Google finally drops its 'Real Name' policy

Posted by Kathleen Noon on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 @ 05:50 AM

Last week Google finally got rid of its real name policy, which users have loudly objected to since its introduction. Previously, Google services would try to pressure users into attaching their real names to their accounts, which many saw as invasive and unnecessary.

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The concept behind the policy was pretty sound - that people would be less likely to engage in 'trolling' and leaving abusive comments under their real name. Unfortunately, previously active and respectful users stopped commenting while the problem users carried on under their real names (or whichever 'real name' was approved by Google).

For three years, Google has insisted upon changing the names of its users to realistic names, though they started rolling back the restrictions in 2012. Initially they allowed users to register under approved nicknames and maiden names, though they still displayed your real name after these nicknames.

The change was announced on Google's social media platform, Google+ (duh), and came alongside an apology from the internet giant itself. The announcement included:
 

"We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologise, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be."


Hopefully this move will encourage formerly active, respectful users to return in all of their pseudonym-ed glory. 

 

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* Google+ Image via Shutterstock

Topics: Social Media News & Strategies

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