denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote2011-08-03 09:53 am
Entry tags:

"Real Name" policies: They just don't work.

I've been watching the debate raging around Google Plus's crackdown on "names they perceive to be insufficiently 'real'" with interest, and was really happy to see the "soft launch" of My Name Is Me, a project intending to shed light on the fact that self-chosen names are not "fake names" and that anonymity, pseudonymity, and the use of self-chosen names (I've seen some people moving to call that state "autonymity", which I like a lot) is not harmful to the health and well-being of an online service.

This is something I care about a lot. I've spent the last ten years of my life, more or less, immersed in the idea of what it takes to build a healthy online community and how to handle (and discourage) the abuses that develop. I've dealt with harassment, death threats, stalking, and a whole host of vile things people can say and do to each other online. (And I haven't been exempt, either; at least part of my decision to use my 'real name', which I don't feel any emotional connection with at all, for my work on Dreamwidth has been to help increase the positive mentions of said name on the internet and drown out the Google results from several of those harassment campaigns.)

When we decided to start Dreamwidth, I did a lot of thinking about what my ideal online community would be. Our decisions for policies, community design, etc, were sharply shaped by the existing codebase we chose to use and the design thereof, but we did make a bunch of changes while we were still in design mode in order to shape the community we wanted to take place. (Biggest example there: the split of "friend" into "I want to read you" vs "I want you to read my locked stuff", which is the #1 change I credit in the development of DW as a service where people are overwhelmingly willing to reach outside their existing social circles, make new contacts and new friendships, and seek out differing points of view and differing ideas. Which, if I haven't said it lately, is absolutely awesome.)

One thing we never, ever, ever considered, even for a moment, was instituting a "real name" policy to prevent abuses. Why? Because it doesn't fucking work.

Many of the people who caused the worst problems on LiveJournal over the years had registered with some variant on their "real" name, or had their "real" name in their profile somewhere, or were widely known under their "real" name. (I use "real" in scarequotes deliberately, because god damn it, "rahaeli" is my real name. So's "synecdochic". The entire staff I supervised at LJ, both volunteer and paid employee, called me "rahaeli" or "rah" in a professional context, to the point where half our volunteers had to think really hard to remember my name. Most of the close friends I've made through fandom refer to me as "synecdochic" or "syne". I feel desperately weird being [staff profile] denise on Dreamwidth.) Many of the people who caused zero problems at all were operating under a self-chosen name that had no bearing on the name assigned to them at birth.

Facebook, which has an (inconsistently-enforced) "real name" policy, has to have an abuse staff that's probably larger than their programmer staff. Dreamwidth, which lets you call yourself whatever you want, gets one or two abuse complaints a month, if that. (And before anyone starts to say it has to do with the size of the service, I'm freely willing to admit that has something to do with it. I still know that, for instance, DW has fewer abuse complaints than LJ did, when it was the same size, by at least two orders of magnitude; I was there for both. I would love to see an industry-wide analysis of "instances of abuse complaints" vs "number of staff members dedicated to handling complaints" vs "site-wide anti-abuse policies", indexed by whether or not the service has a real name requirement. If we were making more money I'd fund one.)

The argument advanced by proponents of a "real" name policy, if I'm following correctly, is that people displaying their "real" name will think carefully about their behavior, for fear of accumulating negative reputation. What this argument fails to take into account is that "real" names are not unique identifiers -- I'm not the only Denise Paolucci in the world (and I feel sorry for the other ones out there, because their Google results are suffering from the same harassment as mine are and I feel obliquely guilty over that). When [staff profile] mark started working in the LJ office, at a time when there were only six employees in-office, not a single one of his three names (first, middle, family) was unique enough to be called by in casual office conversation. I, personally, don't feel much real emotional attachment to the reputation juice of "Denise Paolucci", because that's not me. When a bunch of disgruntled griefers took exception to me doing my job and decided to Googlebomb my name and try to destroy my professional reputation, I was annoyed, but I wasn't enraged. When people start fucking with the online reputation of "rahaeli", that's when I get furious.

And, of course, none of this is getting into the disproportionate chilling effect a "real name" policy has on vulnerable populations, nor the times when anonymity can literally be a condition of life or death, nor the fact that anonymity alone is not synonymous with abuse, nor the fact that "real names" are more complicated than most programmers think, nor the fact that enforcement of a "real name" policy disproportionately causes grief for anyone who isn't an upper-class, White, Westerner whose name can be rendered in ISO-8859-1 encoding. All of these considerations are important to keep in mind, and all of them are excellent reasons not to adopt a "real names" policy for your system.

But the first and foremost reason to avoid a "real name" policy is, and continues to be, that it is worthless for the purposes people try to use it for. The amount of abuse on your service has nothing to do with whether or not people are using their real names. It has to do with the community norms, the standard that people hold each other to, the tools you give your users to manage reputation and abuses, and the clearly-communicated expectations of the service. There's a reason we have our Diversity Statement and Guiding Principles linked on the bottom of every site page: it tells you the standard that we hold ourselves to, and implicitly challenges you all to live up to the same standards in your dealings with each other. And you know what? It's working.

I am disappointed in Google for taking such a simplistic, reductionist approach to the problem of online abuse, harassment, and reputation. They can do better.
kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)

[personal profile] kate 2011-08-03 03:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I love you, and your oh-so-rational brain. Thank you for this.
(reply from suspended user)
kass: "let love be your engine," image of Kaylee and of Serenity (let love be your engine)

[personal profile] kass 2011-08-03 03:51 pm (UTC)(link)
BRAVA.
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[personal profile] ilyena_sylph 2011-08-03 03:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I love you, Syne.

So damn much.

This is great.

It wants sparklehearts.
phoebe_zeitgeist: (Default)

[personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist 2011-08-03 04:12 pm (UTC)(link)
What [personal profile] kass said. But also, while I certainly don't mean to minimize the importance of the safety issues around pseudonymity, one other issue that's often overlooked is that a robust culture of pseudonymity can improve the quality of discussion, and often does. Where no one can be sure of the (logically irrelevant) RL privileges that the person behind a persistent pseud might bring to a debate, participants have to focus on what was said, and come to grips with that, rather than dismiss some speakers as being unworthy of their full notice and consideration.

