anonymity be damned. I've always supported allowing some form of anonymous commenters in certain forums, though I can see why some sites prefer to require real names. But a World of Warcraft forum seems like a very odd place for such a requirement -- especially since it involves worlds where people rarely, if ever, use their real names.

There are some legitimate privacy concerns here as well, as some note that there is a stigma attached to people who play such games in certain areas, and that it could scare off lots of people who would like to partake in the forums, but would prefer Google searches on their names don't reveal to the world their WoW obsession. Others worry that in the heated world of online gaming, it really might not be such a good thing for people to know the real names of others that they play with.

I can understand the desire to bring about more civility to a forum (though, let's face it, we're talking about a game where civility is not exactly the main goal), but it seems like this step goes far beyond the comfort level of many participants.

Update: Well, it looks like with enough user complaints, Blizzard has backed down.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Mike Masnick, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:03pm

    It's a good thing Blizzard is doing this - after all, nobody would ever think to use anything but their real name when posting something on the Internet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    I can understand the desire to reduce the trollishness of the WoW community, since it's one of the worst the internet has to offer, and because MMORPGs can live or die by the quality of their community. I'm interested to see if this will actually have that effect.

    It seems like there may be better ways to accomplish that goal though. A community karma system shared between the boards and the game would attack the problem in the same way while allowing people to retain anonymity outside the WoW community.

    I don't quite understand the angle of someone who wishes to preserve their anonymity while simultaneously linking their game progress to their facebook, twitter, and multiple forum accounts, and it's hard to respect the privacy fears of the people who act so outrageously towards other people.

    Fears about being hunted down and killed for ninjaing someone's cloudsong seem like the kind of example that is brought up in every conversation, yet has no chance of ever actually happening. Yes, people have committed violent crimes over games before, but it's erroneous to pretend that the presence of whatever medium was involved is the only relevant factor. You can name a category of anything in the world, and show that something bad happened over it, or in it, or because of it. You can even find stories about things like that for games that did let users post anonymously in their official forums.

    WoW players react so hyperbolically to anything and everything that I don't think the community reaction can really be a sane gauge of anything anymore. People who are sane usually don't actively participate in the WoW forums anymore. Anyone who tries will inevitably be driven away by the sheer pulsing hysteria of it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:10pm

    yet concert tours are cancelling left and right disproving your theories of selling the scarcities, and you wont touch that. nice.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    Re:

    Oh look, TAM has no idea what "proof" means.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    It's a good time for someone to move in and take WOW's place, since Blizzard seems hell bent on destroying their (already pathetic) community with ridiculous policies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    What does this have to do with the subject at hand?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    This change also applies to the upcoming Starcraft 2, by the way. It's mostly just a transparent attempt to get more people using Blizzard's new "RealID" system (real names, Facebook integration, etc.).

    Some people on the forums have also been raising concerns about stalking (female gamers, for example), harassment, etc. You know those occasional stories where the crazy person gets upset over something in game tries to take revenge upon the other person/people?

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

    True Names?

    "...though I can see why some sites prefer to require real names."

    I can maybe see why you might need to provide one (possibly) to the admin or whatever, but why would you require true names in a public venue?

     

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    dorp, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:21pm

    Re:

    yet concert tours are cancelling left and right disproving your theories of selling the scarcities, and you wont touch that. nice.

    Michael Jackson's tour was canceled due to his death. Thought you should know :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Didn't know where else to put this, but you should probably check your official twitter.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    Rumor has it that this is being forced onto Blizzard by Activision.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    If they want to fight the forum trolls, it seems like a better thing to do would be to force you to post under the name of your highest level character with the most /played time.

     

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    IronM@sk, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

    Re:

    Hopefully Guild Wars 2; it's a far prettier game at least.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    Re:

    Yeah. And there could be bounties to smackdown forum trolls. Get the community to dispense justice.

     

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    athe, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    Not a big deal...

    I don't see this as a big deal. First and foremost, it's Blizzard's (or Activision's) private playground. If you don't like the rules, don't come to play.

