Google+ finally ends real name requirement (memes)

16 Jul 2014

After much criticism, Google+ has given up on its requirement for people signing up to the social network to use their real name.

More than three years since its launch, Google+ has arguably struggled to reach its expectations, that is, to be a competitor to other social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

In a post on its Google+ page, Google has apologised for what proved to be a somewhat failed attempt to remove anonymity from the internet with all of Google’s sites, including YouTube, which asked users to use their real name when posting comments.

While this has largely been seen as an effort to remove trolls hiding behind anonymity from online discussions, it also had some unexpected side effects whereby people who live a totally different life online for fear of abuse or embarrassment suddenly found themselves exposed to the world.

“We know you’ve been calling for this change for awhile,” the post reads. “We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users.

“For this we apologise, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be.”

Because of its efforts to push users towards a product consumers weren’t sure about or wanted at all, Google caused commotion online, so much so that a whole host of memes sprang up about the failure to adapt to Google+.




Mean girls


South Park

Google empty room


Google+ image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic