Originally posted to https://plus.google.com/115428061756618732805/posts/TGLFJyToL5J

z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k
Peter Kaminski Peter Kaminski 115428061756618732805
Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011 Google+
Goodbye, Google+ ...
*Goodbye, Google+* UPDATE: Read my follow-up post: "It's not about pseudonyms. It is simply about the way Google is treating people." http://peterkaminski.com/still-goodbye-google-plus -- Pete Dear Google, I am leaving Google+ because I feel unwelcome here. The implementation and operation of your Names Policy is overbearing, and remains so, even after you have listened to reasonable objections and have weighed how you want to proceed. To be clear, I have not been directly affected -- I use my full, legal name on the web, and I have done so here on Google+. Nothing has happened to my Google+ account. However, I have been indirectly affected; a number of my friends have had their accounts suspended, and have been forced to use names that don't make sense in order to get them reinstated. I find the operation of the Names Policy to be odious, and it makes me sick at heart. I do not want to participate in your Names Policy, even passively, so I am leaving. Yours truly, Peter Kaminski /cc @107117483540235115863 Dear Readers, I'm leaving on August 15th. I'll continue to edit and expand this post with questions/answers until then, and I'll crosspost it to my website before leaving. I would rather stay, because I've really enjoying using Google+ -- but it looks like Google has made up its mind. Here's the deal: I don't get why Google thinks it has the right to dictate what people want to call themselves. Actually, I don't mind that they came up with the idea in the first place -- every design makes assumptions, some good, some bad. But after the concept has been tested in the real world, they've decided yes, they really do want it that way. Unlike all the other online services I've enjoyed using in the past 25+ years. Check out my contacts list on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/peterkaminski/contacts/ Sure, most of them have real names. Some don't. Is that a problem? No. Do I like it that way? Yes. Choosing your identity is a key part -- perhaps the cornerstone -- of free speech. And choosing a context-specific identity is a natural, everyday part of being human. You ought to be able to do it online, as well as in real life. Which brings me to the part of Google's stance that really bothers me. When pushed, the reason Google has given for continuing with the policy is that they are striving to "make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world." Now, there have been plenty of posts on Google+ and the web discussing how and why the Google+ Names Policy is not like connecting with people in the real world. But Google has not acknowledged that. So, I can only conclude one of two things: 1. Google, as an entity, really is that clueless about the way people work. or 2. Google, as an entity, is lying. They have some unexplained reason to continue operating the Names Policy, but choose to explain it as being "more like connecting with people in the real world." Either one makes Google+ a place I don't want to be right now. I have to say, I'm not so principled, nor naive, to say that I will stay away forever. The sheer weight of Google online, combined with my use of other Google services, means that I am likely to have to come crawling back here in some months. But I don't have to be here now, and the way Google has intimated I can best give them feedback right now is by leaving. So that's what I'm doing. Don't get why I'm upset? Here is the beginning of a list of useful background resources and great posts on the topic: My Name Is Me http://my.nameis.me/ Your name and Google+ Profiles - Google+ Help http://www.google.com/support/+/bin/answer.py?answer=1228271 Google+ Update: Common Name Grace Period - Saurabh Sharma's https://plus.google.com/109179785755319022525/posts/YcvRKqJeiZi Who is harmed by a "Real Names" policy? - Geek Feminism Wiki http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Who_is_harmed_by_a_%22Real_Names%22_policy%3F Google+ names policy, explained - Skud http://infotrope.net/2011/08/04/google-plus-names-policy-explained/ "Real Names" Policies Are an Abuse of Power - danah boyd http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2011/08/04/real-names.html
Goodbye, Google+

UPDATE: Read my follow-up post: "It's not about pseudonyms. It is simply about the way Google is treating people." http://peterkaminski.com/still-goodbye-google-plus -- Pete

Dear Google,

I am leaving Google+ because I feel unwelcome here. The implementation and operation of your Names Policy is overbearing, and remains so, even after you have listened to reasonable objections and have weighed how you want to proceed.

To be clear, I have not been directly affected -- I use my full, legal name on the web, and I have done so here on Google+. Nothing has happened to my Google+ account.

However, I have been indirectly affected; a number of my friends have had their accounts suspended, and have been forced to use names that don't make sense in order to get them reinstated.

I find the operation of the Names Policy to be odious, and it makes me sick at heart. I do not want to participate in your Names Policy, even passively, so I am leaving.

Yours truly,

Peter Kaminski

/cc +Vic Gundotra

Dear Readers,

I'm leaving on August 15th. I'll continue to edit and expand this post with questions/answers until then, and I'll crosspost it to my website before leaving. I would rather stay, because I've really enjoying using Google+ -- but it looks like Google has made up its mind.

Here's the deal: I don't get why Google thinks it has the right to dictate what people want to call themselves. Actually, I don't mind that they came up with the idea in the first place -- every design makes assumptions, some good, some bad. But after the concept has been tested in the real world, they've decided yes, they really do want it that way. Unlike all the other online services I've enjoyed using in the past 25+ years.

Check out my contacts list on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/peterkaminski/contacts/

Sure, most of them have real names. Some don't. Is that a problem? No. Do I like it that way? Yes.

Choosing your identity is a key part -- perhaps the cornerstone -- of free speech. And choosing a context-specific identity is a natural, everyday part of being human. You ought to be able to do it online, as well as in real life.

Which brings me to the part of Google's stance that really bothers me. When pushed, the reason Google has given for continuing with the policy is that they are striving to "make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world."

Now, there have been plenty of posts on Google+ and the web discussing how and why the Google+ Names Policy is not like connecting with people in the real world. But Google has not acknowledged that. So, I can only conclude one of two things:

1. Google, as an entity, really is that clueless about the way people work.
or
2. Google, as an entity, is lying. They have some unexplained reason to continue operating the Names Policy, but choose to explain it as being "more like connecting with people in the real world."

Either one makes Google+ a place I don't want to be right now.

I have to say, I'm not so principled, nor naive, to say that I will stay away forever. The sheer weight of Google online, combined with my use of other Google services, means that I am likely to have to come crawling back here in some months. But I don't have to be here now, and the way Google has intimated I can best give them feedback right now is by leaving. So that's what I'm doing.

Don't get why I'm upset? Here is the beginning of a list of useful background resources and great posts on the topic:

My Name Is Me
http://my.nameis.me/

Your name and Google+ Profiles - Google+ Help
http://www.google.com/support/+/bin/answer.py?answer=1228271

Google+ Update: Common Name Grace Period - Saurabh Sharma's
https://plus.google.com/109179785755319022525/posts/YcvRKqJeiZi

Who is harmed by a "Real Names" policy? - Geek Feminism Wiki
http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Who_is_harmed_by_a_%22Real_Names%22_policy%3F

Google+ names policy, explained - Skud
http://infotrope.net/2011/08/04/google-plus-names-policy-explained/

