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The internet continues to become a little less anonymous

Dominick Reuter   

The internet continues to become a little less anonymous
  • Reservations site OpenTable will no longer allow users post anonymous reviews.
  • The move comes a month after careers site Glassdoor started requiring real names to use the service.

Anonymity has long been simultaneously one of the best and worst things about the internet.

Now restaurant reservations service OpenTable has decided that the benefits of anonymous posting don't outweigh the costs.

The company told Business Insider it will no longer support posting anonymous reviews, and will require diners' comments to include their first name and their selected OpenTable profile image.

OpenTable also reversed an earlier plan, first reported by tech news site Bleeping Computer last week, that would have de-anonymized past reviews posted to the platform.

"Following feedback from our diner community, and in line with our continued commitment to trusted reviews, we are making refinements to our restaurant reviews program," the company said in a statement on Sunday. "To increase transparency, on a go-forward basis only, we will no longer be supporting anonymous restaurant reviews. This change will go into effect later this year."

The reported policy change comes a month after after Wired found that careers site Glassdoor had begun requiring users to provide their real names for account verification, though they still have the option of posting anonymous content to the company's services.

"We use your real name and email address for verification purposes only, to make sure everyone is who they say they are. After that, your privacy takes priority," Glassdoor says in an FAQ page.

One Reddit user was quick to dismiss concerns about OpenTable's change, saying, "This is how you get King Tuttle's, Emperor Nero's, and Kim Jongummm on the reservation list. Customers will outsmart this in no time."

UPDATE: April 15, 2024 — This story was updated to reflect OpenTable's adjustment after it received feedback on the policy reported last week regarding previously anonymous reviews.

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