    Also, you don't have to link your real name to your in-game name, that is optional. So long as there's no way of getting to gameplay statistics from your real name, how can a Google search reveal an "obsession"? All it might reveal is that you play the game...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Re:

    "It's a good time for someone to move in and take WOW's place"

    If that happens they'll get sued for infringement. Free market capitalism indeed.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Re:

    Funny I didnt know you could do that ... now show us how to do it in blue ... ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:50pm

    Re:

    Wrong post, TAM. The stupid comment you meant to post was "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re:

    But you can still pay for it, up to 70 years after his death. Coming to a copyright extension near you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

    Re:

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

    Idiot move?

    It's incredibly offense, because you already have to be logged in to your real WoW account to post, and the forums are moderated. Troll the forums and you're blocked from posting, so the trollishness is already kept to a minimum. So where is the need to use your real name?

    This will simply drive even more players to sites like Wowhead, which is easier to navigate, has more information and more accurate information, and doesn't even require a link to your account.

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Not a big deal...

    The number and type of posts to the forum gives quite a bit of information about your level of play.

    Next, no one has stated that Blizzard can't do this, just that it's dumb to do this.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

    Re:

    yet concert tours are cancelling left and right disproving your theories of selling the scarcities, and you wont touch that. nice.

    I already responded to your silly obsession with concert problems in the comments. It's not the story you think it is, and the fact that you keep pushing it is really getting silly.

    Once again, though, if you really think the fact that a few poorly organized/managed concerts are being cancelled means that using concerts for a business model doesn't make any sense (not that we ever suggested relying on concerts made any sense) then you must also admit that the decline in CD sales means that relying on selling music doesn't make any sense too. Right?

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Not a big deal...

    Also, keep in mind that membership to Blizzard games can affect your employment, so some people would really prefer to keep their private hobbies... well, private.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    You wouldn't have a choice. The "forced to use your real name" thing is directly linked to your billing account for WoW, which has to have your real name.

    It's not like people can just say "Okay, my real name is Lolpenis Roflnuts" and use that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:09pm

    From what I've heard (since I don't play it or use the forums, but know people who do), the problem is that accounts on the forums are linked to characters in-game. Which means someone with a level 80 or whatever character can create an alt lvl 1 character to cause hassle on the forums, whilst keeping his level 80 character seperate from the drama. So someone's obviously come up with the idea of forcing all accounts to be linked to one name, which isn't a bad idea really.

    The bad idea part comes in when the "one name" is the real name. It really doesn't need to be. Use the main char's name, or something. Or ask someone to pick one name for the forums that'll be linked to every char they have, visibly, or whatever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:10pm

    wow, moronic posts here, yes real names in the public forums, very bad idea, especially for female gamers, most only reveal they are female to the guild they may be in, to many people want cyber and hunt after them, now put them out in public as females, they will get stalked, knowing someones full name, you can hunt them down in the real world, facebook, myspace search start building a profile of them, not hard at all

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Re:

    I bet my left ear that if THIS site required a real name to post, you would have never posted this here (or anywhere else that required it, for that matter). And yet, it's totally cool for some other site to do it. No problems whatsoever. Nope.

     

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  29.  
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    Qyiet (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:24pm

    Is it retroactive?

    As a former WoW player my issue would be if past posts suddenly display a real name rather than an alias.

    This would make it a sort of bait and switch where you posted under an alias to have your real name revealed later. That is very bad karma.

    Otherwise the offical forum is blizzards playground, and they can make whatever rules they want to impliement. If you want to use it well and good, otherwise don't use the official forum, it's not like there are a shortage of others.

    Not sure it's a good call.. but it's blizzard's call to make. Just making it retroactive would make it 'evil'.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Is it retroactive?

    They've already said that it won't be and doing so would be impossible from a technical standpoint.

     

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    DJ (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Re:

    "If that happens they'll get sued for infringement. Free market capitalism indeed."