"Real Names" Policies Are an Abuse of Power - danah boyd
http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2011/08/04/real-names.html
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313248630864000
Helena Kalin Helena Kalin 103596594663746586890
I understand and appreciate your decision to leave, +Peter Kaminski. I've been thinking about it quite a lot myself. I've tweeted this post, I hope that's ok. We can keep in touch over there on Twitter. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313250401681000
Jerome A. F Jerome A. F 108793246893038361266
I thought about the same, but as Skud said unless you can mobilise millions friends to do the same, it won't have much effect. It's better to stay and continue to put pressure on them. but I respect your decision. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313253940506000
Joost Reijnen Joost Reijnen 105190043964183708400
+Peter Kaminski Why do you think acting as a secessionist you can achieve your goal? History has shown everywhere around you that this is not going to work out the way you want it to be - it is not a very successfull strategy. When I read your tagline I make things that connect people , I wonder what you actually know about how to influence the situation. How long before you will join back in?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secessionist
Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313254540034000
Scott Wakeman Scott Wakeman 113946715443571015123
+Peter Kaminski is doing the honourable thing by the ToS, he is taking his data away and not using Google+. I wish all *nyms would follow what this chap is doing. I'll be staying on Google+ with my real name, and enjoying myself with the 25+ million Google+ users. Goodbye, Peter - I salute you. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
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Tom Hubbard Tom Hubbard 118419166166867903316
I've never gotten the free speech argument in relation to the medium. G+ is their medium, a users free speech stops at their preference, not the user. That being said, using the medium to protest is a good thing, hopefully it works for the people being affected. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313254816256000
Jerome A. F Jerome A. F 108793246893038361266
+Scott Wakeman Peter is using his real name, whether he stays or leaves, he's still honouring the ToS. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
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Jake Phoenix Jake Phoenix 108916370128981093895
Relevant: http://youtu.be/rNQRfBAzSzo Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313254918965000
Scott Wakeman Scott Wakeman 113946715443571015123
Here's a goal for the *nyms: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725190044.htm <-- Get 10% of Google+'s members on your side, and you may have a leg to stand on ;-) 2,500,000+ users to collect and rising! GO GO GO!!! Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313255146243000
Scott Wakeman Scott Wakeman 113946715443571015123
+Jerome A. F I just wish *nyms would take the honourable way +Peter Kaminski is taking. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313255242575000
Jerome A. F Jerome A. F 108793246893038361266
+Scott Wakeman that's just his personal choice, what's so honourable about leaving or staying? Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
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Scott Wakeman Scott Wakeman 113946715443571015123
The honourable thing about leaving is that you are respecting Google+'s ToS, and regaining credibility at the same time. Credibility is lost to *nyms - because they can disrespect rules here, they can disrespect rules elsewhere [and more than likely do]. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
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Jerome A. F Jerome A. F 108793246893038361266
It's not a real name policy, it's a common name policy. Vic Gundotra isn't using his legal name Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
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Adina Levin Adina Levin 101746196094367799224
+Scott Wakeman protesting the policy is honorable, whether one protests by leaving or staying. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
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Scott Wakeman Scott Wakeman 113946715443571015123
+Adina Levin Incorrect. His honour comes from respecting ToS, not 'protesting'. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313256650408000
Adina Levin Adina Levin 101746196094367799224
+Scott Wakeman I have a different perspective on the relationship between rules and people in civic life Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313256655655000
Aaron Wood Aaron Wood 114468593663912084118
In the same vein as people who make posts like this on the Blizzard forums when they leave World of Warcraft and people say, "can I have your stuff?" (referring to in-game items and gold), can I say "can I have your followers?" instead? :D

Good luck out there in the real world! :)
Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
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Tom Hubbard Tom Hubbard 118419166166867903316
If the terms of service stipulate an action based on a casual action, then it is neither honorable or dishonorable to follow the rule. Same for breaking the rule. Honor would come in where there was not a rule and the person did the "right" thing when the "wrong" thing was desirable to them. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313258341248000
Scott Wakeman Scott Wakeman 113946715443571015123
Incorrect, +Tom Hubbard. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313258535160000
Jerome A. F Jerome A. F 108793246893038361266
+Scott Wakeman is that your best response? incorrect...It's not a "fact" thing, it's a matter of perspective. you can say you don't agree, but you can't say it's incorrect. Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011
z12uvfszjoyfcv0wx04chhyoasbiglgalvw0k:1313259042760000
Tom Hubbard Tom Hubbard 118419166166867903316
Where is it incorrect? Aug 13, 2011 Aug 13, 2011

Plain-text version below has additional comments not captured in the Google Takeout version above

Peter Kaminski - 9:55 AM (edited) - Public

Goodbye, Google+

UPDATE: Permalink for this post is http://peterkaminski.com/goodbye-google-plus -- it will presumably disappear from Google+ on August 15th. I've answered a few questions raised in the comments down at the bottom of the comments.

Also, read my follow-up post: "It's not about pseudonyms. It is simply about the way Google is treating people." https://plus.google.com/115428061756618732805/posts/HfRBWT5oF3q -- Pete

Dear Google,

I am leaving Google+ because I feel unwelcome here. The implementation and operation of your Names Policy is overbearing, and remains so, even after you have listened to reasonable objections and have weighed how you want to proceed.

To be clear, I have not been directly affected -- I use my full, legal name on the web, and I have done so here on Google+. Nothing has happened to my Google+ account.

However, I have been indirectly affected; a number of my friends have had their accounts suspended, and have been forced to use names that don't make sense in order to get them reinstated.

I find the operation of the Names Policy to be odious, and it makes me sick at heart. I do not want to participate in your Names Policy, even passively, so I am leaving.

Yours truly,

Peter Kaminski

/cc +Vic Gundotra

Dear Readers,

I'm leaving on August 15th. I'll continue to edit and expand this post with questions/answers until then, and I'll crosspost it to my website before leaving. I would rather stay, because I've really enjoying using Google+ -- but it looks like Google has made up its mind.

Here's the deal: I don't get why Google thinks it has the right to dictate what people want to call themselves. Actually, I don't mind that they came up with the idea in the first place -- every design makes assumptions, some good, some bad. But after the concept has been tested in the real world, they've decided yes, they really do want it that way. Unlike all the other online services I've enjoyed using in the past 25+ years.

Check out my contacts list on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/peterkaminski/contacts/

Sure, most of them have real names. Some don't. Is that a problem? No. Do I like it that way? Yes.

Choosing your identity is a key part -- perhaps the cornerstone -- of free speech. And choosing a context-specific identity is a natural, everyday part of being human. You ought to be able to do it online, as well as in real life.

Which brings me to the part of Google's stance that really bothers me. When pushed, the reason Google has given for continuing with the policy is that they are striving to "make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world."

Now, there have been plenty of posts on Google+ and the web discussing how and why the Google+ Names Policy is not like connecting with people in the real world. But Google has not acknowledged that. So, I can only conclude one of two things:

1. Google, as an entity, really is that clueless about the way people work.

or

2. Google, as an entity, is lying. They have some unexplained reason to continue operating the Names Policy, but choose to explain it as being "more like connecting with people in the real world."

Either one makes Google+ a place I don't want to be right now.

I have to say, I'm not so principled, nor naive, to say that I will stay away forever. The sheer weight of Google online, combined with my use of other Google services, means that I am likely to have to come crawling back here in some months. But I don't have to be here now, and the way Google has intimated I can best give them feedback right now is by leaving. So that's what I'm doing.

