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I grew up with the "don't use your real name on the internet" in the back of my head, this was before kids got internet safety classes.

5-10 years later, Facebook came up with their real name policy and started asking people to snitch on their friends if they used a fake name. Google, and mainly Youtube, came with a real name policy as well, on the one hand for Google+, but on the other to try and fight comment abuse - theory being people are more hesitant to be a dick on the internet if they use their real name.

But people got used to that real fast, and since there was little consequences anyway, it didn't work.

People have valid reasons to use a fake name on the internet; government and business surveillance is a big one. Abusive / stalker exes are another. Having an alternate persona (e.g. entertainers, authors) which people are trying to hide from their un-understanding or abusive family, or society at large.

> People have valid reasons to use a fake name on the internet; […]

Here is a more exhaustive list: Who is harmed by a "Real Names" policy?


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