Name Droppers

Facebook and Google+ stumble as they try to stamp out pseudonyms

Illustration by Hinterland for TIME

Tech: Name Droppers

Google's Facebook-like social network, Google+, has for the most part earned rave reviews. One policy, however, has made some people downright furious: Google forbids the use of pseudonyms. This requirement has helped keep the level of discourse on Google+ high, although skeptics wonder if the bigger motivator is the potential to help the company's bottom line. Who knows what kind of data mining Google can do if it starts linking people's real names to their online activities? Meanwhile, the no-pseudonym rule runs contrary to long-standing traditions in the online domain, where many people use names that are fictional--sometimes obviously so and...

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