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Google+ Real-Name Policy Is Abuse Of Power, Microsoft Researcher Says

Dana Boyd, a researcher at the Windows maker Microsoft Corp has criticised Google over its real-name-policy in the company’s latest venture into the world of social media, Google+.

"Real-names policies aren't empowering; they're an authoritarian assertion of power over vulnerable people," Boyd said.

The real-name-policy adopted by Google prevents users from creating unidentified, pseudonymous user IDs. The site initially went to the extent of deleting any such fake or pseudonymous account. However, after being subjected to severe criticism from various corners, Google adopted a softer approach by warning users first if there was a violation of its real-name-policy.

“Google Profiles is a product that works best in the identified state. This way you can be certain you’re connecting with the right person, and others will have confidence knowing that there is someone real behind the profile they’re checking out,” the company argued in defence of the policy.

“For this reason, Google Profiles requires you to use the name that you commonly go by in daily life,” they added.

According to Boyd, the policy adopted by Google is nothing else but just an “abuse of power of the privileged and geeky, and the not so privileged and geeky,” according to a report on eWeek.