Google has begun requiring that users who write app reviews on Google Play publicly link the reviews to their Google+ accounts, Google has confirmed for SocialTimes.
Google+ accounts are, in turn, linked to users’ Gmail accounts, making false identities more difficult to maneuver than on other social networking sites. There is no opt-out of the feature.
The company says the move will help users “find reviews [they] trust.”
Not everyone agrees with Google’s push for real identities on the Web.
“Google Plus’s real-name policy has been the subject of controversy in the past, as there are legitimate and understandable reasons why people sometimes want to be anonymous on the net. Yes, even when leaving app reviews. For instance, you can understand why some folks may not want others to know what Android apps they have installed, or to have crazy-ass app developers know exactly who it was who slagged off their rubbish fart app,” wrote Sophos Security’s British blogger Graham Cluley.
But a Google spokeswoman emphasized that those who don’t wish to leave their names can still use Google Play “to browse, search and buy content and read other reviews.”
For those users who don’t have photos in their Google+ accounts, Google Play will display the standard blue icon next to the review, the company said.