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I wrote this on Google+, but I’ll repost it here.

Here’s an amusing irony about the ‘real-names’ versus pseudonyms debate. Many ‘real-namers’ object to the existence of pseudonymous profiles on the basis that it gives the pseudonymous free run to ‘act like jerks’ and that this would not happen if they were forced to use their real names.

However, having watched the debate, here on Google Plus, and on some other places, I note that almost all of the ‘acting like a jerk’ parts during the debate is being done by people who appear to be using their real names, while the pseudonymous users are – by comparison – far more civil and reasonable.

I put forward the suggestion, therefore, that if you’re inclined to be a jerk, you’re going to be one regardless of whether you’re doing it under your own name or not. If you’re not inclined to be a jerk, then having a pseudonym makes it no more likely that you will behave like one.

My conclusion is that pseudonymous users are no more or less likely to be jerks or trolls than users fronting under their wallet-names.

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Categories: Culture, Opinion.

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