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Google+ To End Real Names Policy 235

Posted by timothy
from the just-keep-an-eye-on-the-birdie dept.
bs0d3 writes "After months of Google+ being unsuccessful at taking the edge over Facebook, Google announces a new plan. Google executive Vic Gundotra announced yesterday that they will be 'adding features that will "support other forms of identity,"' a major victory for security and privacy advocates. If Google+ gets rid of their 'real names' policy, they will finally be the social networking site that people will flock to when running away from Facebook." JWZ is a skeptic; he describes as "premature victory" (and much harsher things, too) any rejoicing in the announced policy change, writing in part "My guess? I'll bet they still require you to register with your 'real' name, but then they'll graciously allow you to have a linked nickname or two, meaning they're still fully prepared to roll over on you to authoritarian governments or advertisers at the drop of a hat."
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Google+ To End Real Names Policy

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  • They understand the problem. But it might be too little too late.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm not convinced they "understand the problem", unless the problem you're referring to is that the initial wave of interest subsided and all their uses went back to their original Facebook accounts. Don't get me wrong: I think this is a good move, but the answer to the question of whether it's being motivated by a change of heart on the issue, or because they view it as a way to gain an edge over Facebook, is unclear.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Desler (1608317)

        The thing us that this policy wasn't why most people weren't leaving facebook to come to google+. In the privacy-nut nerd circles it might have been but most people using facebook are fine with giving out their real name.

      • by RCL (891376)
        Well, that's how the market works: someone wants to gain an edge over competition and provides you with a better product. I don't need any other "answers" - I wouldn't believe in them anyway.
    • by Desler (1608317)

      Yeah because the only thing keeping people from dropping facebook to come to google+ was the names policy. Oh right, except that outside of nerd circles most people don't care and freely use their real name on facebook. Give it a couple more months and this will join buzz and wave on the trash heap.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>Oh right, except that outside of nerd circles most people don't care and freely use their real name on facebook

        And people in nerd circles realized that you could use a fake name on Google+, you just had to make it sound like a real name instead of "Cyber McCool" or something like that.

        It does suck for people whose real life names fail their lameness filter though.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        It was the only thing that was keeping me from taking a look at it. I'm not sure that it's going to be enough for me to use the service. Personally I don't use FB, so having something available that's more stable from a privacy POV would be good.

      • most people don't care and freely use their real name on facebook

        Most people aren't early adopters, however often nerds are.

    • Re:Finally.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rudy_wayne (414635) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:30PM (#37781416)

      No .... they are simply trying to disguise the problem in order to suck in more users. Contrary to whatever bullshit they try to spread, Google+, Facebook and all the rest will NEVER implement any policy that actually respects the privacy of users. It will never happen, because their business model depends on selling their users to advertisers.

      • Re:Finally.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Surt (22457) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:13PM (#37782194) Homepage Journal

        Google+ could possibly guarantee they would never sell you to advertisers. They could view it as a cost-saving measure against getting killed in the search space when facebook introduces peersearch next year.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Google has a pretty strong reason to keep as much of the information to itself as possible, it doesn't want anybody to know how it chooses what ads to serve at what time and to whom. Them sharing unnecessary information makes about as much sense as a billboard company allowing folks to put up their own ads the night before they put up a new ad.

    • Re:Finally.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ruke (857276) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:35PM (#37781520)
      The "problem" is one of critical mass: there's no reason to use a social networking site unless your friends use the same social networking site. Hell, right now, my G+ pretty much acts as an RSS agregator, allowing me to read updates from nerd celebrities that they're also posting to their blogs, twitter, facebook, and probably two or three other places. My friends are on Facebook, so, if I want to talk to them, or organize an event, I have to be on facebook.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        The "problem" is one of critical mass: there's no reason to use a social networking site unless your friends use the same social networking site. Hell, right now, my G+ pretty much acts as an RSS agregator, allowing me to read updates from nerd celebrities that they're also posting to their blogs, twitter, facebook, and probably two or three other places.

