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    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2011
    The whole thing is interesting in the way it's exposing an unrecognized modern layer of naming. In the same way some cultures have childhood names that are later placed by an adult name that is chosen later in life to better fit the person that child has become, somewhere in the arc of our adoption of the Internet as a social place, we've developed a functionally real new name layer.

    Most of the pseudonyms I know were chosen not to hide identity but to describe it.

    They aren't pseudonyms, really. They are real names tailored to a sphere of interaction in which communication occurs without the physical or temporal immediacy of face-to-face contact. They are meant to identify people over swaths of text stored in different services at different times.

    There are hundreds of "Bill Cunninghams" all over the Internet. A Google search of the name will return pages and pages of results in which you will not find me. A search for "Oddbill" will give you several links to me and my words on the very first page.

    At some point in the next decade this new name layer will probably become a widely recognized formal reality. I can imagine having Internet Naming celebrations for your kids as a kind of Rite of Passage. "You are Dances With Trolls".

    You almost aren't a full Online citizen until you are widely known by some recognizable name online.
    • CommentAuthorFrank
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2011
    It should be interesting when they roll it out to Asian countries where folks with Christian names have (to Westerners) **REALLY** odd English names.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2011
    "Wood Le Magnifique" was not accepted, and my profile is now suspended.

    I'm gonna try to roll with "Wood Lebeau".

    In the meantime, one of France's most prominent bloggers, "Maitre Eolas", a lawyer who's been blogging about law and justice since 2004 under that name, is regurlarly interviewed in the press and on the radio and was once invited by the president at a dinner with the country's most active internet personalities, got his profile flagged for "not complying with Google's name policy". He changed his profile name for "Aimé Treolas", but his first comment on twitter was "Goodbye Google+, you were almost a good idea".

    For the record, he's had a facebook page for years under his pseudonym.
  1.  (9984.4)
    @ Frank, they rolled it out at the same time in Japan at least. As I mentioned up-thread somewhere, I'm using it in Japan at the moment in Japan and nicknames and all sorts of crazy names are very common, they certainly don't seem to be cracking down on that stuff here.
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2011
    Slight threadjack from the nyming debate, but I threw a bunch more people into my already-the-largest-circle Whitechapel circle. Still working out G+ ettiquette, so anyone not happy with me circling them, let me know.

    Salgood Sam's spreadsheet is worth a look, if you haven't already.
  2.  (9984.6)
    Deleted my G+ account. Fuck Eric Schmidt and the horse he rode in on.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2011
    @Cat : I suppose this is about this recent developpment ?

    This is from journalist Andy Carvin's Google+ stream :

    I'm at the Edinburgh Intl TV Festival and just got to ask a question to Google CEO Eric Schmidt regarding real names on G+. I asked him how Google justifies the policy given that real identities could put people at risk.

    He replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they're going to build future products that leverage that information.

    Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, he said G+ is completely optional. No one is forcing you to use it. It's obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn't use G+. Regarding countries like Iran and Syria, people there have no expectation of privacy anyway due to their government's own policies, which implies (to me, at least) that Schmidt thinks there's no point of even trying to have a service that allows pseudonyms. Unfortunately, the way the Q&A was conducted, I wasn't in a position to ask him a followup on this particular point.

    He also said the internet would be better if we knew you were a real person rather than a dog or a fake person. Some people are just evil and we should be able to ID them and rank them downward.

    These aren't exact quotes, but I did my best to paraphrase the gist of what he was saying.
  3.  (9984.8)
    I'm on there case anyone wants to add me.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2011
    In the meantimes, as BoingBoing points out, Google's Bradley Horowitz voiced a rather different opinion on the matter.

    And that seems to be a great summary of Google's communication on the name policy this far : they say one thing, do another thing, and then say yet another thing.

    You can use pseudonyms, but if you use something that is obviously a pseudonym we'll suspend you because you can't use pseudonyms.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2011
    aack, I didn't mean to include the video in the post, just to link to it at the exact point when BH starts talking about pseudonyms (that's 26:27). How do I do that ?
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2011
    Trans Male performer Buck Angel gave commentary on the Nym wars. The assumption seems to be that your birth name has some intrinsic value to it. After all, we must remember that Google's business is commodifying your online identity. Linking that to your legal identity hands Google an entire new area to make money from.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2011
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
    Even our heroes are having problems with G+'s name policy...

    • CommentAuthorEmperor
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2012
    Anyone had any luck getting in with the modest changes in pseudonym policy? It isn't straightforward, but it seems that it is possible to get in. Unfortunately my first shot at this has failed, so I'm going to have to muster the best case I can and fire it at them, when I can be arsed.

    One other thing is that it has shone a light on pseudonyms, like this:

    We feel that Google deserves some credit for finally taking steps to accommodate pseudonyms. Yonatan Zunger, Chief Architect of Google+, explains that the change of heart was the result of looking at data and realizing that Google’s initial assumptions were wrong:

    “We thought…that people would behave very differently when they were and weren't going by their real names. After watching the system for a while, we realized that this was not, in fact, the case. (And in particular, bastards are still bastards under their own names.)”

    Google’s observations are bolstered by a recent analysis of Disqus comments which suggested that the pseudonymous comments on its service are some of the most useful.