An anonymous reader writes "While the idea of anonymous social networking sounds like an oxymoron, the use of pseudonyms to mask a user's online identity has a long history that stretches back to the earliest days of the Internet and local bulletin board systems (BBS). Such imperfect anonymity, which can often be unmasked with a few well-defined Google searches, has led to abuses like the invention of 'spambots' and the persistence of forum trolls. But, as the BBC reports, pseudonyms have their place in online communities, especially where identities are a risky commodity, under oppressive state regimes and governments where corporate interests increasingly dominate the interests of individuals: 'Some users choose to hide their identity to avoid being found by people they would not like to be contacted by. Others live in countries where identification could have serious implications for those who have expressed political views or associated themselves with others who have.' Should Google+ and maybe even the notorious Facebook evolve into two-tiered sites where those who choose to remain anonymous are 'identified' as such and denied access to certain site features, while being free to post, blog, or tweet their views, without summarily getting their accounts suspended or revoked?"
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