March 20, 2024

Is Glassdoor still anonymous?

A scare regarding shattered anonymity on Glassdoor explained

In this article, learn:

  • When sharing on Glassdoor is anonymous and when it is not.
  • How to control your anonymity on Glassdoor.
  • Glassdoor reviews remain confidential.

On 3/13/2024, a technical writer started a PR nightmare with a blog post stating that Glassdoor is now attaching real names to Glassdoor accounts. The story was picked on by Ars Technica and published with the headline: Users ditch Glassdoor, stunned by site adding real names without consent

In the next several hours, many articles with headlines questioning Glassdoor’s anonymity have been posted:

Glassdoor Attaches Real Names to 'Anonymous' Profiles, Causing User Exodus” 
- Extreme Tech

If you’ve left a bad review on Glassdoor, you may want to delete your account” 
- TheStreet

Glassdoor want employees to now review their workplace with their real names” 
- readwrite

Without context, these headlines may get you worried. Does that negative review you left after being laid off now have your name attached to it? Can you leave employee reviews anonymously on Glassdoor anymore?

At Mobrium, we’ve closely followed changes to Glassdoor, Indeed and other platforms over the years and are very familiar with the actual Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

This article cuts through the click-bait headlines to give you a reliable path forward.

Is Glassdoor still anonymous?

Yes. And no.

The short answer is Glassdoor reviews are still completely anonymous. After much research, I found no examples of real names being attached retroactively to old reviews or being added to new reviews.

So where can your real name be displayed on Glassdoor? In September of 2019, Glassdoor acquired Fishbowl to compete more with LinkedIn. Fishbowl offers conversation threads, called “bowls” for many work and life related topics. 

It is within Glassdoor’s “bowls” where users have the option to post using their real name. 

Example of Glassdoor content with a real name attached

Here’s an example of me posting to the “Startups and Entrepreneurship Bowl” Glassdoor bowl, where I selected to attach my real name to the post.

When posting, I had the opportunity to post using my real name OR an anonymous job title, also entered by me. This is what that looks like before you post.

Example of Glassdoor review with real name attached

This does not exist, nor does Glassdoor have publicly shared plans to attach real names to employee reviews.

In July of 2023 when Glassdoor rebranded, they made some very positive user interface enhancements. One of these enhancements is the Contributions section of your user profile. Under the profile icon, click “Contributions” to see all the content, organized by content type, in one place.

To provide a current example of how employee reviews on Glassdoor remain anonymous, I submitted a review for a former employer of mine. This review is still pending since I just posted it, but within the Contributions section of my Glassdoor user profile, I can see exactly how it will appear on the respective company profile.

While my review is associated with the title “Vice President”, my Glassdoor account clearly has my real name displayed. I even added my photo. This profile view is only visible to me.

The only times your real name can be publicly visible on Glassdoor are:

  • When you choose to post to a “bowl” with your real name.
  • If you write your own real name in a review, post or other form of content. (Clearly this is not recommended if you’d like to stay anonymous.)

So yes, you can sleep well knowing your all caps negative review on Glassdoor is still anonymous and always will be.

Glassdoor Policies

Still looking for more evidence that your anonymous reviews on Glassdoor will remain anonymous? Here are the links and screenshots of the relevant sections.

Glassdoor Terms of Use

In section 4.2, it is clearly confirmed that “some of Glassdoor services” permit the posting of content with your full name, but only with your choice. As shown above, this applies to “bowl” conversations, not to employee reviews.This section also confirms when submitting a review, some anonymized personal data, such as employer name, job title, and/or location may be displayed. That has been standard practice for many years.

Glassdoor Community Guidelines

This section outlines submission rules when posting reviews and other content to Glassdoor as well as details about Glassdoor’s approach to content moderation. Read the whole section for greater detail, but this screenshot highlights the commitment to anonymity.

Glassdoor Community Anonymity and Moderation FAQ’s

And to settle the argument in plain English instead of legal jargon, Glassdoor outlines the specifics of how you are identified (or not identified) in community features, like “bowls” compared to employee reviews. 


  • Yes, Glassdoor reviews remain confidential. 
  • Within Glassdoor’s community features, users have the option to add their real name to conversation threads called “bowls”. This is optional. Even here, users can choose to post anonymously.

Want help managing your company’s Glassdoor presence?

Mobrium helps you win Glassdoor, Indeed and more with our employer reputation platform. 

Schedule a call with us to learn more. (You’ll even get a free employer reputation report, outlining your current employer reputation health across Glassdoor, Indeed and other top employer sites!)

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