        Google Plus has been really useful to me. Several of my friends were using it before me, and when I joined I just made sure people who were important to

    • Re:Finally.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RazorSharp (1418697) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:39PM (#37781584)

      I agree. They've just been trying to take away Facebook users since it went public. A better strategy would be to look at the market and go after those who don't use Facebook, for one reason or another. Build a solid user base of people who wouldn't consider the alternative, then worry about picking off the competitor's customers. I would guess that most of the current users also have Facebook pages, so they'll default to that since it's the de-facto standard. Having a strong user base that will say, "No, get ahold of me on G+ b/c I don't have a Facebook page" is a much better strategy for keeping the network active. But Google didn't really give many good reasons for non-Facebook users to consider their network other than "We're not Facebook" until now, out of desperation.

      At least it's a step in the right direction, but I'm sure G+ would have been doing much better had they originally tried to allow some form of anonymity. Just look at how many Slashdotters they could have pulled in from the start. These are heavy internet users and clicks are what counts.

      • by Chapter80 (926879)

        A better strategy would be to look at the market and go after those who don't use Facebook, for one reason or another.

        Wow, you nailed it.

        For all you tech guys building products that you want to take to market, this is exactly the right strategy as a start-up. Build your product to fill the gaps left by the competition. Don't try to go head to head with a market incumbent - that's suicide!

        Another strategy is the Microsoft "Embrace -> Extend -> Eliminate" style. You have to embrace today's paradigm. In the Google+ case, they could have embraced Facebook, but given people a slight advantage by using Google+. And th

    • by jythie (914043)
      The problem with 'the problem' is there are multiple use-cases, some of which are mutually exclusive. The 'real name' policy is not an unmitigated bad thing, it has advantages and cases where it works better then allowing pseudonyms.

      Personally, I am a little sad to see it go this way. The majority of the internet is pseudonym based... one thing that made Facebook such a force was it was at least one major place where that was not the dominant paradigm.... but like usual, the majority wanted to make sure
      • by bberens (965711)
        Does google+ even have farmville or any of the other sorts of apps that cause people to literally waste hours and hours of time on facebook? Google+ lacks time wasters. Google+ has a superior "wall" concept but none of the things that cause/allow users to spend all day "hanging out" there. Obviously, the only way to make Google+ succeed is to make it suck.
  • by Ectospheno (724239) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:26PM (#37781348)

    If they really want more users then they should add profile support to Google Apps so the metric crap-ton of people who ALREADY PAY THEM MONEY can use Google+.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:32PM (#37781462)

    Communication should be open and federated, yet private and protected by strong cryptography.

    Communication is a human right.

    Social networking needs to be seen as something other than an "app" or a trendy buzzword. Why can't we call it communication? Why can't we standardize a protocol for more robust communication than is offered by email?

    Under proprietary services, you'll never be anything more than an identified consumer (even by pseudonym) on the corporate feedlot, for sale to advertisers.

    There will always be a primary key, even if it isn't the same one issued to you by the government (legal name). This is Google - they'll hoover up your phone number, email, address, from you and your contacts, and identify you anyway. Don't kid yourselves. Unless you're a hardcore privacy geek, your friends will leak info, even if you don't. Google is letting you use a pseudonym because they know their datamining is so powerful that they can identify you anyway.

    I don't mind sharing my life, but I'm not going to share it with an advertising conglomerate and any marketroid willing to cough up the required price.

    The things people share on proprietary networks are shared with more unknown third party marketers than with their real, actual friends and family.

    Stop filling out your own marketing profiles. Revolt. You are a human being, not a datapoint.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Desler (1608317)

      Hey look some 12 year old just saw fight club for the first time.

