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Toward a more inclusive naming policy for Google+

With Google+, we aspire to make online sharing more like sharing in the real world. And during the Google+ signup process, we've asked users to select the name they commonly use in real life.

Since launch we've listened closely to community feedback on our names policy, as well as reviewed our own data regarding signup completion. The vast majority of users sail through our signup process -- in fact, only about 0.1% submit name appeals.

When we analyze the set of all name appeals on Google+, we find that they generally fall into three major categories:
- The majority (60%) of these users want to simply add nicknames.
- About 20% of appeals are actually businesses (who are inadvertently trying to set up their business as a Profile, rather than using Google+ Pages which were intended for this purpose.)
- And the remaining 20% would either prefer to use a pseudonym or another unconventional name.

Today we’re pleased to be launching features that will address and remedy the majority of these issues. To be clear - our work here isn’t done, but I’m really pleased to be shipping a milestone on our journey.

Nicknames and Names in Another Script

Over the next week, we’ll be adding support for alternate names – be they nicknames, birth names, or names in another script – alongside your common name. This name will show up on your Google+ profile and in the hovercards which appear over your name. In the next few weeks, we’ll be displaying it more broadly as part of your name in other areas of Google+ as well. So if you’re Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jane Doe (Smith), or सौरभ शर्मा (Saurabh Sharma), you can now communicate your identity the way you want to.

To add an alternate name, go to your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, select your name and click on “More options.” (See attached photos)

It’s important to remember that when you change your name in Google+, you’re changing it across all services that require a Google Profile.

Other Established Identities

On Google+, we try to flag names which don’t represent individuals, such as businesses or abstract ideas which should be +Pages. Sometimes we get this wrong, so starting today we’re updating our policies and processes to broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trench coat to +Madonna.

If we flag the name you intend to use, you can provide us with information to help confirm your established identity. This might include:

- References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc
- Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license
- Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following

We’ll review the information and typically get back to you within a few days. We may also ask for further information, such as proof that you control a website you reference. While a name change is under review, your old name will continue to be displayed. For new accounts without an old name, your profile will be in a non-public, read-only state during the review. Either way, you'll be able to see the status of your review by going to your profile.

For more details, check out the Google+ Names Policy: http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1228271

To reiterate, the features described herein will be rolling out over the next couple days.

Today is a small step towards improving the ways in which you can communicate your identity on Google+. We will be listening to feedback from the community and will continue to refine all aspects of how we handle names and identity over the coming weeks, months and beyond.

Thanks for your continuing feedback and support.

Bradley and Team G+

#googleplusupdate
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429 comments
 
I think people who were turned off by initially not being allowed to use a pseudonym will not return.
 
Good, good -- now what to you do when you've got a couple spelling of your names attached to different emails? Any merger options?
 
Does this include people that want to, for good reasons (politycal, lgbt ralated etc.) stay annonymous - will they be able to make only their nicknames visible?
 
Actually that's a really awesome way to implement it.
 
This is exciting to hear! Can't wait!
 
Nice feature (even if I'll stay with my real name) but as I understood it only being able to use your real name is one of the reasons there is a 18 year age limit on G+... Does this mean we're one step closer to letting younger people in to?
 
If you are going to identify three categories of name appeals, address all three. I know you don't want to say "We're not doing anything about pseudonyms, yet, if ever", but it would be more considerate to your readers.

(In case it matters, I personally don't care what your policy regarding pseudonyms is or shall be, but I know it is important to some)
 
So, good start, but extremely late (too late for many); is it really that hard to follow +Wil Wheaton principle? Also, how about implementing Jamie Zawinski's proposal?
 
Great start, yet I am still waiting when I can pick names on a per circle basis. With online gaming buddies, I'd like to be known under my gaming username, with friends and family, I'd like to use my real name. And searching for my name should not reveal my gaming username, and vice versa.
 
Too little, too late for so many of the people I know. Very disappointing.
Scott S
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If you can't use "only" a pseudonym, this is only modestly helpful.
 
Let's open the gate to the Trolls, right Johnny239 ?! Anyone taking bets on how fast content will downgrade in quality ?
 
I've wondered about how you guys verify names. Then I thought maybe I'll just buy some more Docs storage and that'll do it. I'll see if that works.
 
+Tarja Ollas Yup, that question was initial research for this. :)

+Gabriel Vasile We definitely want that, but that's going to come later. Verification is a somewhat different beast.
 
This seems like a reasonable compromise: all the joys of pseudonymity, without any of the unpleasantness that comes with anonymity...
 
+Alexandre Romao Remeber there are people that have real reasons to stay under a nickname, and only a nickname - people that can be hurt or killed if they speak freely under their real name...
 
+Bradley Horowitz Now let me edit my date of birth! Ask for verification if you want. I don't care. But it's not correct and I've invested too much time into my current profile to just create a new one (with a new email address as well). Come on guys. +Google+
 
Hi Brad, thanks, that´s good to hear.
Can you tell me something about vanity-url´s? would be great...
 
Does using your (long established) gmail account name as a nym qualify? I don't even know what "meaningful following" is supposed to mean. Only the famous online need apply?
 
I agree with +Sai .. As much as I'd like to applaud Google for addressing these issues, I don't see this as a substantial policy change that would address two of the most frequent requests I've seen: support for pseudonyms (not nicknames) and support for people with what Google considers to be unusual names. Both of these concerns are glossed over in this update.
 
Only famous people can have pseudonyms, because no one else is ever at risk. Thanks for sticking up for the little guy.
 
+Bradley Horowitz First of all, thank you for moving forward on this.

Second of all. How do I ask you to check my account to see if it is indeed a valid pseudonym by Google's standards? I don't want to devote a bunch of time to building followers and making posts only to discover that I don't have enough internet cred to meet the requirements.
 
Well, let's see, in the real world I can use any name I want so long as it's not fraudulent. I don't have to do anything but use the name. I can use as many names as I want. Such names are just as "authentic" as my given name. That's what "sharing in the real world" is like.
 
+Natalie Villalobos & +Bradley Horowitz It may just be me but I think you may need to rename your Google+ Pages something else. I believe mainstream people don't see the difference between a "Page" and a "Profile" and its causing confusion. Or maybe make it more prominent in the regular profile sign-up and ask the person if what they really want to do is sign up for a page if for example they are using a non-common name?
 
I agree with you +Kamil Dziadkiewicz, people in countries suffering oppression or being threatened deserve anonymity to protect their life. But then again, Google+ is probably not the right platform for those people. What use is a Google Profile for anonymity ? Twitter is much better suited for those situations if they need to pass a message. Twitter = Megaphone, Google+ = Conversation.
 
Woot, Woot! +Bradley Horowitz Hope +Hugh Messenger gets to OWN his name instead of fight for it, lol! I have several public and legal names that include maiden names, thanks for this advancement
 
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It's a pity you rolled this out to famous people at the start while slamming the unwashed masses and now we get it once we are settled. Oh to be Will.i.am....
 
So glad to see this - definitely a step in the right direction although still only part way there.
 
I can appreciate the criticism that this took way too long to be implemented, but at the same time, I don't agree with the "too little, too late" mentality. The social battle is still in its infancy, and given Google's all-in approach with Google+ (cough Search+ cough), the people that were initially turned off by this situation will have more than enough time to get turned back on ;-)
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why are you all doing something so customer service person-hour intensive? just let people use whatever name they want, and review reported accounts.

this took six months?

and you couldn't stop suspensions while this was rolling out?

and the whole primacy of the latin character set, not so cool.
 
Now, I can name myself Waldo on G+ and have hope that everyone looking for me can finally find me!
 
Sigh. Why are you deliberately ignoring what people want? People want to call themselves WHATEVER THEY WANT. Not what YOU deem to be correct.
 
So with this, Google+ is a place that will respect identities you have established elsewhere; it is still not a place to build up a new identity.

Interestingly, this sort of strengthens the idea of a web outside of Google+, going somewhat against the policies of integrating the whole web into one service. You want a pseudonym? Go build a blog outside of Google+, then justify your name here by pointing to it.
 
Don't we need conversations with people that suffer oppresion +Alexandre Romao ? Don't we need conversations with people that are too afraid of bullies to speak under their real names? Shouldn't we invite them to be a part of the groups and conversations that can help them get through the things they are expiriencing?
 
Well it doesn't seem like what everyone wanted, but it's great to hear you responding to users. Now about that API...
 
I think this is a positive step in the right direction. However, everything hinges on Google+'s pseudonym verification and validation procedures. If you make it too difficult to get approval for pseudonyms, we are back at square one again. And I'd like a clear yes—or—no answer to +Kamil Dziadkiewicz's question above, please. Overall, I'm happy with this. Thank you for listening to us!
 
I can't believe you guys think this has solved anything.
 
+Alexandre Romao In the "real world" I can meet people and have a conversation with them under any name I want. Even in countries that require identification to get on the Internet at all, people can have conversations in the real world without exchanging papers.
 
Reposting a big comment that I just put on my own thread, since many people here are likely to be interested. (+Mirosław Baran +Cindy Brown you may want to see this) It's a response to +Sai .'s longer post.


First of all, you might ask why we have a names policy at all. (i.e., why we don’t simply go with the JWZ proposal) One thing which we have discovered, while putting some miles on the system, is that it is indeed important to have a name-based service rather than a handle-based service. This isn’t a matter of functionality so much as of community: You get a different kind of community when people are known as Mary Smith than when they are known as captaincrunch42, and for a social product in particular we decided that the first kind of community is the one we want to build. In order to do that, we want to establish a general norm that the names you put in to the system should be names, not handles.

So one thing that our name checking flow tries to catch is handles, which should normally be nicknames, shown in addition to a name. The other important thing it’s trying to catch is people who are creating individual accounts, rather than +Pages, for non-human entities such as businesses or organizations. The behavior of +Pages is deliberately restricted in the system, and we don’t want people to be creating fake human accounts to circumvent that. The name check turns out to be a very powerful tool to catch these.

Our name check is therefore looking, not for things that don’t look like “your” name, but for things which don’t look like names, period. In fact, we do not give a damn whether the name posted is “your” name or not: we will not challenge you on this basis, nor is there any mechanism for other users to cause you to be challenged for this.

There are two main cases where the name check screws up. One is false positives: people (such as you) who have unusual names which get flagged because they looked like handles. Being able to appeal via things such as drivers’ licenses is useful for this case, since it’s a simple “oh, we got this wrong.” The other case is people such as +trench coat, who are so well-known under this handle that it would be bizarre not to let them onto the system under this name. For this case, we allow appeals based on being well-known under the name: thus the ability to prove the “established pseudonym.” We’ve deliberately set the threshold for that latter case fairly high for now, but we intend to continue to tune it; the objective is that the frequency of such names should basically be the same as their frequency in meatspace.

So to answer your questions one-by-one:

(2) “Meaningful following” only applies to cases of established pseudonyms which do not look like names. The definition of “meaningful” is deliberately vague so that we can tune it, so that it behaves in a natural fashion.

(3) That’s correct; drivers’ licenses are for false positives, not pseudonyms.

(4) Unusual names will indeed hit friction, because of false positives. We’re trying to minimize that, but it’s going to take some trial and error.

(5) Google+ can absolutely be your first identity online. No matter what your language, no matter where you come from. The “established pseudonym” logic should apply to a very small subset of people. If some groups are seeing a higher false positive rate than others, that’s a bug, not a feature, and we have the data available to spot this situation and remedy it.
 
And w.r.t. primacy of the Latin charset, +peter k: No, the Latin charset isn't privileged. Your name has to be in any single script (as per UTR-39); your nickname has to be in a single script; but they do not have to be the same script.
 
Yada yada. Still no pseudonyms. +Bradley Horowitz, if y'all want to be an Identity Service, can I suggest you actually read the President's introduction to the "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace", which specifically states that companies should "pursue these solution in ways which will not impinge upon the vitality or dynamism of the web, or force anyone to give up the anonymity they enjoy on the Internet." And I don't think he meant telling people they can take a hike if they don't like your naming policies.
 
Nice! Very well thought out.

Google is trying to keep this from becoming a cesspool of spam and trolls. I appreciate that. For those who would prefer a cesspool, they're still out there—just not here.
 
+Yonatan Zunger Um, #5 is patently false. While I really appreciate Google's efforts here, no, Google+ absolutely cannot be your first identity online if you do not feel safe using your real name. While you might think that's a small subset of the population, I highly doubt you have the data to back up your statement. I appreciate Google's honesty here, but please stop thinking so "American" on this.
 
We will see how this is going to work out soon.
How "Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following" will be judged.

I choose to be optimistic about this for now.
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+Kamil Dziadkiewicz of course they do, but that argument doesn't apply here. Google+ goal is not to enable a tool for conversation for oppressed or endangered people. Google+ objective was to have signals from people so they can build up a social graph for their search. Twitter and Facebook just didn't want do play along. Meanwhile Google+ turned into a great conversational environment and Google did a lot to promote it (Real Name Policy). I see these last modifications as a step in the direction of pleasing everyone which is clearly the wrong decision IMHO. Allowing anonymity will degrade the conversation here on G+.
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All this does is support nicknames. You are still forcing users to link their nickname with their real name. As a result, there is no anonymity. Users will never be able to fully utilize G+, if they have to use the same identity in every circle. People don't wear name tags when they walk around the city. They chose who to give their ID to and who to just say hello to.
 
+Bradley Horowitz have you considered the possibily to let the user "switch" to a different nickname, or a pseudonym, in order to perform certain interactions in a way that these can't be related to his or her "real" identity, but that rules of behaviour can still be easily enforced?

This post (http://goo.gl/N52jy) contains a few mockups and a proposal by me which, honestly, I think is quite sound. I'd really like you to give it a look.
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I wish I could say I was even a little impressed, but this little too so long? Seriously! We need real pseudonyms, and to be able to verify names against other things than just "real" ID cards - give is validated pseudonyms, real pseudonym identities that validate against OpenID, BrowserID, WoW, Starcraft, Second Life, Wordpress, etc. etc. I know you can do it, get over your silly, flawed naming policy and get to work! Google+ is great, but in this respect it stinks!
 
An excellent compromise allowing those with established pseudonyms to continue to use them, without a deluge of BigSchlong69 type usernames.
 
I don't understand all the vitriol in this thread. Here is Google, listening and providing some of the very features a small minority of users have requested, and the response is mostly anger because it isn't tailored to each specific person's ideal.

For one, +Bradley Horowitz clearly states it's a work in progress. But, more importantly, I feel this addresses the most common issues people were having. Established pseudonyms are now able to be accepted as well as foreign names.

For those who prefer or require a completely anonymous identity, which I do believe is valuable, there are many options online that facilitate that, including some of the most popular social platforms.

But, bashing Google just seems ill-conceived. You can use Google+ with a variety of identities now. That's a good step toward something that only affects 0.1% of the userbase. How many companies would even listen to that small of a minority?
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+Alexandre Romao disagree, the current policy is limiting conversation by excluding people that need/desire to be anonymous. There are better ways to keep out the spammers/trollers.
 
+Mirosław Baran : Are you kidding? Preventing people from creating disposable accounts with fake names gives them an incentive to behave responsibly as they would offline. How is that non sequitur? If you're using an established pseudonym, you still have an identity to guard, so hopefully you still mind your manners.
 
Hey , what about adding polling option to the posting options ? RSVP .
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+Yonatan Zunger let me move the goal post (or clarify): the thinking that centers on european naming conventions. first name las name in single script. versus family personal. versus family generation personal. versus malay naming traditions. versus south indian. versus colonized languages that mix indigenous script w/ english and/or other scripts. versus languages with multiple written scripts.

really g+ does give primacy to the latin character set. it's in the cultural setting, the mindset of the ui designers, and fact that the announcements from g+ powers that be are in english.
 
+Jillian C. York The point is for it to work for exactly that case. We do have the restriction that your identity has to be "name-shaped" if it isn't a really well-known identity, but we don't ever require that the name be "your" name in any deep existential or legal sense.
 
+Yonatan Zunger You can't actually say that you don't "ever" require that when several folks I know have had their "name-shaped" pseudonym accounts taken down in the past. That's just patently false.

I understand where Google is coming from, and recognize (even if I dislike it) that Google as a private company has the right to make its own rules, but you are not being honest if you claim that Google has never removed any "name-shaped" pseudonyms from its service.
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Google Calendar Integration is all we need now!!!
 
+Yonatan Zunger - for some reason, I didn't see your comment before I posted mine. I presume you mean this part:

"In fact, we do not give a damn whether the name posted is “your” name or not: we will not challenge you on this basis".

