Anonymity has long been a bastion of the Internet. For many it’s a plus, but others see it as a problem. Apparently Google+ is moving toward the latter position. They are insisting that users use their real names to get an account. This, Google believes, will prevent people from hijacking celebrity names or engaging in stalking. On the other hand, it could also prevent people from using the site to express their true selves and voice their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation.
In a blog post published yesterday, tech blogger Robert Scoble defended the decision, comparing the social networking site to a restaurant that, “doesn’t allow people who aren’t wearing shirts to enter.” He says, “that Google is on the right track here even though I feel they weren’t fair or smart in how they spun up these new rules.”
Not everyone agrees, however. One comment argued, “Google will be missing a huge opportunity to influence the world in a positive way and to ‘fight evil’, if they refuse to allow the 150,000,000 People in the Middle East join G+ simply because they don’t want to post their real name for their dictators to see.” Without mentioning him by name, he could easily have been referring to Wael Ghonim, the Google exec who played such a pivotal role in using social networking to help bring down the Egyptian regime.