02 Sep '11, 5am

Commentary: Curtailing anonymity on the web will not only help preserve freedom of expression, it will encourage it

One of the founding principles of the Web - not only the technology but the culture that has grown up with it - is that, as The New Yorker cartoon once put it: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." The policy that people are free to interact online anonymously - or at least using pseudonyms - is now under attack from social networking companies. Both Facebook and Google, which in June launched a competing service called Google Plus, have cracked down on people trying to use pseudonyms rather than full identities. "The Internet would be better if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person as opposed to a dog, or a fake person, or a spammer," Mr Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, said at the Edinburgh International Television Festival last week. He was echoing Ms Randi Zuckerberg, Facebook's former marketing director, who declared earlier this year that, "an...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC110902-0000238/It-is-...

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