Google, up until this weekend, stood behind the pretty notion that they want us to use our common names so that we can socialize better. They want us to be a happy social network. They want us to chat and play games blissfully with people online as we would if we met them randomly on the street. They don't want the bad bad people who use pseudonyms to come in and spam and troll us! They want us to use common names for our own benefit. Because they love us!
Besides! Google promised to do no evil, right? It's a good thing their definition of "evil" does not include lies and deception!
The truth is, we are consumers using a free product that they have to pay for. Our real names are, apparently, paramount to that. None of us are sure how this actually works when there really is no verification for us regular folk to prove that we are truly using our real names. Personally, I assumed that, if Google wanted to sell me to advertisers, they would just give them the information they already have, such as my age, location, interests.... I'm not the only one who thought that a simple solution to appease both advertisers and users was to have a back end verification process that required our proper information that we knew Google was giving to advertisers in some way, shape and form, while we were allowed to socialize however we want on the front end. But nope, our real names - or at least what looks like real names - are the bow on the gift they are giving to advertisers.
So anyway, this weekend, Google ex-CEO, now Chairman Eric Schmidt finally and officially let the cat out of the bag (get it? Cat? Internet?). It's all over the internet, so there's no need for me to try to reword everything. Instead, I've been hunting down the various articles and loading them up here for prosperity. (Transcript of Schmidt's comments)
See you on Judgment Day!