Tag Archives: Real Names

Publicness, Persistence, and the case against Real Name policies

6 Aug
Identity by fotologic

Identity by fotologic

Or, If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no record of it, did it really happen?

Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic recently published the piece “Why Facebook and Google’s Concept of ‘Real Names’ Is Revolutionary” in which he presented what may be a novel argument in the debate over real name policies on the internet by showing that real name policies affecting everyone, not just disparate minority populations.

While real name policies do seem to make sense for probably 90% of users (they protect us from trolling and spam accounts, they help us to make sure that we know the people with whom we’re connecting), they’re a real (obvious) problem for a minority of people.  Unfortunately, in the case of the real name debate, the poster child for the minority population is a teenager questioning his sexuality… not someone that the powers that be want to rally behind.  (Off base fears about gay recruiting, egads!) Continue reading

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