Don't get why I'm upset? Here is the beginning of a list of useful background resources and great posts on the topic:

My Name Is Me

http://my.nameis.me/

Your name and Google+ Profiles - Google+ Help

http://www.google.com/support/+/bin/answer.py?answer=1228271

Google+ Update: Common Name Grace Period - Saurabh Sharma's

https://plus.google.com/109179785755319022525/posts/YcvRKqJeiZi

Who is harmed by a "Real Names" policy? - Geek Feminism Wiki

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Who_is_harmed_by_a_%22Real_Names%22_policy%3F

Google+ names policy, explained - Skud

http://infotrope.net/2011/08/04/google-plus-names-policy-explained/

"Real Names" Policies Are an Abuse of Power - danah boyd

http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2011/08/04/real-names.html

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+67 by Jon Pincus, Adina Levin, Mirjam van Dijk, Ben Ostrowsky, Flemming Funch and 62 others

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103 comments

Helena Kalin - I understand and appreciate your decision to leave, +Peter Kaminski. I've been thinking about it quite a lot myself. I've tweeted this post, I hope that's ok. We can keep in touch over there on Twitter.

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Jerome A. F - I thought about the same, but as Skud said unless you can mobilise millions friends to do the same, it won't have much effect. It's better to stay and continue to put pressure on them. but I respect your decision.

Aug 13, 2011 +6

Joost Reijnen - +Peter Kaminski Why do you think acting as a secessionist you can achieve your goal? History has shown everywhere around you that this is not going to work out the way you want it to be - it is not a very successfull strategy. When I read your tagline I make things that connect people , I wonder what you actually know about how to influence the situation. How long before you will join back in?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secessionist

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - +Peter Kaminski is doing the honourable thing by the ToS, he is taking his data away and not using Google+. I wish all *nyms would follow what this chap is doing. I'll be staying on Google+ with my real name, and enjoying myself with the 25+ million Google+ users. Goodbye, Peter - I salute you.

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Tom Hubbard - I've never gotten the free speech argument in relation to the medium. G+ is their medium, a users free speech stops at their preference, not the user. That being said, using the medium to protest is a good thing, hopefully it works for the people being affected.

Aug 13, 2011

Jerome A. F - +Scott Wakeman Peter is using his real name, whether he stays or leaves, he's still honouring the ToS.

Aug 13, 2011

Jake Phoenix - Relevant: http://youtu.be/rNQRfBAzSzo

Aug 13, 2011 +2

Scott Wakeman - Here's a goal for the *nyms: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725190044.htm <-- Get 10% of Google+'s members on your side, and you may have a leg to stand on ;-) 2,500,000+ users to collect and rising! GO GO GO!!!

Aug 13, 2011 +2

Scott Wakeman - +Jerome A. F I just wish *nyms would take the honourable way +Peter Kaminski is taking.

Aug 13, 2011

Jerome A. F - +Scott Wakeman that's just his personal choice, what's so honourable about leaving or staying?

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Scott Wakeman - The honourable thing about leaving is that you are respecting Google+'s ToS, and regaining credibility at the same time. Credibility is lost to *nyms - because they can disrespect rules here, they can disrespect rules elsewhere [and more than likely do].

Aug 13, 2011

Jerome A. F - It's not a real name policy, it's a common name policy. Vic Gundotra isn't using his legal name

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Adina Levin - +Scott Wakeman protesting the policy is honorable, whether one protests by leaving or staying.

Aug 13, 2011 (edited) +3

Scott Wakeman - +Adina Levin Incorrect. His honour comes from respecting ToS, not 'protesting'.

Aug 13, 2011

Adina Levin - +Scott Wakeman I have a different perspective on the relationship between rules and people in civic life

Aug 13, 2011

Aaron Wood - In the same vein as people who make posts like this on the Blizzard forums when they leave World of Warcraft and people say, "can I have your stuff?" (referring to in-game items and gold), can I say "can I have your followers?" instead? :D

Good luck out there in the real world! :)

Aug 13, 2011 +2

Tom Hubbard - If the terms of service stipulate an action based on a casual action, then it is neither honorable or dishonorable to follow the rule. Same for breaking the rule. Honor would come in where there was not a rule and the person did the "right" thing when the "wrong" thing was desirable to them.

Aug 13, 2011 +2

Scott Wakeman - Incorrect, +Tom Hubbard.

Aug 13, 2011

Jerome A. F - +Scott Wakeman is that your best response? incorrect...It's not a "fact" thing, it's a matter of perspective. you can say you don't agree, but you can't say it's incorrect.

Aug 13, 2011

Tom Hubbard - Where is it incorrect?

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - +Tom Hubbard By following/respecting the ToS, that by very definition is honouring the ToS. I'm not sure how the people of the USA use the English language. I try my best, being a New Zealander, to use the language correctly - the OED is a vital part of that.

Aug 13, 2011

Tom Hubbard - Ok. I see. I was thinking you were using the term honorable as in "doing something worthy of exceptional respect". I would say that protesting is more along the lines of gaining "exceptional respect"

Aug 13, 2011

Daniël Crompton - For somebody who's tagline is "I make things that connect people" you sure are disconnected. Does it work for you to tell the people you connect: "My way or the highway?" You seem a little like a spoiled child who is caught cheating at Monopoly and smacks the game board from the table.

Walking away from an issue doesn't solve it.

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - It is the *nyms that are 'disconnected', +Daniël Crompton. I wish more *nyms would take the route Peter has taken - perhaps then you could claw back the respect of others that you've lost due to knowingly breaking rules and ToS. Walking away from this DOES solve the Naming Policy [Google makes money from the number of pure users/eyes on Google+, so by you *nyms being here, you are actually lining Google's pockets. Good for you...] - and if you get 2,500,000 Google+ users on your side you'd have it in the bag.

Aug 13, 2011

Kathi F - Ya know, it's really too bad we don't have a "Comments" tab on our profiles like we did for Buzz. a/k/a "troll detection view"

Aug 13, 2011 +4

Robert Scoble - See ya on Twitter. I like the real names here. Makes this service more useful than Twitter is.

Aug 13, 2011 +3

Jerome A. F - +Robert Scoble they're real looking names.....

Aug 13, 2011 +6

Joost Reijnen - secessionism isn't the way to go, hang in here or...indeed, be gone to twitter (which I give tops 2 years to survive)

Aug 13, 2011

Christopher Rizzo - 837 followers = not a lot of people will miss you.

Aug 13, 2011 +2

Daniël Crompton - +Scott Wakeman unless +Peter Kaminski stops using all other Google products he is still lining Google's pockets. What you are really suggesting is that people who don't like Google's ToS should not just leave Google+, they should add a DNS blackhole for Google and related services. And it would disconnect you from the 170 million who use services such as GMail or the millions of users who perform the 400 million Google Search queries per day.

Just not using Google+, that would be a pyrrhic victory at best.

Aug 13, 2011

Joost Reijnen - ouch Christopher Whoever, that is a blunt comment, or, ehm, stupid?

Aug 13, 2011

Christopher Rizzo - Joost whoever. It is not meant to be blunt. Not stupid. Just a fact.

Aug 13, 2011

Joost Reijnen - Mr Doe, not blunt, misplaced cyniscm maybe, irrelevant facts.

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - +Daniël Crompton If that's what Peter wants to do, that is up to him. I am not suggesting that as you seem to imply, but as I say, if he wants to leave ALL of the Google products, that is up to him. Is that what you suggest he do?

Aug 13, 2011

Jason C - Bye. :-|

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Jeremy Nicoll - One possible reason for the asinine name policy is so that they can better tailor their advertising to people. They're not doing Google+ out of the kindness of their hearts, they're providing a service to make money. Having a popular social network will enable them to leverage even more information.

Aug 13, 2011

Julie Bernstein - Well-said, +Peter Kaminski . Copying +Sai . on this.

Aug 13, 2011

Esteban Contreras - this issue is overrated. If people dont like the TOS, they can always leave.