Which, I often think, is why authoritarians and those with authoritarian tendencies hate it. And reason enough to support it right there -- even if you don't go quite so far as I do, and find yourself instantly and automatically losing all respect for anyone who argues in favor of mandatory use of RL names.

[personal profile] indywind 2011-08-03 05:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Where no one can be sure of the (logically irrelevant) RL privileges that the person behind a persistent pseud might bring to a debate, participants have to focus on what was said, and come to grips with that, rather than dismiss some speakers as being unworthy of their full notice and consideration.

Or else question or assert about privilege instead/in addition to the topic being debated, and thus indicate (at best)that they find that context relevant or (at worst) they aren't capable of debating ideas on their own merits without playing on privilege dynamics.

[personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist, that's a great point.

You might consider adding it to the Geek feminism Wiki list of who is harmed by a Real Name policy -- the link from "vulnerable populations" in Syne's post points there.


phoebe_zeitgeist: (Default)

[personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist 2011-08-03 05:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks. I'll check out the Wiki list. I'm actually working on a long-ish post about this aspect of the problem, which you'd think the mainstream would have jumped on immediately -- it's not as if the value of not knowing RL identities isn't well established in other contexts. The example I keep using is that of orchestras and auditions: all respectable orchestras now audition musicians with a screen in place, because long experience has shown that even the best-trained listeners are incapable of evaluating a performance without subconsciously factoring in the player's gender, race, physical attractiveness, et cetera if they have that information in front of them. And once the screened audition was established as a standard practice, why, it was amazing how nonwhite, nonmale musicians were suddenly being hired.

If you actually believe any of the U.S. civic religion around the marketplace of ideas and meritocracy and respect for all individuals of whatever background, a healthy appreciation for persistent pseuds ought to be a no-brainer. I realize that by no means all of us are either U.S. types or ideologically aligned with that set of ideals, and I don't mean to suggest that others should buy into that particular speech paradigm. It's just, since it is my country's officially-approved, dominant-paradigm model you'd think we'd see more support for it from the mainstream.

-- Although what a real name policy is good for is buying and selling, so maybe not. What's good for the wheels of commerce isn't always what's good for discourse, and I suppose it's easy for corporations and a lot of the mainstream in general to forget that it's a good idea to support both goals of life online, and not to privilege one so far that you harm the other.
jlh: Alexander Hamilton, with a banner that says "Federalist" (gents: Alexander Hamilton)

[personal profile] jlh 2011-08-03 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
If you actually believe any of the U.S. civic religion around the marketplace of ideas and meritocracy and respect for all individuals of whatever background, a healthy appreciation for persistent pseuds ought to be a no-brainer.

Especially as a good deal of the conversation that started that very civic religion was done under pseuds! *cough*Federalist Papers*cough* It's why the Federalist period mostly resembles an ongoing internet imbroglio with GW as the biggest, nonwankiest BNF ever.
phoebe_zeitgeist: (Default)

[personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist 2011-08-03 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes indeed.

The only reason I didn't start off with the citation to the Federalist is that I've found readers too often take it, ironically, as an argument from authority and tradition, rather than a good solid case study. Which makes me want to rant and storm and go around muttering What do they teach them in these schools?, so I try to resist.

But it makes me very happy when somebody else does it.
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[personal profile] matgb 2011-08-03 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Publius is one of my frequently cited example when I encounter the "use real names" thing with clients--a lot of politicians find it really offputting that constituents use nicknames/pseuds to contact them, but politicians are overwhelmingly people who need to trade by their real name everywhere.
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[personal profile] azurelunatic 2013-10-01 05:43 am (UTC)(link)
(dropping back into the party very late)

And even eBay now encourages people to adopt a unique pseudonym to discourage identity theft now.
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[personal profile] tiferet 2011-08-03 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Where no one can be sure of the (logically irrelevant) RL privileges that the person behind a persistent pseud might bring to a debate, participants have to focus on what was said, and come to grips with that, rather than dismiss some speakers as being unworthy of their full notice and consideration.

Not necessarily. I've more than once had people assume I was a member of a given privileged group whether I was or wasn't.

The most annoying example was when, in a discussion, one person's words confused me and another person's words made sense. Someone then said, "there's an example of how white people only believe each other!"

I am in fact white. I didn't know what colour either of the other two were and still don't. I didn't assume either of them was or wasn't white, either; I was in a community where I knew there were many white people and many POC and anyone you talked to could be either.

I'm also not sure how anyone divined I was white (well, technically probably mixed, but raised by white people as a white person). I wasn't using an icon with anyone's face on it and nobody there knew me.
Edited 2011-08-03 20:38 (UTC)
phoebe_zeitgeist: (Default)

[personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist 2011-08-03 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
At the risk of being ungenerous, I am going to admit that it doesn't strike me as at all certain that anyone did divine that you were white. Someone made an assumption that happened to be at least semi-correct, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a pure accident that her assumption was right. One of the patterns I've seen over and over again in this past year is that very assumption that a speaker is white, followed by the revelation that no, the person being told she sounds white is very much not.

And it's precisely this sort of thing that makes me cheer for the masks the Internet allows us to wear. Yes, there are situations where it's useful and important to be able to tell people in a conversation where you're coming from -- but for every situation like that I think there's probably one where not knowing, and the very experience of making wrong assumptions and having them corrected, is enlightening and invaluable. It's one thing to hear "[Group A] is not a monolith," and quite another to run up against undeniable evidence that no, others in your position do not always share your opinions, and may have good reasons why they do not.

As you say, it does rather overstate matters for me to assert that pseudonymity forces people to focus their thoughts on the substance of what participants say. There are many people who'll do their best to drag a discussion back to questions of who the speaker is, rather than the content of the speech, no matter how pseudonymous everyone is. But pseudonymity at least makes that difficult, and as a structural matter makes it almost impossible for them to take over a conversation in the face of other participants' resistance.
lanterne_rouee: glowing multicolored lantern (Default)

[personal profile] lanterne_rouee 2011-08-05 10:42 pm (UTC)(link)
To me, that was always the beauty of this whole www internet idea in the first place: to allow humans the opportunity to communicate without being able to categorize each other ahead of time. A medium allowing for an endless stream of pure conversation, spirit to spirit, mind to mind...