That's the first time I've seen anyone from Google actually come out and say that. Which is a shame, as if this had been stated as official policy 6 months ago, as far as I can tell it would have avoided the entire flaming #nymwars debacle. But to answer your question ... almost. If a suitably re-worded version of that sentence were included in your official naming policy during signup, then yes, it would address my concerns.

As usual, thanks for the response. You always manage to put a human face on things, and I appreciate it.
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+Yonatan Zunger the claim that using names like "Mary Smith" improves discourse has not stood up to scrutiny. You actually know that. It seemed at first to be common sense, but the vast majority of actual science done on the topic has reached the opposite conclusion. Persistent pseudonyms are the most civil group, many studies have found, even slightly above those using their wallet names. And this system here does absolutely nothing about the trolls willing to use and dispose of accounts with ordinary-looking names.
 
+Yonatan Zunger "name shaped"? I think I understand what you mean, and I understand your reluctance to use examples, but are you saying that under the new policy, +Violet Blue wouldn't have had to provide documentation? (And Thomas Paine wouldn't have been suspended?)
 
The "name shaped" claim is also an out-and-out lie. Many people were suspended in July for having names that just weren't "american looking." A neighbor of mine (who has requested I not divulge their identity) was told their only name was "unacceptable" which has led to an entire extended family of folks from Southeast Asia switching to Bing and other products. Another stuck with it for a while, but the name policy eventually drove out my G+ friend Binh, +Ben Ly

Edit, responding to next comment: Sorry, but the word "ever" is inclusive of the past, I just can't interpret it another way. I'll accept that you intended it another way.
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+Yonatan Zunger No it doesn't. I'll give you simple example. I have professional circles where I'd like to use my full real name. I also have gaming friends that only know me via a pseudonym. I have no desire for these names/circles to ever come into contact with each other. G+ offers no solution for me to stay in touch with both circles. As a result, I use G+ much less than I would like. If G+ allowed me to expose my real name only to my professional contacts and use my pseudonym with others, the problem would be solved. In fact, I would be willing to give Google even more personal information (richer profile), if I could control who sees what.
 
The comment from +Yonatan Zunger admits that this is an Identity Theatre issue. They don't want your name, They don't care if you have a forename in one language and a surname in another. Let me quote this exactly:

Our name check is therefore looking, not for things that don’t look like “your” name, but for things which don’t look like names, period. In fact, we do not give a damn whether the name posted is “your” name or not: we will not challenge you on this basis, nor is there any mechanism for other users to cause you to be challenged for this.

This is what I suspected when I wrote http://epeus.blogspot.com/2011/08/google-plus-must-stop-this-identity.html

Google+ is letting an algorithm decide what is a name and what isn't. You will be forced into it's Procrustean idea of what names are, or be harassed for it. You have to pass as normal, like call centre workers forced to learn to sound American.

+Alex Quinn you can create disposable accounts with fake names, as long as they look plausible to Yonatan's bot.

This algorithm has allowed people called 'panel heater' 'The Phoenix Rising' 'tous les mais du monde' and +Mehr Decent , a bot with a famous actress's photo posting links to a single website to follow me (and thats just in the most recent 30 I checked).

So Google continues to encourage fakers and discourage those who need a pseudonym
 
I wish we could set different nicknames for each Circle. I will keep my real name anyway, but will be cool to add a nickname that only my close friends call me and show it only to them!
 
I really hope that the nickname-only option will come at last, because it's one of most needed feature right now!
 
+Filipe Gazzinelli L. F. Werneck Circle IDs can't work. Nobody knows what circle they are in, or which circle you shared with. When you common on a post, it has no way of knowing which ID to use. Sharing with more than one circle doesn't work. The opportunities for accidentally using the wrong name are huge. And it doesn't help anyone recognize you when you reply to a public post (which, thankfully, this change finally does allow).
 
+Kee Hinckley I was thinking to display it only in my profile, and to make my friends able to find me in serach through my nickname.
Surely, showing those nicknames in posts brings HUGE difficulties.
 
+Yonatan Zunger I think the people who want handles/pseudonyms just don't understand why it seems like Google prefers they use a name-shaped fake name instead of one that looks like a handle. Why is one type of fake name better than the other?
 
Those who would like to use different names with different circles are probably going to need some kind of multiple account "federation" system. Google really could do that, but I'll agree that's something much bigger than naming policy.
 
+Ralf Haring Have you checked out my "long comment" above? It may answer your question.

+Bob O'Bob Yeah, different names with different circles is a PITA complicated problem. There are an unbelievable number of corner cases of posts that get shared with multiple people, etc etc. We've talked about it but decided that at least in the short term, it's pretty low on the priority stack compared to the amount of work it would be.
 
+Scott S The issue of identity splitting that you're mentioning is a much more complicated one. It would require that you have one account with multiple identities, that Google know this (but never leak it -- what a magnet for dangerous privacy bugs!), and to know which name to show in which context. It's really complicated, and we decided not to try to tackle that one yet. The simple interim answer is "use multiple accounts," which I know is also unsatisfying.
 
+Hugh Messenger That sentence isn't in the in-product flow, but if you look at what the flow and help center and so on do and don't say... :)

(And P.S. -- you were one of our regular mental test cases for the system. That's what happens when you uncover a memorable bug.)
 
+Bradley Horowitz great write-up. Looking forward to how the new policy plays out. And thanks for the me +Madonna mention. I rather enjoyed that concatenation. ^_^

[Apologies for the delayed comment; I'm still learning the in's and out's of the G+ app.]
 
+Fellow Traveler cf my long comment above.

+Bob O'Bob Actually, that's an interesting question -- +Sai .'s dot should have magically disappeared as a side effect of this launch. Lemme look into that.
 
I am deeply disappointed that Google still refuses to accommodate users who want or need to use pseudonyms. Permitting pseudonyms for celebrities only is not a solution.
 
+Sai . Yes, they are. Mononyms still trigger automatic appeals (sorry -- this is a known issue, we're going to deal with it, it's not dealt with yet) but once they go through that, they should get rendered correctly as part of this fix. I'm not sure why you're still coming up as "Sai .", we're checking.
Bobboau
 
this is great and about time, it's been hard to network with the people I know online because of this, glad to see this fixed.
 
+Yonatan Zunger Yes, I had read your previous comment (and just reread it). I don't think it answered why fake names that look like real names are different than fake names that look like fake names. I agree with +Hugh Messenger that this is the first time I've seen anyone from G+ speak about just using any old name-shaped name if you want a pseudonym. It was brought up as a loophole plenty of times by others, but the message seemed to be "real actual birth-certificate-type names only".
 
I'd much rather see a full blown release without a tweak as you go approach. I don't want to endure another round of watching people disappear and complain. Everyone that wants to be here should be happy and feel safe and secure in their privacy when they are here. It should be fun and enjoyable and not a hassle.
 
+Yonatan Zunger Any chance that some day I can have the back-tick, AKA "grave accent" character (as I used for nearly 20 years) instead of this apostrophe compromise? Though I wouldn't put a priority on it while nearly half the online world still can't accept the apostrophe (as in my wallet name)
 
So this is a double-down on the insistence on using my legal name? So my abusive ex can find me on the internet? No thanks...goodbye Google+.
 
So even though I've used browneyedgirl65 since about 2005 or so out of my gmail account, I can't use that on G+ and not only that, being on G+ via my browneyegirl65 account forced the Cindy Brown name out onto my gmail account ( where I didn't want it ) once I complied with G+ rules on names? That really sucks.
 
+Sai . Looks like the dot is because you were marked OK for mononyms so early in the product that you didn't get the fancy bit set. Will fix shortly.

+Ralf Haring We have been thinking about this stuff a lot, and it was time to change some stuff around.

+Dirk Talamasca Not possible, unfortunately. Sometimes you have to tweak some things, see how people act in the new system, gather more data, and evolve. But I'd rather release something, then listen to user feedback and act based on it, than release something and say "we're done! If you don't like it, tough!"

+Gamera Gabs Not at all! The opposite, in fact. Read my big comment above.
 
+Yonatan Zunger 'Our name check is therefore looking, not for things that don’t look like “your” name, but for things which don’t look like names, period. In fact, we do not give a damn whether the name posted is “your” name or not: we will not challenge you on this basis, nor is there any mechanism for other users to cause you to be challenged for this. ' Is that a serious promise that we can count on, that Google really will not challenge people on this basis? It really would be helpful if that could be incorporated into the official documentation, so that people will be able to stop looking over their shoulder all the time.
 
+Bob O'Bob I was going to test adding a back tick to my name but if I do I can't change it again for 3 months! :-)
 
This is complete bullshit. You haven't listened to a word we've said.
 
+Yonatan Zunger - the only argument I'd have with your assessment of the "flow" and not-giving-a-damn would be to look at my example. I'm assuming "Messenger" got tagged and challenged when y'all decided to rename one of the mobile app features to "Messenger". At that point, in order to reclaim my name, I had to show ID for that name. So if Messenger had not been my real name,but simple an anonymous "name shape", at that point I would have had to close that account and open another one, thus losing everything I'd built up under that identity. So I still think there is a need to "formalize" your currently informal approach into an actual policy statement.
 
+Yonatan Zunger - will they announce when mononyms stop flagging - I'd rather have my name be the same as it is everywhere else online ... but split it to make the Google gods happy ...

I'm happy to see some progress - but the not caring if people lie just undermines the whole 'make the community better' idea in my mind ... that and what does established mean? It's fine for me - I've been Xenophrenia for 10+ years but what of my niece who wants to have that same privilege but is now forced to either work to 'establish' some sort of ethereal credibility or use a fake real sounding name that may or may not be what she wants to establish as an identity?

I know - it's a work in progress ... but why did this take this long? This is not something that should have taken 6 months to do ... ~sigh~

Thanks for your work on this and all the original support you showed when this issue originally erupted.
 
+Ralf Haring every time I've tried to use the back-tick character, the text entry fields flat out refused it. I don't recall exactly whether they ignored the keystroke, or threw an error dialog, or what, but it was clear that the character itself was being rejected regardless of context.
 
+Filipe Gazzinelli L. F. Werneck You can put one in your profile (and I gather it will be searchable now). But linking it to circles would require that who is in what circle be public in some way (or at the very least, it would leak the contents of your circle). Circles are an odd beast right now, given that they are used both for posting and reading.
 
+Meirav Berale We didn't put those particular words into the policy, but read through the policy carefully and pay attention to both what it does and does not say.

+Hugh Messenger "Messenger" was a straight-up false positive in the system. But let's look at the case you bring up, because it's a good one. Let's say that Messenger wasn't your name, but an anonymous name shape. How would closing that account and opening a new one (presumably under a different name, because "Messenger" tripped it) be better than just changing the name on that existing account? It's not optimal, I'll grant -- we still definitely have an issue with being able to emerge non-name-shaped identities on the service -- but at least you wouldn't lose the existing social network.
 
+Xeno Phrenia I think that one of the important things we learned is that people are already using plenty of names which aren't their "real" names (in whatever sense of the word) and by and large this doesn't screw with the sense of community. Handles actually screw with it a lot more. Did you read my long comment up above, btw?
 
+Yonatan Zunger
Our name check is therefore looking, not for things that don’t look like “your” name, but for things which don’t look like names, period. In fact, we do not give a damn whether the name posted is “your” name or not: we will not challenge you on this basis, nor is there any mechanism for other users to cause you to be challenged for this.

Does this mean that other users will no longer be able to report a "name-shaped" pseudonym as a "fake profile" and cause a review to be triggered?

In the case of users who are currently stuck in a suspended state, will they be able to now appeal the "name-shaped" pseudonym they have been using all along and be automatically reinstated?
 
"Nicknames" column has already been disappeared in profile, but new style name system has not rolled out yet(for me).
 
+Yonatan Zunger ok, I think I get that. It still leaves people vulnerable though, if flagged for some other reason, no? if you use a pseudonym that you think is "name shaped" enough but it turns out that someone thinks otherwise and it gets flagged, and you have no documentation to back it up as an established identity, then you're out, right?
 
Then there are also those in jobs which effectively limit their freedom to say what they wish - law enforcement and the military for example. They can use pseudonyms freely on other sites to provide some protection against retribution when commenting on issues that give us all a better understanding of what takes place behind official PR.
G+ should extend this freedom to anyone WITHOUT demanding they "show ID'.
I always thought you guys believed in openness and personal freedom. You need to realize that sometimes this comes from allowing some anonymity! Counter intuitive, huh? 8-)
 
+Kaleh Kohler That is correct. In (little-known) fact, "fake profile" never reported someone for "this is not your name." But all that button triggers is a review of "this is not a person, but a business or a wombat or some such thing."

If you are currently suspended then yes, you can re-appeal. Fastest way to kick that off is to change your name.

+Johnny B As of a few minutes ago, it should have rolled out for everyone. It doesn't have its own blank -- it's part of the name itself, click on your name to edit it.
 
+Meirav Berale cf what I just said to +Kaleh Kohler: There is no mechanism for anyone to flag an account as "not you." If you report an account as being a "fake profile," we check that the account seems to represent a human. If you report an account as being spam, we check them for spamming. The Sword of Damocles is officially retired.

+Rob Shipley Check out my big comment at the top of this thread. It may answer your concerns.
 
+Yonatan Zunger - yes ... it's just the statement of not caring what name people use and many would be pseudonyms are currently using fake real sounding names ... I just have an issue with forcing people to lie to be accepted is all ... yes - it's not just this aspect but it's an aspect very visible to me. I understand why these people do it and I'm not making a judgement call on them per se - but the policy that puts them in that position.

It's a personal itch of mine - there is so much that forces people into these positions these days that another one - of this size - feels onerous is all ... ;-)
 
+John Kessel Only two things are always public: your profile picture and your name. This is needed for the product; e.g., if you comment on a public post, and someone who isn't logged in looks at that post, they need to see something there. But if you lock up your profile, that's all they'll see.

Blocking is meant to be pretty total, but there are some things which you can't really conceal; e.g., if you block Zorba, and you and Zorba are on the same comment thread, and Alice whom you haven't blocked mentions Zorba, you'll see that. But we do want to make it a very strong predicate. (It's not all the way there yet, but we're moving that way)

Making more things unindexed is also possible, but it's honestly fairly far down the list of priorities; it's a lot of work (especially if you want to do it at the single-comment granularity) and hasn't been very widely requested. We'll get to it, but probably not immediately.
 
+Yonatan Zunger If someone was suspended for using the name that they now appear to be allowed to use, why would they change their name? Or ... are you suggesting that they go through the steps of changing their name, but just key in the same thing that is already there?
 
+Yonatan Zunger I can see that. But mostly from a technical aspect and not so much with regard to gathering feedback on user reaction within the issue of pseudonyms. That issue has provided an enormous amount of feedback already as evidenced by nearly a million results in search. It also flooded the stream for well on two months so that anyone that signed up was confronted with it immediately while those that had been here for some time already just grew weary of it.

It seems that everyone is pretty happy that they can display nicknames. I see only technical questions about how this might affect circles and that is to be expected.

Many people are upset about pseudonyms and the display of a real name along with them which defies logic. I'd be curious as to what sort of feedback might be required on that point that might alter that reality. At this point it certainly appears that most people would be happy to trust Google with real and verifiable information that resides only with Google. But not much has been revealed as to why Google cannot accommodate this when many online banking services have had such policies for years.
 
This doesn't solve any problem I can think of and somehow seems to be even MORE confusing and hard to understand than the previous policy.

The bottom line still seems to be "I am not allowed to go on G+ by the name I go by in the real world". Apparently now I can put my real name as a "nickname" in between my legal first name (not the name I go by) and my last name. I see no reason why I, or anyone else, would do this. It seems like people will just continue what they were doing before, i.e., either violate the google+ names policy because it is not worth following and you have no way to enforce it; or quit G+.
 
+Dirk Talamasca Take a look at the (long, sorry) comment thread on my own reshare of Bradley's post; some of these issues get discussed there, especially in conversations with Sai. There's no short summary. But we do expect to get a lot of important feedback from this change -- not just from conversations like these, but also from seeing (e.g.) what kinds of names are getting tripped up and sent into the appeals process, or just what fraction of users do use nicknames and what for -- are they script transliterations, nicks, handles, maiden names, etc.? Those things can shape a lot of our product decisions going forward.
 
Google has done nothing but add another field to your profile. The only thing you get to do now is put your anonymous pseudonym right next to your real name. Ridiculous. I'm worried, given the vague language in the announcement that has lead some to believe pseudonyms are now part of G+, that people will unknowingly attach their until-now anonymous identities to their real identities. For some people that could be a dangerous move.

