If you leave a comment or review on Hulu, your full name as you entered it during the site’s registration process will now appear instead of your username.
As Hulu’s Eugene Wei explains:
First, we don’t ask a lot of our users to watch all of the content on our site, but we do ask that people be civil in our community areas, like reviews and discussion forums. While anonymity has many benefits to society, helping to maintain a civil community online is not one of them.
The level of discussion in the comments section of almost any popular video on YouTube is an ongoing joke. But Wei admits that it’s still pretty easy to remain anonymous (tip: use a fake “real name”), and of course you can still watch most of the content on the site without registering at all.
The popularity of Facebook, which demands real names from its users, has created a significant precedent of non-anonymity. And Facebook is clearly beloved by NBC, one of Hulu’s parent companies, if the release of a new show on the social network and not on its own sites is any indication. As social networking colonizes online video (and vice versa), you’ll probably see more sites jumping on the real names bandwagon citing community but leveraging it as a commodity.