Aug 13, 2011

Brent Burzycki - Bye... Real names makes this much more useful... no need to hide... feel free to hide on other services but I know at least for me I have stopped actively following people that are not real...

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Nathaniel Kabal - At root is sticky Identity. Google, from an engineering perspective, doesn't care what aspect we manifest. Their concern is sticky identity and how to make it persist across sessions. Look at Google Apps. Why do GApps users not have Plus? Because an employee can leave a company, a teacher can go to another school, a nym can change. How do they scale and engineer that Profile for selective presentation and portability. I know the reasons people object to the Name Policy, but I am also of the opinion that they lack understanding of the core pragmatic issues.

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Sai . - +Peter Kaminski FYI, if you delete your g+ account (rather than just not using it), this and everything else you wrote will disappear.

/cc +K Robert +Jillian C. York

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Rick Bucich - This is the most civil discussion I've seen on the matter, all the others hit the downward spiral faster than...

I take exception to most of the arguments for anonymity because they reek of entitlement and sensationalism. Even the title of Danah Boyd's piece is off base and attention grabbing (in my opinion). But at the end of the day, you cannot please everyone and if it isn't right for you, you should feel welcome to leave. It's a decision that needs to be made on a personal level.

My perspective is that I'd be more likely to leave if anonymity were welcomed. There are also logistical issues that make anonymity a challenge but that's another story.

Aug 13, 2011

Julie Bernstein - +Rick Bucich : Anonymity is not the same thing as pseudonymity. Also, a number of people with legal but unusual names or mononyms, like my friend +Sai . upthread, have been suspended temporarily or permanently as a result of this policy.

Aug 13, 2011 +2

Norv N. - I suggest to people who feel "real names" are what you get on G+ with the current implementation of the policy to take a look at Peter's links and to this experiment:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/115428061756618732805/posts/TGLFJyToL5J

It only seems to make one sure "they know who are talking to", without actually doing it, while affecting in reality the freedom of those who wish to express themselves in a way considered "uncommon" by Google reviewers. Meaning, clearly and simply (and possibly long time_ pseudonyms with good reasons to choose so.

Aug 13, 2011

Norv N. - +Brent Burzycki most pseudonyms of a wide range of users are real people. That's what they are, real. Turing test wasn't passed yet.

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Kathi F - Proclaims "Scott Wakeman" (whom I can't +): "Credibility is lost to *nyms - because they can disrespect rules here, they can disrespect rules elsewhere [and more than likely do]." Stereotype much? Ugh.

If he's going to insist on parading that pugnacious attitude, he'd be wise to refrain from explicitly tempting people to give him a demonstration of "how the people of the USA use the English language." :)

Other thoughts on all this posted separately here: https://plus.google.com/109504007463132729006/posts/MJwnXQLDtK6?hl=en

Aug 13, 2011

Rick Bucich - +Julie Bernstein I accept the fact that the platform is beta, evolving and imperfect. My comment was not to suggest that it is ideal as-is. It certainly is a work in progress which is what beta is intended for.

G+ from most accounts (including my own) exceeds expectations and the adoption rate has been amazing. But like anything that caters to an enormous audience, it must scale in an automated fashion.

I acknowledge both mistakes and room for improvement. But then, I expected a much from the get go so none of this comes as a surprise.

I am enjoying the debate on this thread far more than most which become immediately polarized with frequent threats and insults being thrown.

Aug 13, 2011

Kathi F - +Christopher Rizzo Oh admit it, that was a shitty thing to say. And +Joost Reijnen is not out of line with "stupid," either, because you're just swinging blindly at Peter for some reason. Peter's follower count has no bearing on the validity of his views nor on his decision to voice them.

Aug 13, 2011 (edited) +1

Gary Levin - +Peter Kaminski Sorry to hear you may leave...just put you into my circle under social media, and interesting folks. G+ is going to survive without you. Their real name policy is onerous and could expose some people to harm. I believe this is a "means to appease' the government watchers as a means of compromise to avoid anti trust actions.

Aug 13, 2011

Rainyday Jordan - +Robert Scoble They are simply real looking names. Many a troll is not using their real name and will never be asked to verify their identity. You can continue on with a false sense of security from those that pretend to use their real name

I make no such statement in regards to the 'realness' of my identity. I am an obvious pseudonym. I do not have any previous history for which to be accountable for, however, neither does my real name. I am accountable for my actions and my speech here. People subscribe or ignore what I post based solely upon the merit of what I type. Any civil discussion should be taken this way.

It doesn't change the fact that even people using a pseudonym are real people. They're people with feelings, relationships, and history. They often have persistent identity that means more than any declaration of 'real' name will ever provide.

I am troubled by your ignorance sir. I am disturbed that such a prominent and well rounded person can believe that marginalizing and punishing the most vulnerable members of society by forcing them to become even more vulnerable to reach out to platforms containing massive numbers of people.

I hope I am merely just being too passionate about this subject and misreading what your above post implies. If not, I regret that I've ever looked up to you as a person.

Aug 13, 2011 +3

Lee Keels - Okay, buh bye

Aug 13, 2011

Warren Kerr - Spoiled Brat

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Rainyday Walker - +Robert Scoble You do realize that I could easily create another Robert Scoble and who knows, probably get your account invalidated using no real information at all, right? http://goo.gl/Nho68

Maybe next time you have expensive vino with +Vic Gundotra you can ask him about that one. :)

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Rick Bucich - +Rainyday Jordan Your comment is they type of sensationalism I am bothered by. If someone feels punished, marginalized or vulnerable on G+, this clearly is not an ideal platform for them.

When and if pseudonyms do come, they will likely be tied to a real identity (verified within reason, inherently imperfect) so there is real risk for anyone needing anonymity.

+Robert Scoble is not off base.

I may sound insensitive but am absolutely passionate about civil rights but those battles are fought on a more personal level. I would be happy to publish works on another's behalf who for whatever reason must remain anonymous. I'm sure there are many others who feel the same way.

Aug 13, 2011

Brent Burzycki - +Rainyday Walker What is your reason for not using your real name... and if you first name really is Rainyday - then my bad.....

Aug 13, 2011

Rainyday Jordan - +Rick Bucich You're probably quite right, I'm having trouble finding the proper balance of tone. Bottom line though is that I am passionate about this subject. Speak too passively, everyone ignores, speak too aggressively, and you're dismissed too easily.

The deal about this not being the platform for them, it's hard because then where is the platform that's actually exposed and viewed by the numbers and type of people that G+ is viewed by that is for them? Why is G+ not the platform?

Most aren't requesting absolute anonymity, more or less just the freedom to be called what they wish. This is something that everyone has IRL. Quite contrary to the claim that google wants this to be like sharing in the real world.

I do apologize if the previous post was a bit much. Not a professional writer nor journalist, it's a struggle to get tone correct.

Aug 13, 2011

Christopher Rizzo - +Kathi F Stupid is as stupid does.

Aug 13, 2011

Rainyday Jordan - +Brent Burzycki It's a particular case that's gone extremely wrong. It's due to the mishandling of Rainyday Superstar's account.

Her blog is at: http://rainydaysuperstar.us/

if you're interested in reading up... but long story short. She's been Rainyday Superstar for ever, was a trusted google tester and prominent user of Buzz.

Her account was suspended, reinstated, and then resuspended all without her changing her name once. It's also affected her registered domain and use of other google services. It's a particularly nasty case.

