Is there an organization trying to promote a parallel branch of the web —but an authentic one— where user would surf with their true identities? (Individual identities will be checked with the same importance they are now for money transaction).

That parallel web would look like a google where only identified users would be able to login. It would not obviously replace its anonymous version (the current web) but offer a complementary usage. People could choose to surf on the current web but will have to prove and show their true identity to access the "transparent web" (let's say Tweb). This Tweb will be reserved to people looking for an authentic web experience.

Ideally a same website could be accessible from both webs to gain as much benefit from the anonymous web (e.g. to keep the freedom to talk about controversial topics) and the transparent one (cf. the benefit below). The webmaster of this website might be interested to offer different services according to the type of connection chosen. This duo system would establish a healthy separation between opinion (that could be anonymous) and behavior. Enabling anonymous connection for opinions will help to avoid the conformism tendency that will result from a unique transparency network.

Some advantages of this transparent web: It would not solve all the problems but reputation and transparency should bring more self-control and responsibility. This should, by extension, create more trust but also respect, more empathetic behaviors and all these things needed to build real human interactions and real communities. Trust and reputation might also increase resource sharing and cooperation: imagine a web where you could lend or give money to anybody simply based on his reputation. This transparency network would favor pro-social skills (such as honesty or integrity) and discourage the lack of it. It would be a web without captcha, spam, and maybe even password where you could quickly evaluate who you are dealing with.


1 As AJ Henderson mentioned, a hybrid platform that would allow both: verified + unverified user on the same service would not be interesting. The idea is to allow only verified users in a specific part (where anonymous will be forbidden), and tolerate anonymous login only for the other part that would benefit for it. The "opinion network", is needed to avoid conformism bias).

2 The main point of this would not be to create secure connection (it already exists). It's not either to build more trust and transparency between the user and the webmaster (even if it will be a happy side effect). The main goal would be to create trust between the users, to emulate real community dynamic (through a verified identity and transparency between user)

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    Quora has verified identities, have you looked to see if that had done them any good? (Though beware of their self-assessment — they tend to ignore the contributions they've not had from people who don't join Quora because of their real name policy.) Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 0:55
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    thanks for this, I edited my question. I agree, I believe a line should be drawn between opinion and behavior to avoid conformism tendency.
    – JinSnow
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


Technically this could be accomplished with something as simple as an oAuth Identity provider that requires personal identity proving to create a profile. This is already done by many certificate authorities and I have such an oAuth identity with StartSSL.

That said, I'm not sure I see much value in the hybrid platform you are talking about. Having a mix of verified individuals and unverified individuals isn't any different from having unverified individuals. Anyone who wants to misbehave could simply create an unverified user while using their curated verified user for whatever they want.

Since it would only require that a user do what they want to do on a verified identity, it has no advantage over someone simply having a username that they can claim (and prove) as their own at will. Having the account AJ Henderson(verified) isn't any more advantage than having User12345 that I can say is mine on my website or from another profile and having User12345 claim to be AJ Henderson as well.

There could be an advantage in terms of having greater trust for services provided to the user by a site, but that's simply up to a site to determine if they trust any particular identity provider. There wouldn't be some standard application. They could decide what services they wanted to provide to different oAuth providers today already.

Simply put though, when you combine an anonymous option and a non-anonymous option, you get the worst of both, not the best. You only get the advantages of being non-anonymous if you remove the anonymous option entirely.

Update: Based on your clarifications, I'm still not sure I see the benefit. I don't see how it would aid user's ability to trust each other any more than having anonymous but universal users. It seems like you are concerned about the complexity of trying to have a trusted identity, but the fact is that knowing who someone is doesn't really give you the ability to trust them. There are plenty of people out there that will be problems even if you know who they are. What it really sounds like you want is a "web reputation" system from a web of trust model where people can say if they've had a good or bad experience with someone so that you can decide if they are a trustworthy individual.

The fact is that even with the anonymous web, you still get this when you get in to close knit communities. Communities aren't built around needing to know people's real identities, but rather around the investment of time and resources that people put in to those communities. If you spend your time and energy building a community, it is clear that you value the community. One of my main online community focuses is gaming clans and I run large clans that have close knit members. True, some of us do know who each other are in real life, but we're still just as close with people who choose to remain anonymous because we've seen them invest for months and years in to the community and know we can trust them based on observed behavior, not because we know their name and mailing address.

Perhaps you can give some more examples of services where you think what you are talking about would be a benefit. That would be instrumental in providing better feedback on the idea.

  • Thanks for your answer! My question wasn't clear, I edited it.
    – JinSnow
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 8:37
  • @GuillaumeCombot - added a section to the end of my answer to address the edits. I may still not be understanding what you are getting at since you haven't given any examples of a use case where your system would be beneficial. If you have a better use case for it, please give an example of how you see it being useful.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 14:30

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