dglenn: A musical Jolly Roger using a tambourine, a pair of zills, a keychain-sized set of panpipes, and two soprano recorders (JollyRoger)
d'Glenn, aka The Human Vibrator ([personal profile] dglenn) wrote in [staff profile] denise 2011-08-03 04:56 pm (UTC)

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.)

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