I really, really, really hate the recent forced linkage between YouTube accounts and Google Accounts. I have an ancient gmail account that I’ve used as my primary email, under my real name and real activities for a long time. I use a pseudonym for everything else — a distinction that becomes more and more difficult the more things are linked together. I was not at all happy about Flickr and Yahoo linking up, for example, as it forced me to create an unused Yahoo “mail” account, which I regard as a security issue for me. Likewise, when Google gobbled up the Blogger blogspots, I started to stop frequenting blogs hosted there because if I wasn’t 100% careful, I would get outed in comments depending on how the blogger had set the ID for commentary; and when I created an alternate login, I wound up logging myself out of my main google account everytime I just wanted to comment, which was an extreme hassle, as I keep an “email” tab open on my browser to check on my mail throughout the day.
YouTube has gone the same route. Google has sort of ameliorated the situation by allowing multiple google account logins at once, but I’ve somehow got the wrong accounts linked up on YouTube such that now that google-youtube account linkage is required, I am now unable to log into my YouTube account (it spins for a while and comes up with a message that FireFox has encountered an infinite loop and can’t show the page). ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!
I do NOT want everything under the freaking sun to be linked together! I want to maintain separate spheres of identity on the Web. I regard this as a personal safety and privacy issue. The original reason I went pseudonymous on the ‘net was because I was heavily involved in the early days of Usenet under my own name, and got stalked twice, with death & rape threats involved in one case (this was back in the early to mid 90’s). So I erased myself and came back under another name, participating in (mostly) different subjects and things have been fine since.
As an aside, if my experience was scary and terrifying to me back when only a few thousand people were online, I can only imagine what it’s like now to be targetted, publicly, these days, when everyone is online. Jesus. I cringe everytime someone’s name (and address, and family members and so on) is published in a threatening article of any sort.
And now all the damned online companies are fucking merging everything. Stop it. JUST STOP IT. Allow multiple accounts. Don’t force everything to daisy chain together. This sort of thing means that someone who breaks into one account has access to all the rest of it.