Effective today, May 01, 2013, the ChristianBlog.Com website is now automatically displaying the first and last name of all new bloggers throughout the website, rather than displaying a bloggers pseudonym. All existing accounts will continue to display the bloggers username/pseudonym unless the blogger has set their account to display their name. We do encourage our bloggers to make the switch to displaying your real name, but at this point in time we are not enforcing it across all accounts.
This change of the default display of a bloggers full name is a result of numerous laws being passed, and attempting to get passed, in nations throughout the world. While ChristianBlog.Com is governed by the laws of the USA, because we have members in nations outside of the USA we also have to make sure that those members who are from outside of the USA are not in violation of their own national laws when they are using the ChristianBlog.Com website. Here in the USA there have been a number of attempts to pass laws on a federal level that would require websites to force all of their members to use their real names. All of them have failed but we know it will just be a matter of time until it happens. Here in the state of California, by which laws we are governed, a bill recently failed to get passed that would have required this - and if it had passed we would have had to make this change as soon as the law went into effect. Like on a federal level, it is only going to be a matter of time, probably sooner rather than later, before a politician finds a way to actually get the law passed without the say of the people.
We realize that a large majority of our bloggers prefer to hide behind an alias/pseudonym, and we can continue to respect that as long as we are legally able to. We are, however, taking the steps necessary to ensure that those within countries where using usersnames/pseudonyms are not legal are not going to be in direct violation of their national laws. Likewise, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that all bloggers from here out will not have to worry about this matter by simply setting all new accounts to automatically display their full name.
The method of displaying an individual's real name is something that almost every major website has made the switch too. Websites such as Facebook, Google+, Qzone, LinkedIn, Pinterest, FourSquare, and others have all made the switch, or never used pseudonyms to begin with. With the world wide battle against individuals using pseudonyms to hide their identity it truly is just a matter of time before all of the major social websites will be forced to make this change. There are a few strong holdouts still, but most social websites have realized that displaying an individual's full name is in the best interesting of everybody.
One does not need some kind of online social study to realize that if people are forced to display their real name they will be less likely to post content that is not appropriate - and how much greater of importance is that at one of the worlds largest religious websites, and the worlds large Christian Blog Service Provider. It is not only in the interest of protecting our members, but protecting ourselves and our members from themselves, by doing everything we can, short of having a martial law style website, to make sure that our members are posting appropriate content at our website.
At the same time we are facing an ever growing issue of unavailable usersnames. We are already at a point where new members are discovering that their "long used usersnames at every other website" are not available at ChristianBlog.Com because somebody else has already created an account using the same usersname. In the scope of a religious website this is even more amplified than a generalized social networking website, as many Christian bloggers tend to have highly religious-based usersnames/pseudonyms. At some point we are going to have to make an even more drastic change away from using any usersnames/pseudonyms (especially for profile pages) and instead identify all bloggers using an alphanumeric system, much like Google+ (the worlds second largest social website and other social websites.
From the very beginning ChristianBlog.Com has been assigned a unique users identification to every member that joins our website that they likely never even knew they had, and never see anywhere on the website. For example, the owner of the website has a profile url of http://www.christianblog.com/blogger/abela/, a method we are all familiar with, but using his users identification url http://www.christianblog.com/blogger/205460d7c37a0c0a74c0f425d64c5cb8/ also works. It is this same method that nearly all of the worlds largest social websites use and/or are moving in to - we have just never used the method of users identification because have not yet found a need to do so, but as more and more usersnames/pseudonyms are being used up on a daily basis, and as usersnames/pseudonyms become illegal to use in more countries, this is an issue that is becoming a larger issue and one that will have to be addressed at some point.
For now we will continue to allow all of our bloggers the option to choose between their real name or usersnames/pseudonyms being displayed. All existing bloggers will continue to have their settings set at whatever they have set it at. All new members will have their full name displayed by default, they can of course change this after they have created their account.
I have no problem sharing my full name with fellow Christians. But, I hesitate to make it openly/widely known to just anyone and everyone because as a Bible believing born again Christian professing the Name of Jesus Christ, I open up myself to persecution coming from various directions. I take what is written about the end of days very seriously and believe Christians will be going through a great amount of persecution before Jesus comes to "rescue" the true Church. Using a username/pseudonym is a form of protection from being harassed and persecuted for my being a follower of Jesus Christ. I do not think I am being paranoid concerning this. The Lord has been preparing me for 12 years now for what lies ahead before the end comes. Even though all that a blogger on this site needs to do is look at my Facebook page and there is my name, I do wish to continue using my username on my blogs until it is no longer possible to do so. I often comment using my first name. I have a feeling, I will just end up giving in and using my full name.
John, a puzzle is being created with people all of a sudden switching to using their real names. We have to put forth some effort into trying to figure out what username/pseudonyn they were writing under before the switch. Can each state this so it is easier to make the adjustment to looking for their real name? It feels kind of weird to see and know real names after all this time.
[quote]At the same time we are facing an ever growing issue of unavailable usersnames [/quote] ~ With over 31,000 verses in the Bible and over 3000 people, not to mention cities, places, mountains, etc. I find it hard to believe that people can't think up a unique username. Think of how many people have a Yahoo! account ~ I have 4 of my own! Each one of those kabillions of Yahoo! email addresses has a unique username, so I find this argument rather difficult to digest.
The argument that legislation will most probably dictate it in the future is a valid one. But as long as it is not yet law, I hold onto my precious privacy, what little is left of it.