    Umm, huh? Setting aside for a moment that this string has nothing to do with the topic at hand; unless I'm misunderstanding it, that argument makes no sense. It sounds as though you are arguing that copyright laws (and the misuse thereof) are proof that free market capitalism is a failure. If not, then stop reading my post here.
    The reason free market capitalism is "failing" has nothing at all to do with free markets or capitalism at all. It's because douchebags keep regulating shit that shouldn't be regulated, which makes the market fail, and then saying "see! it doesn't work! we need MORE regulation!"
    /#tangent.

     

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    Ariel, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    "WoW players react so hyperbolically to anything and everything that I don't think the community reaction can really be a sane gauge of anything anymore. People who are sane usually don't actively participate in the WoW forums anymore."

    This issue is slightly different than game changes which people always cry will "kill WoW"

    There's some statistic out there that for every person who posts on the forum, there are 100 who don't. So what does that mean then, that there are now over 30,000 (2200 pages and counting) posts on just the *official* thread, 99% of them constructive complaints and protests over this change.

    This is by far the largest outcry from WoW players ever. The longest thread ever on the forums before was a measly 500 pages. These aren't a "vocal, insane minority"

    Do the math... If each post there represents even 50 people who agree but don't go to to forums or ever post... That's 10 million potential players who would disagree.

    I think it's fair at the point to conservatively estimate that 80% of the player base is against this change.

    Many do realize that this is just to post on the forums. However, Blizzard customer service and technical support *often* send customers to the forums for help...

    Not to mention that there are strong indications in the new Terms of Service and elsewhere that RealID won't stop with the forums. Your real name is currently available in game whether you've opted in to RealID or not. There are scripts an addons already in circulation that can mine that data.

    All in all, a very disturbing trend for those of us who don't want our game world and our real world to intersect...

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    Re:

    Ask Madonna if the thing is bad.

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:37pm

    Mixed Feelings

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re: Is it retroactive?

    Impossible? That's a lie.

    Posts have (I assume) some sort of identifier to indicate who made the post. That identifier is used to know the (fake) name of the poster and to load their avatar and signatures and whatnot to be able to render that information in the post. If their system is somewhat generic, the hard part would be NOT to include that information on older posts.

     

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  36.  
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    Faceless Minion (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re:

    Except that all the trolls that really want to stay trolls have already announced that they're setting up false accounts with false names as we speak.

     

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    David, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:55pm

    A good idea!

    I think this is a good idea that should be instituted everywhere. I'll even start out. My name is David.

     

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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:55pm

    Really don't think anyone has thought this through.

    If it's really that bad people will just create their own forums where anonymity is preserved. Every other game I've ever played had server forums on 3rd party websites.

    I still can't see why anyone even wants to use the WoW forums, it's so full of immature kids, trolling, and LOL INTERNET quality posting.

     

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    Faceless Minion (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:55pm

    In point of fact, someone posted a webcrawler with the current statistics for the post - now more then two thousand, two hundred pages strong and growing, by the way.

    http://static.bwerp.net/~adam/2010/07/08/

    What's particularly notable here is that there are 12,755 unique posters thusfar. Several of these, on each page, are discussing how until this is settled they have canceled their accounts, and noting how many of their friends have canceled as well.

    Mike, I am honestly not sure why you feel that this isn't noteworthy given your talk about privacy in an online environment, and your discussions about how there are several non-tangible goods that any kind of service and provide. Blizzard has, up to this point, had a non-tangible value that has been the reason that it has become the giant it is today - a feeling that it treated its players with respect, as valued customers. It would seem that now they are trying to trade in on that, treat players as commodities, and hope that noone notices.

    Well, people have been noticing. I canceled my sub earlier today - and I had to wait a good thirty minutes to do so. I feel that that is worth pointing out - the servers used to cancel subscriptions are being so overclogged, there is a substantial waiting line to be able to close an account.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    This move is not about forum trolls. (although it will stifle a great many of them, but that's just incidental).
    This is about Blizzard (or Activision) wanting to get in on the social networking craze, but instead of just making it all optional, they're forcing it down everybody's throat. I think *that* is what upsets most of the people: not being given an option.