Once it started becoming another marketplace, things took an irreversible turn for the worse. Just the phrase 'social networking' still rubs me the wrong way at times.
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[personal profile] aedifica 2011-08-03 04:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for writing this! I left G+ because I was so uncomfortable with the anti-pseudonymity policy. I hope they'll change it, I'd like to go back... (while, of course, staying active on DW! because here is home.)
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Clio Chibi)

[personal profile] jlh 2011-08-03 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for this. I, too, don't have a lot of emotion connected to my "real" name--and in fact, frequently people say the phrase "the name you were given at birth" which, since I was adopted, isn't the same as my "real" or "legal" name. (Never mind people who have their names changed for a myriad of other reasons.) So many of us have well-used, ingrained nicknames that actually do differentiate us much more than our real names. It's just an odd and silly policy, not well enforced.

And frankly, at least FB was really clear from the start about what they wanted me to use for a name, even if they don't enforce it consistently and even if I don't agree with them. G+ absolutely was not.
dglenn: A musical Jolly Roger using a tambourine, a pair of zills, a keychain-sized set of panpipes, and two soprano recorders (JollyRoger)

[personal profile] dglenn 2011-08-03 04:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I am known by the name my parents gave me, a permutation of my legal name ... and still, when the Internet grew up and hordes started jumping online, I had to add nicknames to it for old friends to (a) find me and (b) be sure it really was me that they'd found, even though most of them used my mundane name more often than the nicknames when talking to or about me and (AFAIK) they all knew my family-name.

Okay, a FB or G+ style "real names" policy would still work for me as long as I could attach those nicknames conspicuously alongside[*], but it still points up how even the "we want to make it easier for people who are friends in real life to find you" alleged-benefit of a "real names" policy doesn't work quite the way they think.

And yeah, the initial ambiguity in the G+ policy was a recipe for disaster.

[*] Uh, when the input fields (or corresponding internal database fields) can actually handle the permutation of my name that I use and am known by, that is. I've got a very WASP name with no required punctuation -- no hyphen, no apostrophe, optional period. It fits entirely into the limitations of ASCII. I have no compound names (i.e. single name-components that have internal spaces, e.g. given name "Rose Marie" or surname "Wheeling Smith"), no Germanic or Gallic cognate of "of" to screw up parsing and capitalisation ("de", "von", etc.). And there are plenty of current and historical famous people who use the same format as I do. And even for what should be an easy name even for American programmers with really stupidly provincial ideas about names, a lot of sites can't handle first-initial+middle-name (instead of first-name+middle-initial), nor the generational suffix "Jr". They can't even get names from their own culture right! (I haven't checked whether G+ has this particular fail in it, but from what I've heard, a lot of non-English names have tripped their "doesn't sound 'real'" filter, in any case.)
jlh: Jason Bateman looking dubious (probably from Arrested Development) (gents: Jason Bateman)

[personal profile] jlh 2011-08-03 08:49 pm (UTC)(link)
God, reading those things about what American programmers assume about names has been really enlightening. I'm an American and even I don't make those assumptions. And that we can't have first initial middle name--I mean, if your average guy-in-the-Nixon-White-House-indicted-for-Watergate-related-crimes can't have a google+ account, what kind of country have we become?
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[personal profile] beatrice_otter 2011-08-04 06:34 am (UTC)(link)
Word.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2011-08-29 09:30 am (UTC)(link)
My cousin (he of the interesting chocolate molding project).
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh surrounded by Japanese kana, translated as 'Get it together!' (get it together)

[personal profile] codeman38 2011-08-04 05:49 am (UTC)(link)
a lot of sites can't handle first-initial+middle-name (instead of first-name+middle-initial)

ARGGHH, YES! I'm William Cody $SURNAME. I go by "Cody". It's ridiculous how many systems can't seem to grasp this.

If Google+ were to require me to use the first and last name on my state ID, many of my friends would never find me.
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)

[personal profile] herlander_refugee 2011-08-03 04:22 pm (UTC)(link)
They can do better, but will they? Until they do, I won't be there.
dglenn: A musical Jolly Roger using a tambourine, a pair of zills, a keychain-sized set of panpipes, and two soprano recorders (JollyRoger)

[personal profile] dglenn 2011-08-03 04:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I can't help seeing a parallel to the torture debate, where folks are saying (correctly) that it's wrong, that the good guys don't do that, that it has repercussions down the line, and every once in a while someone remembers to remind everyone else that it also doesn't even work outside of movies and there are much more effective ways to get the desired results. A 'real'-names-only policy is nowhere near the level of evil that torture is, but it does unfairly disprivilege already disprivileged people, and it's more "modern services don't do that" than "the good guys don't do that", but there's still the bit where a bunch of folks are trying to argue about whether the intended benefit is worth the negatives, while forgetting that it won't even produce the intended benefit in the first place, which ought to make the whole discussion moot.

Hmm. I'm pretty sure I can also come up with similar examples in economics or regulations or stupid stuff the broadcasting and publishing industries do, once I'm a little more awake -- torture was the example so prominent that the "... and it doesn't even work anyhow" aspect jumped right out and reminded me of.

What is this mental thing where people get so wedded to their initial idea for a solution that they keep pushing it even after it's shown that it doesn't solve the problem it was supposed to (and in some cases, was already known not to work before they thought it up because someone else had thought it up before them and tried it already)? How do we fix that?
parhelion: Archie Goodwin/meganbmoore (Archie-gun)

[personal profile] parhelion 2011-08-03 04:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I've gone by Parhelion for as long as I've socialized on-line. As much as I have any reputation for various behaviors, it's associated with this name. What Parhelion doesn't conjure up is tons of cues about particular things that can be said to me without thinking or merely to produce reactions because I am/am not a member of certain demographics. I cherish the extra second of cognition that Parhelion imposes.

