I do hereby dedicate the above word to Google/G+ for their hypocrisy.
(Written in response to this G+ post by Bradley Horowitz himself. FYI Bradley Horowitz is Google VP of Product.)
This is the major ‘headline’ I saw in many web publications today. Yes, Google might have finally allowed pseudonyms on G+ but if you ask me it’s only half-true because it’s not so much different from how it was. The new policy for pseudonyms is still damn restrictive and only allow the usage to a limited extent. Read on.
Unless I am missing something, this may not be “true” pseudonym support, but an expansion of the “other names” field that’s been there since the beginning. Crucially, you cannot choose to make the desired nickname the primary display name. That doesn’t seem to solve the problem many/most users affected had with G+.
Until they do add the ability to choose which name is the default visible to the public on the web, these adjustments seem to be shuffling existing functionality around to create the appearance of working on the problem.
The worst part about this change of policy here is it took an awfully long time to happen ever since they made the announcement about it October last year. Well it’s been around half a year that G+ goes public, and Google is still blisteringly clueless. Sad, really.
For some people, their nickname has for all practical purposes been their actual name for a lifetime. I wonder why it is so hard for a ‘professional’ company like Google to understand, or even to accept that fact. Now, take a look at this:
“If we flag the name you intend to use, you can provide us with information to help confirm your established identity. This might include:
- References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc
- Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license
- Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following”
Why would you still need an evidence when people should be allowed to use whatever names they’d like other people to refer to them? Also how about people who just about to ‘develop’ their online pseudonyms (people who just started using internet extensively) and G+ was chosen as their starting point? Also does that mean pseudonyms are allowed only if they’re ‘established’? What kind of stupidity is this?
If you saw the title “Google+ finally allows pseudonyms” anywhere online today, I must say it is incorrect if according to the quoted text above. Google does not allow pseudonyms, unless you have a “meaningful following,” which you have to prove to them while your account is frozen. All they have done is account for the celebrity stage name loophole, which was making them look like hypocrites. Other than that, all you can do is add a nickname or non-Latin alphabet name to your “common name” (whatever that means) in quotes or parentheses.
The bottom line is that Google still wants to control what people call themselves online, they are just making exceptions for celebrities and other well-known personalities who have been using pen names. Ordinary people who cannot or will not use their legal names online are still not welcome. Shame on Google.
They have only done something about their obvious-to-a-child hypocrisy of letting Snoop Dogg and others use pseudonyms! Adding a nick in between your first and last name means nothing to me as I am concerned about privacy COMPLETELY. Total shame on Google, other accounts like Twitter account would not be accepted as proof if you have only around 200 followers because that is “not good enough” to Google. Google is losing and now it wants to not be a hypocrite while still having the same rules.
Smoke and mirrors.
This is smoke and mirrors to cover their hypocrisy for letting users like Snoop Dogg use a pseudonym while the rest of us “common folk” are forced to use real names. They don’t want to be hypocrites yet they still are. That said, for me the so-called “policy update” here means nothing.
First off they want to pad their G+ numbers by including those that don’t even use G+ by requiring that when you sign up for a Google Account you also create a G+ profile. The stats they give are for people who use any Google service. I don’t care about stats so this isn’t what bothers me.
NOTE: Anyone sails through the sign up process for a Google account. Google takes any name right away. You are in in no time. Then they deactivate and ask for ID. This could be different with their new sign-up process but I haven’t tried it and don’t intend to.
Facebook has a real name policy but they don’t enforce it like Google does. You can even change your name a couple of times. When G+ first came out you could edit your name daily if you wanted to. Facebook is meant for staying in contact with friends and family whereas G+ is clearly a social network to reach out to like-minded strangers as there is one-way follow just like Twitter. That somehow makes Facebook sounds better than G+ although I have no intention to say that G+ is worse than Facebook. Now look at this again:
“When we analyze the set of all name appeals on Google+, we find that they generally fall into three major categories:
- The majority (60%) of these users want to simply add nicknames.
- About 20% of appeals are actually businesses (who are inadvertently trying to set up their business as a Profile, rather than using Google+ Pages which were intended for this purpose.)
- And the remaining 20% would either prefer to use a pseudonym or another unconventional name. ”
THESE ARE MORE PADDED NUMBERS! Google would like you to believe that only .020 of 1% of users of G+ want to use a pseudonym! These numbers are for people who are signing up for G+ which they just let you sail through. I bet if you tried to sign up for an account using Lance Lancelot they would just let you sail through and then once in, a week or so later, they would deactivate your G+ account asking for an ID to prove your name. This is what they have been doing to everyone who got booted! How else do you get booted once you have an account you have obviously gone through the sign-up flow already!
Such losers to pad all numbers. Smoke and mirrors.
Clearly Google needs to remember that the Internet is a public place and that no one owns it. If Google wants subscribers to its “we have one too” social app, then leave the people alone and let them go about their affairs in peace. And I do hereby declare that the Nymwars is not over, yet.