      • by Jibekn (1975348)
        Its funny, I'm 32 and still haven't seen that movie. I never will just for the sheer look on peoples faces when I tell them I haven't seen it.
        • by Desler (1608317)

          You didn't miss much

          • by hedwards (940851)

            I'm in my 30s and I've never bothered to watch it. I've heard the film really hasn't held up very well over the last decade.

            • It's still a good movie (Though se7en was a better Brad Pitt movie from that era) but it certainly has been blown out of proportion by some people.
            • by EdIII (1114411)

              It has held up very well. In fact, it is more relevant now than it was when it came out in theaters.

              Excellent movie.

              Hard to explain without giving out spoilers, all I can say is that I disagree and it has help up very well. I watched it recently and it was as good as seeing it the first time again.

        • Got you beat.

          33 and never seen it. :P

      • by EdIII (1114411) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:09PM (#37782114)

        Hey look some 12 year old just saw fight club for the first time.

        While that is funny.... he has made some quite excellent points:

        1) Communication should be open and federated, yet private and protected by strong cryptography.

        Wow. Kind of hard to disagree with that at all. Spot on so far....

        2) Communication is a human right.

        Is there anybody that is really going to fight this point at all?

        3) Social networking needs to be seen as something other than an "app" or a trendy buzzword. Why can't we call it communication? Why can't we standardize a protocol for more robust communication than is offered by email?

        No. Fucking. Shit.

        Right now, Social Networking is derided by quite a few of us here on Slashdot because we don't see it as useful communication. I still see it's use as nothing more than sharing of worthless information and tweets about stuff I don't really want to know. Signal to Noise ratio is not good. Other than some funny pictures and a quips about your daily life, it is just a gaming portal.... Farmville... need I say more?

        It should be communication. Email needs to die, it has served its purpose. Right now, it is just a huge drain on resources since 90% of resources used are to fight SPAM. Sending data through it requires Base 64 encoding, which is the most hilariously inefficient form of data transfer on the planet. I find it useful because it can change any data to be "safe" for transfer between processes mainly because none of the characters inside it are picked up by compilers, interpreters, etc. XML fields wrapped in CDATA can still fail.

        4) Under proprietary services, you'll never be anything more than an identified consumer (even by pseudonym) on the corporate feedlot, for sale to advertisers.

        Is anyone disagreeing with that? It's true. Whether or not you care about is a different argument.

        5) There will always be a primary key, even if it isn't the same one issued to you by the government (legal name). This is Google - they'll hoover up your phone number, email, address, from you and your contacts, and identify you anyway. Don't kid yourselves. Unless you're a hardcore privacy geek, your friends will leak info, even if you don't. Google is letting you use a pseudonym because they know their datamining is so powerful that they can identify you anyway.

        Also true. Data mining has become a new field and a new market. Even if you don't participate, what you are is extrapolated from information provided by people you know. Almost impossible to fight.... unless you don't want to have any life at all.

        6) I don't mind sharing my life, but I'm not going to share it with an advertising conglomerate and any marketroid willing to cough up the required price.

        Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. You want to control who knows what about you. It's called privacy, and deriding the ability to share information with a friend without having it spread across the whole world, intelligence communities, and marketing groups is not fair, and wanting it is not indicative of a tin foil hatter.

        7) Stop filling out your own marketing profiles. Revolt. You are a human being, not a datapoint.

        Why not? Why should you be penalized for having a life by constant bombardment by advertisers and governments profiling you?

        I don't think you should.

        The day I join Social Networking is when I can host my own personal P2P SNS that does not allow any huge corporation like Google to analyze my personal data and relationships.

        It's not easy. It will take time, development, and testing. We can get there and take true control over our communications and turn ISPs into what they were always intended to be... common carriers.

        • by fyngyrz (762201)


          2) Communication is a human right.

          Is there anybody that is really going to fight this point at all?

          Actual "rights" exist only in the context where some entity is willing to enforce them on behalf of others using sufficient power to overcome those who would violate those rights. Outside of that context, they are no more than wishful thinking.

