Is Blizzard's Real ID Safe?

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Is Blizzard's Real ID Safe?

Postby Ala » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:04 pm

When Blizzard announced's Real ID service my first thought was . o O World of Warcraft + Facebook = Double The Lame. Now that Real ID has actually launched in World of Warcraft, people are starting to weigh in on the service. Could Real ID turn dangerous for some? Quick re-hash on what Real ID features:

* Your Real ID friends will appear under their real-life names on your friends list, alongside whatever characters they're playing.
* With Real ID, friends can now chat cross-game, cross-realm, and cross-faction across all supported Blizzard games.
* See additional information on your friends list about what your Real ID friends are up to.
* When you agree to become Real ID friends with another player, both of you will automatically see all the other's characters on your friends list.

If that doesn't scream out stalker, don't forget that when you use Real ID it's not just your friends that can see information about you, it's also friends of friends. As Restokin explained it:

"If I invite someone to be my friend, and they have 100 friends, all 100 of those friends can see my RL info, and that makes me very uncomfortable."

So as much as you may trust your "friend" that you've added to Real ID, you have just opened the door to potentially hundreds of freaks (because just like anime fans, 95% of World of Warcraft players are sexual deviants). It's like a condom advert. Whenever you bang a dirty WoW player, you're banging every dirty WoW player they've ever banged, and so on.

Remember that the average IQ of a World of Warcraft player is: Character Level ÷ Number of Mounts Owned. Not everyone will realize that giving their guild access to their "Real ID" could cause problems down the road. Here's one story of a girl that is already being harassed, taken from an epic thread in the official WoW forums (thanks KellyX):

"It's a nightmare that blizzard even thought this was acceptable on any level... The parental settings are almost nil. I decided it would be okay if my oldest son (16) was able to decided who he added for himself. He added his guild leader and I saw no problem in this matter. He added his older sister (24) and added me.

My daughter is now in the process of opening a ticket (8 day wait minimum) while trade chat runs rampant with her home address (thankfully not correct as she put it...), phone number, and real name.

How did this happen?

The guild leader decided it would be fun to tell people her name because she was a female. From Monica xxxxxxxx and a quick Facebook and or Google search they pulled up her life story and spammed it across trade.

Not 24 hours after it's release and my mistake to allow a 16 year old to add his sister and guild leader on Real ID *Really bull*%!#* already she's getting death threats and "pick up lines" on her cell phone (partly her own fault for having it on facebook...). Whitebooks (phone info), Google, Skype and Facebook. All you need is a name and a potential region to start looking and this happens.

So dig it...

1. You have to share your World of Warcraft login e-mail address with someone you want to be "friends" with (even though Blizzard has said many times never to share this information with anyone, including friends).
2. The system shows your legal name (or at least the name that registered the account) to your "friend".
3. Blizzard says this should only be done with people you trust with this information, however if your "friend" becomes friends with someone you don't know, that person can see your full legal name as well now, something you didn't agree to share (hence why they aren't a friend) - This feature is called Friends of Friend, it is not optional currently.

Has Blizzard opened up a big old can of worms? Will more babies die in Taiwan? Will "Trade Channel" girl have to change her identity and move to a new realm? Will Blizzard get sued every time someone using Real ID gets axe murdered? It's only been two days, give it another week or so and we should have some answers!


I won't be using it, not be cause of this article but because I don't want firends of friends seeing my details. I should be able to choose who sees my info.
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Re: Is Blizzard's Real ID Safe?

Postby PolarBear » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:29 pm

That's a real nasty thing to do.. bloody hell Blizzard should know better by now not to do that.
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Re: Is Blizzard's Real ID Safe?

Postby El_MUERkO » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:31 pm

Official WoW forums to show your full real name!! ... 5626109041 Update: Upcoming Changes to the Forums

Recently, we introduced our new Real ID feature - , a new way to stay connected with your friends on the new Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about our plans for Real ID on our official forums, discuss the design philosophy behind the changes we’re making, and give you a first look at some of the new features we’re adding to the forums to help improve the quality of conversations and make the forums an even more enjoyable place for players to visit.

The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID -- that is, their real-life first and last name -- with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic forums, will remain unchanged.

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. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e. Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our forums as well.

We also plan to add a number of other features designed to make reading the forums more enjoyable and to empower players with tools to improve the quality of forum discussions. Players will have the ability to rate up or rate down posts so that great topics and replies stand out from the not-so-great; low-rated posts will appear dimmer to show that the community feels that they don’t contribute effectively to the conversation, and Blizzard’s community team will be able to quickly and easily locate highly rated posts to participate in or to highlight discussions that players find worthwhile.

In addition, individual topics will be threaded by context, meaning replies to specific posts will be grouped together, making it easier for players to keep track of multiple conversations within a thread. We’re also adding a way for Blizzard posters to “broadcast” important messages forums-wide , to help communicate breaking news to the community in a clear and timely fashion. Beyond that, we’re improving our forum search function to make locating interesting topics easier and help lower the number of redundant threads, and we have more planned as well.

With the launch of the new, it’s important to us to create a new and different kind of online gaming environment -- one that’s highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships. All of our design decisions surrounding Real ID -- including these forum changes -- have been made with this goal in mind.

We’ve given a great deal of consideration to the design of Real ID as a company, as gamers, and as enthusiastic users of the various online-gaming, communication, and social-networking services that have become available in recent years. As these services have become more and more popular, gamers have become part of an increasingly connected and intimate global community – friendships are much more easily forged across long distances, and at conventions like PAX or our own BlizzCon, we’ve seen first-hand how gamers who may have never actually met in person have formed meaningful real-life relationships across borders and oceans. As the way gamers interact with one another continues to evolve, our goal is to ensure is equipped to handle the ever-changing social-gaming experience for years to come.

For more info on Real ID, check out our Real ID page and FAQ located at . We look forward to answering your questions about these upcoming forum changes in the thread below.
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