It seems strange that the company that has been synonymous with the Internet for over a decade doesn't seem to get the Internet anymore.
 
+Joel Falconer Take a look at my big comment towards the top of this thread. It may answer some of your concerns.
 
Oh ffs google ! You have completely missed the point again!
 
This policy is blatantly unacceptable and if this is all the concession that google wishes to give to those of us with a pseudonym that we prefer to go by, I'll be leaving. And don't think this will stop at social media. you're burning good will for the Google brand as whole. You are not irreplaceable. Windows Phone 7 is looking more and more interesting by the day. So is bing for searching.

Where famous names are concerned, your worries would be adequately served by marking celebrity accounts as authenticated. For the rest of us, this is a non-problem.

For example, I'm Steve_Restless or SteveRestless just about everywhere. How many megabytes of chat log, or how many domains or things do I need to provide to get your approval to be who I am? How notable do I have to be, before I can use the name I prefer? is a online roleplaying game following of about 12 people enough? an IRC network of six thousand? Who made you the judge of how important someone has to be, to earn a name?This is bullshit, and I'm tired of the smell of it.
 
+Yonatan Zunger You said: " We do have the restriction that your identity has to be "name-shaped" if it isn't a really well-known identity, but we don't ever require that the name be "your" name in any deep existential or legal sense." . Sorry for asking , does it mean that we are not required to use our real names? i'm kind of confused here...
 
+Luke Waldron Actually, if you just sign up as "Steve Restless," that should be pretty much it. cf my big comment at the top of the thread.
 
+Luke Waldron What is odd to me is that Google is creating so much ill will around a product which is so far from their core business. As far as I can tell Google is not currently making any money off of G+, so they have a product which is superfluous to most of their business, does not have any revenue source which is obvious from the outside, but is making people angry at them because of the name issue. It's like a project designed to create negative publicity to no benefit.
 
+Yonatan Zunger Your comment makes sense to me and as long as established pseudonyms are accepted I feel like Google+ can offer an alternative to more pseudonym-oriented networks like Twitter (if Woody Allen has to sign up as Allen Stewart Konigsberg it doesn't make so much sense to me, but you covered that).

My main worry is that 90% of the people I see talking about this think pseudonyms are now good to go and I am hoping that nobody who has used a pseudonym to, for example, insult Islam in a fundamentalist country under a certain name goes attaching it to their real identity.
 
Some things about G+:

1. I'm glad to discover that "Incoming" is now removed.

2. Many beginners don't know how to create a circle or add people to a circle because they haven't found the Circles page. This is a big usability problem. G+ should make it easy to do common circle operations without going to the Circles page:

(a) Add a "Create new circle" link under G+'s left-side circle list (under "More").

(b) Add a "Rename this circle" and a "Delete this circle" button under G+'s right-side circle-specific operations.

(c) If possible, allow drag-and-drop to rearrange circles directly from the left-side circle list.

(d) Make the "add people to this circle" feature more obvious by renaming the right-side "+ Add to <circle>" box as "+ Add more people to this circle".

(e) It's really a pain to only have 5 circles visible in the left-side circle list by default. The user should be allowed to decide how many circles are visible by default. Perhaps a resizeable friend list (drag the bottom of the list box to resize) plus a scroll bar (when the current list box can't show all available circles) can solve all this.

3. The right-side "Friend suggestions" has a "x" button to remove a friend candidate that I don't want. This "x" has a color too light, making it not easy to point and click. Should use a darker color.
 
+Bradley Horowitz Super! Why is not accetable my nick "maaaca"? I have it used in my gmail adres and more other accounts on the web!
 
+Yonatan Zunger The problem is that when we see Google people say this "look, you won't really get in trouble as long as it looks like a real name" stuff, we're still faced with stories of people getting randomly locked out of their accounts and then required to provide scans of cable bills or whatever ridiculous thing in order to be allowed back in. So it sounds like you are offering a trap. Go ahead and use your name-sounding name (even though the "Google+ Names Policy" document says you will be at some point required to give "proof" of your name, whatever that means), then later get banned on some signal no one can identify.
 
+Yonatan Zunger My concern stems from the wording in the linked document:

"If we challenge the name you intend to use, you will be asked to submit proof that this is an established identity with a meaningful following. You can do so by providing links to other social networking sites, news articles, or official documents in which you are referred to by this name."

I have very little faith in the way that is stated. it provides no detail on what constitutes sufficient proof of use of that moniker. Is a AIM Screen Name I've held for over 13 years good enough? 12 years of nickserv registration on the IRC network where I live? the fact that the account I'm using is "SteveRestless@gmail.com"(held since the days that gmail required an invite, even!) What sort of "Following" is sufficiently meaningful? are psuedonyms not allowed to the lonely?

After seeing google axe a bunch of well meaning users early on, I lack the blind faith and optimism to take google at its word that I can just sign up as steve restless and be okay. and if you lock me out of the account, you lock me out of numerous other things outside of google which are tied to the account. You'll have to excuse my distrust here, there's some very scary language in that policy document.
 
+Yonatan Zunger Now that you clarified, does it mean that now I can change my name to whatever ridicule thing comes to my mind? I think adding nickname is ok, but can't to stop to feel kind of disappointed: it was a big decision for me to use my real name in a network with such huge public exposure ( I thought this was the rule) , but I did it, and I stand for it, I hope many people will do the same. Now is Yonatan Zunger you real name ? :-)
 
I'm now in the "You have a name change under review." state, to get my preferred punctuation. I wonder if they'll accept my google-groups-search URL as adequate documentation that I've been Bob O`Bob online since before Larry & Sergey even met. I can get Scoble to vouch for me, would that help?
 
Interestingly, not only do I have no clue who +trench coat is (sorry, dude) despite the fact that I've been online since oh about 1986, when I use google search on trench coat (even while logged into this GA) I get tons and tons and tons of links on, well, trench coats and not a single one on this pseudonym. So please... exactly what has he got that lets him use his pseudonym? I echo +Luke Waldron 's questions on what exactly constitutes sufficient proof of some nym.
 
+Bob O'Bob Thats an excellent point. I've been Steve Restless since before I started using the internet. i used to DJ on a college radio station by this name. Google didnt even exist back then.
 
+Martin Kubeček Your nickname in this system is something which is shown in addition to your name -- and it's 100% fine for that to be "maaaca." No documentation or anything necessary; just go set it in your profile.

+Andrew McClure Our objective is not to go around banning people who are established and behaving well in the system. The policy does not say that you will at some point be required to give "proof" of your name; that only happens if we have reason to believe that you weren't providing a name (nb not "your" name) in the first place.

+Luke Waldron No, you're right -- this got messed up early on and you shouldn't have blind faith. We're making changes now because we think that this wasn't right, and it needs to be fixed. We have to rebuild trust by doing the right thing starting now.
 
You're missing the point, Google. Stop telling people what to call themselves. Identity checkpoints are for police states, not the Internet.
 
It's really sad that you couldn't start rebuilding that trust right away. These changes are pretty small for six months' waiting. Even +Elatable has to see that.
 
I don't think the "established identity" clause is enough of an escape hatch to work for people who may have good reason to partition their online identities, hide their gender or other aspects of themselves, or keep their online speech separate from their real-world identities. I stopped posting on G+ months ago because of my unhappiness with Google's handling of the nymwars (though obviously I still comment on other people's posts) and this half-measure isn't enough to bring me back.
 
+Irina Tcherednichenko If you want to change it to "whatever ridiculous thing," i.e. something which isn't a name at all, then no. If you wanted to change it to some random other thing which looks like a name, go right ahead. It was definitely a big decision to use your real name in such a public sphere, but I hope to build a service in which you feel that you made the right decision, and that you get rewarded for doing so.

And yes, Yonatan Zunger is both my real name and my legal name. :)
 
+David Eppstein Check out my big comment at the top of this thread. Established identities aren't the only escape clause here. :)
 
+Yonatan Zunger It would go a VERY long way to see some of these reassurances appear in the policy document. I doubt that, in the event of an appeal, I'd be able to successfully point to this comments thread in my defense. I want to trust google, I really do. I've got a lot invested into google services, but thats precicely why I'm so worried. consequences from a name change here, would hurt me on my phone, and all over the web.
 
By the way, since I don't think I've seen people discussing this, this is also a huge problem--

"It’s important to remember that when you change your name in Google+, you’re changing it across all services that require a Google Profile."

I use Google services for both personal and professional purposes. The professional purposes are much more important than the personal ones. G+ is at best an occasionally amusing diversion and I could stop using it tomorrow if I felt I needed to to no ill effect. I can't stop using Gmail which hosts my business email, Google Apps which I use to manage mail forwarding on my domains, etc.

There's no requirement, in the real world, that I go by the same name at work that I go by around my friends; but for some reason Google wants to impose one. Why is it the name I use to manage my domains needs to be the same name I use to chat with friends about cats? Even if the new "nickname" field worked for my purposes (it doesn't) that doesn't mean I would want it showing up on business emails or goodness knows what other thing my google profile name might leak into.
 
+Andrew McClure I don't think that the name change has to be across all your seperate google logins, I HOPE, if I'm reading that right, that it means the name change takes effect for everything I sign into with steverestless@gmail.com, but my GoogleApps run Luke@mydigitechnician.com gets to remain Luke
 
+Fernando Miguel why would I want to use a crippled Google Page for a personal handle? I am not a brand or selling anything. I just wanna post under the same name I've been posting for over five years, ever since a dual set of stalking incidents resulted in my no longer using any personally identifiable info online again.
 
+Luke Waldron accounts names/identities have nothing to do with email address..... you can (could?) even have an email address on hotmail, or rename your email address on your gapps
 
+Luke Waldron No, I think your reading is correct and a "Google Profile" refers to just one login. I personally am using this same profile for all google services currently though, so for me a name change here means a name change everywhere. I suppose what I might be able to do if I wanted to use slightly different names on Google Calendar vs g+ is create two Google profiles, sign into both simultaneously and use that upper-right-corner feature to switch between them depending on what service I am using. However this seems like a lot of work just to use a Facebook clone!
 
+Andrew McClure: +Luke Waldron is right, and I think that this is a good approach, especially if you want a hard wall between the two. We don't want to support multiple identities within a single account, because it's both very complicated from a product perspective, and because it's a privacy leak waiting to happen.
 
+Cindy Brown +BUGabundo identity dates back to 1996 :\ and no matter what, Google went ahead with their "real name"/name-shapped policy and closed it down.
I ended up creating a page for it, after pages+ came up
 
So the question is, why does anyone have to prove to you who we are?
 
+Andrew McClure to understand why Google persist with a "real names" policy even in the face of the #nymwars, I think you need to look to the emerging "Trusted Identity in Cyberspace" / Identity Ecosystem initiatives, and the huge benefits to an organization like Google of being one of the primary Identity Services in the future of the Identity Ecosystem. I may of course be wrong, but it has always been my assumption (based on oft quoted remarks by Very Senior Google Execs) that the Google+ naming policies have been Google's first toe in the water towards establishing a Trusted Identity Service.
 
+Yonatan Zunger - I'll drop you a private message rather than continuing our discussion on this thread, which is getting somewhat Hydra headed!
 
+Andrew McClure Actually, since google no longer lets me be logged into (and active in) my gmail, and both my Google Apps For Your Domain run domains, in the same browser session (being able to switch with that menu is an unacceptably weak hack IMO.) I just started using both IE and Firefox again, in addition to Chrome. Each browser gets its own account, and I even have Opera sitting ready incase I have a fourth I need to be in at the same time.
 
+Hugh Messenger +Andrew McClure Actually, if you want to know why this policy is still important, check out my big comment at the top. That's actually the straight-up, no messing around answer.
 
Too bad I can't give this a -100. Google says they oppose the kind of crap that China pulls WRT "real names", yet does the EXACT same thing here in the US.
 
While I appreciate Yonatan's diligence in responding to this thread, I'd suggest that this is a horribly ephemeral place to document the fine vagaries of a complex policy.
 
+Yonatan Zunger OK-- I can definitely appreciate that varying name between Google services would be a difficult technical and policy problem.

As far as the thing about "our objective is not to go around banning people who are behaving well in the system" goes-- I'm sure your "objective" is something perfectly sensible, what I do not believe is you can translate that objective into reality. I don't think you actually can separate "good actor" pseudonyms from "bad actor" pseudonyms in any consistent way. And I don't think you can convince your users that they will be protected from a random banning simply because they are good actors. I'm certainly not convinced that using my real name instead of my legal name is currently a safe thing to do, and I can't imagine any of the people I know who quit G+ over this issue are going to come back because of the incredibly ambiguous assurances in the new policy or this thread.

It is important, I think, when hosting an online community to make it unambiguous to users how to follow the rules. We need the security of knowing: I am following the TOS, therefore I am safe. I have seen several versions of that "Google+ Names Policy" document now and there has not been a single revision of it that I can tell, looking at it, how to judge whether I am following the rules or not. The current document says that "if" Google decides to challenge my name at an unknown time, then I will be allowed to keep it if an unknown criteria decides my name is "established" and "meaningful". Both "meaningful" and "established" sound totally subjective to me and I have zero way to tell-- except by submitting myself to the approval process and possibly getting banned-- how to tell if my name is "meaningful" or not. The personal, informal assurances of one Google employee in a comment thread, that in practice this policy will be applied fairly, doesn't really make me feel any more confident because if I get some bad luck and it isn't applied fairly there is no recourse-- and a Google account which (as I think I mentioned above!) I use for business purposes will be negatively impacted.
 
+matt wartell When Linden Lab started using their forums to document the vagaries of their "adult content" policy I took it upon myself to start creating Wiki entries to match them. These eventually became the Second Life Wiki pages on the adult policy. Perhaps something similar could be managed here.
 
It's amazing - the rationalizations by the Googlers here indicate that they are so full of shit it's a wonder they can walk around the office. The comments in this thread provide excellent rebuttals to Google's short-sighted policy, with +Bradley Horowitz and +Yonatan Zunger providing paternalistic rationalizations to their customers and trying to make them believe they've just served them chocolate cake. Unbelievable.
 
+Yonatan Zunger ... that "big comment" you keep referring to does not pan out in terms of actual experience and abilities of members here. All this seems to be doing is making nick-names more visible - which is kinda the opposite of what the #nymwars is all about. This is not a step forward and it is not a step backwards - it is a step sideways being given a positive spin.

You are dealing with a lot of very bright tech types and socially/politically-savvy people who really really know what they are talking about. Look how few people think that nyms lead to trolling for eg. The trouble is that you have information they need in order to understand the conflict properly - information which seems to be a secret. You will never be able to communicate successfully while this goes on. You will never satisfy the nyms issues until the proponents are let-in on the underlying concerns. Until then, all anyone can do is adopt a position and defend it - not the way to healthy communities.
 
+1 to Yonatan for responding to many of the comments here.

preferential treatment for celebs, and "established" bloggers is sad.

I don't think google should worry about names.
The bigger problem is getting rid of the bimbots which have "real names".
 
+Andrew McClure I agree. I think that there's been too much ambiguity, and that in itself creates a chilling effect. I'd like to continue to revise these policies to make them clear and to make dealing with them simple and unambiguous for users.

One thing I'd like to highlight is that we are not trying to distinguish "good actor" pseudonyms from "bad actor" pseudonyms. Someone being a good or a bad actor is completely independent of whether or not they go under a pseudonym, and figuring that out is a matter of understanding their behavior, not their identity. (cf the thread on my reshare of this post -- there's some good discussion of that going on)
 
+Simon Bridge The underlying concerns when the product first launched are different from the underlying concerns now -- as I said before, we've learned a lot since then. The real concern at this point is around the types of communities which form around names versus around handles, as I mentioned above. That's the plain and simple truth, there is nothing else sneaky going on in there.
 
A suggestion about circle sharing:

There is also an interesting thing: When I share a circle, I actually can forget adding myself into that circle before sharing it :-) Maybe circle sharing should remind the user to include himself in the shared circle.
 
Well, I'm going to leave my first responses to this thread in place, but I have to say that +Yonatan Zunger's comments here and in his own thread make me somewhat more hopeful than I sound above.
 
+Anthony Barber You have no idea what a can of worms this can open. One of my best friends has four middle names. Expressing the full field structure of names cross-language is an unbelievable nightmare. We're using the same cheap hack that the international passport authority uses: we give you one field for your given name, one for your family name. You can put any combination of middle names in either. ("Joe R." "Hominid" and so on) Not optimal, but at least it works and it's a hell of a lot simpler.
 
