Real Names: Google+, Government & The Identity Ecosystem – Search Engine Watch (#SEW)

There has been a lot of speculation about why the push for real names on Facebook and now Google, with Google taking a much harder line than even Facebook, not allowing for even the simplest derivation of “nyms” (pseudonyms). Add to this the fact that Facebook and Google have both purchased facial recognition software companies and you have a puzzling picture. Why do these two need facial recognition software and real names for social media and search engine results?

Why is a company like Google taking such a hard line on something as simple as a name – even though there is no verification process for the “real name,” so ultimately this policing is currently meaningless.

Why isn’t your online “nym” as real as your “real name” if it is what you use online? After all, what’s really in a name? Isn’t it just a word that tells people who you are?

Shouldn’t online “nyms” be as valid as “real names”? Well not according to Google, which is purging even real names if they sound unusual or “unreal.”

Google+: Identity Service


Just two years ago in 2009, in the name of Internet freedom, Google refused to go along with South Korea’s Real ID/Real Name policy.

Rachel Whetstone, Google’s vice president of global communications and public affairs said in an April 2009 statement titled, “Freedom of Expression on the Internet”:


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