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Google Privacy Social Networks Technology

Google+ To End Real Names Policy 235

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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  • Re:Finally.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @03:28PM (#37781378)
    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: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 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.

  • 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.
  • Re:jwz (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday October 20, 2011 @09:03PM (#37786138) Homepage Journal

    In any case, you also have the option to host your own Diaspora website.

    I tried doing this on a Fedora 14 machine and the docs were all wrong and nothing worked right. I got stuck in gem hell. You know why Disaspora* has failed? Rails.

    It would have been done last year if it were written in PHP or Perl. There, I've said it. I hate PHP, but Rails is worse, unless you're a full-time Rails shop. Ruby doesn't make up for Rails, and Ruby's VM has historically sucked (it seems to be OK now as long as you run it under Java).

    Rails might be fine for the developers, but the point of Disapora* is that it's decentralized. If it's a pain in the ass for a sysadmin to deploy, it's a complete failure. If I can't 'yum install disapora-server' at some point, the network effect will never happen.

    I now prepare for the onslaught of downmods from guys with thick-rimmed glasses who somehow figured out how to read Slashdot in TextMate on their MacBook Pros.

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