网络实名制,揭开互联网匿名的面纱 | Jooyee 聚译网


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I've been away a lot these past few weeks, filming the latest entries in the Good Luck China series of videos.


There's been some unforgettable experiences - most notably floating down the Lijiang River with a pair of cormorants on a traditional bamboo fishing raft - but it's also meant spending extended periods of time far away from home.


Luckily, my fiancee bought me an e-reader recently, which not only gives me something to occupy my mind during the long journeys, but also makes it easier than ever to catch up on my reading. And catch up I have!


Previously, I could only rarely be seen with a book in hand - my excuse always being that, after a day of reading for work, the last thing I wanted to do is read some more once I got home. When stuck inside a plane, train or automobile, however, I soon change my tune.


Street of Eternal Happiness by Rob Schmitz was my book of the summer. I read it from cover to cover while on the road filming back in July and was absorbed by the characters' stories, all of which are connected by a single Shanghai street.


Next on my reading list was something completely different, however - the sci-fi adventure Ready Player One.


Not only had I heard that it was riveting, I was also keen to explore the virtual world created by its author Ernest Cline before it appears on the big screen next spring, courtesy of Stephen Spielberg.


The plot revolves around a favorite topic of mine: virtual reality and artificial worlds. Yet something rather odd occurred to me as I plowed my way through its 385 pages - this story, set in the year 2044, already seems a little dated.


Ready Player One was only published six years ago and, in many ways, the future it portrays is pretty relatable. Our technology might not be as advanced as that in the book, but what's described is at least believable.


Yet a key element of the plot, which I believe I can share without giving too much away, is the protagonist's ability to remain anonymous online - a quality that is increasingly becoming a thing of the past.


Websites that once allowed new users to sign up by doing little more than filling in a form now require phone numbers, email addresses and, in some cases, formal ID.


The veil of anonymity is being lifted, so that online behaviors can be better regulated and policed.


Here in China, as of the first of this month, internet companies and service providers now have to ensure users complete real-name registration before they are allowed to post comments online.


I wouldn't be surprised to see similar moves made elsewhere, by private companies if not the governments themselves.


It truly seems that the Web's Wild West phase is drawing to a close, and whatever follows is unlikely to mirror Mr Cline's vision of our shared virtual future.