Aug 13, 2011

Brent Burzycki - +Rainyday Jordan hmmm... I guess I am ok with not needing to be Anon and not worried about speaking my mind. I guess this would matter more to me if it was something that truly affected my experience on G+ vs. just a handful of bloggers with issues related to anonymity.

But I also live in the US and more than likely I can say just about anything and not worry about someone breaking down my door and getting arrested.

As for it affecting her registered domain etc. - I would believe that all falls under the do not put all your eggs in one basket. Follow the TOS on services you use or they can be removed. Complaining about it after on services you do not own or run yourself is like building your house in the flight path of the local airport and then suing the airport because it.s noisy and there are planes flying over your house...

She could run her own site on her own server and do whatever she wants.....

I am somewhat amazed that people that sign up for free services are actually expecting anything.... good or bad...

Aug 13, 2011

Rainyday Jordan - +Brent Burzycki It's not just those cases. It's cases where someone may be transgendered and just looking to interact as the gender they wish to be for example. There's a million reasons why, even in the U.S. someone could prefer a nym. It's very hard to marginalize and dismiss all of them.

Part of the expectation comes from the fact that G+ isn't an avoidable service. It's integrated with the rest of the google platform. So, services you've been using all along, with a pseudonym, are suddenly being stripped from you. It's easy to be harsh and say 'Too bad'. However, since when has that ever been the best course of action for things you disagree with?

I think people have developed an aversion to standing up for themselves, and a good deal of it is because of the attitude of 'what, you expected better?' Well... yes, we did.

There's a lot more going on than that I believe. Free services aren't free. You pay for it with your attention and the ads and the improvements it makes to googles service and user base. We expected better cause we've been given better for so long from this company.

Any examples I come up with would be mostly hypothetical in nature unless relying on history, and then people would just say I'm overstating it because the issue isn't as important to them as it is to those affected by it.

Very few times has the best option ever been to just accept something that doesn't make you feel right. People protest, and sometimes get things changed. That's what people are hoping for. If they remain silent, the message that it's okay to require real full identification online is sent. I do not feel that this is an okay thing to accept.

Aug 13, 2011

Brent Burzycki - +Rainyday Jordan I do not disagree but simply any of these people can do this on their own.... yes the power of social media is an important factor - but if the person comes onto a network like G+ - then raises a storm about the rules that are in that community, and fail to obey those rules the community IE: me - Will not take that person seriousely anyway.... and in my case I will just unfollow that person.. which works against that person trying to get noticed by the community.

There are no simple answers but this is google's sandbox and those that want to play in it better figure out they need to play by the rules ... not come here then decide they want the rules changed to support them... I am honestly amazed that google has been so open to change and is listening to the community...

I have a few issues here that affect my photography - like the nudity rules - I would like to be able to share those types of images into specific circles that wish to see them... I cannot do this and I am ok with that overall... my only issue is it eliminates this being my one location to have my work...

In the case above - Google Aps is not yet integrated with G+ - this person can have a Google Aps for their person and it would not have affected other services...

I think some are very much missing the point and getting very caught up in the jump on the bandwagon and hate google posts I have seen in my stream here...

We are not the rule makers.... google has these rules for reasons... they might be their reasons, but it is also their servers and they are the liabilities... no-one seems to take those into consideration before blowing up on the network and crying they cannot have a fake name.....

I would also say that if I was in the same situation as some of the ones you described I would still use my real name... because I would be internally ok with my decissions I had made on those subjects and would then be ok with representing myself as myself.

Maybe I am different than most..... I do not know..

I see both sides of this argument - sadly I am pretty sure most do not.. and in the big picture... if this community left it the way it is now and thus alienated the people that feel they need a name that is not their own or this forced everyone to step up behind their real name... then A) we would not loose that many community members in overall % and 2) This community would be stronger with real people taking responsibility for what they say as themselves and not as some alter ego they have created.

I can talk really big if I do not need to take personal responsibility for what i say..... thus why my profile here is me and not some made up tale... I would not follow me if I came across the profile with no info or it not being shared etc...

I am pretty sure we could discuss this for hours... and it has already been discussed for weeks here.... In the end Google will make a decision and we will all have to live with it...

Aug 13, 2011

Rainyday Jordan - +Brent Burzycki Even if google makes the decision, it seems prudent to argue the case for how you'd like the service to be.

As for follow/unfollow etc based upon this, that's why we're all different, some people would still follow. The thing is, at least that way there's the chance of reaching an audience versus not having any chance at all.

You're right, I appreciate you're point of view and how it's not dismissive of the issues at hand and I enjoy talking with you about it, but, I do feel like my endurane is waning.

Aug 13, 2011

Brent Burzycki - +Rainyday Jordan In the end - I like real people.... or people that can be real with me.... it does not mean I would not like these people or call them friends in the real world, but if they are fakers online how am I supposed to take that in the real world?

Maybe I just do not have a pile of time to deal with those that do not want to be real up front vs. me having to dig through layers of protection...

It's a tough call....

Aug 13, 2011

Antonio Romero - +Brent Burzycki but how do you define 'real'? What is in one's legal name that makes whatever he or she writes more 'real' than anything else? Not everyone who posts online under a pseudonym is only talking about imaginary stuff that only happens in their head, and there should be more merit to what one actually writes, than what label they choose to use when writing it.

Aug 13, 2011

Brent Burzycki - +Antonio Romero Well we have "real names" or "legal Names" for a reason.. so you can be held accountable for what you say.... I stand behind every word i spew with my "real name" - Thus I hold myself accountable for those words and I am able to be located and verified via other sources.. whatever those sources are... heck - just Google my name and you can find all the junk I have talked about on the net..

With each post I think to myself how it will affect all aspects of my life and all my jobs and all those people I know and might be affected by what I say...

I would like to see more people take that same responsibility for every word they say...it could start with politicians and work its way down to every single citizen...

We would be a stronger society if more people would take responsibility for the words they tell to others....

Will that happen.. not likely - this world is full of liars, attention mongers, and just plain old jerks that will say anything and hide behind the mask of the internet and anonymity.

If you have an argument with me online and I can verify you are a real person - IE: not someone lying about who you are or a person hiding behind a non real / legal name account, I will continue to argue with you and it would be worth my time... If you are not then why should I take the time to post when I have no idea who is actually reading the post?

From your profile I can find out there is more to you than just a name...

I do web stuff.

I play WoW and Minecraft.

I'm a Linux user.

I've almost mastered vim.

I'm not the walrus.

You have a kid it appears that is looking at me and is very not happy with me....

And you live in Mexico...

I cannot prove any of this but at least you took the time to share posts here on G+, and you are publically posting with what seems like a real full legal name..

I have a ton of people I do not know in my circles - but I never add anyone that does not share posts, or does not have their profile info filled out at least minimally.... If I am going to be real and share - then per my personal G+ rules I think you should also or I simply will not share with you as I have no idea why you circled me if you are not going to contribute anything to my stream.

Community relationships are a two way street.....

I am also not one to follow super stars or famous people in 99% of cases, unless they actively answer back to questions etc... it's just not worth my time...

Aug 13, 2011

Edward Morbius - +Scott Wakeman: so supporting slavery in the USA prior to 1861, genocide in Nazi Germany, or violations of the Treaty of Waitangi in EnZed are acceptable because they complied with the ToS of the organizations at the time? Have you ever heard of civil disobedience?

