I am writing this post to help people understand what they may not consider when playing online on PlayStation Network or anywhere social.
1) You do not have to give out information about yourself to anyone while playing online on PSN or anywhere online. To "prove" yourself or otherwise, regardless of religion, beliefs, race, gender, orientation, location or otherwise.
2) Realize that people online can be *anyone* or *anything* they want to be. This means that they can lie about everything that they are, whether that be good or bad about themselves. If you find that an online friend is asking you about personal information, such as: specifically where you live, your phone number, your full name (you do not have to even give out your first name), your orientation, your employment or place of work etc etc., your facebook, your twitter account name etc etc., then those are the people you should question what their true motivations are. Friendship is fine online, but *you never truly know who they are* or what their motivations are for what they do. You have the right to be friends without revealing your life online. It is often (not always) against the TOS (Terms of service) to give out personal information about yourself or others online.
3) There are people who 'phish' for information. Often they will share this information about you with others without your knowledge and without your permission. They are predatory and they do not care about your rights. If you delete them as a friend, they may also begin to tell lies about who you are or what you do, along with some truth so that others will believe them. 'Catfish' people also fall into this category since their intentions are not honest. You have the right to delete, block, and report anyone that you suspect doing such things.
4) You, yourself can be anyone or anything online. However, if you plan to mislead 'friends' to cause them harm, to endanger their security, to garner gifts or money under fraudulent premises or if your intentions are to gather information on friends to use against them or to have the 'option' to use against them at some point in the future, then in those cases you do not deserve to be trusted. Some gather information for more disturbing reasons. It is your right to keep everything about yourself, including pictures of yourself, to yourself and to not share them online. You should always question the motives behind a person who wants 'proof' of something about you. If they are not your friend already, you should not care what they think. If they are your friend, then either they can accept how you present yourself or not. If there is enough trust, then a chat over a microphone should not be a problem. Use of a web cam is at your own risk, as many have been known to record the screen and share that footage for various purposes, including to share or sell images of yourself among pornography sites online. That applies to those who engage in 'cam sex' or other activities online.
5) You do not have to be 'available' for any sort of 'relationship' online. Especially here, on a gaming network, which does not and has not ever been made for 'romance', or 'dating', or 'hooking up.' You should seriously question the motives of people who look for such things on a gaming network. If they express need to find intimate relationships online, what has stopped them from finding intimate relationships in real life? Ask yourself that question. Those that pry into your personal life online, they likely will never tell you the truth about themselves. Often they have much to hide.
6) You do not have to help a 'friend' who seeks information on another person online who has a 'romantic' interest in that person. You should seriously question people who request you to join in on such things.
7) You do not have to tolerate abuse from others online. Tools to deal with it are usually available. Record the ID names, make a report to a moderator. Make a direct report in-world. Ignore the person, with or without the ignore feature. Block them, request friends to block them.
8) You do not have to respond to anyone about anything they ask. This includes friends. The more intrusive or needy a person acts around you, they more likely that they are unstable and are likely to cause you harm, one way or another.
9) You *do not* have the right to ask children details about themselves, or to initiate a video session with them. This includes children asking other children who may pass that information on to adults whose whole intentions are not good. This point is made about children as a reminder. Children of all ages may play on PSN unsupervised. Without parents knowledge or in the case of parents who don't understand or care about the dangers online, very young children may even play Mature rated online games, although it is against Sony's TOS.
10) You have the right to file a report on anyone who makes an unwelcomed intrusion into your person life while online in any game or virtual world. The report category may be: 'solicitation for personal information'. Make the report (if it is available), don't ignore it. If they think you are a child, even if you are not, that's an even better reason to report it. Those with harmful intentions against children, they also gather information on children, especially online.
You may also share everything and anything about yourself to everyone online. However, that is your choice and your burden. That does not make it right for you to pressure others, especially children, to share personal information about themselves. When it comes to online, once something is out there. it is out there forever. Good intentions, true or not, what you share does affect others and the pressure that insecure people will seek to put upon *you* to justify your existence.