          Here, we have a corporate entity that has no obligation to provide anyone with anything in particular for free. On top of that, we have a government that is tasked such

          • by EdIII (1114411)

            I think you are being overly pedantic about this. I don't exactly see you fighting either, just attempting to define it differently.

            Legal rights are what you say they are... legal entitlements granted by the state (an entity with sufficient power to enforce) to the people (those without power, but in some implementations, influence the state).

            Human rights are what might be referred to as universal truths. They are what the vast majority of all people, in all societies, would agree should be included or ot

            • by fyngyrz (762201)


              Human rights are what might be referred to as universal truths.

              There is no such thing as a universal truth in the context of rights. Human rights are either legal rights, or they don't exist except as wishful thinking, exactly in the same class as light-sabres and religion.

              • by EdIII (1114411)


                Human rights are what might be referred to as universal truths.

                There is no such thing as a universal truth in the context of rights. Human rights are either legal rights, or they don't exist except as wishful thinking, exactly in the same class as light-sabres and religion.

                Sure there is. There are universal truths in the context of anything .

                A universal truth is simply something that is considered self-evident, transcends different societies and cultures, etc. That's all that it is. It is not wishful thinking because it not limited to an ideal, or something that does not as of yet exist.

                You seem to be grouping universal truths in with philosophy and faith, hence your references to light-sabres (fiction) and religion (faith). It is not so limited.

        • by chrismcb (983081)

          It should be communication.

          it IS communication. It is the #1 reason I use facebook, to communicate with people I know around the world.

          Email needs to die, it has served its purpose. Right now, it is just a huge drain on resources since 90% of resources used are to fight SPAM.

          No, No it doesn't need to die. Email is still useful For one thing I don't want every want my messages with one person be all merged into one long stream every every communication I've had with that one person. But you claim that Email needs to die because A) it is a drain on resources. (whose?) and B) it is inefficient (as if HTML is more efficient) You do realize that if email dies, then that spam c

  • by phoncible (2468768) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:34PM (#37781500)
    Not sure what the big deal is, my G+ account name is a false name; not even a semblance of a real name in fact. Of course, I'm sure google has my real name in their system somewhere, and I'm sure it's tied to this G+ account in some way shape or form.
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Hope you don't use that Google account for anything important, like email or Android marketplace or payment or advertising or any such thing.

      Using a fake name violates their TOS, and their response when a violator is found has been, thus far, to simply kill the violating Google account. Not the G+ portion of it, the whole account. People have found their phones can't log in after signing up for G+ under a fake name, because an Android phone is tied to a Google account and the account was killed.

      Good luck, I

    • I just went and clicked the You+ and the signup screen already had my real name, so most likely they have your real name whether you signup or not, they have mine and I have no reason to believe I'm special or anything.

      • by JohnFen (1641097) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @06:01PM (#37784120)

        They don't have my legal name. They do have the name that I usually go by online, though. It's the name that I've been using online from before the internet was open to the public, and at this point it's no less my "real" name than my legal name is. I don't use Google+, however, were I to, doing so under my legal name would make it essentially impossible for my online friends to find me. Few of them know my legal name and even those that do would have problems -- it's a very, very common one. My pseudonym IS my "real" name, or one of them, and especially online.

        It's all academic, though, as I will never use Google+ even if they were to actually allow pseudonyms for real (i.e., without giving Google itself my legal name). Google's public statements over this issue have been very clear and very insulting. I can do without them. They've burnt that bridge.

  • People can't report you for it if they can't see it.

