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Google+, pseudonyms, and being spacefem

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Google+, pseudonyms, and being spacefem

Postby spacefem » Thu Jul 28, 18:55 2011

(With livejournal down I'll have to try writing my thoughts on my own website. perish the thought, huh?)

Several people have told me that by being "spacefem" on google+, I'm putting myself at the risk of having my account deleted because google is deleting accounts that they think aren't real names.

This would be sad for me, because I really like picasaweb for my photos and like having my gmail account as a nice backup.

But I'd deal. I view it sort of like a shirt you buy, then bring home and realize it says "hand wash only line dry". You know what? The way my life is, it's just not practical for me to hand wash clothes. That shirt is going in a laundry bag and suffering through the delicate cycle. If it doesn't survive, it's a sign that it wasn't meant for me. I have lots of other shirts.

Hopefully the rumors aren't true, the accounts were deleted for other TOS violations. Google has said they want you to go by the name people "know you by"... for me, that's spacefem. I've been spacefem for over a decade. I use my real name for boring corporate work stuff, where I have to be someone a corporation wants me to be because they're paying me to blend in and be uncontroversial. Don't be a feminist, it makes people uncomfortable. Don't be curious in web development, it's not your job. I can deal with all that, at work, I'm cool. But in my off hours when I'm not being paid, I'd rather be spacefem. I don't use a pseudonym so I can spam people or be someone who's not a "real" person... spacefem is real. this is who I am, online.

And yes, my real life friends who I hang out with on the weekends also know me as spacefem. Same for the high school friends I've cared enough to stay in any sort of contact with, my twitter friends... anyone I'm close too. They know my "real" name too but who cares? Spacefem actually touches a much broader audience, and they people who know I'm spacefem are the ones who really know me.

Remember when Google's motto was "don't be evil"? They were going to be nice, flexible, just show us content without pushing agendas? That's what we liked about you, Google. I still like you. I hope what they're saying isn't true.

More info on what's up with Google: http://blogs.forbes.com/daviddisalvo/20 ... seudonyms/
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/go ... nswers/567

http://gplus.to/spacefem
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Re: Google+, pseudonyms, and being spacefem

Postby cwbyrvr » Thu Jul 28, 20:05 2011

I do think it seems weird that they would outright ban people simply for not using their given name. The rules do seem pretty vague. I don't know anyone personally who has been banned for it, so it could all be hearsay as far as I know. What I would like to see is an official statement on the matter from Google. As far as I know they haven't addressed it yet.
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Re: Google+, pseudonyms, and being spacefem

Postby monk » Thu Jul 28, 22:23 2011

In reference to the David Disalvo article I wonder how Google knows that someone who sets up an account in a celebrity's name isn't the actual celebrity? Does the celebrity call google and complain first?

I think this follows along the same theme as whomever was impersonating Spacefem on Yahoo answers, you deal with it on a reactive basis vs. a proactive one like google is rumored to be doing.
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Re: Google+, pseudonyms, and being spacefem

Postby rowan » Thu Aug 4, 15:55 2011

I know this is kind of bumping this, but I've been very frustrated with the real names thing (even though I use my real name there anyway). I think this article sums it up really well: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archiv ... names.html

This article has a google rep's statement about it (relevant quotes are at the bottom of the article). However, just because something is "hard" isn't an excuse. Google should make it clear to their employees that it's not something they should be cracking down on (there seems to be some confusion among their own employees). It's also easy enough to put a blurb in the privacy policy saying "look use a pseudonym if you want but we can't guarantee it will be 100% safe if you're using your real name login, this is the intarwebs after all; we'll do the best we can". Obviously they already allow pseudonyms for other google products, so why this is even terribly hard I don't know.
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Re: Google+, pseudonyms, and being spacefem

Postby edit the sad parts » Fri Aug 5, 9:05 2011

I know of one person who has had their G+ account suspended due to using their pseudonym. Also, someone on another forum or I think maybe feministing brought up that G+ is having problems with indigenous peoples names that don't "sound real", but are perfectly real. Their solution so far is to send in your picture ID to reactivate the account. Excuse me?! I feel that is a pretty invasive request from Google.

I know a lot of people just blindly love/trust Google. No one can deny they are an innovative corporation with some great ideas. However, they are still only a company and are not some perfect entity incapable of error or gross privacy breach(see google maps scandals). At the end of the day they are still only looking out for their bottom line and I don't think anyone should forget that fact.
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Re: Google+, pseudonyms, and being spacefem

Postby Mordak » Fri Aug 5, 9:13 2011

Holy Fuck. I never thought of the name thing. Most of my mates have got their proper names, not the ones the wadjellas called them when they were stolen.
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Re: Google+, pseudonyms, and being spacefem

Postby rowan » Fri Aug 5, 13:52 2011

yeah, it's bad enough that it's made me angry enough that I'm not really posting a lot. But I don't like FB either so.... :/
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