Aug 13, 2011 +2

Antonio Romero - +Brent Burzycki You don't know that I may already be lying about all that. In fact, my profile picture is just a random image I got from Search, and this is not my full legal name (I have two given names and two family names, like the great majority of hispanics). But the fact is that you read my post and chose to reply to it even when you admit that you're not completely sure that I'm being truthful about what I say of myself. Isn't that the point though, to focus on the message and not the messenger?

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - +Edward Morbius Don't compare the actions of Governments to those of Corporations. Apples and Oranges.

To others: I am using the Mobile App, and will address what you've asked of me when I'm at a computer.

Aug 13, 2011

Edward Morbius - +Scott Wakeman: So, then the Nazis were wrong, but IBM, IG Farben (BASF), Ford, and Coca Cola were all A-OK with their involvement with Nazi Germany? Thanks, that clears it all up.

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - I invoke GODWIN'S Law.

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Brent Burzycki - +Antonio Romero interesting so now I know that you use images possibly without permission and are probably lying on your profile - thus I now know that your online presence is less reliable...

I did not say I would not ask questions to people - I said I would not follow them without verifying they are real ... my reply did that and at least you were honest (possibly) in your reply...

and +Scott Wakeman is correct as it has already happened in this thread....

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - I'm at a computer, so I can type a little better.

@ +Kathi F - if you can't + a person, any person, just get their UniqueID Number from the Google+ profile of the person you want to + [in my case, you would use the # 113946715443571015123], and use the number in place of the name [eg +[UniqueID Here]. It doesn't change to the +[name] until after you have posted. But it does work :-)

@ *nyms and those spitting venom at Peter and Robert and other 'real namers' [they/we are not 'spoiled brats'] - refrain from doing so, it does not help your 'case' at all.

Aug 13, 2011

Antonio Romero - +Brent Burzycki That is true, and I respect your decision not to want to associate with that kind of people, but I do think it's up to the individual to make that decision on their own. After all, no one is trying to force anyone to follow people they don't want, whether they're under their legal name or not.

As you can tell I'm heavily pro-pseudonyms, and what this policy does for me is that it keeps some of my friends, as well as people I find interesting because of their ideas, out of the network, thus reducing its value for me. And I can tell you I'm not the only one who feels this way.

I'm also not one to force everyone to use pseudonyms. That should also be a choice left to the user, whether they want to disclose their legal name or not.

Aug 13, 2011

Howard Greenstein - Just a quick comment here. I note people are fine calling Curtis Jackson +50 Cent. Not a real name, I would suggest. Possibly a legally changed one. Identity is not so cut and dry. I find it horribly offensive that so many people above are dismissive of Peter (the comment about his 800 something followers is just patently offensive. Pete was developing video games before you were born, most likely).

+Peter Kaminski - I admire your conviction in this manner. While I originally wasn't so interested in this issue, I have come around to the position that anonymity and identity are not equal. It is a tough concept. Keep working it. I'd like to see you weigh in on some of the comments here.

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - @ +Kathi F I am no Troll, and it does not help the *nyms case by proclaiming as much. Please see here: https://plus.google.com/113946715443571015123/posts/jEZNXYTMXCR . I'll also explain my use of *nym - and I mean no disrespect by it. I use the * as the wild card - Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu are contracted to *buntu; Unix and Linux contract to *nix; Pseudonym, anonym, mononym are thusly contracted to *nym. No disrespect inferred or intended, and if you do think that I'm being 'rude' by using *nym you are categorically incorrect.

Aug 13, 2011

Rainyday Jordan - People seem not to know that in the U.S. any name you claim to go by is a legal name as long as you claim the name without fraudulent intent. You can even change your name by usage in some cases. It's more difficult post 9/11, but, there is still common law name and your 'legal' name is what you say it is at any point in time.

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Joshua Taranowski - Can we at least agree that there are three different things going on here? Are these three all true?

A) I agree that you can violate the Terms of Service and create a Google Profile called "Bob Howard" and post to you heart's content as an anonymous user. You can do this and Google very likely will not be able to catch you. That is true. You can break the rules that exist and not get caught. In a few clicks you could have an "Alexander Hamiltion" account.

B) Google's implementation for identifying or dealing with accounts that have been reported is less than ideal. People who have unusual names are suffering from it.

C) Google can not tell that 'Moist Lipwig' and 'Owlswick Clamp' are real names, they can only suspect that they are invalid and flag them for review. Names like 'Clampyer Fatmouth' and 'Bigsmember Inmypants' probably tickle some algorithm and get flagged the same way 'Rainyday Superstar' does.

So which people are really complaining? People worried about 1, 2 or 3 below?

1) Some people think you should be able to be anonymous to protect yourself from stalkers and the government. As others have already pointed out, you can be anonymous right now with an "Alexander Hamilton" account. Done and done. It breaks the rules, but it certainly works. I don't see many people protesting about this. Is this where people still have issue?

2) Some people think you should be able to be fairly anonymous to avoid getting stalked. I see plenty of Greg S. and John T. accounts here. I don't think these people are getting flagged or kicked off of Google's services. I don't see many people protesting about this. Is this where people still have issue?

3) Some people think you should be able to create accounts with funny sounding names that are not your real name, but are your long-time 'internet handle' or my 'trademark with my friends'. These people keep getting kicked off and are very vocal about it. Is this where people still have issue?

Which camp are you in when you are angry at the current policy? I would hope that people in Camp #3 are not trying to cloud the issue by bringing up the people in #2 and #1; but that is what it really seems like to me. I think everyone agrees that 'B' above is an issue, but let's not cloud that up with patriotic discussions around privacy and anonymity.

I take issue with the people in Camp #3, but respect the people in Camp #1 and Camp #2. It feels to me like Google does to. I don't care that some people I have met are named Greg S. or John T.; but I can't believe there is still a user here named 'Darth Vadars Poopy &^%#'

To me 'Darth Vadars Poopy &^%%$' is the target of these rules, not the other people here who desire anonymity.

Please understand that I respect the requests that people are making for a service that allows for anonymous and pseudonymous discussion. There are people in many situations that need this sort of cover to shield them from the rest of the world.

Anonymity can be powerful. It can be used for great purposes and help free people who are repressed. Here anonymity protects those from persecution from their oppressors.

Anonymity can also be used for nefarious purposes, even allowing people to break rules, post hatred and stalk specific groups or people without fear of retribution. Here is it is used to violate and circumvent common law.

In my book anonymity is neither bad, nor good-- but can be used for either.

Google+ has to decide at some point if they want to embrace Anonymity, but I do not think the technical preview is the time.

Other people disagree and want this function now.

I only commented here because I feel that there is power in this product and the ability to segment and post to people you trust.

I personally do not care if you call yourself Gretchen S. or Mark B.

I take issue to the users like .Darth Vadars Poopy &*#^&. who for reasons I still cannot fathom have accounts here.

All of these accounts offer some level of .Anonymity..

I do not know how Google will be able to create a structure that allows one, but not the other.

Aug 13, 2011 (edited)

Antonio Romero - When I learned he was on G+ I added Darth Vader here because I think he's a funny guy and I wanted his stuff on my stream (@darthvader on twitter) and not because I truly believe the Dark Lord of the Sith exists in the real world.

Also whatever happened to that proposal about adding verification badges to profiles a la twitter? That would go a long way towards preventing impersonation. And maybe that way a feature can be added, "only allow verified profiles to see my stuff/contact me/add me/etc."

Aug 13, 2011

Brent Burzycki - +Antonio Romero I miss verified profiles... no idea why they took them away.... I assume business profiles will be verified...

