Monday, August 29, 2011

Us And Them (Dave Winer on Google's real names policy)

A little while ago, I posted Us And Them (Fred Wilson on Google's real names policy). That post included the following:

"Thomas Hawk" is as real as...well, as real as Logical Extremes. Hawk blogs and shares under a pseudonym. Granted it's a very well-known pseudonym AND it looks like a real name, but it's still not the name that Hawk uses when he cashes his stockbroker paychecks. (His real name is available online from several sources, not that I know how accurate they are.)

Now if you're a Google customer (i.e. an advertiser), would you rather know that some guy named Andrew is talking about your camera equipment, or that Thomas Hawk is talking about your camera equipment?

It's all a little murky.

But it's not murky to Dave Winer:

On 7/26/11 I wrote that Google-Plus is a bank.

They want to move money around the same way Amazon does. They need your real name because it's a business.

However, as one of Winer's commenters (Moshe Eshel) noted, Amazon doesn't require that your profile include a real name.

So why does Google require it?
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