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Mixed Feelings

    (Post Fail! - LOL)

    Anyway ... I do play WoW and it is not a secret, I also have my real identity linked to my account here (via my LinkedIn Profile) so I suppose it is not as big a deal for me. That being said I am not exactly thrilled about the idea, I like the optional part of the RealID system {I can see my 'Real Life' friends online even when they are on a different realm(server) or even on another Blizzard Game}. I can however foresee situations where I might not want to have my real name show up when posting on the forums.

    I agree that something needs to be done to curb inappropriate behavior in an online forum, and unlike this site the Blizzard forums (I am just guessing here, but I would speculate that they get an order of magnitude more posts than even a popular site like TechDirt) are simply to large for easy monitoring by moderators.

     

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  42.  
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    Lolpenis Roflnuts, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    Wall of Text Machine GO!

    - What if my name actually IS Lolpenis Roflnuts and I use "normal" names like Steve_Adams for my characters to hide this embarrassing fact?
    - What if knowing that someone is actually male helps prevent dirty old men from living out their fantasies on slow teenage boys?
    - Why should I be ashamed of playing WoW or Starcraft or any other video game in the first place?
    - What if I steal someone's loot and they Face Axe me in the face in real life?
    - What about all of the other Lolpenis Roflnuts' that exist in the world. How will their actions affect peoples' perceptions of me?
    - What if my dad pays for my account, since I'm too irresponsible for a credit card, will my actions be reflected in his name?
    - What about all the stalking and "Hai sxi pics or gtfo" that I'll be bombarded with when people learn I'm a girl?
    - What about making it more difficult to anonymously stalk people when they know my real name too?
    - What about all the stalking and "Hai sxi pics or gtfo" that I'll be bombarded with when people learn I'm a boy?
    - What's forcing me to participate in the first place? I hear Sims 8 is coming anyways...
    - What if I already share my identity with the people I feel should know it. What does letting everyone else see my identity accomplish?
    - What if sharing my identity makes it harder to troll forums?
    - What if sharing my identity doesn't change my trolling actions at all?
    - What if sharing my identity makes it harder to state opinions, regardless of what they are?
    - What if this is an awesome experiment just to mess with the natural state of things? Forum rage is more entertaining than the game itself!

     

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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    Re:

    again they have an option: Use the official forums, or not.

     

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    Cynyr (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    Re:

    It's more that some people's names may be in their account e-mails, and thus mean that a hacker(common in wow), has a better chance to guess your account name, and then simply has to guess your password. As for why some people would have their real names in e-mail addresses, it looks bad to mail prospective employers from the address "Lolpenis_Roflnuts@gmail.com". They could force you to choose a nick on the battle.net page(unchangeable) and use that on the forums. That would provide a similar tie to your account. Blizzard could also just perma-ban accounts for trolling in a hurtful way. Belair-ing* is simply annoying and not hurtful, or for that mater, any topic that is deemed offtopic or a troll will be given a warning, after 6 months the warning goes away, if you have 3 warnings you are baned from posting.

    *For those unaware, it's the practice of starting a semi constructive post and then transitioning to the lyrics to the theme for "The fresh prince of Bel-Air"

     

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    JackSombra (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Not a big deal...

    The official story is this is to "tame the forums"

    The real story is it's for their (Activision) Facebook integration deal announced two months ago. They basically want to create the social network of gaming and that won’t work if everyone is hidden from everyone else behind character names

    "Also, you don't have to link your real name to your in-game name, that is optional. So long as there's no way of getting to gameplay statistics from your real name, how can a Google search reveal an "obsession"?"

    While some are concerned about being stalked in game, that has you say is harder unless you show your character name as well. But it’s not too hard to figure out your game characters unless you are very careful (never give clue to server/faction/class you play) due to the hackability of the real id system in game.

