Steven Levy interviewed Google’s Bradley Horowitz about Google+:
Wired: Some users are chafing at Google’s insistence that they provide real names. Explain the policy against pseudonyms.
Horowitz: Google believes in three modes of usage—anonymous, pseudonymous, and identified, and we have a spectrum of products that use all three. For anonymity, you can go into incognito mode in Chrome and the information associated with using the browser is not retained. Gmail and Blogger are pseudonymous—you can go be firstname.lastname@example.org. But with products like Google Checkout, you’re doing a financial transaction and you have to use your real name.For now, Google+ falls into that last category. There are great debates going on about this—I saw one comment yesterday that claimed that pseudonyms protect the experience of women in the system. I felt compelled to respond, because I’ve gotten feedback from women who say that the accountability of real names makes them feel much more comfortable in Google+.
Notice that Horowitz did not answer the question, and what he did say was just ridiculous nonsense. Steven Levy at Wired didn’t seem to notice, or care.
Horowitz tries to make us think that we need our real name when making a financial transaction. Thousands of years of currency proves that is not the case.
Horowitz then goes on to blurrily equate making a financial transaction with sharing videos of cats on Google+.
And then the cherry on the top: Google+ protects women.
This was the closest there was to a serious question in the whole interview and Horowitz just laughed out of his arse at it.
I emailed Steven Levy and asked him why, given the opportunity of interviewing Horowitz, he didn’t ask anything close to a serious question. It’s been over a week and I’ve had no response.
TL;DR: Don’t trust Steven Levy to report honestly about Google.
Hi Steven, I hope you're well. I read your article "Inside Google Plus" the other day and I have a couple of questions I hope you'll have time to answer, I was surprised to notice that you didn't ask any questions about privacy - Google+ unequivocally raises numerous serious privacy concerns. Why did you decide not to put any of these questions to Horowitz? Regarding your question about pseudonyms, Horowitz didn't really answer your question. He kind of claimed that financial transactions cannot be anonymous and that Google+ is somehow like a financial transaction. To be frank, his answer seemed just hand waving - why didn't you challenge him on this harder? Best regards, John Leach  http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/09/ff_google_horowitz/