  • Too Late (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bky1701 (979071) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:38PM (#37781576) Homepage
    They already squandered the publicity and marketing that existed around the launch. In the process, they pissed off many users and made even more suspicious. There is no chance to recover after the major blunders they have made. Google+ is dead now, just like wave, and Google will admit it eventually. The best thing they can do is try to contain that failure so it doesn't spill over into their other, successful services, especially Gmail.
    • Re:Too Late (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MattskEE (925706) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:51PM (#37782936)

      You are jumping the gun quite a bit with your proclamation I think. Google+ is still a very new product, Google is doing fine as a company and will not dump this attempt because they got scared after less than 6 months of operation. Plenty of people, including myself, use it in addition to Facebook, and some people I know use it instead of Facebook. Maybe your social group doesn't use it, but that's their choice. It makes a lot of sense for Google to have a social media platform at their disposal as people spend so much time on social media sites, and they need eyeballs to sell ads. I have never been pissed off or suspicious about Google's intentions with Google+. So no, Google+ is not a failure and we won't be able to say it is for some time.

      Side note: I don't understand why you think a Google+ failure would leak over into other services like Gmail. Gmail is still a very distinct service from Google+.

    • by horza (87255)

      Agreed. Their business plan appears to have been:
      1) get everybody excited about a rival to Facebook that cares about privacy
      2) destroy completely the trust with users by then requiring real names, and randomly deleting pseudonyms
      3) announce a change in policy... with a feature that doesn't exist
      4) don't release any details about how it works, or whether you will require a real name first and can add a pseudonym later

      Google killed G+ with blunder after blunder. Christmas came early for Facebook.

      Philip.

  • by Kunedog (1033226) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:41PM (#37781628)
    Until I've seen how the policy is written (and enforced), I have to proceed with caution and assume this is just another trick they've copied from Facebook (i.e. the trick where they announce theoretically improved privacy to the public, but maintain the status quo in practice (and in the fine print)).
  • Maybe I got this wrong but:
    a) Google+ were just rolled out from invite only beta
    b) Google adds stuff to G+ almost every week
    c) Goole+ for App users are just about to launch
    d) Company accounts are yet to be announced

    And we already decided that it was unsuccessful?

    And ohh, by the way, I love real name policy. And don't get me started, if you want to be really anonymous, you can create innocent looking fake name and surename and other details.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      " And we already decided that it was unsuccessful?"

      Did you miss the link to the story about the 60% drop on active users that was posted 10 days ago? That is probably why they made that statement.

      • by Pecisk (688001)

        Yeah, those was very trustworthy statistics and really reliable trend :)

      • 60% drop in public posts I believe. At a service that's selling point was that most posts don't have to be public and you can send them specifically to the groups you want them to go to. I would be far from surprised if most of face-books "increasing activity" turned out to be 80% "Take care of this dying cow for me" farm ville posts. I can say I have about half the number of friends on G+ that I had on facebook, yet there are twice as many posts with actual interesting information then I ever saw on facebo
      • by jdgeorge (18767)

        The Slashdot crowd, much like "the media", is eager to predict the future based on a inconclusive data. THAT is why "we" have decided Google+ was unsuccessful.

        Similar analysis resulted in predictions of the death of Apple and the dominance of AMD in the processor market.

  • I understand some people's hangups with using their real names, but what I don't understand is why they're complaining so loudly.
    It's Google's site, and it's their prerogative to implement whatever rules fit their fancy. It's not like people are being forced to join, so if you don't like the rules, join a social network which allows you to use nicknames.

    In fact, there's one which does just that: MySpace.
    Here's the founder's comments on the whole real name thing: https://plus.google.com/112063946124358686266 [google.com]

    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by EdZ (755139) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @06:36PM (#37784578)
      Exactly. I'm perfectly happy using my real name of Google+, and communicating with a few friends that way. If I want to communicate anonymously the last fucking place I'd do so would be any sort of 'social networking' site. To do so would be, not to put too fine a point on it, really fucking stupid. If you want anonymous communication, you do not do so on a website designed entirely to form and record a network between you and other people.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:54PM (#37781884) Journal

    At least 20% of the people in my circles have faux names, especially in the brony circle (yeah, yeah, I do have brony friends). I don't think Google really gives a shit.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Until somebody brings it to their attention and they request proof that you are who you say you are. At which point Google would have authorization to terminate the account. Just because it's not being enforced does not meant that they can't enforce it and it doesn't mean that they have to go looking for violations to enforce.

