Below you will find links to some screenshots sent to me by a friend. While the Darkfall community has long been known to be filled with some of the scuzziest nerds in existence, it should be noted that most of the players are actually really nice, and often very helpful.
But, as you can see, it takes but one fellow to shit on the coats.
One screenshot shows how he filled almost every forum with the same link. The next shot shows the message he posted, along with a link that (once clicked) brings the reader to pornography. Bear in mind that they shut the posts down, as is normal for any moderator, even on the infamous WoW forums.
Now, the question is: would having a real name associated with his account stopped his postings? What if he had the real name of his intended “victim?” Also, is it possible that he could have simply become friendly with the “victim”, and learned his real life details that way, without ever needing the real name of the fellow on the forums? Think about how many guildmates you have given your information to, without ever really knowing them.
In the end, these screenshots are mild compared to some of the stuff that has been posted on forums in the past. We all know this. There are two “hacker” groups (essentially a group of smelly dudes) that come to mind in particular, and some of the things that they have posted on forums for children’s games and others would make your head spin.
The guy that did this is just some pissed off 17 year old, I’m sure. The point is that this kind of thing is not the result of real names being published, but the result of no accountability for forum posters. Guys like this will do much, much worse if they want, and groups of guys like this will not wait (and have not waited) for your real name to do any kind of damage. They don’t need your real name to find out your real name.
(This happened today by the way, a few hours ago.)
Remember, this is so so so so so mild compared to what players can do to one another. This ability to cause trouble has existed since the beginning of the internet. If anything, security on the internet is less guaranteed now because so many people are so naive about it. If there was more accountability online, and if trouble makers had their real life identity connected with the trouble they wanted to cause, would it stop the behavior?
Remember, your real information is already out there. Do some research. But, they are the ones that benefit from taking the time to mask most of theirs, and will continue to mask their identities because the “good people” are more scared of their real name on a forum somewhere then driving in their car.
Remember, those screenies show one player harassing another. That’s the least of what everyone knows can happen. Well, it can happen without any access to your real name. When you have a large guild or are part of a community, the sting of harassment has nothing to do with your real name. Having your real name displayed online will not be THE catalyst for poor behavior…poor behavior has been happening since the beginning, as well as finding out your real name.