Google Backs Off From Requiring Real Names On Social Network

Google has some fantastic news for JoeBlow58736 and F1irtyGirl25, as well as anyone else who prefers to use their online nickname versus their real identity. You are no longer required to use your real name when creating a Google+ account, representing a reversal in policy that's in place since the social network launched over threes year ago.

"We know you've been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users," Google stated on its Google+ page. For this we apologize, and we hope that today's change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be. Thank you for expressing your opinions so passionately, and thanks for continuing to make Google+ the thoughtful community that it is.?"

Name tag
Image Source: Flickr (Quinn Dombrowski)

Google doesn't have any regrets for requiring real names up to this point, as it helped created a community made up of real people, which was the goal from the beginning. However, things got a little confusing as Google started to allow exceptions in certain cases. Most notably, +Page owners were allowed to use any name they wanted, and YouTube users were allowed to bring their usernames over to the social network.

Interestingly, the change in policy is being met with mixed reactions in the comments section of Google's announcement. Some are thrilled that they can finally use their online nicknames, while others are worried that it will lead to trolling from users who can now hide behind fake identities.

What's your take on this? Do you think this is a good move by Google, or should it stick with requiring real names?