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July 27th, 2011
July 27th, 2011

The Google+ Real Names Policy

and how it affects Scammers, Spammers, and Trolls

Everyone is talking about the real names policy and how it´s partly there to help prevent against abuse. The sad thing is - I sincerely doubt it will do that at all. As with most proactive software controls the abusers will find a way to circumvent it and the only people that are affected are legitimate users who would appreciate some anonymity.

Once the API comes out the "goobers" will use name dictionaries to create fake accounts that sound real and dump just as much garbage on the system as they would if they were using accounts with obviously fake names.

You don´t need to know someone´s real name to interact with them positively and effectively online. From the days of the BBS, through to IRC, Twitter or countless forums millions interact daily using pseudonyms. If you _need_ and deserve to know the real name of the person behind the "screen name" then that person should be able to choose to provide it.

Another excellent example is Second Life - where millions interact entirely using pseudonyms - this is effective, enjoyable and therefor social. They even have a thriving economy - this even debunks the one defense that some indicate Google should (or is) enforcing real names: to provide better targeted ads - but that makes no sense either. If someone using a pseudonym has particular interested and Google´s targeting algorithms work, then they will still be presented with relevant ads and are just as likely to convert as someone using their real name. In fact in some cases they may be more likely to click through because of their anonymity.

I hope Google will remove this unnecessary and limiting control from their social network.

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