firecat: hello kitty surrounded by irritation lines (cranky hello kitty)
[personal profile] firecat
Emphasis on "tinkers"—they've made a change to their interface so you can display a third name (a "nickname") alongside your first-and-last-name, but you can't display the nickname by itself, so you can't be pseudonymous.

There's a long discussion of it here.

There are a number of comments by the author of the original post, Yonatan Zunger, a chief architect at Google, that make me bang my head on the desk repeatedly. I can't figure out a way to link to the comments directly, but here's one that particularly caused head-banging:
We thought this was going to be a huge deal: that people would behave very differently when they were and weren't going by their real names. After watching the system for a while, we realized that this was not, in fact, the case. (And in particular, bastards are still bastards under their own names.
DUH!!!

Date: 24 Jan 2012 08:58 am (UTC)
jae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jae
I don't know, that doesn't make me go 'duh.' It makes me go 'finally!' I think it's a great thing for a company to be able to admit it publicly when they were wrong, and it sure looks like that's what he's doing there.

-J

Date: 25 Jan 2012 05:20 am (UTC)
evilawyer: young black-tailed prairie dog at SF Zoo (Default)
From: [personal profile] evilawyer
Seconded.

Date: 24 Jan 2012 09:10 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I'm glad they admitted they were wrong, but since they decided their policy based on shouting "NO NO NO NOT LISTENING!", I can't give them too much credit!

Date: 24 Jan 2012 09:21 am (UTC)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeborah
Admitting they were wrong is nice, except if they're still not allowing pseudonyms, what's the point?

Even if they do actually change their policy eventually, it's taken them too long, and I've lost too much faith.

Date: 24 Jan 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] treacle_well
This

Date: 24 Jan 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
+1

I don't see them actually changing anything yet.

Date: 24 Jan 2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Exactly. They're still not actively pursuing my business, they're just grudgingly allowing me to have a nickname--not to use any of the names by which people actually know me.

Date: 25 Jan 2012 05:22 am (UTC)
evilawyer: young black-tailed prairie dog at SF Zoo (Default)
From: [personal profile] evilawyer
...if they're still not allowing pseudonyms, what's the point?

I agree. It still smells like a fish, so it must be fishy.

Date: 24 Jan 2012 10:35 am (UTC)
trinker: I own an almanac. (Default)
From: [personal profile] trinker
didn't see anything that tempted me to come back. saw a bunch that made me want to scream. feh.

I found this gem as well...

Date: 24 Jan 2012 11:26 am (UTC)
chaos_by_design: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chaos_by_design
We definitely want to discourage sock puppets and throw-away accounts, but that isn't something you can really achieve via a names policy. It's a problem of the analysis of people's behavior, which is much more subtle. (And we are working on it, but I can't talk about details)

Seriously, wasn't the whole point of a "real name" policy to discourage things like sock puppets and throw-away accounts? And now they're admitting they can't stop it anyway?

Date: 24 Jan 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
chaos_by_design: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chaos_by_design
And there's also this:

the problem is, people can sign up as sock puppets/trolls under realish names (Joan Anderson, say) and then be jerks all they want. Or be jerks under their actual real names for everyone to see-- for example, Rick Perry in that ad about the gays. Pseudonymity (DIFFERENT from anonymity) doesn't factor into it.

Which...duh!

And from Yonatan himself:

So, interesting thing: when we first launched G+, we thought that people would be total bastards if they weren't tied to their own, very durable, identity. (Which was one of the drivers behind the original names policy) As we got more miles on the system, this was replaced with the concern that people are total bastards, period. We are therefore putting some nontrivial work into hunting down general antisocial behavior and dealing with that directly, quite independently of names.

Hahahahaha!

Seriously, I don't really get them still being largely committed to a "real name" policy when they're admitting themselves now that it doesn't really work as it was intended. Unless it was intended for something else all along anyway, like being able to track people more closely with real life information.

Date: 25 Jan 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
evilawyer: young black-tailed prairie dog at SF Zoo (Default)
From: [personal profile] evilawyer
They seem to be ignoring the anonymous feeling a person get while on the Internet even when using his or her real name. You aren't looking the person the other person in the eye or hearing their voice while you're being a jerk to to them on the Internet, and that's extremely freeing to some people's sense of jerkness.

I guess the good thing is that maybe they'll hire some social scientists to help them. And hopefully stop trying to disguise marketing-based tracking as a benevolent way of convincing everyone to play nice.

Date: 24 Jan 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
badgerbag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] badgerbag
From reading the announcment of the policy change, it looks like you could EITHER list a nickname next to your Real Name , or you could just go right ahead and use your pseudonym as your main name, as long as you can show that it is an established name you've been using. it says it right here: https://plus.google.com/113116318008017777871/posts/SM5RjubbMmV under "Other established identities". That looked like just what people have been asking for. So, it depends on an arbitrary review by some google support person, but they are allowing for it.

That is just the change I thought we've been asking for.... the ability to have a profile in which I've just signed up as "badgerbag" but without having that linked in any way to my wallet name. I can easily prove that I've had that handle for years and years online.

Date: 24 Jan 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
laughingrat: A detail of leaping rats from an original movie poster for the first film of Nosferatu (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughingrat
And in particular, bastards are still bastards under their own names

Case in point, all the Google execs who are still willfully oblivious to the genuine need for some folks to use nicknames that *aren't* connected in any way to their real name. :-|

Date: 25 Jan 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ailbhe
I think the trickle-up effect - the massed brains at Google (who are not idiots) sending clue up to the elite powerful few who haven't been among the common herd for so long they have no idea what's what - will eventually happen. But it hasn't yet, and Rob can't tell me a lot of what happens internally; I just know he's not the only one with Issues around the names thing.

Date: 25 Jan 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
libskrat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] libskrat
G+ is tanking. I think this rule relaxation is evidence. So is the mad rush they're in to INTEGRATE G+ WITH ALL THE THINGS. So is the nonsensical thing they did where any signup to any Google service comes with a free! G+! account! which you can't! avoid! (Did they really think the inflated numbers would fool anybody? Really?)

Google fails at social. Again. Anybody want to start a pool on how long before G+ goes the way of Buzz and Wave? I'll put some quatloos on 18 months...

Date: 28 Jan 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flarenut
If they had done this before the linking thing and before the search results thing, I might have considered spending more time on G+. But now it appears that unless I take special measures to firewall different parts of Google away from one another, they will degrade the search experience that is the main thing I use G for. (or did, until I installed ddg)

Date: 24 Jan 2012 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cassidyrose.livejournal.com
On other news, the sun is hot.

Yeah, total head-banging territory there.

Date: 25 Jan 2012 09:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hitchhiker.livejournal.com
not like the entire internet hadn't told them that already!!! that said, at least their "social networks built around names and social networks built around handles" thing is clear and inoffensive enough.

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firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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