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In an effort to make Google+ a trustworthy social networking service, Google is exploring a policy of requiring members to use their real identity for their Google+ account. The policy, similar to the real name requirement for Facebook, follows the profile verification program Google+ Begins Verification Of Celebrity Accounts [News] Google+ Begins Verification Of Celebrity Accounts [News] Concerned that the George Clooney who added you to his circles isn’t the real deal? Now you can rest easy, courtesy of Google. The company has introduced a new verification badge program that will give... Read More Google started recently to verify celebrities and public figures who are added to lots of circles.

In a recent interview with Andy Carvin, of National Public Radio, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, in part, that “G+ was build [sic] primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information“. This means verified Google+ users will be able to easily identify themselves to many different online services.

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Most users of social networking services understand that anonymous accounts invite spammers, scammers and trolls. But some critics contend that requiring real names could be problematic for ordinary users. For the more Google+ members connect to other services on the Internet via Google+, the more they reveal their identity to other sites, sometimes unknowingly. Also, CNN writer Pete Cashmore added that the verification move “is harmful to political activists, victims of harassment and numerous other groups for whom using a real name online might pose a safety risk“.

The verification policy doesn’t apply to most Google+ users – for now anyway – but Google is making plans to broaden its criteria for which members will need to verify their names. It will likely follow the real name policy of Facebook, one of its major competitors. Google said that before closing questionable accounts, affected members will have the opportunity to respond and clarify their identity.

Source: CNNTech

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  1. kosso
    September 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I had a 'verified name' checkmark for a few days, then it suddenly vanished. No reason why it was given or taken. I have been verified by them already to be able to use the name 'Kosso' (K) which I 'commonly go by'.

    • Bakari
      September 5, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      Hmm, this interesting. Seems like this requirement might get more and more complicated as it is enforced. 

  2. jonston
    September 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    In all the articles I've seen, no one details just how verification is done. Anyone know?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      September 7, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      Jonston, a verification button would be next to your name, i believe, and click it and go from there. But that's my guess.

  3. Mulder
    September 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Note to Bakari: Eric Schmidt is not a founder of Google. He's just the CEO.  The only founders are Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

    A correction is in order.

    • Tina
      September 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks for catching that one, Mulder!

    • Bakari
      September 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks Mulder for pointing that out. 

  4. thecolor
    September 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I've already been suspended because of my sudo name. I'm not even got to rebut it, it's a waste of time. I just stopped using anything that demanded it / I deleted my profile to avoid the hassle.

    • Bakari
      September 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      Did you contact them about it and tell them why you're using a sudo name?

      • thecolor
        September 6, 2011 at 12:41 am

        no, all the comments I've read indicate it's pointless, they will not budge for any name they deem not real.

  5. Anonymous
    September 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    "Pete Cashmore added that the verification move “is harmful to political activists, victims of harassment and numerous other groups for whom using a real name online might pose a safety risk“" 

    I would think if a political activist wanted to remain anonymous he would simply use another service, which allows anonymity. Anyway I say its a great idea, prevents all these scammers, trolls, and stalkers from coming on board. Those who wish to be safe from them let then accept, otherwise go on facebook.

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