    • by EdIII (1114411) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:54PM (#37784020)

      I was rather intrigued, so I looked up the term "brony":

      The term brony, meaning a male, older viewer of the tv programme “my little pony” and “my little pony – friendship is magic” who is generally either embarrased by his affections toward the pregramme, or openly flaunts it.
      Can be used as an insult for a gay or overly effeminate boy/man.
      .

      Thank You. That made my day.

      • So, you're a brony, or just gay? I guess brony, since "that made your day".

        • by EdIII (1114411)

          I'm neither a brony or a gay man. However, I have a few gay friends, some in particular close friends for a few decades.

          Anything involving the love of My Little Pony, by an adult, especially a man, gay or not, is just plain funny . I make no apologies about that. It's hilarious.

      • I take issue with that definition. It is misleading and defines the word in terms of its extremes, giving it a negative connotation that is gender-biased.

        "Brony" is a gender-neutral term that describes a person above the target age range, most commonly a young adult, who enjoys "My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic".
        That's it.

        Yes, I am a brony.
        In the fine tradition of slashdot commentators everywhere however, I am a pedant first and everything else second.

        A brony can certainly be ashamed of his or her appr

  • It's not just that the policy was wrong (it is); it's that the way it was enforced was error-prone. If you happen to have a weird name (like Violet Blue [wikipedia.org]) then the enforcement mechanisms would assume that you were using a pseudonym and ask you to provide a "real" name. There was never any mechanism to convince Google that the weird name was, in fact, your real name.

    I think we are right to be concerned that the next policy and set of enforcement mechanisms will be just as silly, stupid and wrong as the present one is.

  • How many users are on facebook with their real names? The problem was not that they wouldn't let people use faux names but that they waited when they should have pounded. When facebook was issues with their chat software and google+ didn't push for people to join. I have never been to google+ and i don't see a need to go to it. All of my friends (wife) use facebook, why go?
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:06PM (#37782088) Homepage

    I'm actually pretty baffled that people are still pissed about this "real name policy." Even more confused that people think this is really the reason people aren't flocking from Facebook to Google+.

    I might use Google+ if it offered me something Facebook didn't, full stop.

    As it stands, why switch? That's sort of like saying, "Why don't you change phone numbers? The 241 prefix is so much better than the 547 prefix you have now."

    If all my friends were on Google+, I might use Google+ more than I use Facebook. They're not. In fact, the ones who have Google+ accounts don't do anything there. So there's not much reason for me to waste any time on it, either. I don't know what makes this so hard to understand. It kind of feels like Google is ashamed to admit it's not offering anything compelling with Google+. In this scenario, Facebook is Google and Google+ is Bing, it's just that simple.

    • As it stands, why switch? That's sort of like saying, "Why don't you change phone numbers? The 241 prefix is so much better than the 547 prefix you have now."

      But the 241 prefix is better: you don't need to pull the dial as far to dial 241.

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        I wonder how many people out there actually get that reference :)

        Thanks for making me feel super old.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Because the people that are going to get G+ going are the ones that refused to get a FB account due to the horrendous privacy policies. Google isn't perfect when it comes to their privacy policy, but at least they tend to keep it fairly consistent rather than constantly changing the settings hoping to catch people unaware.

