Difference between revisions of "Google+/policy/naming"

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* [https://spreadsheets0.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0Aotk6h1M_3njdGRibnRCbnNVTWhZWWRVYnBIMjVNcEE&single=true&gid=1&output=html&ndplr=1 Google+ Pseudonymity Debate Coverage : Articles] (online spreadsheet)
* [https://spreadsheets0.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0Aotk6h1M_3njdGRibnRCbnNVTWhZWWRVYnBIMjVNcEE&single=true&gid=1&output=html&ndplr=1 Google+ Pseudonymity Debate Coverage : Articles] (online spreadsheet)
* [http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23nymwars #nymwars] on twitter
* '''2011-08-04''' [[URL/to file::http://infotrope.net/2011/08/04/google-plus-names-policy-explained/|Google+ names policy, explained]]
* '''2011-08-04''' [[URL/to file::http://infotrope.net/2011/08/04/google-plus-names-policy-explained/|Google+ names policy, explained]]

Revision as of 21:12, 14 August 2011



  • Findability: Google wants to make it easier for people to find each other by name.
  • Civility: Although Google has not stated this directly, a 3rd party reported that G+ VP Vic Gundotra "is trying to make sure a positive tone gets set here. Like when a restaurant doesn't allow people who aren't wearing shirts to enter."


G+'s policy of requiring users to use only "the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you" has been the source of a large number of user complaints for the following reasons:

  • Google's enforcement of this policy has been somewhat arbitrary.
  • Google's enforcement of this policy has not always been consistent with the policy as written. The policy says you can use a name that people "usually call you", but enforcers seem to be interpreting this to mean "legal name (or variant thereof)"... unless that name sounds too unusual (to their ears) to be a "real" name.
  • Towards enforcement of the policy on G+, Google often cut users off from access to all other Google services such as Gmail.
  • There does not appear to be a formal appeal process after having your account (either G+ or Google in general) disabled.
  • Many users are known better by their online handles than by their legal names.
  • Many users have valid reasons not to use their legal names in public or semi-public spaces online, ranging from personal protection to aesthetic preference.
  • It is not clear what the purpose of this policy is, as Google's explanations so far have not correlated with reality.
    • The findability justification does not make sense because in many cases an alias works better for this, e.g. an author known mainly by her pen-name, or a user with a very common legal name who prefers to go by her unusual alias because it is more recognizable and unique than her legal name.
    • The civility justification goes against many people's individual experience as well as empirical data (h/t with commentary).




  • 2014/06/09 [L..T] Thanks for nothing, jerkface "In case you missed it, Google CEO Sergey Brin publicly admitted last week that Google+ was "a mistake" for him – one month after the man he hired to run the social network, Vic Gundotra, left the company without explanation."
  • 2011/07/28 [L..T] About "Google Minus." How does this affect me? As a member of a plural system, I would technically not be allowed to sign up as "Noël Dawkins," even though I prefer to use my own name online, rather than presenting as the "front identity." I would probably not be banned, as my name looks like a name, rather than an actual pseudonym, but it would technically be against their strict community guidelines. I suppose that I could simply sign up under the front identity (disclosure: we have already done so), but there is a difference between social networking under that guise, and social networking as myself.
  • 2011/07/27 [L..T] Why it Matters: Google+ and Diversity Just a few days before Google+'s doors officially open on July 31, Google's latest communications from Vic (via Robert) and Bradley on the raft of account suspensions and “common names” policy seem unlikely to put the “identity crisis” to rest. It's certainly a positive sign that they're engaging, and process changes like giving people with names Google doesn't like a week to change their account name before suspending them are certainly improvements. That said, the impression they're giving is that they're going to try to hold the line with the current policy even knowing that it targets transgender people, human rights activists, people at risk for stalking and harrassment domestic violence survivors, HIV/AIDS victims and caregivers, people with names that sound weird to Americans (or for that matter people in Hong Kong who would rather go by their English names)..."
  • 2011/07/26 [L..T] Fraudsters Already Exploiting Google+ It was inevitable. With the creation of Google+, a new social network already boasting over 20 million users, the scammers were sure to follow. Here's a note a probable fraudster sent to reader Geoff through his Google+ profile, informing him that someone died in Africa and he needs to be contacted about a "business transaction" of "magnitude."
  • 2011/07/25 [L..T] Google+ Real Names Policy Is About Brands, Not People Google may have inadvertently swept up some users and handles that were legitimate or simply too innocuous to cause any brand any kind of harm, but I think the intention is clear: to protect brands and businesses from everyday Google service users who might infringe upon their trademarks and brand identities.
  • 2011/07/25 [L..T] Google's gormless 'no pseudonym' policy lead paragraph::A week ago, I was stunned to discover that my entire Google account -- gmail, reader, blogger, Google documents, YouTube, Google Plus (G+), etc. -- was suddenly suspended because their system "perceived a violation."
  • 2011/07/22 [L..T] I've been suspended from Google+ Skud summarizes the circumstances of her suspension from Google+, including her prior employment at Google and arguments in favor of pseudonymity.
  • 2011/07/16 [L..T] The Google+ Controversy & Virtual Worlds – A Question Of Identity excerpt::The avalanche of news last weekend was triggered by the story that Opensource Obscure, a Second Life resident from Italy, had his profile suspended by Google+ because his name "violated community standards." This was followed by reports of the accounts of Second Life users being culled, much in the same fashion as had happened at Facebook weeks ago.
  • 2011/07/11 [L..T] Google Confirms: Non-Real Name Google Profiles Risk Suspension (I.E., Google Still Doesn't Get Social)
  • 2011/07/08 [L..T] Anti-pseudonym bingo “People testing the Google+ social network are discussing increasing evidence that, terms of service requirement or not, Google+ wants people to use their legal names much as Facebook does. Skud shares a heads-up from a user banned for using his initials. Then, for example, see discussion around it on Mark Cuban's stream, Skud's stream and Sarah Stokely's blog.” The post includes a bingo card to keep score of anti-nym arguments.