I think we’re witnessing a fascinating shift in online culture. The era of hacker handles is over. We’ve grown out of it the same way I grew out of Pink Floyd. (Even though I still listen to Animals occasionally. It’s the sheep.) The internet is not a second life anymore, it’s your first one. You don’t slip into a pseudonym when you use the phone, why should you be someone else online? Hacker handles were training wheels, and they’re off the bike now whether you like it or not.

This doesn’t mean that there will be no anonymous or pseudonymous conversation on the internet. There will always be a need for anonymous speech, just as there’ll always be a need to pay in cash. It’s just not up to giant multinational corporations to provide that for us, nor should we trust them to do so.