Nym Wars

Nym Wars published on 1 Comment on Nym Wars

The Empire does not require your true name.

But Google+ does.
So does Facebook (up to a point)

The uproar online regarding Google’s policy of requiring you to use your real name to join their G+ network has spawned the term “Nym Wars.
Many are concerned about the reasons they need to give their true identity away to some of the social networks, as they prefer to use an alias when performing online activity.

As you may have noticed, I don’t use my real name for most of my online identities. However, I am not precious enough to insist that Google and Facebook have no rights to know what my given name is.
In my opinion, if they REALLY want to know it, they either;
a) already know it
b) will be able to find it out pretty easily

I can understand why people are getting upset over this, but I think they also need to step back and think for a minute about a few things.
1 – These social networks are free. You don’t pay them so you need to realise that ultimately you do not get to dictate their rules and guidelines for them.
2 – These social networks are a “nice to have” and not a given right. They don’t have to play your game if they do not want to.
3 – Pseudonymity is NOT anonymity. Just because you use a Pseudonym does not mean that no one will ever find out your real identity.
4 –   If you don’t want to give your real name to Google or Facebook, then don’t and choose not to use their product. It really is that simple.

But I do agree that control over our identity matters online. It will be interesting to see who wins these wars – us or them.

Of course, the points above are just my personal opinions.
In the interests of providing a balanced argument, please read this article about the reasons why pseudonymity is important : On Pseudonymity, Privacy and Responsibility on Google+