+Yonatan Zunger Ha! I had no idea. But I'd settle for the ability to display that nickname in the middle with no quotation marks. ;-) I didn't even mention the time I ended up working in a company with a guy that had my name and wasn't even an relation! LOL
 
nice info, but when G+ have a specific username like fb or twitter not thrid party,. thanks :)
 
Thank you, +Bradley Horowitz . Please clarify: If I prefer to use a pseudonym, do I just go ahead and change it, wait for the "flag" and then respond with proof that I have an established on-line identity using that pseudonym? When I get flagged, will there be a clear message about how to provide the information? Also, will blogging (and commenting, tweeting, etc.) under that pseudonym for four years be enough to establish my pseudonym as legit? Google Friend Connect is disappearing in March. What other methods will be used to provide proof of my "following"? Thanks again!
 
+Yonatan Zunger Coincidentally, I was just talking about this subject in the context of foreign script. I really wish you could apply some kind of translation or transliteration the way last.fm does:

https://plus.google.com/115423900555666892711/posts/YdxuEZPYFcK

Of course this transliteration would have to be based on the user's input, different people will have different preferred romanizations.

For Google Plus, I was thinking you would want to have two fields, at a minimum:

Full name: "Peter da Silva"
Personal name: "Peter"

In addition, if you use a different name for people using a different language:

Romanization: "Petrus Silvanus" :)

And finally:

Nickname: "Resuna"
Preferred displayed name: "Resuna"
 
+Yonatan Zunger I would like to suggest that your comments get added to the original post (being able to link directly to individual posts in a thread, along with support for threaded comments would really help!) so it will be more clear to people that using pseudonyms instead of real names is okay now.

I also agree with +Luke Waldron that making these changes more clear in the policy documents would come a long way to regain some trust in this issue.
As for requiring name changes to be done across all Google products, I kinda wonder why that really is necessary. Why no allow people to set a single name for all products through the Dashboard, while still allowing separate names for each individual product?
Just like I don't really like the idea of a violation on a single Google product possibly affecting my entire Google profile. It just gives me more reason to split my gmail profile from my g+ google profile, just in case some G+ post ever is regarded as a violation and suddenly also locking me out of my e-mail..

One final note: now that I finally can be shown as 'Filip H.F. "FiXato" Slagter', how about letting me choose how I wish to be displayed on various other sections of G+?
For instance: I prefer "In FiXato's circles (90)" over "In Filip H.F.'s circles (90)". Let me choose what name or part of my name I wish to display there instead of defaulting to the first name.

(Ps. I had to actually look up what cf means, so I would suggest using a comparable word from a non-dead language instead when referring to your previous comments. For all the others wondering about cf:
|cf., an abbreviation for the Latin word confer (the imperative singular form of conferre), literally meaning "bring together", is used to refer to other material or ideas which may provide similar or different information or arguments. It is mainly used in scholarly contexts, such as in academic (mainly humanities, physics, chemistry, and biology) or legal texts. It is translated, and can be read aloud, as "compare".|)
 
Also, the #googleplusupdate hashtag link at the bottom of the original post doesn't seem to work for me..
 
+Yonatan Zunger sure - we are seeing a lot of rhetoric along the lines of "we have learned" and "our attitude is different now" but that has yet to translate into anything concrete which actually addresses (member) concerns about what sort of communities are possible on g+

In this narrow context, what we outside google are being told are the core concerns do not mesh well with what we see being implemented. This suggests either that the relationships are poorly understood within google or that there is information internal not yet available. The result is a lot of people talking past each other. The terms of reference are different. Nothing sneaky needed or implied.

eg. you get a lot of comment about how g+ is not the kind of place where women and political dissedents and bullied kids etc can feel safe ... but if policy were that g+ is not supposed to make these people feel safe - that this is what we are prepared to sacrifice, then fine: that's the policy. The debate is then framed around whether this is a good policy. But that is not what the published policies actually say. Hence the comments.

eg. despite assurances that there is no mechanism for a member to challenge another members profile based on their "name" not being their name, the mechanism to report a profile for some reason still exists and people have been telling you they still suffer under it. The attitude behind the process may well have changed but we cannot see attitude and intentions - we can only see interfaces and consequenses and actions and these are still no different.

Right at the start when a bunch of us were just getting concerned, there was a lot of speculation on what sort of community g+ could be. There were some high hopes of a non-evil meta-media thing and that potential is still there and an easy-steady-as-she-goes approach is to be understood if it is to work long-term. However, the early name policy lead to a picture of g+ being a kind of office-party place of vanilla conversations and informal clique meetings .... and that is what it is starting to look like sure enough.

Now don't get me wrong: you can get a lot done in that sort of model. It's just that if that is the ultimate vision for g+ ... if it is to be just an extension of the corporate society ... then that is a very limited and narrow vision indeed and unworthy of Google.

But that's just my opinion on available data.
I don't have enough information to decide for-real.
(I don't expect to get enough info any time soon either. It's not my job. I'd love it to be my job but I'm also sure there are better people than me for that job :) I mean - at least you are talking.)

To be more than an extension of corporate culture, you need transparency and nyms... not the anarchy-nyms but some sane approach to encouraging constructive use of nyms over the destructive. Not the constitutionalized-due-process type transparency neither but something people can see nontheless. Both are overkill - we all need to remember this is a virtual community. These mechanisms exist now, though I do not think they are as easy to implement as many pro-nyms people seem to imagine. Growing a community is an ambitious exercise and growing a free community takes courage.

A lot of models have been suggested and I certainly don't see such a big subject resolved in just this thread.

The only truly encouraging concrete thing to come out of this announcement is the existence of this discussion at all.
Here's to a constructive multilog in the future :)
 
+Yonatan Zunger - I have no doubt that wanting a "name based" versus "handle based" community is one of the major reasons for the policies, regardless (as +Bob O'Bob pointed out) of whether there is any actual science to back up the gut feeling that a name based community is any more or less convivial than a handle based one. And you may be right on that one - Google+ certainly has a very unique flavor, and I'm still thoroughly enjoying it. But it's hard for me to ignore Schmidt's remark to Carvin in Edinburgh, that "G+ was built primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if we are going to build future products that leverage that information". I obviously have no insider's view of Google+'s development, but I have to assume that Schmidt had more than a little to do with shaping the policies, and the reasons for them.

Also, I'm not actually fundamentally against "Google+ as a Proto Identity Service". We need trusted identities. I do want to be able to interact with people and know they are who they say they are. But as part of a two tiered system, where an identity is either "verified" or it isn't. And as I've said all along, the problem is that the naming policies and the implementation thereof in Google+ fall between two stools. They give the illusion of "real" names, while not actually providing any mechanism for trust. I've been patiently waiting for a mechanism whereby the Great Unwashed can obtain that little "Verified" checkbox, and had kind of hoped that sending Google copies of my DL and Passport back when I had my little "name problem" might have gotten me Verified. Along with the fact that my Android Market account has the same Gmail address, and you have a Visa card with the same name on it on file for that. But so far it seems to be more like a Merit Badge that gets handed out to folk with > X number of followers.

It just seems to me that this whole mess could be cleared up by simply providing a clear path to becoming "Verified", and clearly stating in the name policies that if you don't mind not being Verified, you can use any "name shape" you want (and that you will never be asked to change it because an algorithm decided it didn't look "real" enough). Today's changes go someway towards solving the "nickname" issue, but do nothing to solve the serious, ideological issues which underly most of the #nymwars debate.
 
+Hugh Messenger I would suggest that Google Checkout would be a more useful starting point for an identity system. :)
Matt R
+
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4
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this isn't a fix for the idiocy. Either allow all people to use any identity they want, or don't provide g+. Any compromise in the middle is just unacceptable. Nobody asked to compromise about the fact that not using their own name is a benefit/boon.

Google, you are wasting your own resources policing your own site. For what, exactly? No benefit to the user, that's for sure.
 
[[I'm going AFK for a bit, I shall return!]]
 
+Yonatan Zunger, +Bradley Horowitz, +Natalie Villalobos :
I would like to make a suggestion, that it would be GREAT if we could set to which circles that our Nickname will appear.
Because, some people have been given nicknames by different people.
For example, College students and Family members would have called an individual in two different names.
:)
 
You guys still don't get it, do you...
 
+Bradley Horowitz "Bradley Horowitz (elatable)" would also have been a valid scree shot ;-) smiley's are not graphical here we need grahical smiley.
 
Please.. no graphical smileys :/


*sticks to his textual emoticons..

Edit:
To elaborate, graphical representations:
- tend to often not clearly show the intended emoticon, (here's looking at you DeviantArt, with your horrible :P smiley (http://e.deviantart.net/emoticons/letters/=p.gif#),
- not cover all possible variations of smileys/emoticons
- can't be shown in a single graphical style that will suit everyone
- can break formatting or valid sentences (such as colons before or after parentheses)

Anyway, whether or not to support graphical smileys is rather off-topic imho.. If you want it, I would suggest using the Send feedback feature to make your feature request/suggestion.
 
Honestly... WHY does being anonymous require that you have a specific name like Chuck is Cool or Anonymous4432? Just call yourself John/Jane Smith or anything else that would be remotely similar to a real name and you're set. Google isn't going to crack down on you for that.

If you want true anonymity the name shouldn't really matter in my opinion.

If you just want to be known by a "tag/gaming name", then Google just handed you the perfect way to do that. Which I am happy to see.
Sean S
+
1
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I'd like to see two new fields in my profile's "About" tab: age and date last logined to Google Plus. Like other fields on the profile page, it would be optional and only visible to the Circles I select.
Also, I'd like to be able to see who's signed in to Google Plus by going to their profile page. If someone in my Circle is signed in, display it on the main stream page (maybe on the right column). This is useful if you see family, friends, etc. and want to start a hangout.
 
+Sean Saguansin I agree, although I would love to see a whole lot more optional or custom fields to add information into my profile. I'm sure it will come someday. :)

I would like to have spaces to put my computer specs, equipment specs, gaming information, etc.

I want birthdays as well. It was one of the few things that was useful on Facebook. (I have imported all of the birthdays off Facebook into Gmail and set reminders.. but it's nice to see on a reminder on a website too)
 
+Terry Cameron "happy birthday" threads were, to me, the exemplar of the very worst kind of totally-devoid-of-conversational-value part of Facebook, and alone they almost drove me to quit FB long before G+ arrived. I'd welcome you to have them, but only after I have a feature or setting to completely block those specific threads without having to block people.
 
I wouldn't be quite so pissed off about much of this if it weren't for the fact that
- I can't use multiple gmail identities within the same browser (google fucking logs everything else out if I change it)
- I used to use google apps to get around that, which changed last year (and really fucked me up) so now I am forced to use
multiple browsers
- and now the name G+ forces me to use -- that name shaped thing - is migrated without my permission onto all the rest of the google services on that account
- I was especially displeased to find the same threatening message of shutting all stuff down when I tried to take the name from G+ imposed into the google account (which had NO such name requirement when I set that up several years ago) off the google account after G+ put it there w/o my approval.

So I'm already way bent out of shape, and not very much appeased by this. I'm also unclear on what has actually changed. There was a stupid "nickname" field when I first signed on (invite only stage tyvm) which I promptly filled, which never appeared anywhere. That's still there, there doesn't seem to be anything new.

So, I'm grumpy and staying that way so far...
 
Got flagged,
provided links to proof that my name in an established online identity,
appeal got dismissed.

Still on grace-period until Jan 27th

Was my optimism about this misplaced ?
 
+Bob O'Bob Yeah I'm not looking for the Happy Birthday threads, I want reminders of peoples birthdays so I don't forget. lol
 
+Jaz Emminger Hey, I' m one of this users.

A friend was banned from Google+ because he tried to use his nickname. The result: since then, I used Google+ less than 5 times the last months. In Facebook before I deleted my account some friends had all type of nicknames, and there is no problem with this, but in this aspect Google is more restrictive. I waited a lot of time for a solution, and this is not enough for me sorry. I want simply to use a nickname of my choice, no any type of real name, so with my google account I will do the same that I did with my facebook account, I will delete it. :(

+Terry Cameron In my case, I don' t want a stupid nickname, but also I don' t want to use a name that looks real, simply a nickname of my choice. And I really dislike that Google can ask you for a driver' s license or another document to check your identity, because there are people with non common names and they can also be affected by this.
 
On a semi-related note, my birth date is incorrect and there doesn't seem to be a way to correct it. Is that feature coming too?
 
To those of you who seem so puzzled as to why we want handles rather than use "named shaped" things, I see it in my case as a matter of honesty. I'm being upfront about the fact that I'm not telling you my name, I am using a handle that has some meaning to me, and I have tried to select something that is unique and instantly identifiable as me. It feels far more honest to do that than to run around as one of hundreds of "Jane Doe". I would have far less objection to running handles through some kind of taste meter (like personalized license plates are) so that you don't have to deal with SEXXXMNKY and PU55Y or whatever, instead of this arbitrary hoop jumping.

And I still haven't figured out who trench coat is without going to his G+ site. So can you tell me how his nym was popular enough to qualify?
 
+Cindy Brown you should be able to use multiple accounts in one browser these days. You first have to (for each account), go to Account Settings (reachable by clicking on your email address near the righthand side of the top bar -- left of the notification box and share box) and select Edit next to "Multiple sign-in". Follow the instructions to enable.

It does have some limitations, so it's possible it won't work for your specific case, but I've found the limitations to not be too restrictive at least for my usage patterns. I switch between several accounts (including @gmail and @mydomain accounts) this way and it seems to work pretty well.
 
+Yonatan Zunger "Back tick, as in ASCII 0x60?"
That's the one. However, I have now received the "your name does comply with the Google+ Names Policy" email from a reviewer, and the notice is gone from my profile, yet the change does not appear to have been applied. I think someone on the review team is unable to distinguish it from the apostrophe. But it is nice to have an email approving at least some version.
 
First "Nickname" Last. Or First Last (Nickname).

Yeah, um, this is totally not going to work for any of the people I know who were chased off by the REAL NAMES ONLY policy. Because for various reasons they would rather not have their meatspace name associated with what they do online.

Which means that despite the fact that I'm currently comfortable with using my real name online, I've got pretty much nothing to drive me to use G+. I'd just be speaking to a void. It's a shame. Circles was so nicely implemented.
 
I started reading this before going to bed last night (gmt+1) and just felt I had to see what happened this morning but somehow I wish I hadn't!

Strange that suddenly everyone that "I'm just on G+ 2-3 times each month/never" happen to be here at the same time! This thread is packed with haters and troll-wannabes, sure I can see that a small portion of people might really be afraid to use their real name for one or another reason but the majority of people that whine here just want their "imbahnickz" in place so they can flame other people without having to stand for it themself!

Atleast with my circles I feel that having real names behind a post makes the discussions a lot more sensible and mature then for example other horrible places like fb/twitter... it's much easier to diss someone/something when it's not really you but "species8472" that's doing it instead!

Google is adding about 1 new feature each day to google+, that's a lot of features since I joined the closed beta, the changes are enormous and I know will flame me on this saying well why didn't they add this sooner" or "and see, it's still not working like it should" etc. etc... well just because they opened it up to the public that doesn't mean they are out of the beta! if you can't tolerate it then please, go back to fb, twitter or your preffered social network and start a new post whining about how bad it is here!
 
+Erik Näsström FYI, some of us many-times-a-day users felt this was news and used email to inform infrequent users.
 
Erik, we can't do that; G+ is baked into google for good now. So we need to get them to be sensible about this.
 
+Bradley Horowitz OK ----- Well let me ask you this question - cause I am very thrilled with this idea... However, I've sent in my ID - was VERIFIED for WHO I am... (My real name) --- But my pseudonym "LyricsExpress" or "Lyrix" which I have used for YEARS online and proved with documentation as a writer and business - etc... Was turned down - and I was BLOCKED ------ THEN.... I was approved --- and CHECK MARK Verified... Then I changed my profile picture (which we women do all the time) and lost my VERIFICATION check mark... LOLs...

So - here is my question... Will I get my CheckMark Verification back (since I did send in my ID).... ??? And IF.... I want to change to my pseudonym Will I get my verification back? Or if I do get it back under my "REAL" name... and change to a Pseudonym... Will I lose it if I do get it?

And can you please not make people lose their Verifications Check marks for changing or updating profile information - because we want to keep current - and we ALL like to change our pictures here and there...

Thanks! and Bradley - have a GREAT DAY... I think G+ is the best all around.
 
Sorry, but this is still completely unacceptable.

