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Real names policy

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Real names is an online social networking policy by which community sites, such as Citizendium, Google, and Facebook, ask users to register and post under their real names.

To ensure that contributors, whether to Citizendium’s knowledge base or to administrative functions, have registered under their real names, the Citizendium will employ a real names verification methodology appropriate to the applicant and as foolproof as is practically possible.


Since Citizendium in 2007 pioneered a real names policy in the hope that such a policy would create a kinder social environment than at Wikipedia, this policy has caught on among the big social networking sites. Both Facebook and Google have introduced real names policies in 2010 or 2011. But, quickly, these policies became ridiculous and the backlash to them became known as the Nym Wars. One example of the insane levels to which Facebook, for instance, has taken the policy was when it required the internationally renowned author Salman Rushdie to use his birth name ("Ahmed Rushdie") on its site.[1]


Alexis Madrigal, "Facebook Tells Salman Rushdie He Has to Go by His Given Name, Ahmed Rushdie," The Atlantic, November 14, 2011.

Alexis Madrigal, "Why Facebook and Google's Concept of 'Real Names' is Revolutionary," The Atlantic, August 5, 2011.

Jillian C. York, "A Case for Pseudonyms," Electronic Frontier Foundation, July 29, 2011

Kevin Marks, "Our brains make the social graph real," Epeus' epigone, November 9, 2011.

Jamie Zawinski, "Nym Wars" JWZ<?>, August 20, 2011.

Can anyone figure out the name of this blog?

Danah Boyd, "“Real Names” Policies Are an Abuse of Power," Danah Boyd | apophenia, August 4, 2011.