Not always, but all too often, knee-jerk real name policies seem to reek of unconsidered social power. Thanks for coming out strongly on the other side of this issue and using some very practical considerations to back up your stance.
glittertine: (av - how about NO - by dawnrune)

[personal profile] glittertine 2011-08-03 04:42 pm (UTC)(link)
That. Ugh, it's weird to post on G+ as "tine g" in an effort to fend off someone reporting my profile as a pseud. It's weird. Odd. Just not me. Even worse is posting under my full real name, which hasn't had an internet presence since aol chat days (and reminds me of those days, too. URGH.).

I've been sending feedback after feedback to the (rather awesome, tbh) G+ team. But obviously, it's like speaking into the void and makes me feel like an idiot, especially after VP B announced that the pseud suspensions wouldn't happen any more, and then they did, again and again.

For years, people in the tech news I consume have been laughing at Google for not getting social. Even despite G+ copying the circle concept from, er, livejournal maybe possibly, and then being praised for reinventing social networking (orly?!), I did think that now they got it. But it's been THREE weeks since this issue began being discussed. If Dreamwidth or livejournal had ever dared to leave this many people hanging that long, there might have been pitchforks. But Google just stays silent - I don't understand how in the world they can afford that.

I mean, I get that Google are feverishly working on a solution that will fit all users, but why keep the suspensions going in the meantime? :((

All this to say: [personal profile] synecdochic, I love this place you and Mark and everyone else built, and man, is it ever appreciated. Every single day. My stubborn social graph didn't move here but for two people, so I'm still shackled to lj for comments and most fandom stuff. But it is so good to know that *this* is my internet home, which I can trust to not fall down around me because you GET it.
stormy: βͺ ππŽπ“πˆπ‚π„ ❫ 𝑫𝑢 𝑡𝑢𝑻 𝑻𝑨𝑲𝑬 𝑴𝒀 𝑰π‘ͺ𝑢𝑡𝑺 ⊘ (Default)

[personal profile] stormy 2011-08-03 04:43 pm (UTC)(link)
/claps

I'm on Google+ right now, and it's uncomfortable to use my real name. In fact, I want to legally change my first name, but I don't have the funds to do so. Currently, I'm using the name I intend to use, and that is the most comfortable for me. While my name isn't outrageous, it's not the name given to me at birth, and the G+ account could be closed due to Google's (rather stupid) policy. They've clarified that if they suspend your Google+ account they won't delete Gmail or Google Calender. Still, pretty scary. I was all for giving G+ a try, because I'm extremely Facebook avoidant, but the way they're choosing to implement and crack down on things doesn't settle well with me.


... and the circles remind me so much of Dreamwidth, it's ridiculous.
sapote: The TARDIS sits near a tree in sunlight (Default)

[personal profile] sapote 2011-08-03 05:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I enjoyed the linked list of reasons why real names are often impractical very much. You know, in many places and points at the 20th century in North America many married women retained neither a personal last name nor a personal first name outside of intimate social circles. You will still run into older women who want to be referred to as Mrs. George Pufnstuf by strangers. I don't know if they're on Google +, but they certainly write irritable letters to advice columnists. I'm not defending (or condemning) the practice; I just think it's at least a little wry that many of the people insisting that everyone on earth has their own personal, public last name and first name probably have grandmothers who at some point did not.
kindredsparrow: (Default)

[personal profile] kindredsparrow 2011-08-04 04:28 pm (UTC)(link)
OK. I think *I* want to be called Mrs. George Pufnstuf now!

*grin*
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2011-08-29 10:11 am (UTC)(link)
*nods* Right. All the full names that one is entitled to doesn't necessarily equal preferred form of address, and furthermore preferred form of address can vary based on audience. I'd be formally addressed as the Reverend Lunatic, but close friends (and all of #dreamwidth IRC) should call me Azz. Neither of these names are especially an intuitive contraction of "Azure Lunatic", and while I'm the same name up and down most parts of the internet, I have to adjust my name as it is displayed to various portions simply so I don't get addressed in the wrong way (as no one but Betty may call me AL, but chat forums do have a tendency to shorten names). So one of the things that G+ could have done right would be to allow one to have a different immediately-displayed name to each circle so they could call me correctly, whether or not they saw my full name as displayed on my profile.
zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)

[personal profile] zorkian 2011-08-03 05:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes. Google's policy on this issue really bugs me. I don't even understand why they're trying to enforce this, either, because they've got to know it's useless...
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)

[personal profile] erik 2011-08-03 05:22 pm (UTC)(link)
I believe Google's stated reasons for insisting on this may be different from their actual reasons. Google isn't doing this to protect their users, they're doing it to protect their revenue.

Google Plus is a "free" service. Which inevitably means that the users are the product being sold to advertisers and others. And a user's legal name—which can be linked easily enough to their address, etc—is a very valuable asset indeed.

So all the arguments in the world refuting their stated reasons are not going to make even a tiny dent in their policies.
princessofgeeks: (Default)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2011-08-03 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
i think you're onto something here. so many things about the commercial internet are about marketing.
muck_a_luck: (Outer Banks)

[personal profile] muck_a_luck 2011-08-03 06:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I think this is exactly the source of trying to pin down who users "really" are. The advertizing economy is super-creepy to me, everybody trying to make money by telling people about something someone else is doing, as efficiently as possible. Maybe I'm naive, but I feel like the internet's advertising-driven economy, with it's ability to track and target activity, has just blown this whole sector completley out of control.
turlough: Frank Iero in Mouse hat looking grumpy, March 2009 ((mcr) frank stays brutal)

[personal profile] turlough 2011-08-03 06:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, this is what I believe too.

Incidentally it's also the reason why I've always stayed as far away from Google as is possible in today's online world. If they offered paid gmail or gdocs accounts I would maybe get one, but as long as they're only trying to get me to use their services because they want to get their hands on as much information about me as possible I'm never going get one. Sorry for the rant! I might feel a bit strongly about this :-)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

[personal profile] matgb 2011-08-03 07:08 pm (UTC)(link)
If they offered paid gmail or gdocs accounts I would maybe get one

Actually, they do, and ad free as well:

Business online messaging and collaboration applications – Google Apps

It's marketed for Business, but it's a per user pricing so if you want to pay Β£3.30 per month you can. I've considered it more than once but I'd worry about periods of financial instability.
turlough: dreamsheep, My Chemical Romance logo from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge ((dw) dreaming of music)

[personal profile] turlough 2011-08-03 07:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Interesting! I'd never heard of it but since it's marketed towards businesses I guess it's not something "ordinary" users are much aware of.

I'm mostly interested in getting a Gdocs account since a lot of my friends use them and it gets a bit tiring always having to tell them that no, I don't have a Gdocs account so I can't look at their latest effort without them making it public.

I need to think about it properly but thank you so much for telling me about it!
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

[personal profile] matgb 2011-08-03 07:21 pm (UTC)(link)
De nada, I have worries about ads and similar myself, but I really like stability of service--all my essential documents are both in DropBox and GDocs, which has been very helpful when I've had a virus infection on one machine and a catastrophic hardware failure on the backup machine in the same week.

Gdocs is actually quite good and very useful, but it's not the only solution if you want to pay. I'm ambivalent about Plus, but I'm keeping my Gmail and Docs, despite the ads, which I barely notice anyway.
turlough: dreamsheep, My Chemical Romance logo from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge ((dw) dreaming of music)

[personal profile] turlough 2011-08-03 07:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I think I understand why not so many people are talking about using the paid variety of Google. You must have your own domain to be able to sign up. I do myself but not many of the people I know do.
sofiaviolet: drawing of three violets and three leaves (Default)

[personal profile] sofiaviolet 2011-08-04 05:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I wound up with the free version of their "bring your own domain" services because I wanted nice familiar webmail. The domain came first.
floatboth: (Default)

[personal profile] floatboth 2011-08-03 07:03 pm (UTC)(link)
yeah, "don't be evil" is bullshit. Personally targeted ads are evil, because 1) they need information some might consider private and 2) they're targeted wrong. I never click on Google ads, but always on Fusion/Deck/Carbon/BuySellAds/etc which don't know anything more than I'm on a site about design/development so I must be a developer or a designer, but still much more useful.

I'm so happy we have people like Denise, Maciej and Colin who make services like Dreamwidth, Pinboard (for bookmarking) and Tarsnap (for backups) and using services from big corporations like Google who see eyeballs and clicks instead of people isn't the only option.
jlh: Chibi of me in an apron with a cocktail glass and shaker. (Clio Chibi)

[personal profile] jlh 2011-08-03 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Actually the legal name isn't that valuable unless it's (1) on a list that someone can actually use (that is, some kind of opt-in mechanism) and (2) is linked to some sort of behavior that someone wants to market against, and that has to be specific enough to be worthwhile getting the names (like, say, having a specific medical condition that a drug company is marketing to) rather than just something that can be done much more cheaply through broadcast means (like, being in the market for a new car). When people talk about marketers mostly just wanting demographics, that isn't bullshit--that's the currency.

That said, I'll be happy when marketers move away from demos because they're a crutch. A very blunt instrument. But that will happen when TV stops leading the way folks think about marketing.

This isn't to say that the naming policy isn't linked to marketing, just, I don't think they're trying to sell lists of names here, because I'm not sure what their value would actually be.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (mini-me)

[personal profile] liv 2011-08-03 09:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I have also come to this conclusion. I think Google is planning not only on selling directories of names to advertisers, but selling a vague sense of trust associated with being around friendly people. That is, they're looking at a marketing demographic who will feel vaguely reassured by seeing "standard", Anglo-American names. They will see adverts in proximity to lists of names similar to those of their friends, and feel more inclined to buy the products being sold. That's why Google are suspending accounts on the basis of really crude pattern matching, even though they must know perfectly that, y'know, some people are Asian American or Hong Kong Chinese or have names that sound like common English nouns...
jeshyr: Blessed are the broken. Harry Potter. (Default)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2011-08-07 01:02 am (UTC)(link)
Ohhhh, this actually makes a lot of sense!

Because I know the stuff people have said above about actual names not being super useful to advertising in many cases, and also I know Google people are not totally stupid, so that didn't totally make sense. That they're selling the ... well, I guess the idea of names ... that actually makes more sense to me. It would be like the advertising equivalent of security theatre!
naath: (Default)

[personal profile] naath 2011-08-03 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, but Google are doing NOTHING (other than writing a crappy policy) to enforce the use of your actual "real" name. You could be "John Smith" and they would in all likelihood never even NOTICE (the downside to you is, of course, that people who know you are looking for "sparkleMonster" or at a PUSH "Janet Jones" but certainly not for "John Smith"... that could be an upside too of course if what you want is real anonymity, and you can always tell the people you care about through some other channel).

And at the same time they are banning people whose actual, honest-to-god, on-their-passport "real" names don't fit into Google's notion of what a "real" name is allowed to look like (I know numerous people with such names, and my social circle isn't even all that diverse).

My provisional conclusion is that Google are either damn stupid, or their real desire is something entirely other.
cpolk: (Default)

[personal profile] cpolk 2011-08-03 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
But this is colossally stupid.

the site where I spend the most of my internet dollars - by miles and miles - is a free website/database where there is no real name requirement. I don't spend a lot of money online, but of what i do spend, this site gets the overwhelming more than 95% of my money every month funneling through it.

What site? Ravelry. I buy patterns, I buy yarn, I buy fiber, and I buy spindles. I spend more of my yarn and knitting money on ravelry than I do in brick and mortar yarn stores. And ravelry has no trouble at all convincing me to pony up regardless of my name. They don't need my name. They just need me to claim that sock yarn doesn't count as stash.
copracat: Mozzie from White Collar (white collar - mozzie)

[personal profile] copracat 2011-08-04 07:44 am (UTC)(link)
Hold on! Sock yarn doesn't count as stash? Hmm...

But yes, what you said.
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)

Sock yarn doesn't count as stash?!

[personal profile] erik 2011-08-04 07:34 pm (UTC)(link)
The deuce you say! My stash is a lot smaller than I thought, then. Who makes these rules? The Ravelry Cabal? What gives them the right!?

*shakes fist*
cpolk: (Default)

Re: Sock yarn doesn't count as stash?!

