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Curious if G+'ers out there think people should be required to use their real names ? Things tend to get fugly when anonymity is there as a shield. What does everyone think ?
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Debby Polis Carter's profile photoMarkus Breuer's profile photoMiguel Nacianceno's profile photoMaya G (Quotidianlight)'s profile photo
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Real names. Screen names/handles should have died with AOL. Social Media is about sharing and transparency.
 
Agree- real names; I think a lot of people with google emails use their real names, but it should be required.
 
real names or else it's just silly or the terrorists win
Amy Dai
 
Real. however theres already other names
 
Real Names, You saw what happened to MySpace
 
Though anonymity still has its place online...Just not here
 
Not required, but surely recommended.
 
I suggested in the feedback that there be two tiers: regular unvetted names, and accounts that have gone through a verification process. The verified name account would have a special badge by their name.
 
Real names all the way.. screen names are for myspace :P
 
Most I've seen do. I think that's the point behind the Google profiles that plus is based on. Don't think it's in the TOS though.
 
Definitely real names. Accountability has its benefits, some drawbacks but mostly benefits.
 
Real names get my vote. Being your real self allows others to connect with you. :)
 
Real names...just have keep the option to hide personal data just like they do now.
 
Real names are the way to go. There is a sense of accountability when people use their own names.
 
Real names. Knowing my real name is attached to my comment makes me think more carefully about what I write and how it might be interpreted/misinterpreted. I think generally it elevates the discourse.
 
If I could have a do-over at MySpace, real names are definitely needed. :)
 
A real name requirement is one advantage Facebook had over Twitter and fhe late MySpace. I hope Google+ will require real names.
 
If they are Android accounts real names are required.
 
I've been going by bendrix for years in my professional career thats the way I've branded myself as well. I don't know if I want childhood kittens to look me up as my childhood name. Bah humbug. but yeah people should be comfortable with whatever gets them to use this app comfortably.
 
Re my first hangout, not sure. Right now Im too hungout from 4th july with kids. Im thinking that when we tape SharkTank in a couple weeks, will do my first hangout.
 
Real names, Although it's doesn't really matter in the long run because I just ignore people with handles/screen names unless I know them.
 
Imagine in real life if you introduced yourself as CoolDudeLA2011 - shouldn't be like that online either. Its weird. Not the way to connect.
 
In favor of real names, to the point that I'll probably just ignore/block people who won't identify themselves with the name they most commonly use in off-the-net interactions. One close look at Wikipedia (with its aggressive culture of pseudanonymity) and you'll see how crazy it gets.
 
real names! Just look at websites comments where you can be anonymous. Its just a bunch of people insult each other....
 
Absolutely real names. Transparency in social media is key.
 
Bucking the trend here - I don't think real names are important at all. Over some relatively short period of time, profiles start to accrue elements (contacts, postings, comments, etc) that are de facto verifications of identity. (this is the real mark cuban right?)
 
What about if you want to have a real name for you personally but use a generic email address to post from a company you work or consult for and keep those account completely seperate?
 
Real names. Anonymity is gr8 for self-expression... but not for conversation/discussion... if you are worried about a trail, try out http://secretsocial.com ... keeps things in a box and goes poof when everybody is done exhaling.
 
A real name or brand is my preference. 
 
I absolutely hate people with fake names.
 
Real names should be required.. too many fake names opens the way for reckless spammers..
 
Real names. No more hiding behind a screen name!
 
Required? By whom and how? I think that is one advantage Facebook still has: because it is built on real and two-way relationships, the chances that identity there is authentic are greater.
 
Interesting thing is 1995 back before facebook I think people weren't ready for "real names". The world is more open to it now.
 
What are they gonna do? Make you submit 2 forms of photo ID? A birth cert? Passport? You should be able to use whatever name you want to use.
 
+Jeff Jarvis as I've said a few times on here facebook is who you were and who you are right now G+1 is who you are and who you want to be by virtue of the notion of the fact you can expand your circles to meet new people. Its more aspirational. The way to verify identity to some degree is to see who else they are connected to and your connection to them.
 
Real names. I'm kind of wondering about how people are going to handle multiple accounts like people on twitter often have
 
If I use a fake name, how will Google properly mine my life for data? :)
 
So what about celebrity's? Can I be the artist formally known as David Ford?
 
