Why do I have to register using my real name?

At the time of registration, we ask members to enter their first and last name to identify themselves within the community. We ask that members not use a company name or false name in these fields, and that they provide the common name by which they are known in the real world.

In keeping with National Geographic's mission for 125 years, we aim to foster a dynamic, passionate community that is dedicated to inspiring people to care about our planet. Our members play a vital role in this mission as they explore our world every day, and we want to recognize contributions by real people with their real names. We also find that asking people to provide their real names raises the quality of interactions and conversation among our members, explorers, photographers, reporters, and staff members.

We understand some people may prefer to remain anonymous, and they may visit our site without registering. If you prefer to stay anonymous, you can continue to see our articles and photography, but you will not be able to participate in community activities such as commenting on stories and uploading photos without registering and providing your name. For those who choose to register, we have provided multiple options on your profile setting page to control how it is displayed to others. You may select your full name, initial of your first name and your complete last name, or your full first name and initial of your last name. 

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