[personal profile] cpolk 2011-08-04 10:05 pm (UTC)(link)
all those skeins of sock yarn? Don't count. My stash doesn't need "dieting!" I've only got rewound balls of Black Sheep Shephard Spun! I need Yarn! Those three drawers of handpainted sock yarn I bought through ravelry ads don't count! *justifies madly*
mecurtin: uppity pirate woman, with gun (uppity)

Is DW the only actual social network?

[personal profile] mecurtin 2011-08-04 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
YES. This is *exactly* what I have been saying:

the users are the product

We are not the clients or customers for the service Google+ offers. Their "social network" is not the service, it is *bait*. The service is targetted advertising.

When people ask why I prefer Dreamwidth, I don't talk about the great people, the clear code, the features. I say: "the business plan. At DW, *I* am the customer." AFAIK, this makes DW different from all the major "social networks", all of which are in the advertising business. Or, in the case of e.g. Twitter, they get their business plan from the Underpants Gnomes.
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)

Re: Is DW the only actual social network?

[personal profile] erik 2011-08-04 07:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Not the only one, to be sure. I'm still active on a BBS, for pity's sake. But certainly one of few. Very few indeed.
princessofgeeks: (Default)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2011-08-03 05:34 pm (UTC)(link)
THANK YOU.

And what about all the time and energy people spend teaching their kids to use pseudonyms to interact online, to protect them while they are minors? Are those favorite names going to magically disappear once the kid turns 18? No. And why should they?

This whole "must use your real name" is just so silly. As you say it doesn't solve anything its proponents think it will.
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2011-08-04 02:55 am (UTC)(link)
THIS. This so hard. When I was a wee thing and the Internet was new, you NEVER EVER EVER told anyone your name. Lassarina became my name in part because it is STILL drilled into me, on a level that is innate, that I do not give my legal name in any way ever. I will freely give this name to my real life friends, on the understanding that they NEVER link it to the name on my government-issued ID, because I still have that panic. Even with people I've known for years and have so much dirt on that if they lifted a finger out of line I could do massive damage. I still stop and think and say "do I trust you with my name even though I've already trusted you with intimate details of my life?" (the answer...is usually yes, but there were a few times it wasn't.)
supermouse: Simple blue linedrawing of a stylised superhero mouse facing left (Default)

[personal profile] supermouse 2011-08-04 08:26 am (UTC)(link)
For me, it's the other way around. The people who have access to my tax name are not people I want poking around my online life.
medrin: matlab code with everything but 'hold on' blurred (Default)

[personal profile] medrin 2011-08-04 06:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Let me guess... You're born in the early eighties?

I have this theory that we who were born then ('83 myslef) are the most extreme internet anonymous people. Not that there aren't exceptions, but every one I've met who are insistent on never leaving out things like name and where you live not because of some external threat but just because that's what you DO on the internet was born in the early eighties.

I think this is because when internet got common we were young enough to be impressionable and young enough that the older generation was hyper protective of us against the big bad internet and all the bad men lurking there. But when those younger than us grew up internet had become to commonplace and most of the hyper vigilance had died out.

... An all this rambling just to say ME TOO. Every time I tell someone my real name I hesitate, and think do I really want to do this? There is something in the back of my mind screaming 'NEVER TELL THE INTERNET YOUR REAL NAME!'
erika: (Default)

[personal profile] erika 2011-08-04 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I was born in the early '80s and this is EXACTLY what I was taught.
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

[personal profile] pne 2011-08-05 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
And conversely, those *older* than you grew up when the Internet was still a small, comparatively friendly place (initially accessible essentially only from universities). They also probably first connected to the Internet when they were already grown up, or nearly so.

I think this is a big part of the reason why I (born in '74) use my real name online fairly freely.
medrin: matlab code with everything but 'hold on' blurred (Default)

[personal profile] medrin 2011-08-05 03:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes! Older people (than me anyway. I'm not calling you ancient or anything...) had a different introduction to internet. You don't tell adults what to do or how to behave, you can only make recommendations. But if you were about to let lose a group of 12:yo into the schools first internet connected computer hall you made damn sure that they knew what not to do on the internet.

I've noticed that while the older generation use pseudonyms and may be mostly known under them they are not as irrationally (maybe? is it irrational?) afraid of giving out their real names. And they base their decision more on the ability for people who know them IRL to find them while we have had *THE INTERNET IS OUT TO GET YOU* drilled into us and it's always there in the back of our minds.
franzeska: (Default)

[personal profile] franzeska 2011-08-06 08:48 pm (UTC)(link)
My stepdad got me my own e-mail address so I'd stop using his on usenet ~1994. He worked at UC Berkeley. I guess it never occurred to him that first initial-last name is not a required format for all e-mail addresses everywhere forever. And my first name is sufficiently uncommon that I think there are two of us in the US and maybe 5-6 of us online at all even now (and for most of the time I've been online, it was just me or just me and the other person in the US). So that was that in terms of pseudonymity. After I'd been online some years, my mother started getting worried about me putting my birthdate up all over and using my real name. Horse. Barn door. *cough*

So while I was born in 1981, I know exactly what you mean. Real names were totally common online in the 80s, and that was only starting to change around the Eternal September. Half of my usenet friends went by their highly-identifiable real names; the other half I don't even know given names for. That "real names" policy crap severely impacts my ability to, you know, network with a social group that has always had a lot of both/all styles of name.

And it gets worse: I have a combination of names that is, I'm pretty sure, genuinely unique among all people living or dead. You can google me and find stuff from college and high school (at least you used to be able to) and other blatantly RL contexts. I am open about what my name is and have been so for 15+ years... And I still get accused of being a sockpuppet because my name's spelled funny. People think I'm a sock or a pseudonym for a Frances or a Francesca. Sheesh.