    But vast majority are concerned by the other side of this, game affecting real life. Many people who play WoW would defiantly prefer that information not be in the public domain

    As an unfortunate employee of blizzard discovered when he posted his real name to "prove everyone was overreacting" and had his photos (some rather embarrassing), facebook page, home address, telephone numbers, house value, family member’s names and address, even his criminal record posted online within the hour. Blizzard was fast to pull that as it’s against the current ToS to post people’s, even your own, real details (ironic that) but not fast enough, it’s now on the internet forever as it was copied to multiple sites and they have not said a word about the whole plan since.

    No company should be giving people the choice of don’t use all or part of our service unless you want everyone to know you are our customer. Like hell only a few weeks ago Apple was getting blasted for just putting users email addresses on an insecure system, now we have a company intentionally advertising their customer’s real names and some people actually try to defend it?

    But no matter how much their customers complain doubt it will be dropped, actually most likely be expanded over time, the CEO of Activision really wants his “social gaming network”, customer privacy be damned

     

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    Fremi Magus, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    Mike, this isn't a question of "Blizzard" not understanding their user base, but the company who bought them out, Activision, not understanding since this was their decision and blizzard having no say in the matter.

     

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    Bradley, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Optional isn't really the point. For starters, Blizzard often says to post on the forums for technical support. For certain situations, the forums have been the ONLY method of technical support.

    Secondly, the forums have been a part of the game. Agree or disagree, like it or not, some players have accustomed themselves to using the forums in a certain way. Changing that against the will of (the majority) of your users is just plain bad business sense.

     

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    Caleb (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    Don't think it's a huge violation of privacy?

    http://asnowstormbyanyothername.blogspot.com/

    May be an over reaction, but a good example of why this is serious problem.

     

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    Joseph Durnal, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Wouldn't Bother Me

    I post everything under my real first and last names. Some times it is under a username consisting of my first and last names together like, josephdurnal. I wasn't always this way, I used to go by cryptojoe, but eventually, to many people knew who cryptojoe really was, so, I'd would have had to find a new alias to remain anonymous, and repeat every so often. In general, it is silly to assume that just because what you posted under a pseudonym or alias that it can't be traced back to you in the long run. I figured why bother, or maybe it was that I just wasn't creative enough to think of something as cool as cryptojoe.

    The using of real names doesn't stop all the trolls. One of my hobbies is amateur radio, and one of the most active message boards is the site www.qrz.com where we post under our amateur radio call signs, which easily link back to our real names and in most cases, our home address. And there are still some really obnoxious trolls. Personal attacks, outright lies, false accusations, etc don't seem to be as prevalent on that forum as I've found on others.

    The free speech issue. I've thought about this, and for me, I think, if I have to hide the identity behind the words, is the speech really free? In this example, it is cited that being known as a WoW player could be a problem for employment, I ask, would you really want to work for someone who would make such a judgement?

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    (Psssst. Sarcasm.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Wouldn't Bother Me

    Sometimes you unfortunately have to hide.

    For instance, discussing certain religions might cause you to be sued or worse.

    It is a sign of progress that we can discuss more things without fear than in the past. Some things, however, we still cannot discuss openly.

    Somewhat related link: http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Me, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Money Talks

    Blizzard will listen when players start cancelling their accounts along with their monthly subscriptions. CHA-CHING! That's what Blizzard cares about. Let's see how much they really value civility on their forums.

    I give it 3 months max and then they'll come out and say that they're reverting back to their old system because they understand that we all value privacy.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 7:57pm

    I think in some spaces it can lower the trolling, but it is not an area I would post in. My local paper http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2010/07/06/columns/7627828.txt
    Has just put commenting back online with the catch that you have to link your account to a credit card and use your VERIFIED real name (And pay $0.99 for the privilege). I will not participate. I hope the initiative goes down in flames.

     

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  54.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Which will cost an extra seventy dollars.