Aug 13, 2011

Joshua Taranowski - +Antonio Romero You can't tell me that you are friends with 'Darth Vadars Poopy Gooch'? That is a real 'name' for a current user here. That account is the one that jumps into my mind every time a group lobbies that we need pseudonymous accounts. If your position is that we should allow 'Rainyday Superstar' and other pseudonyms, why not 'Darth Vadars Poopy Gooch'? Where is the line?

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Antonio Romero - +Joshua Taranowski no :P that's a separate user who got suspended early on. And that's not my position at all, I'm very much in the pro-pseudonym camp and want people to be able to choose whatever name they wish on here. Including "Poopy Vader" if they so choose.

Aug 13, 2011

Joshua Taranowski - +Antonio Romero I'm not certain I follow. You agree then that A) B) and C) above are true, but believe people should be able to pick any name they choose including 'Darth Vadars Poopy Gooch'. If so, I respectfully disagree and feel the vanity pseudonym argument is just not worth discussing any further, certainly not in the context of 'protecting' identity or allowing anonymous discussions because of points 1) and 2). I think this boils down to vanity pseudonyms, and I've got nothing more to say there. Agree to disagree I suppose. I like G+, I'm not a fan of 4chan, but to each their own.

Aug 13, 2011

Antonio Romero - +Joshua Taranowski I suppose we disagree then. It is hard to paint a well-defined line though. I mean, at what point does a "vanity pseudonym" stops being just that, and starts becoming the main name associated to that person?

I'm kind of confused about your points 2) and 3) though. Seems like the argument is about the purpose you wish to give to the name you choose, but if so then this purpose becomes really hard to detect, if not impossible. Given a name only, how can you reliably tell whether someone is a victim of stalking trying to avoid his/her harassers, or just a blog author with a pen name? Names of the form "Steven S." or "Pandagirl" can easily fall under either category.

Aug 13, 2011

Joshua Taranowski - I think my point is salient and clear, but I'll try to rephrase it. If you are worried about stalking, create an account like Steven S. and I think no one will be able to find you and no one will suspend you.

Creating a vanity account like 'Pandagirl' in no way is a legitimate play for anonymity or to protect one from stalking. This is a play for a vanity pseudonym and nothing more.

People are crying that they want vanity pseudonyms, or to be able to use the name of their WoW character or persona in Second Life. This is very distinct and different from avoiding stalkers for fear of safety or trying to use a pseudonym to remain anonymous.

The vocal croud I see is complaining about point #3, but trying to mask the discussion by implying vanity pseudonyms help users in points #2 and #1.

Think of it this way...

If Google announced tomorrow that you could create anonymous accounts in this format: Anonymous-0013244, Anonymous-3421234, etc.

This would 'protect' all of those people in situation #1 and #2, but I guarantee you the 'Rainyday Superstar's and 'Darth Vadars Poopy Gooch's would still be complaining about that policy.

My point is that people in situations #1 and #2 are not getting kicked off and have nothing to complain about. It is really only the people in #3 who are complaining and loudly.

I have no respect for the argument for group #3.

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Antonio Romero - +Joshua Taranowski Well, fair enough, no use trying to justify my reasons for opposing this kind of policy to you anymore.

Aug 13, 2011

Joshua Taranowski - +Antonio Romero ... I agree. We disagree, and that's okay. I appreciate you taking the time to listen, and provide your own perspective.

Aug 13, 2011

Antonio Romero - +Joshua Taranowski heh sorry, didn't mean to sound so annoyed there, it's your position, it's reasonable and that's great, but we're just going to end up disagreeing over it no matter what.

Somewhat back on topic, regardless of the policy there are still serious issues with suspensions, namely the tortuous and seemingly random appeals process as many others have documented elsewhere, and the massive lockdown of other Google services that comes with suspensions (e.g. Buzz didn't care about names until G+ came along). Technically speaking the product is awesome, but the process side of things still appears to be very glitchy.

Aug 13, 2011

Scott Wakeman - +Technogran - If Google wants to make up 'stupid rule's, that is their prerogative and we must respect it or just not use the service. It is as simple as that. You know it, I know it, we know it, and Google knows it. Using this service is a privilege, not a right - and there are many other places on the Internet that are *nym friendly, sign up for them. Not to gloss over your appeal that Google was fine with *nyms on YouTube, Blogger, Picasa - Google+ is a whole different ball game, the same rules clearly do not apply.

Aug 13, 2011 +1

Antonio Romero - +Scott Wakeman It's probably also the feel that this was a huge bait and switch, and that the profile is being integrated across the board so those services that previously didn't care about your name and that you have all linked under your gmail account would become inaccessible if your name is found to be in violation.

But then again... nobody knows anything for sure since Google is being so mysterious and inconsistent about everything.

Aug 13, 2011

JD Lasica - Fascinating discussion. This issue has been around for a long time. When we launched Ourmedia (the first free video hosting site) back in March 2005, we decided to ask for people's real names for registration purposes but to allow them to use that or an alias for their public name. But Facebook has pushed the entire Web in the direction of real names over the past 6 years, and now that has become the norm -- and for services like this I suspect it's because most of it want to know who's commenting on our posts instead of trying to memorize every loosely connected contact's alias. But there's no question Google made a calculated business decision here as well.

Aug 13, 2011

Daniël Crompton - +Scott Wakeman I thought you said he would be lining the pockets of Google by using Google+. I said that using any Google product, including interacting with people who use Google products to communicate is lining Google's pockets directly or by proxy.

Honestly I don't care what +Peter Kaminski does.

Yesterday 1:55 AM

Griffon Walker - Completely understandable Peter.

I wrestle with my implied support of the policy by being here too.

I grew up with bbs/xbbs boards, then usenet, irc and more abstract com way before the web was cool. All of us survived the annoying things that anonymity brought to the table, in exchange for the freedoms and protections that came with it.

We live in some crazy times now with world changing political upheaval driven by many courageous folks, but built on modern communication tools. IM, SMS, FB and so on.

Every time services force real names into play they help to create a environment of suppressing and restricting speech unintentional or otherwise. The services become one more place for governments and powerful big brother groups to get their data mining teethe into. Of course that is only the beginning.

Look at BART cutting off cel usage to block potential protests, the UK about to drag rim onto the political execution stage, china... Well china jeez. The communication crack downs all across the middle east over the last year... Everywhere free speech, and the tools that can enable it, seem to be under attack.

Protected free and anonymous speech is critical to change, and I think that is way more valuable then any of the ugly baggage that it drags along with it.

Anything like the FB and googles naming policy that seeks to interfere with that should be rejected, regardless of arguments around level of discourse.

Google should do more to encourage and cultivate anonymity in it's systems, after all their breed and butter relies on successful disruptive change :).

Yesterday 1:57 AM

Joost Reijnen - Hi everyone - I would like to share the following bit of information on the use of pseudonyms

Friedman and Resnick argue that pseudonyms are single-sided: positive reputation.s stick but negative reputations don.t. You can see why: people just dump any pseudonym that has a negative reputation.

I would like to urge you to read and understand the thesis that is explained in this paper:

http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.30.6376

I am sure i know Google has done it's fair share of research into the policies of this virtual social network and this kind of research, it is part of the deal. Let's not ignore this.

Yesterday 2:38 AM

Matthew Jubb - The arguments for using psuedonyms have been well made in the media over the last few days and I don't think all of this is lost on the guys at Google.