There's no point in even going near G- if this is what already happens in parts of fandom where people should know better.
aeslis: (Default)

[personal profile] aeslis 2011-08-05 02:37 pm (UTC)(link)
'82 here, and yes, this so very much. I hate putting my SSN onto valid forms, and pause every time. Not to mention phone number, credit card number, and full name, even if it's a highly secure site or one that I've used repeatedly in the past.
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2011-08-06 02:43 am (UTC)(link)
'82, with parents who were both in IT and well-versed in the possibilities for mischief of a curious and intelligent (but sheltered) teenage daughter. XD

I also do this thing where I will invite Internets people to my house (ones I've known and trusted for a long time) and then spend three weeks panicking and second-guessing myself. And then NOTHING WRONG HAPPENS and it's fine.
medrin: matlab code with everything but 'hold on' blurred (Default)

[personal profile] medrin 2011-08-06 01:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I've done that too! And my brain kept going *Are you crazy? Never invite people from the internet home! What are you doing! Noooooo!* And then my rational self had to insist that I really wanted to meet them and had to agree to a compromise to meet in public first to make sure that they at least weren't a axe wielding murderer. And then everything was fine! (No axes in sight!)
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2011-08-06 03:55 pm (UTC)(link)
My mum threw the most epic of fits when I wanted to meet [personal profile] benjamindunbar in real life. Sent my dad off with me and everything. Now he comes to my house for Thanksgiving and Christmas and is treated as part of the family. XD My experiences have pretty much been awesome. But there's always that part of my brain.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2011-08-29 10:26 am (UTC)(link)
I am now fine with known-and-trusted-forever internet people showing up, but I have had some fairly epically bad experiences with loose-crowd-of-people-with-shared-interests-congregating-via-the-internet meetups in person, where one meets people face-to-face without having known what they're like online and doing the pre-sorting there, and then when one clicks especially well with a person and wants to continue face-to-face meetups ...

... the guy who held my brother, my roommates, and me at AK-47-point and ordered us out of his place in a homophobic panic, he holds a special place in my OH GOD NEVER AGAIN files.

So I prefer to have extensive pre-screening in text, where the biases that are hidden in face-to-face pleasantries come out to play.
lassarina: I'm not coming out until the stupid people have gone away.  ....I can wait all day. (Default)

[personal profile] lassarina 2011-09-01 02:18 am (UTC)(link)
....good Lord. I. Yes. That preference makes perfect sense.

(Many of my online friends now come to my house for holidays, where my mother feeds them and fusses over them just like she did my best friend at age ten who lived down the street. I just inevitably have that one moment of oh-dear-God panic the first time meeting someone.)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2011-08-29 10:20 am (UTC)(link)
'80. I actually became more vigilant about it after a cascade of internet problems of one of the typical sorts -- close friend pissed off an easily annoyed crowd with a lot of time on their hands and few scruples, who decided to entertain themselves by causing as much physical annoyance for the friend and any of their immediate and tertiary crowd that they could dig up info on. But then, my dad was in the sciences and sending the occasional care package to Russia, so my family understood the concept of internet friendships well before the average household did. Though my father did check up on my internet activities and evaluated the mailing list I was on as mostly harmless, so it wasn't like I was entirely unsupervised.
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)

[personal profile] krait 2011-08-08 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
THIS. I always tell people, when they exclaim that I am not on Facebook, that I grew up in the "Never Ever Give Your Personal Info Online" generation. :D

I have even asked friends of my RL-journal not to use my real name in posts about our group activities, to use my LJ name instead. (Note that usage -- I have separate journals for RL and fandom! It makes me feel very old-school, sometimes. :D I'm not going to give it up, though -- there are a host of reasons, from the minor to the quite major, for me to keep those aspects of myself separate, and I refuse to use any service which will not grant me the right to do so.)
hederahelix: Mature General Organa and "A woman's place is leading the resistance." (Default)

[personal profile] hederahelix 2011-08-03 05:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I know it's obvious, but I'm going to say it anyway because it's been driving me batty.

There are instances in which people blog online under pseuds for really valid reasons. Sometimes it's not as dire as life or death. Sometimes it's a matter of people in jobs where a link between their online behavior and their day job could end up in them losing work. I'm not just talking about pre-school teachers writing smut in their spare time (although so long as they aren't bringing smut into school, I don't see why we care. Most smut writing teachers I know don't bring their smut into the classroom--even when the classrooms are populated by adults.)

I'm talking about people who are trying to shed light on bad practices in their jobs but who are not protected by long term contracts because they're at will employees.

And, I am so, so tired of parts of the media acting like pseuds are fake names. They aren't. They're different identities. I see the clash between the importance of legal names and pseuds every time I go to a fan convention.

Those of us who move knowingly in these circles understand the difference between a pseud and a sock puppet. I resent being denied the ability to use the former because other people who aren't very online don't understand how to suss our or can't be bothered to do the work to figure out when someone is the latter.

There are people in fandom whom I know quite well. I've known some of them for more than a decade. I can tell you what's going on with their kids. I've been to their homes multiple times. Heck, I've traveled cross country to meet with them. Chances are that I know more about what goes on in their workplace and their families than many of their coworkers who would count themselves friends of the folks in question.

And I couldn't tell you their legal last name if my life depended on it. I may not even be 100% sure of their legal first name.

Pseuds in some communities develop identities that are attached to those names, and denying people the ability to hold on to those identities is a very short-sighted move on Google's part.

I try not to be too skeptical, but I an inclined to suspect that it is at least as much about Google's desire to market stuff than about abuse, harassment, and reputation issues. It's much easier to track and market me to non-online stuff by my legal name than by my pseud, isn't it?
Edited 2011-08-03 17:39 (UTC)
arie: (Default)

[personal profile] arie 2011-08-03 05:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I use my "real name" on Facebook. I actually deliberately chose to do so because I use that name nowhere else on the internet. So, anyone searching for the me-they-actually-know wouldn't find it, unless I wanted them too. My "real name" turns up 0 results that are actually me. In fact, when pondering my options on Facebook, I also deliberately chose not to use my maiden name, though that also turns up 0 results that are actually me.

The only way to find the REAL me online is to use the name I've used for myself for the last 18 years, and everyone including my own mother (though she denies it, if asked) calls me. If that doesn't make it my real name, then your system's screwed up. FWIW, I use my real name, not my "real name" on Google+. Apparently (so far), it's "real" enough to not get shut down. But I haven't really been using the site, so it wouldn't be a great loss to me or them if it were.

