Why real names?

Google+ wants to play the same game as Facebook does.

Google Plus Deleting Accounts En Masse- No Clear Answers – ZDNet

It’s an Internet tradition that you don’t use your real name in forums, unless your intent is to market yourself or your entity. You use a fake name not just to hide your identity, but also to establish a different identity.

Yet, it’s one thing to pretend that you are some other real person or that your are representing an entity that you are not related to. That’s simply illegal, and should be.

Companies can enforce use of real names, but please don’t expect all to comply. I have (and need) several test accounts on Facebook, and obviously they are not in my real name, as I don’t want them to be associated with me.

Facebook, Google+ etc are time-wasters at heart, with the business model of creating a crowd for generating ad revenue and act as a revenue share hub for other companies’ services, like gaming. You don’t need real names for that. What such services need though is correct information about your interests etc so they can target ads, but that’s no reason for you to write anything about yourself in your profile, if you don’t want to.

Interestingly Google and Facebook are increasing its lobbying activities. Maybe the issue of real names is in there somewhere.

Google & Facebook Set Company Records for Lobbyist Spending – Yahoo! News

Especially considering e.g. this:

weis2011.econinfosec.org-papers-Real Name Verification Law on the Internet – A Poison or Cu.pdf