It does not solve the PRIMARY complaint many have made, which is the lack of an "approved" way to be totally anonymous (i.e. for your own personal safety, comfort, etc., not even Google knows your real name). Nor does it address the many issues that people with legitimate pseudonyms have because their pseudonyms don't fit Google's idea of "name-shaped". You have only managed to carve out a special exception for some "well-known" (how well-known?) individuals, leaving the rest of us in exactly the same boat we were in before.

JWZ is right -- if Google wants Plus to be a comprehensive social network, open to as many as possible, you should completely STOP trying to impose any idea of what a name should be, and let individuals decide that for themselves.

You need to decide, going forward, which is more important -- do you want a community that is all-inclusive, or one that meets your professional standards (with respect to names, at least)? If you want the former, you will have to abandon the latter, and you need to do so NOW (ideally, you should have done so when you first started getting negative press, but oh well). Even so, it may already be too late.

If you want the latter, well, carry on then.
 
Ah, Thanks +Bob O'Bob, that explains how they found out! thanks for clearing that out for me :D

+Kevin Marks, the latest numbers I saw was that we're 90M users here now, more then 60% log on each day and more then 80% each week... how many % of those do you think really really need a pseudonym to feel safe here and how many want it for the above stated reason! I'm pretty sure that most are happy as it is!


Don't forget that changing the name here changes it across all their services... I'm happy that I can see who the e-mails are coming from at a glance, without having to know who "girlnextdoor94" is :D
 
+Yonatan Zunger, these things are 180-degrees opposed:

"Trying to define 'real' names is a mug's game, anyway."

"If you want to change it to 'whatever ridiculous thing,' i.e. something which isn't a name at all, then no. If you wanted to change it to some random other thing which looks like a name, go right ahead."

You can't on the one hand admit that it's impossible to define what a "real name" is or looks like, and then make that very impossible thing a criterion for what names are acceptable on G+. The statement that mononyms still flag automatically proves that Google still cannot adequately define what a real name "looks like" (because that's impossible).

When you get right down to it, there are no "real" names -- just a list of pseudonyms we are each more or less commonly known by. This is not only true in practice, but often in law as well -- "legally" changing your name in the US and various other countries is as simple as beginning to use the new name.

I echo the comments of others who wonder why it is that Google is spending what must by now be thousands of man-years and hundreds of millions (maybe even billions?) of dollars on a policy that they can never implement correctly, even in theory, and that generates bad will from potential users whether implemented perfectly or poorly.
 
+Peter da Silva - the impression that I've always gotten is that a Google+ profile would eventually become "The One Ring To Rule Them All", binding all the many and various Google Foo services under a single identity. And if I was King Of Google, I'd then create a "confidence" score for each identity, based on a variety of factors ... "have they submitted verifiable photo ID", "do they have a Google Checkout account with a matching CC card name", "do they have a mobile used for two step authentication which matches their profile contact number", "can we scrape up verifiable social data from the social contacts listed in their profile" etc etc.
 
You still don't get it!
* You still need to use your real name, the Nickname is only an addition.
* For pseudonyms you need to proof to Google that you are commonly known by that name
* You claim that it's only a small issue because only 0,1% complained. You don't realise that everyone has already left and the rest left because all of their friends continued or restarted microblogging on Twitter instead.
* "it appears either in the middle of your actual name (Lance “Lancealot” Ulanoff) or at the end in parenthesis." You don't get it. Many people don't want everyone on the internet to associate their nicknamed identity with their real name! There's what your boss may know and there's what your friends may know and people have used different identities to separate since the dawn of the internet!!!
* Your concept of online identities is wrong!

What about discontinuing using Google Ads and look around for others for a month or so? (That could also lower prices. ;) ) Why do we fund a company that clearly doesn't understand or care about the reality of what happens to BE on the Internet since 19xx?
 
Seeing the features Google put their resources on, I have an impression that they consider G+ as a platform for celebrities or politicians rather than connecting individuals and that's why they don't like users using pseudonyms.
Hope I am wrong...
Sean S
 
+Susan Fox ,
There's what your boss may know and there's what your friends may know and people have used different identities to separate since the dawn of the internet!!!

That's why there are Circles. When you post, you choose which Circles you post to.
That being said, I have issues with comments to posts being indexed and searchable. There are posts with topics (polical, religious, etc.) that can be controversial that you may not want people you know personally to see. If you post an opinion on a political topic, for example, and your boss has an opposing viewpoint and sees your comment, that could cost you your job in some cases.
If you comment on someone's post, it appears in the search results when you search your name. The only work around for now is to use my last name initials (if that's permitted) and put my full last name in the "Other names" field in my profile's "About" tab. For me, that would be "Sean S".
 
Interesting is why anyone thinks I want to use my "official name" at all in G+? But creating an alternate [nickname only] profile isn't a solution until google keeps inactivating them; basically this is a hack instead of the obvious solution: let people create nickname profiles for social networking and one for other google identities, and link them in the background if they wish to help google data collection of individuals (since we all know that's how google gets income from us). It's been already said: people would prefer nickname identities for net circles and official name identities for business circles; seme would prefer "nickname (official name)", some would only use „localised” quotes intead of "USA" quotes, etc. I do not see the point why limit people to choose and build their identities, it's the personas which generate the money (feed customised search, shopping, stats sold, adwords, etc.), not the spying on people (unless of course google got into the national defense and police business, now, well, that I think about it... why would they need the official names...).
 
+Stb Hernández it is a great opinion changer when your account gets suspended until further notice. I didn't flag you for educational purposes, others may do as well. Some people are happy to be ignorant, no harm in that, but I reckon it's not a bad attitude if one try to form his/her opinion about others cautiously.
 
+Luke Waldron since chrome v16 you can have multiple browser profiles at the same time.
if you have cookie problems with multi-session enable, try that, and have each window on it's own profile. I find it a very decent workaround.
but ofc, as +Yonatan Zunger said before, that is a privacy leak waiting to happen
 
While this is a big step forwards I am in the unfortunate position of still not being able to add my username (zed0) as a nickname as it contains a number. This doesn't meet Google+'s naming standards, however I do get called this both online and offline a large portion of the time. While I realise that Google wants to avoid the situation where everyone has names like "(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻" it would be nice to have the freedom to use the nicknames we are accustomed to. If you really want to account for every name someone is legitimately going to want to use then have a look at Patrick McKenzie's post on the subject: http://old.kalzumeus.com/2010/06/17/falsehoods-programmers-believe-about-names/
 
+Sai I remain concerned about the existence of any facts supporting either version of the name/handle argument. It now seems to have been totally rewritten into, more or less, a "would it bother Scoble?" rule. There's still nothing but anecdotes behind it. I pick on Robert, but we've been friends nearly 20 years. Anecdotally, I too feel a little but uneasy with handles sometimes, especially when they have trailing numerics, but the troll rules need to pick off the trolls regardless of name-form. Or if the troll rules aren't good enough, maybe they should recruit experienced spam fighters.
 
Great move and thanks for listening. BTW for weeks on end my Irish apostrophe (O’) was regarded as ‘obscure’ punctuation and threw up all sorts of problems!
 
+Filip H.F. Slagter coming from a thread system SN (statusnet) I can assure you that threaded comments is far far from useful.... it becames really hard to find new comments. top-down is much better!
but you can improve it, by adding a sort of link-to the original reply-to comment!

I also agree that being able to choose which "alias" we want to show across the board would be better!
 
Cindy: You don't need Crome for that. With /u/0 /u/1 /u/2 (multi account feature of G+, Mail, Calendar, YouTube... NOT however Blogger) ...you can be logged in with as many accounts at once as you wish.
Just the +1 -buttons outside the G+ website don't consider other then the first account.
 
In my opinion, forcing people to have their real name access able publicly restricts conversation and interaction. I like to discuss political issues, among other things, but such is somewhat of a taboo. Also, I am not naive enough to not realise that employers won't look for you online. They may easily discriminate based on what find. Whether consciously or subconsciously, you can lose a job opportunity based on what you or someone you associate with posts online, and it will be hard to prove the discrimination.

The solution for me is to never use my real name publicly online for my personal life. If I post anything online under my legal name, it will be purely for professional reasons, and nothing more.
 
+Yonatan Zunger you raise two points against having multiple identities within a single account, but I really do think my proposal (again, http://goo.gl/qMlaQ) would address both problems:

"(It's) very complicated from a product perspective" → it would use the same infrastructure and paradigm Pages do.

"it's a privacy leak waiting to happen" → if correctly implemented, it would prevent privacy leaks. Interaction between your identities would be impossible, for example.
 
+Erik Näsström WOOHOO! Love this: the majority of people that whine here just want their "imbahnickz" in place so they can flame other people without having to stand for it themself!
Sorry all haters, but that's just how I feel too. It's harder to start being really obnoxious with your own name and in public where all the posts are searchable (by your friends, employers and family).
+Yonatan Zunger and good Google folks, there are a lot of us regular people who appreciate what you're doing, thanks.
This free and voluntary service is not a must-use or lifeline for anyone. There are other choices out there if Google+ is not to your liking. There, that's just my opinion.
 
"With Google+, we aspire to make online sharing more like sharing in the real world."

Seriously, this actually is not like sharing in the real world. I don't bug people about their names in real life, even if they sound unusual.
 
+Erik Näsström what's wrong with using a pseudonym? you think a Jane Doe is much better?
want to know me? come hangout with me, lets meet up several times IRL.
it's not a field name that makes me more non-troll. my initial account identity was used online for over 15 years. to me and to everyone that ever interacted with me Online and then Offline that's as real as it gets!
stop trolling
 
oh look +Sai is starting to appear right on the post fields...
but not on the +mentions lol

EDIT:
after posting his nick is fine :S
oh well, must be cache somewere
 
+Bradley Horowitz , your point about the 'type of community' is based on old school ideas from forums and the like - asynch follow doesn't carry the same risks. We don't want an internet where there is a power that holds the keys to our identities. We know it works well without that. You are abusing your position on the podium spreading lies about the dangers of anonymity, and disregarding the risks that come with cataloguing humanity. You are damaging the culture of the net. You are playing into the hands of those that want SOPA etc - the control freaks. Stop being evil.

If you are going to deploy an identity service, then be honest about it and sell it on it's merits.
 
+Stb Hernández the thing behind all this, is why does anyone has to prove anything about their identity?
if I develop an identity online and interact with my online connections that way, why should I use anything that is a name-shape?
to me, that's simply clueless... and ppl saying we should all use name-shaped alias (even if just fake names) dont see the bigger picture
 
+Jaana Nyström In 20 years of Usenet I never saw the slightest evidence of that. People quite happily posted the most appalling things under their own name. Facebook shows the same dynamic. You can look at Failbook or search in Openbook to verify this yourself.
 
+Jaana Nyström, thanks! and as you say: "There are lot of us regular people who appreciate what you're doing, thanks" there is to little thanks in this thread to what google is doing, and yes, for people that can't stand using their real name... there are other services!

+Fernando Miguel, if I happen to pass Portugal sometime I might take you up on that offer :D... just kidding, instead of asking what I have against nym's the real question is what people have against using their real name... yes, I said above that there are probably a small amount of people that fear for their freedom/life but I still think the majority of people in this thread that are arguing for total anonymity isn't that crowd!
lets make a real life connection, not with names but with people... if you're watching some protesters somewhere most of them show their faces (unless they are afraid of getting pepper sprayed) and behave peacefully... (ie. showing their identity)... but there are always some that have huge hoodies and is covering everything up even before anything goes violent!

simple question... who do you think have something non-peaceful action planned?

you can't deny that not having your name associated with what you are saying makes it easier, newspapers have always been full with comments or letters from "Laundryman", "Crazy Catlady" etc etc. and tbh, there's nothing stopping anyone from making a complete fake account with a made up name... as long as it isn't Snowman79 or something silly like that!

Now I havn't had known people online for 15 years like you but I do know some people here on G+ that only known my other nicks for the last 5-6 years and so far I havn't had any problems they knowing my name, why should it be... if they get confused now I have the ability to add it to my name and that's perfect!
 
+Stb Hernández No, circles sharing isn't like real life. It's not even like "not the internet" real life. We don't wander around with nametags pinned to our chests all the time.
 
+Bradley Horowitz This has been so useful... I have been longing to add my initials to my firstname lastname.. To avoid confusion.
I also hope that this stops the annoying tagging that initially used only my firstname lastname combination.


Thanks for this change however it would be really great if you allow the nickname to be represented as following as well

nickname firstname lastname right now its
firstname lastname or firstname nickname lastname or firstname lastname (nickname)
 
In my opinion what needs to be implemented is different names can be seen by different circles. So say on my public profile and bsusiness related circles I can be Dave Elliott but on a different circle I can be an alias when i feel the need to keep my anonymity or for a stage name etc.
 
+Erik Näsström +BUGabundo was my identity. ppl knew me for that, online and many offline. many still call me that or abbreviations of that, have that on their address book. I have nothing against real world names, dont really care if employees come here reading my personal though (just last week a person to whom i sent my CV tried to Friend me on FB LOL).
you have no idea how many ppl think Fernando Miguel is my real name, since i changed it everywhere online. i even have a credit card with that identity... proves nothing!
I'm much more than a Name, real or not! and I act differently dependently where I am, if Im at home, drinking with friends, at work, or at a social event, If i'm on FB, on G+ or twitter, even diff IRC channels I act differently.
we do as we see fit per place we are and with whom we are.
the way we show our identity is not to mask that, is just how we feel.
and consciently or not, my online identity is not the same as one of my several ones offline
 
Two suggestions to make G+ easier to use:

1. Put circle operations closer.

A friend of mine works at Twitter, and she said this after trying Google+:

"Google+ is really powerful feature wise, and executed extremely well. If they can figure out how to keep users from feeling disoriented most all the time, it will become a killer service." (https://plus.google.com/u/0/103710418967850383211/posts/396jqszGTue)

I find the word "disoriented" very to-the-point, because currently G+ scatters its circle operations at three sides of the screen: to create a circle you must find the feature at the top of the screen (the Circles button); to view a circle's stream you must find the feature on the left of the screen (the circle list); to add a person to a circle you must find the feature on the right of the screen. So you see, circle operations are distributed all over the screen, making it far-stretching for a beginner to collect all these clues together...

The ideal setting should be that all these operations be placed closely, all in one place. A quick solution is to add a "Manage circles" link below the left-side circle list, which will open the Circles page.

2. Start with only one circle.

Besides putting circle operations closer, it is also very important to hide complexity for beginners. As outlined in my essay "Google+: Grand Strategy for 2012" (https://plus.google.com/u/0/102291835965130378165/posts/NyuJGvzusnD), for beginners we only need to show one circle: "Friends", and all operations are applied to this circle by default (e.g. new posts are sent to Friends by default; new people are added to Friends by default, etc.). This is also how Facebook currently works -- it lets you post to either "Public" or "Friends".

The advantage of starting with only one circle is obvious: a beginner won't need to worry about which circle to post to (or how), which circle to reshare a post to (or how), which circle to add people to (or how), how to reorder circles, and all other problems introduced by the complexity of a multi-circle environment.

In fact, the left-side circle list can be hidden by default, and only be shown when the user has already learned how to create a second circle.
 
"It's harder to start being really obnoxious with your own name and in public where all the posts are searchable (by your friends, employers and family)."

Except that you can easily close that loophole with the privacy controls, or with Google+'s new "Pages" feature. And some people simply don't care about social pressure, they're obnoxious anyways. I fail to see how this policy really addresses the issue.
 
+Stb Hernández That it is not the same is exactly my point - there's no reason to imagine this will turn into 4chan because of pseudonyms. It's different. You say everyone viewing a page is a commodity, and every government is a fascist censor - well, not yet, but that's where things are headed, and Google's attitude isn't helping. Most of us actually don't want that.
 
+Stb Hernández with all due respect, i feel you are confusing anonymity with identity! I dont want to be anonymous. I want to be able to choose what ever I feel like it identifies me!
if google+ is an identification service, then allow me to be seen everywhere like that
 
If I see a profile with an incomplete real name, e.g. "Fred B", and wish to report the profile so you give Fred a nudge to expand his surname, what option should I choose? It's not a "fake profile", Fred's real and his surname begins with B. It's not "impersonation" either. (I've asked this in multiple channels and never got an answer.)
 
+Stb Hernández If I meet someone, say we're both waiting in a doctor's office for a painful and slightly embarassing medical procedure. We're nervous. We talk, we and up spending half an hour (well, sure, the doctor's NEVER ready when you get there) talking about stuff, and our names never come up. Why should they? We're still sharing, in real life. It's a doctor's office, it doesn't get much more real than that.

