Blizzard's Real Name Forum Policy Influenced by Korean Law?

By Brian Leahy, Jul 08, 2010 12:00pm PDT Harvard student and former online security consultant Oliver Day speculates that South Korean law could be an influencing factor in Blizzard's new policy to display on its official forums going forward.

Day's blog post (via Kotaku) brings up South Korea's Real Name System, which is a law "insisting that all users who comment on sites with greater than 100,000 users per day must use their real name."

Day notes that Google has already faced issues due to this law, with South Korea asking for all YouTube comments from the country be displayed by the user's real name. Google skirted the issue by disallowing any comments from South Korean IP addresses. South Korea has since exempted YouTube from the list of required sites under this law.

Reaction to the policy change has been fierce, with forum threads hitting 76 or even over 2000 pages on Blizzard's official forums. Reactions by the Shacknews community have been similarly intense.

Blizzard's changes will affect the StarCraft II forums and eventually the World of Warcraft forums after the release of Cataclysm. Legacy posts and forums for older titles will not be affected and no existing posts will be tied to anyone's real name.

Blizzard's interests in South Korea are especially high given the popularity of the company's franchises in the country. Shacknews has asked Blizzard to comment, but none was received at the time of publishing.

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