Jillian, nice post and it adds a useful point of view plus it brings the spotlight on veracity on the web and the way we make decisions as consumers. Your example of TripAdvisor is particularly useful - as you point out, in the absence of real names consumers use other cues to assess the trustworthiness if the reports. This indicates a couple of things, one of which Gary Walker brings up in his comment: 1. That in a social media network (I will not even dignify Schmidt's claim of an "identity service" with a comment) there has to be freedom to grow, you cannot shoehorn everyone into a pre-supposed usage pattern 2. That even when there is transparency and full disclosure there can be no guarantee of veracity or better decision making.
As a matter of fact the latest research we have on this subject point to exactky the opposite, with full discolosure of potential conflict of interest in advice given online often muddying the issue.
The online world is developing fast and we, as online consumers, marketers and netizens need to learn to operate in it developing the skills necesary in the process. Schmidt's claims regarding Google+ are disingenuous and about as ill-thought out at the moment as the Real Names policy.