My brother and I call each other "Fred". It's a silly thing, but we've been doing it for 40 years. No, that's not either of our given names. Yes, we've told people that's our names. I'm Fred, this is Fred. I've told waiters at restaurants that my name's Fred, so that the say "Fred, your table is ready". Why? Why not? Who does it hurt? It's mildly amusing. They don't need to know my name's really Quincy Armbruster III. Whether it is or not.

I started using the handle rw-rw-rw- on IRC. It's a silly joke, it's a file mode that translates to 666. The file mode of the beast. Ha ha (only serious, because you really don't want to use that mode, but that's a digression of a different color). I've put that on my nametag at conventions. People who know me, know who I am, and recognize me by that name. People who don't know me, don't, and it doesn't matter, because they don't know me.

The guy at the store halfway to work knows me as "that guy who buys a pack of trail mix and a Doubleshot, and sometimes a Monster when I'm out of Doubleshots". I pay with cash. We talk about stuff, sometimes, when the store's not busy. I don't know his name. He doesn't know my name. It's never come up.

The guy at my laundry knows me as "Mister Peter". It's not my last name, but that's how he talks. That's cool.

When I'm talking with my family in Australia, my name's "James", because my father's name was also "Peter". Sometimes my name's "Pete". I'll even accept "Jim". I had a couple of nicknames at school, and used them, and there were lots of people who only knew me by my nicknames.

My last name is "da Silva". It's got a space in it. This causes all kinds of problems with forms, even non-computerised ones. I ended up somehow getting mail for "Daffy Silva" from one store. No big deal. That's kind of like one of my nicknames from school, anyway. That's what they know me by. Why should I care?

So, no, I don't walk around with an ID on. I understand there's some places where it's important to know the name of everyone you talk to. To me that's kind of weird, but it's one of those cultural things, I guess.

And in real life, my "family circle" and my "work circle" have different names for me. And my "restaurant circle" has another one, and my "convention circle" has a third. And my "store and business circle" has a whole bevy of misspellings, nicknames, and handles, and my "embarrassing doctors office" circle has no name at all.
Paul W.
+
1
2
1
 
So my established online identity is sabret00the, my first name is Paul. In some circles I'm known as Paul (sabret00the). However, I still can't seem to get G to allow me to be that. Why not?
 
+Stb Hernández They are not simply being forced to act this way. They are trying to become the US government's 'identity service', surreptitiously. And they have a lot of influence.

Read some posts tagged with 'nymwars' to get a perspective on (a) why the whole idea that anonymity and pseudonyms necessarily degrade the quality of interaction is a load of hogwash, and (b) for some of the many good reasons to allow anonymous and pseudonymous communication.

This is all about anonymity. It's about filtering the information; owning the information. Information is power. This is the information age. Our right to privacy and our ability to communicate without unwanted filters is what is at stake and what is under attack.
 
Nice feature but disappointed to know that I can change once in three month period.
 
+Peter da Silva I value G+ representing each person by a single profile connected to their normal real-life name. I feel this makes each individual be more responsible in their actions, e.g. polite in comments, than elsewhere, helping slow the degeneration of the environs.
 
Tried and failed. My nickname "herr_e_aus_B" will not be accepted by Google. The only solution ist to avoid the underscores and use dashes instead (herr-e-aus-B). So sad, Google. You meant it well, but failed in the details.
 
Nice move. :D

I already use this option. :)
 
what constitutes a meaningful following +Bradley Horowitz ? i've been using my pseudonym in business and online for over a decade. I own a domain name of my pseudonym and have done work in the gaming industry under that pseudonym...does this count? i got my name dispute message over the weekend after being a G+ user since you still needed to be invited so it's not like i'm a brand new account. Seriously would like a better appeal process than "hey we don't like your name, click here for a review that might not do anything for you and you have no way of adding additional info to"
 
I'd really just like to use the name I use everywhere else online.
 
I've already sent my feedback about this. I'd like to add and reiterate: No population deserves to be marginalized like this. Google+ is used as a platform for self-expression -- you yourself refer to it as an identity service. To limit the expression of those who may be intimidated by the prospect of having their online identity attached to their real-life identity in any way is disrespectful not just to those users, but to the service itself, regardless of how its lead designer sees it.

I am leaving this service, and not coming back until this absurd policy is fixed.
 
I don't understand what the fuss about this "change" is about : you allowed some G+ members to use pseudonyms since the day G+ was launched... but your hypocrisy and downright sophistry in not letting everyone else use pseudonyms if they chose was breathtaking.
 
+Erik Näsström Based on stats from other social networks, about 10-20% want pseudonyms. The number is higher among women and minorities. I don't think Google wants to write off 20 million users. And what makes you think "J. Smith" is more real than "girlnextdoor". Google doesn't validate "J. Smith". They are asking to validate "girlnextdoor".
 
+Ralph Corderoy You write that you "value G+ representing each person by a single profile connected to their normal real-life name."

I understand your feelings here, even though I think they're based on a false premise ... my experience is that people are more than happy to behave in appalling ways under their real-life names. Even in real life!

The problem is that even if I were to grant this point, for the sake of discussion, Google isn't doing that. They have never had any objection to people using real-looking names that aren't theirs, so long as they weren't impersonating someone else. I could pick a name like +Elizabeth Bimmler or +Mark Shaney and Google would be happy to let me use it as much as I want. Not only that, +Yonatan Zunger has said it's perfectly fine to have multiple accounts to keep your identities separate.

So, I guess you think you've got a valid beef with "John D" type names, but I don't think Google is going to help you.
 
This will not allow me to use my nickname instead of my real name - so this does nothing for me.

Was this even a problem? Couldn't everyone add their nickname into their real name?
 
+Marcin Ciszewicz I happen to be Australian myself, and in Australia. I am an optimist, yes, but that's beside the point. I won't rehash all the nymwars arguments (which you should read for the reasons why we should allow anonymity - the best of which help the less fortunate, the abused and the oppressed), but will remind you that I did mention async follow. G+ has it, and it is the reason why Twitter is not 4chan. Your last point is what I was getting at about Google's influence. No, they shouldn't be everything to everyone, but they have huge influence, and they rule a huge section of the internet. To discriminate against those that need anonymity is well within their right as purely profit-seeking corporate entity, but it's not the right thing to do.
 
+Sean Saguansin , +Susan Fox I don't want my name plus nym together. It doesn't matter that I could theoretically set my circles up for privacy. You think G+ is the only place I use my nym? All there needs to be is this publicly viewable link between name and nym (why do you think I was so displeased about the migration of Cindy Brown from G+ to the gmail) for someone to start looking around for my other stuff online (twitter, disqus, wordpress, etc), now knowing the name that goes with browneyedgirl65 is Cindy Brown.

I reiterate my question about meaningful usage of one's handle. Look at my profile and look at the number of social media I list for browneyedgirl65. I even went and set up the GA author link stuff with my wordpress site. What more does Google want? Why is this list not enough for Google to concede that browneyedgirl65 is an established nym that can be used on G+?

I'm aware of Google's multiple login feature. No thanks. Privacy leak, much? I hate Facebook's third party thing where if you're logged into FB, you suddenly start seeing your friends on random third party websites (I won't even comment on sites that force you to be logged into FB only in order to leave comments). Not only did I use adblock to stop that, I started putting FB into its own browser instance to sandbox it. Why would I be any more sanguine about what Google is observing me doing elsewhere, especially once you link accounts together to use the multiple login feature?
 
Carrying ID, like a drivers licence, is not even remotely close. Unless you are law enforcement, someone needing to verify identity for a transaction, or you have stolen my wallet, you won't see my licence as it will be hidden away in my wallet. If someone asks my name, I might tell them Robert, or maybe just Rob, or if your old fashioned, Mr. Smith. I likely wouldn't say I'm Robert Smith to most people (and before anyone tries a gotcha, my name is in fact not Robert Smith).

Some have also mentioned there are other places. Two problems with that. The people I know here I don't know many of them at other places. Second, some have mentioned Facebook as an alternative. Facebook, in fact has a stringent name policy where they explicitly state to use your ID name. If you dislike the discourse there, well, it isn't the name policy that is a difference between there and here.
 
+Jaana Nyström +Erik Näsström The theory that the only people who want pseudonyms are the haters is popular, but it's not born out by the facts. The majority of people who want and use pseudonyms are women and minorities. The major reason they want it is to prevent persecution by people who are using their real names. Even Google+ has admitted this. Yonatan in a comment on his post has said that Google started out thinking that real names would keep people from being jerks, and then discovered that in fact people are jerks regardless of their name.
 
So I take it I'm one of the few people that loved the fact that + forced you to use your real name? Cause people on Facebook are out of control.
 
+Fernando Miguel I didn't get your point. I only want that close friends find me through my nickname they (and only they) know, and that my collegues only see my full name in my profile.
 
+Olivier Lessard-Lavallée I agree completely 100%. If google implemented the ability to choose how to be displayed based on who your writing to or including it would take them to the top by far for me, there are plenty of controversial topics that i have no problem talking about and i'd like to be able to share my opinion without having the negative prospect that someone looking for my business online happens to stumble upon my political affiliation, opinion on abortion, or whatever else and then decide that they would rather go somewhere else because they do not agree with me. I don't have the time to start all over with a new email address because of the amount of time and effort i've put into my profile, being circled, circling, etc.
 
+Cindy Brown agreed. what they are doing is alienating everyone who isn't trying to use a nym to abuse it and those that are going to are finding ways regardless. I've seen one person create literally 10 accounts with the exact same name because his kept getting blocked. I mean, what the hell? what exactly is google checking if the damn guy dosent even have to try and be deceptive to get back on?
 
+Marcin Ciszewicz Wow, you've been here ages.

Nobody is attacking Google employees - just their policy in this particular matter. I happen to be a huge Google fan myself. And Google itself is not a person (though US law makes that arguable) so we don't have to worry about hurting it's feelings. There is precious little pressure on corporations to act morally at present, so I feel no guilt.

It's not a matter of what I think is 'fine and dandy'. The reasons that the government, MPAA, and the corpocracy offer to justify this fine grained monitoring and destruction of our privacy are nonsense, and we are losing rights that we once had for no other reason than to maintain the status quo, and feed the coffers of the already wealthy. We give them the power that is abused in China and Syria and similar places in order to control the population and maintain the will of the oppressive regime. 'We don't want trolls like 4chan' is no argument against that. There are parts of the US government that are above the law, because of 'national security'. Similar legal avenues for complete violation of our privacy and other rights have been opened up in the UK and Australia and other countries with which the US cooperates in order to 'fight crime'. Combine that with what they've learned about swaying public opinion through advertising and you have a very dangerous combination.

Pseudonyms were used on the US Declaration of Independence. Wikileaks has forced massive changes in global politics. Rebel bloggers regularly dissapear in China. There is a reason we get to be anonymous when we vote - and even Google bots don't get to see who we select (yet). Twitter has not descended into troll heaven. Google can do fine without serving the paranoid US government. There is no need for this policy, and the negative side effects are disastrous.
 
+Marcin Ciszewicz There's a million examples of everything on the net. The American government isn't what we see on TV - those are the puppets. Go despise whatever you like.
 
I doubt that most of the people you banned becosue of your stupid real name policy will return
 
+Paul W I note that the name you can't use "sabret00the" has numbers "two zeros" embedded which is expressly forbidden and is probably being automatically blocked. Perhaps you should try using two uppercase letter "O" 's instead? (e.g. "sabretOOthe")
 
+Prasanth Chinta i never changed names in my life. why would anyone need to change theirs more then once every 3 months?
 
+Fernando Miguel If Google requires you to change it, and then allows you to change it back, they should reset that timer. It's only common courtesy.
 
I would really appreciate people to actually read the (good) comments on this thread and understand the Google (at least now, not sure if has been like that always) does not require Real Names for their Google Accounts and Google+.
what they have been requiring is name-shapes alias!
the two things clear on this thread are that it's now possible to ask for pseudonym to be approved (not sure how many will succeed) and that full anonymity will not be defend by Google (nor should it, think of a pedofily)
 
+Bradley Horowitz wanted to know if you've already thought about taking google groups to g+ using the circles route? I wrote a small blog on the strategy google can adopt here aharnisa.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-google-should-do.html and would love your views on it. Basically this is what I feel: How would it be if google took all the conversations inside google groups to its circles? Simply making each google group a circle and providing some additional incentives of +1s/animations/video responses for members to switch. This should make the switch over seamless for people - it should be easier to continue a conversation than start a new one (as G+ is likely at a disadvantage vis-a-vis FB when it comes to involuntary posts). Google group members would make up for a ready circle while the rest of contact list should be friends by default.
Appreciate your time
 
+Marcin Ciszewicz I don't want to restart one of our long arguments, but just a query. I fully understand your feeling when you are talking about something as critical as the future of a country. However even there, I'm sure you have noted that the carriers of revolutions tend to be college students. Adult, but with as yet very little to lose. Asking a mother to risk losing a job, or her child, is a very different thing than asking a young single persion. There are also causes which have degrees of benefit which are not commensurate with the risk for everyone. Different people have different costs—the number of people that depend on them being a major one—to consider. I know. In that case you would say, "then don't say anything". But often it takes anonymous speech to spark the flame that makes people realize that there are other people out there who believe in a cause. Only then do people step forward publicly.

Some thoughts. No response required.
 
(Why do people think it's okay to comment in a Google post asking for completely unrelated Google features? There's a feedback link. You can directly send a message to the people involved. What makes people think that's appropriate (or effective) behavior?)

</EndRhetoricalQuestion>
 
Dislike. I do not want to see a bunch of peoples dumbass nicknames. That's probably fun if you are in the 10th grade, but...
 
Someone said that Google Checkout actually makes a better starting point for verified accounts, and I actually agree. Why not some type of tiering? If a Google Checkout person agrees to [key point, btw] link that in with their GA, then you can show that G+ as some kind of gold star verified, as you'll have them by their financial nuts. Then you can have another class of people who happen to be wiling to show you some sort of ID. Call that the silver star verified (after all, showing a form of ID is, well not quite as definitive as taking their money from them). Bronze star verified can go to the name-shaped "playing nicely" accounts, and then the rest of the seething masses can just be left unverified. Keep your anti-spam and abuse reporting mechanisms in place, of course.

Couple that with giving people the ability to decide which types of accounts they'd prefer to see or filter out and I think you'd be able to answer the nymwar issue satisfactorily while still building your Internet Empire. Er, trusted namespace. Or whatever it is.
 
+Fernando Miguel -- if it gets to the point where an individual must show some type of ID to keep their account, I'd say it's fair to describe Google requiring Real Names then.
 
+Fernando Miguel - FULL anonymity has been here since the very first day. Spammers are using it constantly. They simply pick any "name shaped" name, and there it is.
 
+Bob O'Bob and your going to have the same recourse as before for people spamming...report and block. What does it matter if it comes from peter johnson or table lamp. its just punishing the people who are not abusing it and dont plan to and giving spammers more loopholes
 
+Bob O'Bob sure. but still we see hundreds ppl complaining in this thread there's none.... bah
 
+Sean Saguansin I've seen some users permitted to have just an initial since the very beginning. I don't know if they did anything special to avoid algorithmic triggers. Or maybe it hasn't been the same people all along, just new ones appearing about as often as earlier ones got booted.
 
(my comment, from a related thread. Bonus points for anyone who recognizes where I increased the "nice" level)


I just can't understand the driving need behind any of this. IF a person will engage in any level of correspondence to defend their choice of name, then you are not dealing with a bot, period.
Beyond that, controlling names has no demonstrated relationship whatsoever to the behavior of the people using those names. Behaviors considered disruptive should be moderated or rejected when those behaviors occur.
If other people are afraid of names like "captaincrunch48" perhaps those are the bigots who should get out.
 
+Yonatan Zunger I understand your comments about how PITA complicated it is to implement names per circle but there are several low-hanging fruit here that would satisfy many (most?) people, namely the ability to hide my real name and show only my nickname for people outside my circles.
The problem with names is not what family members/friends see but rather those public followers on public posts.

In addition, the lack of identity management drives me crazy. I don't want to have a single name across all google products. I want my single google+ account to show my full real name to my circles while still allowing to use only a pseudonym on my blogger blog, a different one for my google groups, etc. without having to manage multiple accounts. As far as I care, Blogger is currently on a separate planet from G+ ATM and I will not use the crappy "integration" which would force me to disclose my real name.
Also, this single name policy fails when I want to comment on specific sensitive topics (politics/religion/etc).

