Wow, +Vaggelis Kapartzianis
. Was it necessary to use a loaded term like "anonymous hoodies"?
Guys, for the billions of us who do not have the fortune to live in a part of the world where we feel free to use our state-recognised names to discuss issues that the state might not agree with, pseudonyms are almost a necessity and not a luxury! Calling us "anonymous hoodies" smacks too much of the official propaganda that says we are "foreign sponsored elements trying to foment rebellion".
For example, consider if a group of women in Saudi Arabia wanted to use Google Plus to keep in touch and perhaps feel like they wanted to complain about the perceived injustices in their society. Are we really suggesting that they should log in as "Muna al-Rashid" (random name), their real name and post their opinions? In some places, that would be tantamount to committing suicide!
On my part, seeing that I do
use my real name on Google Plus, I do practise self-censorship. There are certain opinions I hold that I do not feel comfortable expressing out in an open forum due to.. well, let's just say cultural norms. I haven't done it but it has crossed my mind to open up a completely new account with a false name just to vent.
This real name practice really seems to me to be skewed towards a particular demographic - mostly those living in a modern Western democracy with "Western values".
No one's forcing Google to do anything but they really must make a firm decision on whether this is what they want. Enforcing a real names only policy means that you will
lose a substantial number of potential members who will mostly represent the voices of the subaltern.
Yes, there are issues with allowing too many pseudonyms, I do realise that. But there must be a better solution than banning them all out of hand.