I do not have a Facebook account; the only social website I am a member of is this one! There is a reason for that. I like my privacy. The reasons for this desire for privacy range from almost silly to extremely serious. For instance, many here know that my first name is Beth. I use that in private messages, but never 'publicly' on CB, so as not to get confused with Joyce Bethy Ferguson (@bethy). Sounds silly, I know, but shortly after joining this site, someone thought B2Y was married to bethy. That's when I decided to remain blest in all but private messages here. Even in the chatroom I am blest not Beth.
Until recently, you could not even find our address with GPS. It was a sad sad day for me when I discovered that technology had mapped our address, many years after most everyone could be found with GPS. Time and time again, we'd give people directions to our house, but they'd ignore them and follow GPS, only to get hopelessly lost Those were the days!
Anyway, CB is a place (should be) where people can share what is on their heart. That most frequently is something that can be shared with the whole world. Other times, that is not the case, and especially if the author's identity is known. Think of the wife whose husband beats her. The rape victim. The victim of spousal abuse. The child of an alcoholic. The spouse of an alcoholic. The victim... I could go on and on and on.
For the most part, as stated earlier by Dorothy Von Lehe (@revgenlink) etc. I do not mind if the Christians on this site know my name. Many of you here do know my full name and my address! But, to put my full name where ANYONE can see it and google it... that is not something I hope to see anytime soon.
Ever seen the movie "Fatal Attraction"? Yeah, truth is stranger than fiction. Nuff said. I like my privacy and if people knew my full name here, I'm one google search away from anyone knowing anything they'd care to know about me!
As long as I can remain just 'blest' I shall remain so.
blessings blest :wink:
This may sound silly, paranoid or immature to some; but I (like my wife blest) value and cherish my privacy greatly. We all have a story to tell about our lives, where we have been, what we have done, who we have known etc. Some of our stories are nice, non-controversial and mundane. Some of our stories are full of heartache, peril and elements from the past we need to keep buried or locked in a closet.
Being honest, there are numerous people I can think of that if they showed up at my door it would cause an awkward, unpleasant and ugly incident. To avoid this, we have chosen to live extremely private lives that some would say borders on being anti-social. We are not running from anything or anyone per se. It is just that we cherish our location which is off the beaten path, our lack of social network involvement and even our unlisted telephone number.
Most people love to have 5000 friends on FB, live near town to participate in all sorts of events and plaster their name all over town to promote their business etc. We are not like that. We do not feel it is wrong to be like that. If others want that, it is fine with us. Simply put, we like who we are, where we live and the ability to fly under the radar.
I understand why the government wants to crack down on all this. But, for as long as it is possible to remain anonymous, that is what we plan to do. I honestly don’t know right now what I will do when must display my name and picture on all my blogs. I won’t be leaving the site but...
I congratulate those whose lives allow them to post their names etc with no hesitation. I applaud those who can do this with no trepidation or problems with conscience etc. But, for now we chose to hold onto the right we have in the USA to lead private and nondescript lives.
I love that everyone is following the leading of their own heart and personal convictions. This is an instance where there probably isn't a "right' or "wrong" at all. I will say that I am reminded of Romans 14:2 when I read some of the comments that have been written. I love the New Living Translation regarding dietary restrictions . which reads "For instance, one person believes it's all right to eat anything, but another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. The same seemed true regarding marriage...it was certainly o.k. to marry but Paul felt that being single was preferable. It is just my opinion that each individual should allow the Holy Spirit to lead them as they make any decision in life whether great or small.
Having said that .I am not afraid for anyone to have my full name and contact information as I do not want to ever miss any opportunity to bless or help someone who is hurting. My life is hidden in Christ and I believe that God will protect me and I fear no man but God alone. Many are the persecutions of the righteous but he delivers us out of them all.
I trust Christian Blog to do what they feel is in the best interests of the ministry.
Pastor Pam Bonner-Kacys
I actually have a portion of my name as my username so you wouldn't think it would be a big deal for me to post my full name but I even removed the name of my town when that started to get displayed. Why? Well, I did have a problem with a male member here at one time who went so far to attempt to harass me via the friend invite system and when that failed started posting comments directed to me on the blogs of others. It got dealt with of course but I remember at the time that I was extremely glad this person did NOT know my name or know the community I lived in.
[quote]Here in the USA they are trying to get this law passed through using sexual predators, saying that it is in the public interest that they should be forced to display their real names. I think it is pretty safe to say that that is just the excuse and made up reason for them wanting to do it for whole other reasons.[/quote]
I agree! Wow... it seems to me that for the most part, the people who would actually put down their real names aren't the people you would need to worry about and the people who you would need to worry about would be the least likely to tell the truth. Hmm...
Well, thanks for making it optional. I mean I have my first name listed anyway in the "About Me" section at the bottom of my blog so it seems like a "non-issue" for me but just the same, I prefer to leave things as they are at this point.
All my close friends here at CB already know my full name by now, which does not concern me. -But like K Reynolds (@kreynolds) and a few others have pointed out, flinging our full names out into cyperspace opens a door to strangers that I had really rather not have open. On other social websites, I have limited my "friends" to just those who are family, or truly known friends. I have seen what being too open with information can lead to...
My second point is my personal opinion also, but for me, it is the heart of the matter. -What I write... each witness, and lesson learned is for one main reason. -That reason is to glorify God by showing the work He has done, and is continuing to do in my life. -My username gives me that level of anonymity that keeps the focus on God... not me. When I feel that the focus has become more on me than God, then I will find another way to serve my Lord other than the written word.
I know that sounds harsh, but the fact is that we already have enough people willing to step forward to accept praise for what they do for the Lord without me adding myself to the list. -Spent too much of my life focused on me already...
What if your name is John Smith? Do you know how many John Smiths there are in the world? "Sorry. That name is already taken." Perhaps we should all change our real names to our user ID's, instead of changing our user ID's to our real names!