Consider an online community where anyone can join and participate around a common center of interest (as opposed to a community that has an anchor in real life where many people know each other offline). Is there a benefit to requiring people to participate under their real (legal name)?
For example, the question and answer site Quora requires users to provide their real name. Their competitor Stack Exchange, on the other hand, doesn't care what users call themselves and does not provide any “verified name” feature.
Is there a demonstrated benefit to Quora's approach? For example, do users behave more civilly when they are allegedly attaching their real name to content? (Allegedly because there is no practical way to prevent users from using a real-sounding but fake name.)