What would be some acceptable reasons, according to you, to use Quora under a name that was not your real name?

I disagree with the insistence on Real Name, which people assume automatically makes people more accountable and civil. I think it’s wrongheaded, and fighting a symptom rather than a disease. But the question doesn’t ask about that; it asks about exceptions.

Tom Ramsay cited “Child discussing abusive parents who monitor their Internet usage. Quora has already removed their anon privileges.” Clarissa Lohr cited people who are “halfway through a gender transition.”

I’ll combine them: minors who are transgender, cannot legally drop their deadname yet, cannot initiate their transition, and are living with unsympathetic parents who will block any attempt to change their deadname—or worst still, from whom the minor is hiding their transgender status. In fact, I’m in touch with one now.

And Quora’s suggested remedy for such teens is what? To write only anonymously? And to stop writing under a name here at all? And that’s better? Well, if you think Quora is only about dry questions and answers, you might think that. I don’t.

I’ll add: women who get stalked here. The annals of Quora are thick with women who switch their surname to their middle name, to preempt or escape unwanted attention, only to be forced to switch back by moderation. I know of three cases of women I happen to follow in the past half year. They should just go anonymous on all their contributions as well?

There’s something incredibly… myopic about the insistence on Real Name. Myopic, and anti-social media. I think it does harm that people blind themselves to.

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