There’s currently a lot of fuss in the tech world over Google+’s policy on using real names. And business pages too but that’s because it’s still in beta but I will talk about the real names thing. This post is classed under the ‘bee-in-bonnet’ category
I know I have written about real names before, specifically when Quora kicked me off their shitty question and answer site because they didn’t like my name. More to the point they wanted me to comply with their business plan of providing a name that was linked to industry expertise that people would be searching for, and bringing them traffic. Now, I know I am no expert at anything just because I post the odd website review but the fact I use Anphicle Mononym all over the web suggests it is more of a useful name to them than my legal name.
So Google will probably kick me out of Google+. No big deal I don’t use it. It’s so fucking boring having to establish a new presence on a new fucking social fucking network. I’ve been on for a month now and so far amassed zero contacts. Nobody knows I am on it but meh, I can’t be arsed. Kick me off, I’m not bothered.
There’s no such thing as a fake name on the Internet. How do we know Mark Zuckerberg isn’t called Bill Gates away from keyboard? Providing two or three western-sounding names is so unworldly it’s untrue. Anphicle isn’t a fake name, it is mine whether it is in your baby names book or not. Bieberluvrr92 isn’t a fake name, it is a handle for somebody who respects their privacy. Fake names – what’s next; account verification via social security number?
A few people on Reddit and Google+ have suggested that the Internet is nicer and spam free with ‘real names’ – bullshit. Spammers spam, trolls troll and fraudsters defraud. I get spam emails all the time from people with ‘real names’. And it must be pointed out that about 30% of my Facebook friends have bastardised their names to protect their identity. BULLSHIT to REAL NAMES.
And as for the Facebook success story being down to real names: we chose to use real names on Facebook to reconnect with people who knew us by those names, that’s why it was normal. Yes they had an equally obtuse policy on real names too but we aren’t going to be reconnecting on Google+. We’ve done that and had that chapter of social Internet use. Now we are past it.
OK, most people will choose to use their real name on Google+, most people do in most places on the Web. It’s just a damn shame for all parties that those of us who wish to respect our own privacy are excluded – particularly when Google+ was supposed to be the privacy friendly answer to Facebook.