You mean you are not really Mark Cuban?
 
Well to add to the question if we require real names - should real pictures (like on dating sites) be required?!
 
Gotta be real names IOT make conversations relevant and meaningful, as opposed to troll like... just this guy's opine
 
Definitely real names. Anonymity has its place, but I really like the responsibility that comes with transparency.
 
Real names. While aliases can be cool, but like with most things in life, there is a time and a place. G+ should not be one of those places.
 
We need a poling feature in G+, where are the gadgets??
 
here that stuff died with aol
 
Definitely. The best part about Facebook comments on websites was the enforcement of real names, and it makes ko sense to have any anonymity on a social network
 
Anonymity on a social network is a bonus when I spout off about some random topic, say politics or the law. Sometimes it's just me venting and I don't know if I'd like some of those comments attached to my name.
 
If we don't use real names this becomes AOL 1998 in about 6 weeks. Or TheGlobe.com.
 
Some people have been using aliases for years. Real names should be encouraged but not enforced.
 
Real names for sure, with screen names all that will lead to it's trolls hiding behind keyboards from their moms basement
 
+Brad Yetman I agree that screen names leads to a bunch of keyboard warriors, but sometimes I want to write something that's public, but I don't necessarily want that comment/thought easily attributable to my name. I guess I should take responsibility for my posts but sometimes I just don't want to.
 
Real names for sure but with an area on the profile for alias or nicknames
 
ABSOLUTELY Real Names ONLY. Should be a social requirement.
-regards,
James Bond 
 
No anonymity. I am for transparency and accountability.
 
Real names. Leave the fugly for the pictures.
 
Yep...can't be anonymous yet authentically social. Authenticity is what this is all about. Use your name.
 
real names or nothing. i say we huddle around the pseudonyms and force them out.
 
Yes, I definitely agree real names should be required.
 
Real names are nice, but fake names have their place too. Do we have to rely on images to disambiguate all the John Smiths in the world? Should Buzz Aldrin have been forced to go by Edwin Eugene before 1979? What about comic and artistic alter-egos? Corporations? Informal projects? It seems to me like there are a lot of reasonable use cases for fake names.
 
I agree. If you can't say what you need to say with real names, you don't need to be here. Good call Mark.
 
-1. No to real names. Guess what? Freedom of speech can get fugly too.

It's about giving users control over their data. If they want to expose their data they can. If some users abuse anonymity, it's on the social network to implement good controls such as "muting", "blocking", "reporting abuse" -- just like it's on the viewers to change the channel if they find something they don't like to see.
 
since you can choose what you post to your circles, i would have to say people should be required to use your real name. If you dont want to be found, make your profile private!
 
While I only use my real name as a handle in all online service since some 12 years, I think it would be bad for a free society not to allow people aliases or handles which do not allow others - or even authorities - to match these with real identities.

The basic right "freedom of speech" has to include the right to do this anonymously, too - in certain cases. Otherwise you might be able to "say anything" but you will be punished by the powers that are. That is not the intention of "freedom of speech". Giving that up that basic (and important) right just to reduce the amount of spam or impolite trolling in online commenting is a bad deal IMHO. We would be trading convenience for freedom. Not a good idea. :(
 
anonymity should be reserved for circumstances that call for it legitimately. Identifiable handles -- those linked to profiles or the like with names -- are different. Adding: Should it be a requirement? No. A filter we can set? Yes.
 
I guess Facebook already conditioned people to use their real names as was seen when Twitter started becoming insanely popular in the last two years. Nearly 80% of Twitter's users use their real names. Also, user profiles on G+ is linked to their Google public profile which makes it an incentive for them to use their real names so that they show up in search results in Google.

In an age of incessant exhibitionism, it's a necessity and not an accepted norm to use your real name and show up in Google search results.
 
In my facebook account - im using my alias but in GOOGLE+ this is my REAL name as i trust google than facebook & twitter...
 
The ideal would be real names, but I'm not sure that would work so well for whistle-blowers and people with a reason to fear for their life.
 
i don't use my real name on facebook anyways.
 
I feel that real names is what keeps Facebook so trustworthy.
 
I like being friends with PurpleUnicorn32. NOT!
 
Real names are certainly the preferred. Although, it's hopeful that if someone was to use G+ for something threatening, they could be tracked. It's always a difficult task, but hardly ever completely impossble.
 