      The tough thing is getting the beginning group to stay, after that you'll start to see groups moving there and ultimately if things go well they'll start to snowball. But, if G+ requires r

    • Actually the problem is Google isn't a jackass with patents. Google offered a ton of things that Facebook didn't have on day 1. Intelligent group sharing, easy controls, easy to understand following, video chat (you could argue that Facebook didn't do video chat as reactionary, but as soon as Google began hinting at getting into the social network business, it was pretty strongly known that they were going to do video chat, considering they have it in everything else). In the month following Google+'s launc
  • This will be a big boost to "purchaseplusone.com", "googleplus1supply.com", "buyrealplusone.com" (a Google advertiser, no less) and "plusonehero.com", "buyplusoneservice.com", "buygoogleplus1.net", "buyplusonenow.com", and "plusonesbuilder.com". It will be even easier for them to acquire Google accounts and create "+1" value for their customers.

    Social is bad for search, and search is bad for social. As soon as a social service provides a boost to search ranking, it gets spammed. Heavily. This has happen

    • Google search quality efforts are mostly "window dressing", as the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island put it in his statement about Google's non-prosecution agreement. [mainjustice.com] When ad revenue conflicts with search quality, ad revenue wins. Prof. Ben Eidelman of the Harvard Business School [benedelman.org] has analyzed this in detail.

      Do you even read your own links? Neither of those is talking about search quality whatsoever.

  • I never really got what this was such a big deal to people. It's distracting from the fact that the site still lacks basic features, like be able to change the visibility of a post, nesting circles, chat invite though button (instead of having to know the other's e-mail), being able to select multiple circles in your stream (instead of all or 1 -- god this is so fucking obvious) and most of all ... org/group/business pages.

    Without org pages, I have no way of drawing new people in since all of my social netw

  • And what about those of us who already had our G+ accounts deleted for refusing to use our real names?

  • by Raenex (947668)

    If they're serious about this, all they have to do is adopt OpenID and not be dicks about it. Maybe things have changed, but last I checked big companies like Google and Facebook only accept OpenID from either themselves or other big companies. This insular, corporate attitude contrasts with the friendly Internet face they like to portray.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:51PM (#37782926)

    >"I'll bet they still require you to register with your 'real' name, but then they'll graciously allow you to have a linked nickname or two, meaning they're still fully prepared to roll over on you to authoritarian governments or advertisers at the drop of a hat."

    And even if they didn't, it still wouldn't matter. Google can and would likely use its massive infrastructure to track down who each "unnamed" user is and place an identity on each "in the background". It has been proven over and over again that it can be done. Photo recognition, IP addresses, browser cookies, access behavior, linked accounts, phone numbers, etc, etc, etc. With enough CPU power and data (both of which Google has) it won't take them long to correctly identify many such pseudo-anonymous users.

    Still, it is a huge victory if they would at least let people use screen names.

  • While I advocate for the benefits of real name identification, I do understand that some people live in regimes where speaking out results in a bullet to the head.

    I'm glad Google+ has decided to embrace those potential users.

  • Why does G+ have to take "the edge over Facebook"? Computers may be binary, people, at least people who get out of their basements, are not.

    G+ has many better features for sharing with granular control. Better long-form posting; FB has expanded it some but not unlimited like G+. Sure, I wish they had nested circles and boolean logic for circles, but it's not all so hard. It's still easier and more discoverable to control sharing on G+ than it is on FB, even with FB's recent massive improvements in this real

  • The first that comes to mind is that they require a new password each time. Since people usually have about 15 passwords and recycle them they'll eventually have all of your passwords.

    Google, you need to start an Internal Affairs department... get the EFF to send you some people. Let them keep tract of subpoenas, data stored internally, anonymity aspects, encouraging developers to implement security procedures, etc.

    If you get really crazy privacy advocates, it won't upset your corporate culture. Hire m
  • by vinn (4370)

    Alternative identities will have people flocking to Google+? Bullshit.

    Letting people play Farmville, The Sims Social, and Family Feud would be way more effective. And let me keep my same farm as on Farmville. (And by "my" I really "their" since Farmville has always seemed pretty stupid to me. But hey, whatever app blows your hair back needs to work seemlessly.)

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