Arash Christopher Eslami's Blog

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Do You Have ID?


Have you noticed when you try to comment on YouTube now, they interrogate you about your identity.  I remember when I first encountered this, I tried to keep my anonymity.  Well the site didn’t give up that easy, in fact, they asked me “why” I made the decision I did.  Do I have to give an explanation here?  Isn’t my right to remain the obscure commenter on YouTube?

I’ll admit that YouTube has got a rowdy and raucous audience who use expletives, terrible grammar, and a few other faux pas that make some cringe.  But that is the culture of this site.  It never claimed to be the site of the intellectual elite.

Although I can understand the need for standards and accountability.  You have some real troublemakers out there that use internet pseudo-identities to their advantage.  But is this measure of forcing users to divulge their identity going to be a fix-all solution?

No way.  In all likelihood, it’s going to exacerbate the situation by motivating those scallywags to act more covertly.  The real question is how far will Google go with this identity campaign.  They already prevent Google+ users from using an alias.  I am sure you can circumvent that but it is still there.  It might be that the days of anonymity over the internet are quickly vanishing.

In the future, you might have to publish a book like Erika Leonard’s Fifty Shades of Grey, under the guise of E.L. James, to get privilege of using a pseudonym.  Maybe it’s not that bad.  Pardon my digression, but I think we all would happily reveal our identity, or anything else the World Wide Web wants to know, if we could make half the profits that book made.

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