To summerize:
Google should provide:
1. Integrated identity management at least for different products and allow limiting visibility of real name outside my G+ circles. You must show something there as you put it, show only my nickname.
2. allow anonymity outside my G+ circles, e.g. comments on public posts.
[*Optional* and PITA to implement] 3. expose different names to different circles.
 
+Yigal Chripun Why not just use different accounts for those things? Safer (you don't rely on Google to keep them separate, or to defend against hackers or inside blackmailers). Simpler (you are less likely to make a mistake that will expose things).
 
Thanks for giving me my name back.
Last e-mail said my name does in fact comply with the policy, so i guess it is official now.
 
+Stb Hernández it is obviously really hard to conversate emotional topics with unfamiliar people, we may keep projecting our preconceptions about others. Like you believe I do not know how internet works while this is almost as far from the truth as possible, or like you believe real anonimity doesn't exist, or that nicknames are all about hiding. Let me put it in a diffrent perspective: I have built, or been one of those who did at least three quite big community from the grounds up and they became a living "place" for people to hang around, and one of the most important thing about a "place" (however virtual) is that whether people feel comfortable there or not. I am completely inactive on LinkedIn simply because it is an inconvenient place for me: people act like businessmen there, and yes, they really use their real names, and photos in suits. But much more importantly they do not dare to be themselves, they have to watch their business images. Boring .ssh.les, all around.

Places like Wikipedia is completely the opposite: people create and build up a virtual personality, and they can be anyone whithin their skills and abilities to express themselves. They are usually free from having to watch their words because of protecting their "real life" image, they only have to watch their words because they want to be a member of the community. Some cannot so gets kicked, business as usual. Still, these are "true" communities, where people are free to express themselves.
Now, here we are, google try to mix 'em up, business and freelancers and grandmas and hackers. We have circles, we create groups and bubbles and we could really coexist in this "place". But not yet: people are bound to watch their steps, everybody's watching, it gets archived forever plus one day, and following is free.

It is not about prefect anonimity. It is about "it is not important what my official name is, who I officially am, what I work and what I do over there; I am what I express myself and all other is not your business". Sure, I can possibly get your real identity, so what? Most people cannot, and will not.

I confess that I do not understand why you say what you do but I accept that you got suspended yet you agree with it. It is against my vulcan logic. But I realised I shouldn't project what I think you are onto you: you are you and not what I think of you.
Still, this topic is way open and is just the beginning, apart from all the masses already left g+ and the masses who are about to. And no, I guess, I will not leave the internet, since most of the time I happen to be the landlord and you the guest. ;-)
 
+Coyote Too I refuse to accept inside-the-box arguments. By the same logic I could ask why have you moved to G+ if you could already use the existing Facebook platform?
 
Ha ha ha. Dear google: Either check IDs at the door, or let them in. Doing 10% authentication of users on the internet is a fools errand.
 
+Yigal Chripun I'm not sure what you mean by "inside-the-box" arguments. I just know that personally I am far happier using different accounts for different identities; it's a more secure solution. I also know that with Google+, Google is trying to more tightly integrate their products, so what you are trying to do will soon become even harder. As a software developer, I can understand their desire to do this, and I can understand why it helps their core business, so I don't see a lot of point in arguing against it. I argue against their (previous, current, possible?) strict names policy because I don't see it as counter to their core business, and because they are in fact expending considerable resources trying to implement something which is impossible to get right.

But seriously, is it that hard to create two Google accounts and keep your identities separate? I'm currently actively using three.
 
+Stb Hernández If Google weren't interested in their users desired rules, they a) wouldn't be asking for our feedback and b) wouldn't be doing a very good job of providing what their users wanted. Of course, they can ignore our feedback, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't offer it…especially if we believe they are violating their own "Don't Be Evil" coda.
 
+Marcin Ciszewicz Nobody did. I used the word "believe", not "know". Should I not speak up if I see something that I believe could be improved?

This conversation is heading far off the track of the original post. I'd rather leave the discussion for direct comments on the name changes.
 
/me is tired of ppl talking about Real Names and not even caring to read the thread comments

+Sai dont feed the trolls :)
 
+Stb Hernández "Kee" is actually my given name. My parents couldn't think a name, and in the meantime, the hospital put "boy" (in English) on the nametag. "Kee" means "boy". (I'll leave figuring out what language it is as an exercise for the reader. :)

When you say, "need for the former", I'm not sure what you refer to.
 
+Marcin Ciszewicz Oh sorry, despise the seated people who won't shut up. Did you learn nothing from this oppressive regime you suffered under? There will always be people who have different values. Despising people doesn't help anyone, and is just a sign of fear and ignorance. Keeping the lines of communication open is of paramount importance, and allowing anonymous communication is the only way to get input from some of the least safe people out there. You talk about the brave people who fought publicly under their own names. People don't do that without knowing they have some support. Factory workers chatter in the lunch rooms, in private, and soon learn whether, when they stand up, others will too. I'd rather them not have to risk their lives, and I'd rather not exclude those not quite as brave.

This is an information age. This is not a battle over physical things, but information and our rights. What would you have me do that is more effective than arguing my position on a broadcast medium? Carry a sign? I'd rather hope to keep it civilised for as long as possible and to reach people before there is an "actual fight".

+Stb Hernández That's short sighted and very simplistic. The rights we sign in to law at the creation of a government, such as the right to privacy when we cast our vote, or the separation of powers, etc etc, are not put there because they are required at the time, but to safe-guard against what might happen in the future. You might not need to hide your identity from a government that could make you disappear if you say the wrong thing, but some people do. And while we need privacy for exactly the same reasons that these kinds of protections exist in our laws, whether we need it or not isn't the point here. The point is that we have a right to it. Similarly Google has a right to build and run their product however they like within the bounds of the law. I'm arguing that what they are doing is setting a very bad example that many others are following and will follow in future. They claim to 'not be evil'. In this case they are hurting people just to increase their power and their profits.

Google isn't listening. Instead of giving us the control over our own information that we deserve, with their names policy they are deliberately eroding that control and now they are saying 'hey, give us your nickname too!'. This is nothing but spin.
 
Predictably enough, the comment spammer is probably under their actual wallet name.
 
good call, adding a nickname should be editable more often than once every 3 months IMHO. A lot of folks have online alias' that can change regularly, or be spiced up with funky lettering.

Still, good added feature.
 
+Stb Hernández I don't know. It's hard to distinguish on the borders…there are real names that are odd too…even have numbers. So it's a lot of work for Google to distinguish. But people do like to stand out and be searchable. We have nicknames (more popular in some cultures than others) for that reasons. Some cultures let people pick descriptive names for themselves when they are older. Google would clearly like to see the policy die out because they feel it bothers many people. I'm more inclined to think that in another generation, nobody will care—it will seem normal. What they have done—accept that people have built reputations using those names elsewhere, where the rules were different, and therefore shouldn't be left standing at the gates, seems like a reasonable compromise if you accept their premise that such names are abnormal and disquieting.
 
+Ralph Corderoy re "value G+ representing each person by a single profile connected to their normal real-life name." I think +Peter da Silva covered this, but I think it bears re-enforcing. Google+ does no such thing. It simply gives the illusion that you are talking to someone with their real life name, because of an algorithm which polices "name shapes" to weed out names that don't look "real". There is a haphazardly applied "Verified" status which Google hand out to certain people, but no established method for becoming verified, or any metric from Google telling us what "Verified" actually means.

The above has nothing to do with "anonymity", which is an entirely different kettle of fish of a stripe of a different color. But a lot of us feel that, until Google provide a well documented and publicly available mechanism to become "verified", there seems little point in trying to police a "real names" policy which doesn't actually care if you use your real name, but may at any time require you to change that name if it falls foul of the Real Name Algorithm Troll Living Under The Bridge.
 
Who made Google the internet police?! Let individuals who want verification apply for it, instead of enforcing a policy nobody wants.

"We would like to see an identity policy that allows for multiple simultaneous identities relevant to each circle and each interaction. That's how the real world works."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/technology-16700902
 
希望你能呼吁google彻底解决匿名问题,让中国的朋友能只显示匿名上google+.
I hope you can called on Google to thoroughly solve the anonymous problems and make China 's friend can show only anonymous on Google +
 
+Carsten Allefeld I would encourage you to read the entire thread, paying close attention to the additional comments provided by Yonatan Zunger. He is clarifying things that go well beyond the written policy, or Bradley's initial post. While, this won't allow everyone to do anything they want, it is a step forward.

Please note Yonatan's comment in his first lengthy post in this discussion:

Our name check is therefore looking, not for things that don’t look like “your” name, but for things which don’t look like names, period. In fact, we do not give a damn whether the name posted is “your” name or not: we will not challenge you on this basis, nor is there any mechanism for other users to cause you to be challenged for this.
 
+Carsten Allefeld Specifically, with this new announcement they are saying they are just fine with you not using your real name…so long as it looks like a real name. And if it doesn't look like a real name, it's okay if you can show you've built a reputation with it elsewhere. Odd rules to be sure, but it's based on a premise (correct or not) that odd names turn people off.
 
Way too late! All the famous people I know with one-word nicknames already left. Make up your policies first and better say yes than no. Google lost its internet credibility in this stupidity.
 
+Stb Hernández using a pseudonym that isn't "name like" is more honest than using a pseudonym that looks like a name.
 
+Carsten Allefeld I agree completely. I find this sad, I really wish it wasn't so.
+Coyote Too it's true - Google now says they are okay with it, but, exactly as +Peter da Silva just wrote, that's less honest of us. Many of us are actually driven by our ethics and can't accept Google's offer to just lie about who we are.
 
+pwrcycle none No. They are offering that as an option. Even in the case of a "non-compliant" name such as yours (and possibly mine—I don't know yet), the proof does not have to include your wallet identity. We may agree that asking for any proof is ridiculous, but at least they are no longer requiring photo IDs.
 
+Péter Gervai For me it is, yes. I could post using a name-shaped pseudonym instead of "Resuna", but that would feel too much like lying.

If they had THIS policy in place, I would have been posting as Resuna from the start (I think I've used it enough to qualify), but it's too late to switch now.
 
I don't see why it would be too late to switch. For those of us who don't need to keep our identities concealed. G+ has an interesting take on name changes - old posts and comments are not altered, but they point back to the current profile. Example: http://goo.gl/qo1LK
 
Looks like mononyms aren't supported. At the very least can I have the option to not show my last name? I just use my first name as my personal branding. I'm not hiding my last name, people know it. They even LIKE it! But my professional and personal idenity is just my first name and I can't do that.

Shame.
 
My ego wants to say that you can thank/blame/curse me for this, a day or so ago I asked if there was any chance of us being able to change our display name on gmail documents, (mainly) because of a handle I chose as a teen. Unfortunately, I know Google must have been planning this for a while, still, the timing is PERFECT!
 
Acknowledged, +Sai , that's why I wrote "For those of us who don't need to keep our identities concealed."
I consider myself fortunate, that I have no need to keep my wallet name out of view. But at the same time I do try to stay aware of, and hope to partially represent the needs of, those who can't be so open. It's easier for me to maintain a relatively high profile on G+, while others have good reasons why they don't want to appear on anyone's radar.
 
After G+ added that floating YouTube button on the right side, I stopped contributing feedback to G+ for a while as I thought G+ was doomed. But recently there have been some improvements such as "record a video to post" and removing the "Incoming" system circle. So maybe I can suggest removing that YouTube button now?
 
I think I found your problem. You say, "With Google+, we aspire to make online sharing more like sharing in the real world." The online world is part of the real world. It's not useful to think in a dichotomy between real and online. Just concentrate on building a service that's useful to your users.
 
Has anyone been noticing the hilarious "real sounding names" that people are using when Google dumps them because of their handles. I can't point them out because I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but it has been a real source of entertainment recently.
 
+Peter da Silva, that's interesting. For me "lying" is an attitude of malevolent deceiving. How could it be malevolent if I do not share the name I use to pay taxes with you?
Unless I'm using something like "Albert Einstein" (and you are troubled enough to believe it ;-)) I do not see why it would be unacceptable any way (morally, ethically, socially, legally, pick your favourite)? Would it cause any harm to us if you'd use Brandon Wuppertal instead of Peter da Silva? (Obviously if you intend to use your past it matters to you, but not me; if you wanted to hide that you're just a simulation [or a dog, actually] would it change anything about communicating with you? I don't think so.)
You are what you express yourself of, here and now. (And anyway, I can look you up on the net but I cannot tell who you ARE, I only know what you have expressed about yourself on the net. Most people here simply cannot see beyond that. So, your whole internet presence would be a lie? Did you realize that?)
 
+Péter Gervai It doesn't matter whether it causes you harm for me to post as "Brandon Wuppertal", it would feel to me that I was playing a role. That's all that matters to me, and since it's me that's making the decision, that's all that has to matter.

And you can keep your freshman epistemology, I'm not buying into it. :)

PS: if anyone out there is really a dog, I applaud you!
 
+Péter Gervai and +Peter da Silva - I think I'm somewhere in between your two points of view. Until the recent policy change, I was very uncomfortable with having to use a pseudonym that looks like a real name, feeling that it's not as honest as I'd like to be, but that was because of the policy demanding real names, which meant I couldn't (in theory) be open about the fact that the name I was using wasn't my real name. I was so uncomfortable about this, that at some point I took the risk and made that information deliberately public. Because if the rules say "real names only" and I'm using a name that isn't my real name, then I'm pretending that it is my real name, which isn't totally honest.

Now that the policy has been changed and we're allowed to use pseudonyms openly, I'm less uncomfortable about this because if it's clearly known that not everyone is using their real names, then it's not like I'm pretending.

I still would rather not, and I'm hoping at some stage to shed this made-up surname and use my surname initial instead - am just waiting to find out for sure if that's ok under the new set-up. It would feel much more honest to me to do it that way.
 
+Meirav Berale I do use "name shaped" pseudonyms in role-playing environments, where the default assumption is that you're playing a role, and nobody is using their real name. This is not such an environment, and the only real way to make it obvious at a glance that a name is a pseudonym is to make it "funny looking".
 
+Peter da Silva yes, in a role-playing environment it's clear that everyone is using a pseudonym; and up to the policy change here, the assumption here was that everyone is using their real name (even though this wasn't really the case), so using a pseudonym could be seen as dishonest; but now what we've got here is something in between - a mixed environment, where some are using their real names and some are not. So whilst the only way to make it obvious, as you say, is to make it an obviously-pseudonym-looking name, it's still not dishonest in this environment to use a name that does look like a normal name.

(and of course there are cultural issues that come into this - my made-up surname is, to fellow Israelis, an obvious pseudonym. fellow Israelis would recognise the joke behind it. but to other people it probably looks like just another foreign name they haven't come across.)
 
+Peter da Silva there has been an interesting essay somewhere around 1995 about the electronic communication of the people on the nets (and it wasn't just internet back then) which - in my opinion - really figured it out nicely: people take a personality on the net and act out of it, or to put it differently: you cannot be "yourself" on the net (and not in real life, but that's another topic) since it is not a natural environment, lots and lots of important bits missing or are different: no metacommunication, no human presence, time is not the same factor as in real-time real-life communications, the purpose of the participants are different, etc etc.
It means that whatever you do here around you play a role (and, honestly, whatever you do in any community and society is playing a role, unless you are so unbelievably lucky to live in a society which is based on true open honesty yet people don't start killing one another in 10 minutes). You seem to have problem with a set of roles you play while don't even notice other sets of roles you play, and I guess your distinction is there because you feel you could be someone else using a false name (which is not your alias and not your tax name). It is funny since nobody but you can decide whether you're honest using a new persona or not, whether you play a role (as you put it) or you "play yourself" (which is just another role, mind you). Actually using a false name you can be really yourself and say whatever you didn't dare to since you do not have to fear the opinions of your old fellas around, watching. But even that is optional.

I do not want to sell you nicknames, still, I'd like to point out that nicknames are not equal to behave different from that you behave anyway. If you feel that way maybe you secretly wanted to act differently. :-) I have my real name ("grin") and people possibly know that I act almost the same as in real life, and sometimes I use throwaway names and act the same but I do not want people to judge what I say based on what they think about me, I want them to judge what I say, which is basically what I am, and not what I used to be in my whole past life.

By the way it is the freedom from Real Names which make it often possible for people to be their true inner selves.
 
+Péter Gervai "it is the freedom from Real Names which make it often possible for people to be their true inner selves." Yes, yes, a hundred times yes!
 