     

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  55.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I guess only twenty if you don't intend to play with that account... And five if you want until the Christmas special.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I use my real name here, but I would never use it for any World of Warcraft forum. (I'm sure that it's possible to find out who I play in-game, but this makes it so, so easy.)

    There are many reasons that I don't use my real name with WoW, starting with the fact that I have a vagina and prefer not to be bothered in-game or stalked in real life.

     

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  57.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:09pm

    Re:

    I agree with your sentiments, but I think that there are only about 10 million active accounts total, so the numbers are probably off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:11pm

    Re: A good idea!

    And your full last name?

    I ask because that's what Blizzard requires, and you can easily find my physical address and telephone number online with my real name.

    The ratio of lonely-crazy-stalker-types seems to be much higher with WoW players, and I'd prefer not to let that community know that I'm female, and give them an easy way to find me in real life.

     

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  59.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:11pm

    Re:

    Wowhead.

    Easier to use (MUCH!), better information, and private.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re:

    He's right about the technical support.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:17pm

    Re: Wouldn't Bother Me

    Yes, there are plenty of great jobs available where your hobbies could affect hiring. Once you're hired, you can show that it won't affect your work, but until then, it's a worry.

    Next, and most important to me personally, is that you can easily find my physical address and telephone number online with my real name. Unfortunately, the ratio of lonely-crazy-stalker-types seems to be much higher with WoW players (and gamers in general), and I'd prefer not to let that community know that I'm female, and give them an easy way to find me in real life.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:24pm

    Activision didn't force this on Blizzard. It's a cute cop-out, but it's incorrect. Blizzard has been trying to get more 'in-touch', or at least give off the perception of being 'in-touch', with their players. You'll notice typically a Game Master will sign their real name to petitions now. Same thing.

    Just look at the forums. It's all there. Development always has a sound idea as to why they want something done. They post it straight up. The problem is, any legitimate gripes are now viewed as "QQers", and they pay no mind. They HAVE lost their touch with the people that made them. Less important now is the core group of players, the players that made World of Warcraft successful to begin with, and that's given way to "MORE SUBSCRIBERS = MORE MONEY".

    Now, they're a business. Obviously they want to make more money, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. The problem is, they have countless ways to do this while still keeping that thrill IN the game for people who DO choose to devote large portions of time to it. They've failed to do so, and honestly, Cataclysm is the final straw in that.

    The RealID thing, well, it's a sound idea. Let people communicate across Blizzard games. Obviously the way of social media pretty much makes that necessary to be on the cutting edge. I do understand the weight of using your real name, and that having an impact on how someone may act online. But really, let's think about this. How many accounts are under PARENT'S names. More importantly, how many parents want their kid to pass out their first and last name online? Yea. Not many that I'm aware of. When trying to educate people to not give out personal information online, this is really an idea that wasn't thought out with anything in mind but Blizzard.

    The bottom line is: Fail. Incoming Bioware MMO that will give Blizzard the first legitimate competition it's had in the MMO market. I sincerely hope they realize that and actually start catering to their players now, as opposed to enforcing ideas that're 'thought to be right', but come off like knee-jerk reactions.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:56pm

    Facebook: I don't use my real name. Twitter: I don't use my real name. gmail: I don't use my real name. WoW Forums: I won't use my real name. It's no one else's business what my real name is. My name is actually a helluva lot more common than the nickname I use, so it is much worse as any kind of unique ID than the nick would be. I see 60+ pages of people with my same first/last name on Facebook. Yet, only 7 other characters on wowarmory.com that have the same name as my main character that I post on the forums with. Most are low level alts that appear to be abandoned or level 1s just holding the name. The backlash from this is already huge. It's (almost) as dumb a decision as Activion's announcement of plans for a subscription fee for future CoD titles. Rich morons are still morons... I'm looking at you Bobby Kotick.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:25pm

    I was boycotting StarCraft II due to lack of LAN support. Now, I'm boycotting Blizzard due to this Real ID. I used to really like Blizzard, too bad they've gone to $#!+.