+Michael Halloun It's important to realize that the victims of the very bigots you are citing also have a very real need for anonymity or pseudonymity, for their own protection. Try asking some of them whether they'd rather Google+ required real names. You might be surprised at the answer.

EDIT: And in case this isn't obvious, I am indeed posting under my real name. But a lot of my good friends do not post under theirs, and they all have very good reasons.
 
I've always gone the route of real name, but I can see some preferring the pseudonym. That said, I wonder how much more civil online discourse would be if people felt a bit more accountability for their dialog.
 
Definitely real names. That's what brought a lot of people out of their shells and built trust that what you were seeing actually came from that person. The days of aliases and fake photos are dead.
 
Really like the idea. Time for people to get over privacy.
 
How do you enforce that? I could put "Mark Cuban" as my name if I wanted...
 
+Bruce Miller Like Paypal does? That might work but would anyone really do it? There's no reason to do that here though really...
 
I think Orkut died in the US cause it tried to be like MySpace with usernames. The web as a whole has matured to a point where real names are preferred - thanks to Facebook.
 
I would love for Google to verify me using my credit card, like Amazon.com does
 
I like the idea of real names. It seems that there is a lot of hate and negative comments spewed when an anonymous username replaces the real name.
 
There is a time and place for real names and a place for anonymity. This is definitely a space for real names.
 
Yes, but how do you check it is a real name? Let the community flag fake names or ask for a social security number when signing up?
Jeff F.
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No. Some people still don't want to be universally searchable and findable on the internet. Might not matter as much to a "John Smith" but others might at least desire a small break in the web of available information on them that not using a real name would provide.

As for whether people get "ugly" without real identities...maybe some do. But many will under their real names as well. That will always be something of an issue, and readily remedied by whatever blocking mechanism is in place.
 
real names make it REAL. please no fake people on G+
 
Real names, or else Google+ will turn into "harryp0tt3rf4n4lyfe invites you to hang out!"
 
can you buy them real quick and get this done?
 
Going against the trend here but I think there is a place for pseudonyms, if the user wants. If we want openness we will get more honest posts (undercover reporting from Syria for example) if the user feels secure.
There are a few that I know on Twitter than need anonymity for their own protection. Because of their posts and history they have a lot of respect in the community even though we don't (all) know their real names. We take a chance on them not being what they seem to be.
 
Depends on what kind of ecosystem you want. I prefer real names and know that anonymity can take us closer to the devil. But as +Pauline Sweetman points out there can be legitimate uses for pseudonyms.
 
Real names for sure - we'll get enough fake ones even with the rule.
 
I separate my online services into spheres of what I publically want to be identified with - some I use my real name on and some I use handles on. My favorite handle has become entangled with my name over the years, so I even have backup handles for the sites I really want anonymity on.
 
+Mark Cuban Nope, not remotely. Anonymity is constitutionally protected, and while Google's a private company and can do whatever it wants, I don't see why you should enforce your preferences on others.
 
I'm with +Jillian C. York, +Markus Breuer +Pauline Sweetman et. al. here. A "real names" policy is a huge problem for domestic violence survivors, transgendered people, women in families where they're forbidden to use computers, whistleblowers, authors with pseudonyms and many others.
 
Nobody who I know on the internet knows me using my real name. The pseudonym I use in 99% of online social spaces has been in continuous use since 2002, and the pseudonym which preceded it (I transitioned from one to another, and did my best to make people fully aware of the crossover) had been in use since 1995, i.e. the year I started using the internet. One advantage of my pseuds is that neither of them is unique. In offline situations related to the hobby which is my primary non-religious social circle, I introduce myself using that pseudonym. (In fact, that's why I transitioned pseudonyms, because shaking hands and saying, "Please call me Ms. Muffintop*" got to be too much.)

If google+ requires real names, I would have to abandon over fifteen years worth of history in order to be here, because I am absolutely not going to have my employers and co-workers evaluate me for my politics & hobbies. I don't discuss that stuff at the office or with our customers, there is no reason they should have access to it outside of that space.