If such insecure people must know things about your personal life, then you should feel fine in deleting them as a friend or let them delete you. An online gaming friend has no need nor right to be intrusive in your personal life. Your personal life has nothing to do with gaming, or things concerning gaming, or play acting, or character acting, machinma or other innocent activities within virtual worlds or on PSN.
Some will pretend that they share everything about themselves, when in fact everything about them is an entire fabrication. They often do this to justify asking you everything about your personal life. Or so they can help others justify asking you for personal information. Your pictures of yourself, once sent to anyone online, can be used anywhere, forever. Including being used by others to impersonate you and used within photo or art programs for use in pornography offline or online. Sending your picture to others is not recommended. Virtual worlds may allow you to display a picture of yourself in a personal space, if you feel comfortable doing so. If you have known your friend for a long time, you can also meet up on the PS4's Party Chat (public video chat).
If you use information gathered on others to threaten, stalk, or harass them, then you do not deserve your rights to be protected. This includes people who support people who gather information for such purposes. Those online who are intrusive into the personal life details of other people online often do not have good intentions. It is best to not add them as a friend, or if you notice such things about them, it is better to delete them.
You do not have to have a full friends list to be happy or to be accepted. The most important thing is that you accept yourself, and that you do not initiate harm against others. Those who think having a full friends list determines their worth are sadly mistaken, as most often they do not truly know if those people on their friends list are even really their 'friend'.
Online is online. It is not reality. However, predators online will seek information on you and others for use in real life. PlayStation Network includes the internet where predators of children and adults alike do exist. And they will try their best to justify what they do, and they will use everything they can against you to get what they want and often you won't know until it is too late. Do not fall for their arguments against your requests for privacy or your rights. They will attack every mention that you make about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. They will do their best to justify intrusive questions about others. Often without victims online, they have nothing to hold onto in reality. Don't give them anything to hold onto, keep your personal life personal. Keep it offline.
Mod edit: Moved thread from PlayStation HOME to appropriate area. -SpicyGoose19
It's pretty simple really. Just use common sense.
Sony doesn't require your to give your personal information.
It's optional, and I wouldn't give it to them if it were a requirement anyways.
I'm certainly not going to give it to a complete stranger no matter how trusting they appear to be.
Ted Bundy came off like a affable guy. Until he got you into the back of his van.
Bravo. Sincerely. This post should be required reading for everyone that uses Home. If I had the power to sticky this forever at the top of the forum I would. A++++
I wish that I had never experienced such things from somebody on my friends list who was a predator. But I have, since then I have found how much more important it is to keep online separate from offline.
It is ironic that it has made me appreciate real life much more, as I have spent much less time online in Playstation Home and these forums as a result of that experience. Not to say that Playstation Home is a bad thing, just that I appreciate my real life and real life friends so much more now.
Trust is paramount among friends. Unfortunately paramount trust among online only friends is not something you can count on. I choose my real life friends and family, and am much more happy doing so now.
Fyi , not all catfish are out to get you.
If people really believe that then anyone on my friendslist that hasn't deleted me can delete me. I'm not like what empress describes. I simply didn't reveal my gender to friends as they were only friends and didn't need to know, and the only online relationship I had was a relationship that we both understood the boundries of the relationship. To say report catfish is asinine.
I would give this thread an A+. Nobody's obligated to share personal information to strangers while we're online. Kinda learned that the hard way when I had two former friends asking me for my account information, which I bluntly refused for my own personal online safety.
After that experience, we should be a little more perceptive of users who befriend us as a means to their own end, or something else more sinister.
Customer Service - 1-800-345-7669
Account and Billing Support - 1-877-971-7669
Sony Rewards - 1-888-715-7669
I dont care if you are a guy using a female avatar and are an honest person. That doesnt bother me. What bothers me and what is a SERIOUS redflag should be lying for the sake of lying. Sometimes for half a decade in the case of Home.
Liars deserve what they get and the torment they find themselves in are self imposed.
We are a community. Liars are not welcome and deceptors should be put on blast quite frankly.
*My opinion only* and no offense intended, except towards those who intend to deceive for selfish reasons.