     

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  65.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 11:16pm

    Re:

    the idea that activision is actually the ones behind this makes the entire thing fall into place and make sense.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 11:16pm

    I think what is even worse is some of the add-ons that can now tap into you RealID.

    I like the fact that I can talk cross server/faction to my friends, but man, did they really have to take it this far?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:20am

    Re:

    There as few other factors at play here:
    1. This is clearly upsetting a significant percentage (possibly even a majority) of their current forum posters and most loyal players (e.g. see https://greyshades.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/an-open-letter-to-blizzard/)

    2. It almost certainly won't achieve their stated goal (e.g. see http://habitatchronicles.com/2010/07/realid-and-wow-forums-classic-identity-design-mistake/ and, more amusingly, http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20100707).

    So even people like me that originally saw at least some merit in the idea now think Blizzard would be insane to proceed (since the user community are far more likely to create an "unofficial official forum" somewhere like Wowhead rather than continue to post to the Blizzard forums).

    (Like Rose, I'm someone that uses my real name in a lot of "serious" forums, such as here, but keep it away from the WoW-related forums, using the name of my main character instead)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:32am

    Re:

    To this day, the name of my main character remains unique across all US realms (I've never checked for other regions).

    However, there are quite a few people with the same real name and decent Google footprints.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
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    JackSombra (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Is it retroactive?

    As said before, it's a lie that they cannot from technical standpoint, forum accounts have always been tied to game accounts and game account have always been tied to billing accounts. A > B > C one to one relationships all the way with common unique identifiers. Pretty straight forward technically

    Probably more of case of their lawyers stopping them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re: Mixed Feelings

    I'd like to point out that Wowhead has almost no trollishess. They utilize a rating system, where users can uprate helpful information, and downrate unhelpful information. Once you've been downrated so far, the comment is closed and you have to open it to see it. Conversely, the higher your rating is, the higher it appears in the comments (and the text changes colors). So the most helpful posts appear right at the top and the least helpful are closed.

    It's an awesome system. Personally, I think that's what Blizzard needs to do to their forums. I don't use them now (except for tech) but I would be much more likely to use them if they had a great system like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I guess only twenty if you don't intend to play with that account... And five if you want until the Christmas special.

    Not even that if they were smart enough to use a fake name to begin with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:42am

    Re: Re:

    "Michael Jackson's tour was canceled due to his death. Thought you should know :)"

    Now touring in the underground music scene.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Mixed Feelings

    I'd like to point out that Wowhead has almost no trollishess. They utilize a rating system, where users can uprate helpful information, and downrate unhelpful information. Once you've been downrated so far, the comment is closed and you have to open it to see it. Conversely, the higher your rating is, the higher it appears in the comments (and the text changes colors). So the most helpful posts appear right at the top and the least helpful are closed.

    So how do they keep cabals from forming to game the system by uprating each other's posts?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    RN, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:11am

    Real Name?

    I wonder how they determine someone's "real name". It's not as easy as some people think it is. For a current example, consider the case of the 10 Russian "spies" being sent back to Russia. The US government, with all its resources, still hasn't been able to determine the "real names" of half of them. Is Blizzard pretending to be able to do better? What a joke.

     

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  75.  
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    Richard (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:13am

    Blizzard should watch out

    A couple of years ago one of our prospective students was murdered as a result of a dispute that arose from online gaming. By requiring real names Blizzard are making this kind of thing easier - they should wait for the inevitable lawsuit when something bad happens as a result of this.

     

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  76.  
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    Richard (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:15am

    Re:

    by Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:56pm

    Facebook: I don't use my real name. Twitter: I don't use my real name. gmail: I don't use my real name. WoW Forums: I won't use my real name. It's no one else's business what my real name is. My name is actually a helluva lot more common than the nickname I use,


    "Anonymous Coward" is a pretty common nickname around here...

     

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  77.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mixed Feelings

    I don't know that such a system would be necessary on such a widely used site. Remember, it's a site about an MMORPG so most of these people don't know each other.

