A vocal group has been fighting this requirement in a growing protest known as “Nymwars“.
Google’s requirement is based on their plan to use G+ as an identity service while the nymwarriors demand that real identities are sometimes used by oppressive regimes to stifle free speech and track political activists.
Google’s position violates the “Don’t be evil” code. It also ignores an important market demand: profile management. G+ should allow real people with real names to create public profiles of any nickname they like. These nicknames would be persistently attached to the account, and bad behavior could remain accountable, but real people could remain anonymous to the public to avoid retribution or political oppression.
It’s usually a good idea to give users what they want, and in this case, Google could use this opportunity to become a new kind of identity provider: one that supports private links between private citizens and their public profiles.