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Trend to real names

What is the advantage?

Posted by Jeena

I was thinking about is that trend to force users to use their real names. Facebook is doing it for a long time and now Google+ is too.

Just yesterday I was reading a feminists blog post Anonymous oder Susimaus – Geschlecht im Internet (I'm sorry it's in German, you could try the Google translation if you do not understand German) and they link to a study where Female-Name Chat Users Get 25 Times More Malicious Messages. Obviously you could just say that they should just grow a thicker skin, but that seems to me like the wrong approach.

In the comments you can find an interesting reading about the forced public gender in your Google+ profile by Randall Munroe, yes the guy who is doing XKCD.

The problem I have with real names is that I don't understand the advantage of using the real name on the Internet. I can write a hell of a long list with disadvantages ...

... but my list with advantages is mostly just:

  1. Your old and new friends can find you more easily.
  2. Your word has more weight compared to someones who uses a nickname when strangers read it.

Nr. 1 is just a good thing if you want them to find you and nr. 2 is only a real point if you actually care for how strangers on the internet think about what you write.

I'd love to hear some more advantages, but real ones which you can not archive with help of a nickname.

Have you written a response? Let me know the URL:

There's also indie comments (webmentions) support.