But a key argument against psuedonyms is that people can behave very badly online when cloaked with anonymity.

The Guardian here in the UK did a good article exploring this a few weeks agohttp://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/24/internet-anonymity-trolling-tim-adams

I think Google want to create, in G+, an environment where comment and discourse on public posts can remain as it is now - reasonably free of the trolling that plagues online fora where anonymity is the norm. Personally, I think they have the right idea about this.

If instead, anonymity is allowed, we can say goodbye to this kind of civilised discussion and look forward instead to public posts on G+ getting the same poor quality of comments as we find on, say, Youtube.

Yesterday 10:21 AM

Daniël Crompton - Thanks +Matthew Jubb , I just started reading the article. And I have experienced anonymous harassment to Jeffrey Wells, being harassed by an anonymous stranger on my blog. The fun thing about it was is that people are anything but anonymous online. I obviously quite easily tracked the guy down and discovered that he was an officer in the US Army, so I wrote to his commanding officer and send all the details of the harassment including IP addresses and other details.

He was not very pleased that I had done this, and after leaving one more nasty comment he never bothered me again.

Yesterday 11:02 AM

Peter Kaminski - Thank you all for commenting here, I appreciate it.

Here are a few questions condensed from above and my answers. I've also written a second post: (URL here soon).

Q: Why are you just leaving? Wouldn't it be more effective to stay and influence the situation?

A: It is something I gave a good deal of consideration to before deciding to leave. I believe I personally can help best by following the path I've set -- to testify to what I've seen and felt, and then by moving on. I can still participate if need be from outside Google+. Others may choose a different path where they feel they can help best, and I trust and respect their choice. I have particular respect for people putting a lot of their own time into helping others hear about what's going on.

Q: Good riddance! Why haven't you left yet?

Q: Google+ is whatever Google wants it to be -- if you don't like it, just leave!

Q: Nobody will miss you, anyway!

A: Google+, in a very short time, has essentially become my main blog. The natural place to post and have a least a little discussion for me is, in fact, Google+. So I posted I'm leaving to Google+ a couple days before I left. P.S. Thanks for being a hater -- I know it's a tough gig, but ya know somebody's got to do it.

Q: "The Social Cost of Cheap Pseudonyms" - positive reputations stick but negative ones don't; griefers just dump their pseudonyms when they're done griefing.

A: Thanks for the pointer, +Joost Reijnen. I believe that's only a problem when the pseudonyms are cheap; there are practical technical solutions, such as moderating new users. And anyway, I'm not upset about pseudonyms or not; I'm upset at Google's treatment of regular users with unusual names.

Q: Why do you mention free speech? Don't you know we don't have any right to free speech on Google's turf?

A: Of course, I understand that Google is the proprietor here. But I think they'd like to extend reasonable identity and speech rights, including at least fairly free speech, to a sharing site. If not, the smart people will start to leave. :-)

Q: Don't you feel a little childish/spoiled/bratty saying, "My way or the highway?"

A: I didn't said, "My way or the highway" -- Google did.

Q: Walking away from an issue doesn't solve it.

A: It's not my job to solve Google's problem. It's Google's job.

Q: What's the problem? I like real names better than made-up names.

A: Having a name that sounds "real" does not mean that someone is real. Having an unusual name does not mean someone is fake, or trying to get away with something. And having a name that sounds unusual should not be grounds for suspension. Doing something bad should be, instead.

Q: This conversation will disappear if/when you delete your account...

A: Yes, I've copied the text over to http://peterkaminski.com/goodbye-google-plus

Yesterday 11:47 PM - Edit +2

Daniël Crompton - +Peter Kaminski you forgot to answer the question whether you would continue to use any other Google product.

1:15 AM (edited)

Joost Reijnen - Peter, if that is really the only thing you are upset about ("_...treatment of regular users with unusual names.._") then I really do not understand what you are making all the fuss about, leaving g+ doesn't make any sense then. Did you read up on the act seccessation by people in social groups and it's results to those involved?

1:27 AM +2

Peter Kaminski - +Daniël Crompton, thanks for the reminder.

I'm not boycotting Google entirely; it's their operation of Google+ that I'm disappointed with, not all their services.

Unlike many of my friends, I have always used Google's products judiciously and with mindfulness of the value that both Google and I receive from my usage (and mindful that monopoly providers and monocultures can have significant negative effects on markets).

* I use Google search a lot. However, I generally stay logged out of Google to do searches, and I periodically clear my browser cookies, so they accumulate a little less data about me and the use of search. To expand on this, I use Firefox for browsing and searching; I use Chrome as my logged-in browser, where I use Google+ and other Google services. Using Google+ had started to entice me to browse and search more in Chrome, where Google can log me better. That will stop when I leave Google+, of course.

* I clear browser cookies periodically, but I don't do anything more than that to block Google Analytics surveilling me as I traverse the web.

* I do not use Gmail as my primary personal email account; I pay for email service from a commercial IMAP provider instead. I think it's crazy to have a non-commercial relationship for something as important as your primary email.

* I do use Gmail at work and with other organizations I'm affiliated with. I do not use their web client or see their ads; I use Gmail strictly as an IMAP service.

* I don't use Google Docs. (I don't use Microsoft Office, either.)

* I use the Chrome browser when I use Google web services that require me to be logged in to Google.

* I use Google Maps for navigation.

* I use an Android phone and Google Voice. Because they're the best (or close to it), which doesn't say as much about Google being good, as much as the other players in the space not being good enough.

* I use the Android App Market, but I haven't bought many apps there. I also use the Amazon Appstore.

* I do use community-supported Android ROMs, and support the community.

* I don't block ads on my Android phone. Much.

I'm generally happy with the way Google comports itself, and the value I receive and give to them. They really need to learn how to do customer service, though, especially if they want to run a social network.

7:22 AM - Edit +2

Peter Kaminski - +Joost Reijnen, leaving makes all the sense in the world to me. I won't be passively participating in the mistreatment of my friends.

As you noted (and may yet doubt), I've been making things that connect people -- and helping to manage online communities as part of my profession -- for nearly 20 years. I'm comfortable that given my personal situation that I'm following the course which will most effectively accomplish what I need to accomplish.

7:30 AM - Edit

Joost Reijnen - I respect your decision very much Peter and also many thanks for forcing everyone to think even further about all this.

One more thing, scrolling to the bottom of all comments in this post...on my 7" tab...takes nearly 25 seconds :P

7:33 AM

Peter Kaminski - LOL! Yeah, long comment threads still need some usability work. But I appreciate you scrolling all the way down.

And likewise, Joost, thanks for your support and thoughtful comments.

7:57 AM - Edit

Bernard Matthews - +Joshua Taranowski (and our host, +Peter Kaminski , if he is still here), I believe I understand the issue that you've raised with the group #3 names. I'd like to take one shot here at elevating your perspective of that group. A) by virtue of using a 'personal brand' name, these folks are choosing to distinguish themselves from anyone else. They are intentionally choosing a unique name to indicate that their writings all come from the same source. B) by using a name that is 'obviously fake', they are being completely honest that the name is not the one that they were born with. That (to me) is more honest than someone hiding behind "John Smith," even if it is just so you don't know that they were born as "Jonathon Jones." C) It tends to come down to trust. I've said that I can trust just about anyone: I can usually trust people and organizations to do the same thing in the future that they did in the past. Which is why I would find it very difficult to trust Google in the future, no matter what they did in the short term from this time onward.

3:13 PM