*Never my real pseud
 
Agree with +Jon Pincus and +Jillian C. York and +Amadi E . "Real" names are good in a way but you have to define real. Theoretically, your current policy allows for people to defend themselves based on that name being what they use day-to-day, but I think the burden should be on Google to show that a name isn't what someone uses, or is being used maliciously. There are people who go by initials all the time. I also hope that changing names will not be a challenge, because of the issues with privacy, safety, and gender. If I hadn't been able to add my middle name, Avory, which is what I now go by 95% of the time due to my gender, I probably would've considered leaving Google, and I've been a huge supporter since about 2001.
 
What amazes me of this type of arguments is that most people seems to assume that by using a name that sounds "real" people are in fact being transparent. Someone mentioned at the beginning the option to verify accounts, when that is implemented, the handle used by the individual will be irrelevant. Meanwhile, lack of verification makes "Donald Glass" as real as "CoolDude01".
Dave Cyra
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Coming from a place where I know that many people have accounts through virtual worlds and online gaming accounts, I don't see a problem with not using real names. If Google wants to data farm off of what people post on G+, why not get unfiltered information of people using an alias vs. their real name? I think it would be awesome if G+ allowed you to use an alias with certain circles i.e. A gamer circle for gamer friends and they only see the gamer alias.
 
That so many people grant greater authority to wallet-names is their prerogative, but it's silly... not because they should be granting greater authority to psuedoanonymous identities like mine, but rather that they shouldn't be granting it to the wallet-names. Ultimately, it's about knowing someone's reputation, not about knowing what's written on a piece of paper in some government office somewhere.

A lot of people seem to have the instinct that so called "real names" increase civility, but I think this is demonstrably not true. You want a for instance? Fine, talk radio. Civil and polite isn't it? No?

To me, the insistence on "real names" seems to be a desire to be able to socially punish those you disagree with-- socially bully them into towing your line. This is not a behavior I would reward or encourage.

I have a solution to all of this though: Google needs to allow us to present different names to different circles. It's how things work in the real world. My parents know me by one name, my local friends by another, my co-workers by a third, my online friends by a fourth. There's no reason I should be forced to mash them all together. Google recognizes this, this is what circles are about. Maybe I don't want to share something with my parents right? So perhaps my name to the public is a pseudonym, my name to my SL circles is my SL avatar, my name to my co-workers is the one I'm known by at work... etc...
 
the key, as many others above have pointed out (such as +Judith Avory Faucette , +Jon Pincus , +Jillian C. York , and others) is to distinguish between pseudonymity and anonymity. Anonymity can and does often produce uncivil discourse. However, many use pseudonyms and have a long history as their pseudonym. People build up clear online reputations and character references using such and that's fine by me. They, as their pseudonym, are held accountable by others, and have their opinions given appropriate weight based on past actions and comments. For the sake of privacy and freedom of speech, I welcome and support people having the right to use pseudonyms.
 
While I am certainly in favor of maximum privacy, that is not why I support permitting handles: as long as we're not entering into a legal contract (formally or informally) our legal names are not relevant to our interactions.
 
So how does this affect people with nicknames, professional names that are different to what their parents call them, and a number of other legitimate uses of non-legal names?

I have a number of Chinese coworkers. To take a made-up example I borrowed off someone else, say my name is Fei Lin on my driver's licence, but my coworkers know me as Barbara. I want to have an English-language account, so Barbara is the most obvious choice, but this isn't my legal name. You're saying I can't do that, so no one I know will ever be able to find me?
 
I am not male. The attitudes towards me in my 20something-year online life would have been very different if I had started by using my real name instead of my pseudonym. I still have new people regularly assume I am male on irc. The "real name" proponents don't seem to have ever needed anything else, but let me assure you that both overt and subtle sexual harassment and discrimination still exists. (Oh, and my pseudonym has more unique hits on google than my "real name" does... Why wouldn't that be a better identifier?)
 
True, anonymity can be worse than liquid courage!
 
Rivka T is spot on. I can't always remember the true names of Publius or Bourbaki, but I admire their work. Anonymity is useless because there's no trust relationship there, no reputation. Pseudonymity isn't the same thing at all.

-- A Gay Girl in Damascus
 
Now, the real question is HOW they can enforce the real names? One can makeup a real-sounding name that is still as fake as "sweetthing69". They have no man power to check IDs from a billion people who are going to want to use G+. People who decide to be anonymous will find a way to do it.
 
