- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2012

Google is relaxing a requirement that real names be used on its Plus social network.

Many people have been seeking the right to set up accounts using nicknames or pseudonyms, but Google has been suspending them when it knows of violations.

Google said Monday that it will now allow nicknames and pseudonyms, as well as maiden names and names in non-Latin scripts.

There’s a catch, though. Google may still deny some names. People would then have to offer proof that they are known by that alternate name, such as through a reference in a news article or a link to a blog with a “meaningful following.”

Plus’s rival, Facebook, requires real names. Some social networks have been reluctant to permit alternate names, arguing that real names improve trust.

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