29 Nov 2012

Anonymity not an Option for Reviewers Posting on Google Play

The latest version of Google Play will require Android users who intend to post a review on Google Play to use a Google+ account to openly link comments to their identity, with the name and picture they use to authenticate in Google+.

Although the company hasn’t explained this new regulation, some speculate it may be Google’s effort to block spam, and mean or irrelevant messages from competitors, or “professional trolls,” while boosting the quality of the reviews. This could aim at a sense of responsibility in making a product or service review, or posting comments to an article, for instance.

 “Google+ requires registration, and even if the user fakes an identity, it is linked to an account whose activity history can be tracked and would create greater accountability”, said Charlene Li, partner and founder at the Altimeter Group as reported by Tech News World. "But it obviously is also a way to support Google+. It increases the amount of content in Google+ and makes it more useful as a result."

This regulation is difficult to implement and Billy Pidgeon, senior analyst at Inside Network, fears some businesses may misuse privacy agreements or expose user data, while crooks hidden behind spoofed identities make users distrust the system which would be no different than anonymous trolling today.