Let the end user decide. Freedom of choice rules, and rules that limit choice suck. There are 'real and legitimate' reasons to use pseudonyms. Unless you are going to card everyone, there is no way to assure that 'Bob Johnson' is really who they say they are. Better to have the end user face reality that who you meet on the Internet may not be all that they appear to be. They could just allow for a check box that the end users says, I want to see both real and pseudonym users, or something like click this box to see only confirmed users, or maybe do like Twiitter with it's "Verified" accounts. I say permit the end user the ability to decide.
 
I won't put a huge post here, as I have already been discussing this issue in several long blog posts;<a href="http://gomiso.blogspot.com/2011/07/g-and-beyond-whats-your-target.html">the latest is here.</a> You can find several exhaustive posts searching my blog for the phrase "the politics of information."

Moggs Oceanlane's comment is very pertinent - I have spent over 25 years online, investing my name (s) with respect and accountability from my communities. I have recommended thousands of dollars of purchasing power to various companies using those names based on my reputation and skills. You can track and profile my name, and you will have just as much information to target ads to me as you would using my government-sanctioned "real name" (which I am changing legally to my online handle). You certainly would have more information to target ads to me under this name then you would under a legal name, which I have taken great pains to keep <i>off</i> the net, knowing as much as I do about the state of security, that data breeches are most-often inside jobs or negligence and the lax and laissez-faire handling of databases prevalent in the industry.

If someone would like to sacrifice all that goodwill in product recommendation from a knowledgeable and trusted technician, that's their choice. It's not like I need Google or its products; I have grown up with the net and I know there's much more out there than one company (including alternate search engines, trustable email and social connections). I'd point to Sony and nVidia as examples of people who squandered years of word-of-mouth recommendations and sales for one quick quarterly bump only to savage their long-term reputation.
 
+DeNovo Broome If only that were no longer the case. As as man with long hair I've been verbally and physically assaulted regularly throughout my adult life by the 'hetmales' and 'hetfemales' that you mention both by those who initially thought I was female and those who recognised from the outset that I was male (incidentally, what a horrible neologism, speaking also as a heterosexual male).
 
There are plenty of places for anonymous postings. Check out the trolls on - well, pretty much anywhere!
 
The thought of having texts..emails. . replacing phone calls and handwritten notes..etc.. even the smell of the pages of a crisp page to be read from thr presses. ..or the indescribable mellow earthy scent ..with added firings of the scent by tangible medium. . IM GOING THERE. .HOLD ON TO YOUR BRITCHES! .. the emotions and weathering of a library book..
Im cool with it..not really. .but in a swimming against a tidal wave acceptance. .But that's not ghe the case..We are losing fellowship ..trying to keep up with the image that is supposed to be YOU in the always happy..artist...Soho chic pout ..etc..Not picking up dog poop..too many images..I digress..
WE ARE NOW LOSING IDENTITY..CREATING FALSE IDENTITIES MARK..TO OURSELVES..THUSLY..FAMILIAL..COMMUNITY ..And so on...and so on..
Having lived in Silicon Valley ..91..2001 Los Gatos..I fell..and fall in between the outgoing gregarious. .to the introvert. .well..the drag is Im dealing with implosion...Depressed state..etc..is actually me not wanting to check Facebook. .or emails. .Slippery Slope. .

If you need to not give your name. .then really. .at a very base level. .somethings not right..nor is tetering ..
If its public persona..have your admin ..someone legit to leave some breadcrumbs for a trail that may just save someone....your alias..you..or someone else who falls prey to Sugarbear4U@rabbithole.com

Now..back to my reclusive state that ..tis no coincidence I read and replied. .dont think Ive done so on G+ ..maybe ..or it could've been my alias!
Gotsta go..SharkTank in 10 minutes..even though. .DVR..on an LG SMART TV..I just realized..its not the same feeling. .as Ive not been watching ..from said sofa..with furry sons..
At least Im..whomever I am.. able to have the ability to Love..
Gadgets..? Progress...awesome..Bottom line folks. ..
All You Need is Love..
Its THE ONLY REALITY. .
Shine On..

 
I think if you gotta hide then your girlfriend is most likely being cheated on cuz if your woman dont know the name your hiding more than you should and Women deserve faithful loving honest men. If she is the same to the man. Thats my opinion
 
Such foul, reckless thread necromancy! I hope your tower is well secured lest your necromantic experiments run amok and overwhelm you.
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