Recently, Youtube users who wanted to comment on videos were asked to provide their real names. I recently started using Youtube to promote my business, so I felt no hesitation in providing my name. The fact is, Youtube just asked. It wasn't a requirement. Other users apparently felt otherwise, and took to the news to express their opposition.
Google's controversial new privacy policies enabled this sharing feature back in March of 2012. When Google+ started requiring real names, the move was clearly calculated to make it easier for advertisers to market to that database.
Growing up in the digital age, I have always been acutely aware that I am under surveillance. From the moment of birth I've been videoed, photographed, fingerprinted, catalogued, and otherwise registered in every way imaginable. If I'm honest, even my conception was probably tracked and noted. I find it laughable that the word privacy still exists. In a culture where naked photos, sex tapes, and phone taps are exposed on a daily basis, individuals need to be comfortable with who they are and what they are doing.
A few weeks ago, I attended TEDxDesMoines. One of the speakers made a powerful point. The Internet has become the primary means of investigation for customers and businesses. Your Internet reputation will become the next form of credit checking, and may be even more valuable than your credit report. Anyone can use the Internet to find out about you or your family, without your permission, and without notification. Anyone can also post opinions, photos, and information about you at their discretion. I think it's only fair for people to be accountable for what they say online. The fact is, any comment or post can be traced back to the source with not too much effort. YouTube asking for the information in no way changes the fact that they could find out who you are without your permission anyway.