As I told Jared and some of you, I am worried that we're entering a slippery slope where we start designing incentives and functionality around real names and we end up treating pseudonym users as second-class citizens. There are many intermediate options between real names and  "cheap" pseudonyms. Paul Resnick and Kaliya Hamlin gave excellent presentations at the Reputation workshop last year [1] on many alternatives that can be explored. I asked them to share a couple of readings on this issue and I'll forward them to the list when I hear back from them.



On Sep 26, 2013, at 10:40 AM, Steven Walling <> wrote:

On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 10:08 AM, David Gerard <> wrote:
> I thought this was actually a bunk theory? For my non-science reasoning:
> see facebook. Full of hateful/stupid/racist/etc/etc comments.

Yes. (a) there's no evidence for this theory (b) it's seriously discriminatory:

Yep, agreed. Requiring real names is never going to happen on Wikipedia. 

Jared has, in the past, suggested that for users that choose to set their real name (in preferences or during registration, if that field is an option at that point), we could display Flow comments or similar under someone's real name. I thought this was interesting, since  the real name field is specifically intended for public attribution purposes AFAIK?

Interesting example of failure of real name requirements: for a time South Korea mandated that all websites over 100K visitors had to use real names. It decreased abusive comments from drive-by users (1-2) comments, but did nothing to encourage civility in longtime participants.[1] 

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