Google Plus Will Punish You For Not Using Your Real Name

9 Sep

Google Plus might have an issue with Ron Artest's new name

What’s in a name?  Have you thought about all the different monikers you’ve ever gone by?  How many different usernames, screen names, nicknames, and pseudonyms have you created in your lifetime?  Probably more than you can count or even recollect.

Google+ wants to simplify your life by only allowing you to use your real name.  No longer will the web know you as HelloKittyGirl99 (I love that this is real) for those of you with Plain Jane names.  Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in a Q&A session, “Google+ was built 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.” To which Andy Carvin of NPR commented, “Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, [Schmidt] 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+.”

That doesn’t sound like the type of message a social networking service should be sending out, especially one that is trying to take down Facebook.  I might agree that if your life is in danger by using your real name that it isn’t worth the sacrifice so you can +1 your friend’s cat picture.

Many people on Facebook change their names.  A number of them do it to dodge employers, stalkers, or to change a generic name so they can be found if desired.  Sometimes it’s as simple as using your middle name instead of your last, while others go for the full blown name change.  Even William Shatner had his profile suspended for not following the rules.

Does the Google+ model completely break down if you want to change your name from Yoshihariana to Yoshi?  I would think not.  It feels more likely with each passing day that Google will sell out its followers to advertisers or the like.  Maybe not anytime soon, but if this project really does make a social mark we may not be able to hide in social networking witness protection.

 G+ has an agenda here for sure

-Josh P Greenberg
Follow: @JoshPGreenberg
Follow: @Rated_JPG

Related Articles:
Google Attempts To Clarify Google Plus Name Policy
Google VP offers up fixes to Google+ name policy, debunks myths

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