ETA: I should add that both my married and maiden full "real name" are so common as to turn up numerous search results, none of which are me. My real name is unique enough to find me on the first page of results, usually the first or second link. So only knowing my real name will do anyone looking for me, or wanting to use that information for marketing or ad purposes, any good. I'd venture a guess this is true for many people. Given/birth/legal/"real" names aren't as unique or valuable as corporations think they are, whereas the names we've chosen for ourselves tend to be much more so.
Edited 2011-08-03 17:58 (UTC)
syntaxofthings: Death Fae from the Fey Tarot (Default)

[personal profile] syntaxofthings 2011-08-03 05:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Every time you come out with an opinion that matches mine (or that I get to learn from!) but with the weight of experience in managing social communities, I feel so happy that Dreamwidth exists and it is a good home on the Internet. I've made great friends here and being on a service with such an open, caring staff makes me want to do all I can to support it.
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)

[personal profile] dharma_slut 2011-08-03 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
G+ has been heaven on earth to a certain person who I will not name here without disemvowallage.

And to me that's kinda... 'nuff said.
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

[personal profile] ironed_orchid 2011-08-03 10:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Heh. Good point.
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)

[personal profile] cofax7 2011-08-04 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, indeed.

So much for real names enforcing good behavior.
archane: Archane is cute and sassy (Default)

[personal profile] archane 2011-08-03 06:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I am personally privileged enough that I don't have to fear using my legal identity online. I'm also privileged enough that I don't need to separate my personal and professional lives (although I chose to). For these types of issues, I defer to the people without the privilege (who all seem to say that "real names" policies are dangerous and exclusionary).

What drives me crazy, personally, is the implied assumptions in these policies — and the justifications for these policies — that the use of something other than a person's legal identity means that the person is anonymous. If you do a Google search on "[name on my SSN card]", I show up as a blip on the very bottom of the first results page, and you don't get anything substantive ever. If you do a Google search on "[my legal first name]", you will probably never find me.

On the other hand, if you do a Google search for "Archane Nightspirit", you get two pages of me. If you do a Google search for just "Archane", I'm still three of the top five results.

Which of these names, then, gives me more anonymity?
nebris: (A Dark Boy)

[personal profile] nebris 2011-08-03 07:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, I get more hits as Nebris than with my 'legal name', which I use on both my fiction writing and on Stalkbook.

~M~
pensnest: bright-eyed baby me (Default)

[personal profile] pensnest 2011-08-04 09:10 am (UTC)(link)
I did the same kind of thing - Google searches on my current and previous legal names lead to a whole bunch of people, and none of the people on the first page is me.

Pensnest is *me*, and has been since Compuserve allowed me to have a name rather than a number.
nebris: (A Manga Thang)

Kudos

[personal profile] nebris 2011-08-03 07:41 pm (UTC)(link)
I received a number Google+ invites during the latest LJ DDoS event. I turned them all down. FB is already sufficiently fascistic for me, thank you very much. =)

~M~
silverhare: drawing of a grey hare (firefly - zoe [unimpressed/disbelieving])

[personal profile] silverhare 2011-08-03 08:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I had no idea you were also [personal profile] synecdochic, but as soon as you said it that name had familiar 'friend of a friend' type connotations and "didn't that person say something awesome in some kind of discussion recently?" vague thoughts. The force and value of names, right?

I like it on here, because I can be Hare. I set up a G+ account as Hare, and immediately I could write twice as much on my 'information' section because I wasn't second-guessing who might look at it and judge me or deny me a job or ... [etc. etc.]
tiferet: cute girl in pink dress captioned "not all bad girls wear black" (Default)

[personal profile] tiferet 2011-08-03 08:43 pm (UTC)(link)
It's the advertising. :/

You're awesome.

Incidentally, I'm sure that ours is not the first culture where people have had different names in different roles or communities.

[personal profile] space_dinosaur_blue 2011-08-03 08:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi.

I guess it says something the first comment I make on Dreamwidth is here, huh? I'm a potential refugee from G+; I ran across a link to this post there. If naught else, lot of people are in agreement with the sentiment - and the rational.

Having been involved in the name debate on G+ since almost day one, I have to admit it's been discouraging at times. All internet arguments tend to have unwise comments posted from both (or more) sides of the debate. But there have been some disturbing attitudes with regards to anyone who doesn't use what seems like a straightlace, whitebread name and identity.

IMHO there's been a lot of very eloquent and detailed breakdowns of why "real name" is a misnomer and why online accountability isn't as simple as it seems. But not so much respect for the debate from the other side. A lot of comments from people who seem to think making their opinion more in your face and extreme, makes it a stronger position. Most of them using, with pride, their real names. And photographs.

I'm here because many people I know, and who are the reason I wanted to try out a social service that wasn't Facebook, have been suspended for doing nothing disruptive to the system other than using name that a CSR geek though didn't deserve to be associated with Google. My friends are as hard headed as me, and most haven't caved in and changed their name, so they've stayed suspended.

Well, at any rate; thank you for writing this. Every additional perspective helps the conversation, and I'm happy to see the My Name is Me project. It's funny; despite Facebook annoying people for years with attitudes like this about identity, it took Google stepping into the minefield to truly catalyze people. I think it could be, that Google isn't just another service. They're Google. They made their business being the internet. It's profoundly disturbing for people who actually pay attention, to see Google turn this corner. Especially because it had to be a known quantity (didn't it?) that most of their early adopters would be the Google hardcore and geek fringe.

You don't open up the Internet to the leading curve of geekdom without expecting those who follow a different beat to be first in the door. How could anyone not get that?

Anyway. Look! Hey Google! Dinosaur is in my name! How can it be! It is unpossible that anyone could be a dinosaur! From space.

In blue.

I shut up now.
rainbow: manipulated image of kermit the frog dressed as jack sparrow on board the black pearl (is this the sweet sound that calls the y)

[personal profile] rainbow 2011-08-04 08:19 am (UTC)(link)
from a random internet stranger: &hearts at your blue space dinosaurusiness!
rising: oscar the grouch! (the cadre: oscar the grouch)

[personal profile] rising 2011-08-03 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I love you. So much. This is wonderful, and amazing, and I am going to go make all the people on G+ read it, too, because you write sooooo well. <3
Edited 2011-08-03 20:57 (UTC)

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