How would you react if all your Internet activity had to be under your real name and was archived?

@indexer (1086)
Leicester, England
October 12, 2015 3:47am CST
Many of us use the Internet as a sort of virtual world in which we play games by adopting pen-names and maybe indulging in various fantasies. I am not talking here about people who do so for sinister motives - such as stalkers - but the purely innocent activity of assuming different names - and perhaps identities - on different websites. However, suppose the time came when it was made a rule that you could only sign up to a website or social forum under your real name, and that everything you wrote or did would be recorded and archived. How would that affect your use of the Internet? Do you think it would be helpful as a way of controlling the trolls and other unsavoury characters? Or would it it be a gross violation of personal freedom?
14 people like this
20 responses
@PhredWreck (6079)
12 Oct 15
It might be a violation of 'personal freedom' but I have always thought people should be personally responsible for what they put on the 'net. It wouldn't bother me in the least to have my name attached to anything I have ever written, because it is all stuff I would say in public anyway. It's always been very easy for anyone to see who I am, I've never hidden it and have always left a strong clue or even a link to my real identity.
5 people like this
@Bluedoll (16829)
• Canada
12 Oct 15
I don't think the reason to protect personal identity is always about hiding or not being responsible for what we write. In many cases it is. People put all kinds of things on the net or in books. There are other aspects to not attaching an identity to a name in writing. Many writers have done so for various reasons.
3 people like this
12 Oct 15
@Bluedoll I know of writers doing it on books so their more popular name isn't associated with something they write in a different genre, so the book can be judged on its own merits instead of by the writer's name.
3 people like this
@indexer (1086)
• Leicester, England
12 Oct 15
@PhredWreck The point about having a pen name is that you do behave differently when using it - such as academics who write spy thrillers under pen names. If you were forced to always be yourself on the Internet, this would be more difficult. I see nothing wrong in having more than one Web persona - although there are plenty of people who abuse this freedom.
1 person likes this
@wiLLmaH (8158)
• Singapore, Singapore
12 Oct 15
Well, for me it is okay that internet will reveal my real name. That is why we need to choose wisely the things we will post in the internet.
5 people like this
• United States
12 Oct 15
I think it would be a gross violation of personal freedom. I believe that a lot of people who use forums such as this do so to get away from reality. Perhaps not to so much reinvent themselves, as to truly just free themselves. I know that if I had to do everything online via my real name I would feel encroached upon.
5 people like this
@owlwings (38424)
• Cambridge, England
12 Oct 15
I think that the vast majority of Internet users would consider it to be an undesirable invasion of their privacy though they would probably continue to use the Internet in much the same way that they do already. On the other hand, those who wanted to evade the law would find ways of doing so very easily and it certainly would have rather little effect on the level of trolling, spamming and other more serious Internet crimes. It might deter the dilettante element who dabble in the fringes but the serious criminal, spammer, troll and hacker would find it just a minor annoyance. There would also be problems with the legislation of registration because each country would have to have its own regulations and policing and, even if that were feasible, many countries would merely pay lip service to any international dictates. Nobody owns the Internet. That is the way that it has been set up and that is the way it should stay, in my opinion. Since nobody owns it and it is truly anational (as opposed to international), it is not really possible to regulate it in the way you suggest, though parts of it may be to an extent (as we see in China and North Korea, for example).
3 people like this
@indexer (1086)
• Leicester, England
12 Oct 15
I agree with you on the question of Internet regulation - and I was in no way suggesting that this should be done. Governments hate the idea of people being able to do things over which they have no control - often for very good reasons. However, Western governments also pride themselves on running free societies, and the Internet is the very tool that allows this to happen.
2 people like this
@Bluedoll (16829)
• Canada
12 Oct 15
That's a very good question. I do not do the face in the book. There are too many horrid stories. However, I do appreciate those that want to share all their personal information, I mean all the good stuff. I don't want to. As far a pen name for writers goes it is not a new practice. If a publisher said they only use real names, a writer might find another publisher or self publish. If there was a global law to 666 everything then I guess there is nothing much anyone could do about it.
3 people like this
@skysnap (17489)
12 Oct 15
Considered I have often went my bad mood stuff and other life stuff. I prefer not to see that archive. These days I use alias to avoid happening this. Each year new alias and it helps me avoid those issues.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (34535)
• Denmark
12 Oct 15
You're welcome to do this with my online activities. I only don't understand what somone would want to do this for.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16669)
• Boston, Massachusetts
12 Oct 15
It would probably stop people from being so open when they are upset with others. Under a pseudonym, people can write about the neighbors, their bosses, etc. Under their own names, they might face some repercussions. It happens already with people being fired or not hired because of Facebook or Twitter posts. And the NSA is recording everything, and they aren't fooled by screennames.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48357)
• Manchester, England
12 Oct 15
I would be quite comfortable about that, but naturally the public would be up in arms and screaming about big brother watching us. People seem to think that the authorities should monitor bad people closely in order to protect us, but never monitor what we do.
1 person likes this
• Austin, Texas
12 Oct 15
You should have asked this question when I was a rebel in my 20s and 30s. Would have marched with my American flag defending my freedom ...blah blah blah. Now you're asking a tired old lady who doesn't give a crap! I'm like … Yeah whatever! We don't even have that kind of storage space. No worries.”
12 Oct 15
I tend to try to keep my real name under wraps when writing in forums like this mostly for fear and safety. I'm pretty open here, but I might not be if it were under my full name.
1 person likes this
@OneOfMany (9207)
• United States
12 Oct 15
The internet was more fun without the identities exposed all the time. There are many places that ask you to carry your real identity already, and I don't like it.
1 person likes this
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
12 Oct 15
I put everything under my real name. That's just me, though: I understand why some don't do that.
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (29023)
• United States
12 Oct 15
Some things have been under my real name as certain sites don't allow you to create a fake username. Also, the name I use online is also my e-mail address which I use for everything.. so it's not that hard to put those two together.
1 person likes this
@topffer (31814)
• France
12 Oct 15
I always sign up under my real name, but I want the anonymity offered by an user name. If something like that was happening, I would probably stop to be active on many forums and websites, including myLot, or I would use fake names to sign up.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (56742)
• Pleasant Hill, California
22 Oct 15
I'd be disheartened if that were the case. I sometimes express political views under my aliases that are a bit more conservative than are implied at my various places of work.
@JaneApril (343)
• Philippines
13 Oct 15
That's an OH-Em-GEEEEE (OMG) :D I seldom use my real name to keep things private.
@buddha3 (1029)
• India
13 Oct 15
Well it's hard to take a stand on its affect. It's both good and not-so-good. When it comes to my internet usage, yes, it will be drastically affected. It's the benefit of anonymity that helps many of us be free in expressing ourselves on the internet. If it was no different that real world, maybe I would not spend so much time on the net as I do now..
@softbabe44 (5925)
• Vancouver, Washington
12 Oct 15
i don't think thats a very good idea does that mean others see it
• United States
12 Oct 15
I would not care. I would just be me.