    Regardless, it's been my experience that the highly-rated posts are the most useful, and the downrated posts really are dumb or trollish. Mostly dumb, honestly.

    I don't know if that means that a system is thus far unnecessary, or if there's a successful system in place already. :)

     

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  78.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:50am

    Re: Real Name?

    I began my account with the name 'Noname Foryou'. sigh If only I'd kept it that way...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:54am

    Re: Blizzard should watch out

    Eh. It'll be okay. Remember, death is the greatest teacher.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
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    SomeGuy (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: Not a big deal...

    Haven't heard that anywhere; do you have a reference?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
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    Jimr (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    What about some poor individual with names that have overly sexual context? Or name in general that are objectionable? There easily both (just google a bit).

    Will Blizzard force you to change your name to use their service?

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:36am

    If any of your friends are linked to your account by Real ID, I recommend you unlink your credit card information.

    It is only a matter of time until a hacked account (which up until now usually represented a temporary loss of virtual goods for that one account or sometimes also the guild bank) leads to a cascade of stolen real money and real life identities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
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    A Dan (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re:

    then you must also admit that the decline in CD sales means that relying on selling music doesn't make any sense too. Right?

    Touche!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    Oh yea! FTW!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not a big deal...

    I know I've seen this at least twice, but I can't find it now. Maybe it was on /.?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
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    DanVan (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

    Of course they revolted....they are mad that they can't insult others now without their name being attached to the comments

    It sickens them that they have to have accountability with their actions

    Sad!

     

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  87.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    Re:

    And this comment just indicates you have been paying absolutely *zero* attention to the debate that has been playing out over the last few days.

    Blizzard's idea is an interesting one, but it almost certainly won't work and has significant negative side effects on the diversity of their forum population. I can see why it seemed like a good idea when they discussed it internally, but the discussion with the wider audience has made those two points quite clear.

    Fortunately, as the AC above posted, Blizzard were convinced to change their minds by those discussions and have now dropped the idea of requiring the use of real names on the updated forums (one of the forums announcements from Blizzard: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25968987278&sid=1&pageNo=1.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Fremia Magus, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16458

    "1. Activision Is The Dominant Partner

    You can read this multiple ways, but in general, the company whose chief exec becomes CEO in a 'merger' such as this is in the driving seat, business-wise. One good, if more extreme example of this was the GameStop/EB 'merger', which concluded with the EB executives and name largely removed from positions of power in the company.

    In this case, Activision boss Robert Kotick will be President and Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, and Vivendi Games' Bruce Hack will be CCO of the combined company. Vivendi is still majority shareholder, but as for who's actively running the business - you do the math."

    So....Take a wild guess where the idea originally came from.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    Re:

    "People who are sane usually don't actively participate in the WoW forums anymore."

    Oh yes, but we still worry about how our personal information can be potentially misused, and we do like to stop things at the top of the proverbial slope.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
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    Scootah (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Won't somebody think of the children?

    I normally loathe the somebody think of the children arguments - but in this case - a gaming environment where a significant proportion of the user base are in fact minors - it seems like requiring a real name for posting on the forums is a gift for predators who might want to groom through WoW and stalk through social networks. Taking away the ability to remain anonymous takes away the ability of kids who actually have an excuse for not knowing better to abstract their real identity and keep privacy in place for safety online.

    I wonder if Third Party liability will extend to the first person raped by a stalker who was only able to locate them because of the inability to use Blizzard's service anonymously?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2010 @ 6:34am

    So now my employer can fire me based on what I say on a forum in addition to my facebook?

    Bad move, blizzard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    I didn't see anyone in the thread note that Blizzard has backed down and isn't doing this anymore. They will have some type of uniquely identifying code so that characters posting from the same account can be tied together, but will no longer display the names.

    Of course, now the community is railing that this was Blizzard's plan all along and are still evil and not listening to the community.

    Seems like a large company can't win no matter what they do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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