+Péter Gervai Given that I've been on what became the Internet since 1978, met my wife online in the early '80s on a system where we were both using handles, and have always used either my real name or non-name-shaped handles for... damn, that's over 30 years... I think I've got a pretty good grasp of the dynamics.

And yeh, I understand the logic you're applying to the subject, I just don't agree with it, or with the various studies people have brought up to "explain" myself to me. We need a term like "mansplaining" but more general to describe this effect, where people feel a need to keep explaining to a member of some subculture how that subculture works.
 
Acceptance of pseudonyms and acceptance of the right for people not to expose their identity... rather than pretend to not be concealing it... is important. Forcing people to have "name shaped" handles undermines that.
 
I'd go with "geeksplaining" for now, but even that could use refinement. Maybe I've got it inverted and it should be "newbsplaining." This diversion has reminded me of "don't try to out-weird me - I eat weirder things than you in my breakfast cereal every morning."
But what do I know about the internet; I'm just a newbie, I've only been here since the mid 1980s.
 
Oh well granted, I have started as a FidoNet node (global networking I mean), but I guess I am not really a newbie around. :-P
Still I find it weird that you'd feel lying when using 'resuna' and honest using 'Peter da Silva', but I guess there must be a reason. But sometimes I believe you are talking about something else you're talking about. I commented about nicknames and you seem to reply if I'd say "realname-lookalike-fakes"... but I'm sure you've got a pretty good grasp and I'm just missing it somewhow. ;-)
Sometimes I fear that we agree and debate about nothing. Another day on a social network...
 
This is still a bad precedence. You can't use google to grow a new pseudonym, you can't grow a new you, you have to be who you already are. Trapped in who you were, bound by it's restrictions. If google only accepts following from big players (twitter etc) and those big players all adapt the same pseudonym policy as google (ie it has to be an established pseudonym) then no one will be able to create them and have them be accepted. Don't chain people to who they were, let them try to grow into better people. I know I won't be who I am for all my life.
 
Wow, thanks alot google, my 10+ year nickname (literally!) isnt accepted, strange, because its also my google email adress...?!?!?!
"suicidal.banana" is the name in question, i thought of it while applying a gameplay tactic i used to play in worms (some tanks like game)

I would really like to know if there's a chance this nickname is allowed in the near future (oh noes it says 'suicidal', BAN!) else ill just close my g+ account, i dont like my full name and details beeing on my profile now, wich also brings me to my next point, a option to only show nickname, how can that even be forgotten.

Im really dissapointed tbh, ive lobbyd for nickname allowance for months, emailing all kinds of people who work on googleplus, ive participated in many discussions, and in the end the implementation is so shoddy you'd almost think they build it this crappy so that the least possible amout of people would use it? you already have my name and all possible private data, which is fine, but then let me fully control whats you show about me to others, not this half assed name policy
 
+Péter Gervai, you wrote "Would it cause any harm to us if you'd use Brandon Wuppertal instead of Peter da Silva?" "Brandon Wuppertal" is a WASPonym, a pseudonym that looks like a real name. I'm saying that I would feel honest using "Resuna" because it's clearly a pseudonym, but I'd feel like I was lying by using "Brandon Wuppertal" because it looks like a real name, but it isn't.
 
+Peter da Silva thanks, it is clear now. Is the difference in whether it's obvious that it isn't a real name? Tomato Juice, Jr. would be honest, Fred Juice, Jr. wouldn't, I presume? Does it matter if it's a completely unknown name (I hope Brandon Wuppertal isn't someone important) or even nonexistant?
I understand your view but yes, we disagree on that.
 
"(2) “Meaningful following” only applies to cases of established pseudonyms which do not look like names. The definition of “meaningful” is deliberately vague so that we can tune it, so that it behaves in a natural fashion."

so is blogging under a pseudonym at blogspot for several years "good enough" proof for you? Or would a blogger have to have a G+ following? Or so many hits a day? week? month?
Oh I know, you can't answer individual cases in this stream.

There are some really really good reasons for not wanting our real names and our nicks connected here:
(1). those adults (nope not just kids) who were attacked by other folks on-line and wish to have their attackers have to actually do a tiny bit of research in order to discover one's name;
(2). those adults who do not wish what they do on the internet to be easily found by workmates or family. Some families are hellish, some worksite cultures are unpleasant to anyone who does not believe as the group does;
(3). those adults who have been stalked on-line or off-line;
(4). those adults who live under oppressive regimes-- and yes I and bunches of other folks want to get to know those folks also in a community setting such as G+;
(5). those adults with privacy and/or personal safety concerns not listed above.

Please don't bother to reprint what you've said. I read it and "got it" pretty good the first time.

Not allowing the shortened or long form of the words "doc" or "rev" is incredibly stupid imo, btw.

And as for letting the underaged on G+ ? oh once again the onus for policing other peoples' kids on the internet falls on us and not on their parents where it belongs. So now if I want to have an adult conversation about adult issues (and no not just porn) well I really can't. How about a feature that allows us to restrict our stream to be viewed by those viewer who are admitted adults?

So, this place is way better than Facebook. But this idiotic name policy is dumb, in my estimation. If you don't want trolling, you have to do something else about that. And it's not my responsibility to think of how you can fix that problem.
If you want people to be "nicer" on the internet and think that a real name policy is going to do that, you are sadly mistaken.

Name policy: fail. Use of bot to flag names: fail. Company doublespeak: fail.
Ryo Aoi
 
I'd like to use the nick name only on posting, sharing and commenting. As you explained, currently the usage of "Real Name (Nick Name)" can be shown on the Google+ profile but the Google+ posting shows "Real Name" only at present.
Myself don't think to use Google+ for any biz purposes at the moment but I use Google+ for just my fun :).
My problem is the portability when I share my accounts between Google+ and others. It would be hard for me to identify who posted his/her comments if Google+ supports "Real Name" only.
If I could choose "Nick Name" only in posting, sharing and commenting, it would be great and I would be really happy.
I also think the format of "Real Name (Nick Name)" would be high visible against my expectation and maybe I would not like to highlight my posting with that format ;p.
Probably I think "Real Name" could be done in each Google+ profile instead of the Google+ posting if you would mind the authentications, identifications or something else.
 
If your name is Eustace Thurmond Barrington, III, but every single person knows you as Trey Barrington, why is Google demanding that everyone see Eustace Barrington?
 
+Kenneth Cavness They are not. If you sign up with the name Trey Barrington, that's what people will see.
 
This new version of policy is seriously confusing people. Worse than before, in my opinion. People who need pseudonyms are grasping at the nickname straw, trying to make it fit when it can't. Right here in this thread.

"Bob" is a nickname ... my wallet documents mostly say "Robert" ... but a pseudonym is (usually) not at all like a nickname.
 
+Kenneth Cavness They are not doing that any more. They are no longer interested in whether or not the name you use here is the one you use offline.
 
Why can't we (journalists, writers, lesser known indie / underground artists or anyone falling into the 99% from the mentioned 100%) select the "Madonna format"? Are some Google+ users "more equal than others", because they have more money and are more famous?
 
Because Google thinks that funny looking names scare people away!
 
Another thing to note is how much Google is trying to integrate everything into G+. Will there be a day when you can't use Gmail or other Google services without a profile? Do you always want your name and email address publicly visible. Granted, this is just speculation at this point, but the idea to develop G+ and Facebook into identity platforms is not far fetched. Facebook has already started this with forcing you to use a Facebook account to sign up and use Spotify's services.
 
Competition by doing exactly the same thing - the TV network business model?
 
Wow great update! Some ideas for improvements:
* It's still stuck on the paradigm that all people first and last name, and the ordering is fixed (I live in Japan and use Japanese language for my G+, and if I enter a nickname the ordering is FamilyName-GivenName)
* There can only be 1 nickname. If I am active in Japanese and Korean communities I would like to have a japanese and korean rendition of my name besides my real name which is written in normal alphabet
Thank you
 
There is absolutely ZERO substantive policy change here. It does absolutely nothing to address the issue of protecting one's identity. It's a weasely way of choosing to address the issue, and frankly, it pisses me off anew. How rockheaded are you Google execs?
 
+Katie Doyle Actually there is one major front end change, and a lot backend changes. The biggest change is they are explicitly saying you don't have to use your real name—they don't care. The backend change is they are trying to be a lot more liberal about things that don't look like "real" names. Unfortunately this post isn't a good description, and the policy details are being worked on (some in comments on other posts by Google employees). They are certainly being more open about it.
 
+Todd Bloom See my reply just before this one. Nicknames are only part of the change.
 
+Bradley Horowitz and +Yonatan Zunger please see my long post somewhere else where I describe what a miserable failure this has been in the exercise of elucidating and documenting what policy is or what you'd like it to be by two ostensible professionals.

Fortunately, like all G+ threads, it's easier to forget that something substantive tried to happen here; after all, if it isn't in the top ten or twenty items in a list, it's just easier to forget.

Over the course of this thread you've managed to do what I thought impossible: made me shift beliefs from being completely indifferent to #nymwars to thinking that people who care have understated their case and overstated Google's competence.

From what I've read, this recent effort puts you significantly below Linden Lab Community Management efforts, which represents a significantly lower level of accomplishment than EA for online communities. However you're still way above "Khmer Rouge", so take heart..
 
+Yonatan Zunger wrote: In fact, we do not give a damn whether the name posted is “your” name or not: we will not challenge you on this basis, nor is there any mechanism for other users to cause you to be challenged for this.

What about person A using person B's name to register? We've all got the ability to report a profile as "Impersonation".
 
+Peter da Silva, +Hugh Messenger, I agree people can register multiple times under various real-looking names and some may do that. However, Google's request for the real name is honoured by the vast majority of accounts on here and I think that's a good thing and does improve the community. Besides, I've always got the option to report a profile I suspect is fake. :-)
 
+Ralph Corderoy hopefully, the charge of "impersonation" won't be accepted unless the submitter can document that the name on the profile they're reporting is their own or is that of someone significantly famous enough to be noteworthy in mass media.
 
+Bob O`Bob, not sure it's that simple. One Fred Bloggs can't complain another is an impersonator; they could both be genuine. He must instead try and show that the other isn't really Fred at all if he thinks the name wasn't real.
 
+Ralph Corderoy "Google's request for the real name is honoured by the vast majority of accounts on here" [citation required]
 
+Olivier Henny There is a bug involving nicknames and symbols/numbers. Sorry for the inconvenience, and I believe it will be fixed relatively soon.
 
+Ralph Cordertala Actually, there is no report a "fake" name. It's only used for reporting misuse, like company names.
 
+Coyote Too but what it actually says is "fake profile" and, like too many other things, that's never clarified.
 
+Kee Hinckley - Did you actually read the change? Did you then go to your profile and try to implement it? I still have to identify publicly with my full name. I can be Katie "scribblegurl" Doyle, Katie Doyle, or Katie Doyle (scribblegurl). How, exactly, is that a substantive change or one which allows me to protect my identity? Oh, that's right, IT ISN'T.
 
+Katie Doyle while I agree it does nothing to address the security concerns, it can help with the issue of how the people who know you will be able to find you. It should be a great help to those who felt able to adopt new made-up WASPonyms specifically in order to join G+. They can now add their nym to the WASPonym whether in quotes or parens, and become searchable. It also will let in more such people now that Google has relaxed the "name which people know you by" standard. There are some whose ethics prevented them from joining until because that would have been a lie. I would have been one of those if I'd had any need to keep my wallet name disassociated from this name. I've lost count of how many people, whom I know only by "handle shaped" names, have sent me messages via other channels to let me know which innocuous "G+ shaped" name they have chosen. Not very many actually picked "John Doe"...
 
So I was wanting to use my account as a Band Profile but google+ rejected the name of my band. I guess I will stick with facebook? Google is strictly for personal use only? It will probably fizzle out and die if they dont allow anything but personal accounts here
 
So, by searching through the entertainment section, I see many "Official" pages using Band Names, Product names etc.. So why cant I use my Band name, JRI on this account? Do I have to be famous first? Hell, even Angry Birds has a google+ profile...
 
+Bob O`Bob I see your point, and yes, if your name problem is just one of people being able to find you by pseudonym, the changes are fine. Those of us who are very uncomfortable with putting our real names online are still screwed, but Google doesn't give a damn about that. I quit over the Nymwar and only came back for business purposes. If I could effectively use G+ as my page, I would, but Google has limited pages so severely as to make them basically useless in any effective way, unless all you want to do is talk at people who just happened to have noticed your company page exists. Every day I fight with myself over whether or not to stay. It's a huge argument, because frankly, I think Google can suck it with the naming policy. They're being asses about it, IMO. So I can never say anything on Google+ that I don't want my day-job employer to see; nothing personal, no politics, no civil rights issues, no religion, etc. All of my comments have to be as sanitized and bland as possible. If Google was going for censorship, it knocked it out of the frigging park.
 
+Liz Fong-Jones Ahh ok, in a way good to hear, thanks :) hope i can soon set my nickname.
(only i wonder, will i have to take into account the 3 months delay? since i guess that was triggered now)
Thanks
 
+Katie Doyle The change (which admittedly is very poorly described here), is that they could care less whether "Katie Doyle" is your real name or not. All they care is that it looks like a real name. It turns out that there are a lot of weird edge cases (Does "Ginger Snap" look like a real name? I don't know. They are actively building that policy as they go, so it's going to be a while before we know the answer.) But so long as it isn't obviously a handle ("katiedoyle323") or a company name ("Katie Doyle Widgets"), they don't care and they won't ask.
 
+Jesse Boartfield For a band name you should create a Page. Pages are restricted in that they can't follow people that don't follow them (so we don't get random companies spamming us by following us).
 
To me, this seems to be rather a betrayal than an honouring of what people concerned for privacy wish. Certainly the majority of those who wished to choose a nickname did not wish to a d d it to their real name... We wish to have the choice to r e p l a c e the real name with a pseudonym. Yes, no one forces us to stay.
 
Ah. So this is pseudonyms for the rich and famous and screw everyone else. That's just about exactly what I would expect of Google. You all have gone to the dark side.

I shut my 'real' account down a long time ago. That is.... my real psuedonym. And I made this one up and opened a new account for it, because I knew you asshats would like this one. Funny thing is, this one is wayyy more pseudonymous than the one you didn't like, because i made this one just for you. don't you feel special?
 
This guys needs some help. http://shadowpanther.net/google-minus.htm I have been following him for years as well as hundreds or thousands of others and he makes some fine points at his website.
"Google-1/29/12

I've been Shadow Panther longer than Google's been Google.

Let that sink in for a second...I didn't realize it myself until just this week.

So, what's the significance, you might ask? Well, a few days ago, Google+ announced that they were going to "broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trench coat to +Madonna." But there's a catch - you need to provide "proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following". It's still not clear exactly what qualifies as a "meaningful following", but apparently "gamer handles" don't make the cut.

I tested this out myself by trying to sign up as Shadow Panther, but it was immediately flagged as a name that would require further justification. So I submitted a list of links to Google+ providing proof of my established online identity including links to my site, my Twitter page, etc. Despite all that, I received a notice several days later that my request had been rejected because "the name provided violates the Google+ Names Policy".

I have used the name Shadow Panther, in various forms, since before 1996 when Google was first formed. I'm known as Shadow__Panther on Twitter, Shadow Panther on AOL/AIM, Shadow Panther on Xbox Live, and many more sites and services across the web. Thousands of gamers around the world know me as Shadow Panther and have benefited directly from the resources found on my personal site.

Before World of Warcraft, I had a significant following on Xbox Live (beginning with the original Xbox back in 2003) when I made charts for MechAssault, Halo 2 and other games. In those early days, I also managed the Co-op Games List as well as the massive Xbox Clan Registry, which helped numerous players find and contact Xbox clans.

I like to think that I've established a very "meaningful following" over the past decade consisting of thousands of fellow gamers who have supported me and my various efforts. Google+ may classify Shadow Panther as merely being a "gamer handle", but for me it has been my primary online presence for over 15 years.

If you doubt me, go to Google and type in "Shadowp"...because that's as far as you'll need to get before my site (and hundreds of sites mentioning me and my work) appears. If that's not "proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following", then I don't know what is."
 
+Jaison Bednar Thanks for the help. As it turns out, a friend notified me just yesterday that my Google+ account is apparently active now. This came as a surprise to me, since I never received an e-mail notification from Google letting me know that my 2nd appeal had been successful. Perhaps this will give hope to others in a similar situation.
 
+Katie Doyle Like +Kee Hinckley said, the new policy is that you don't have to use your real name, you could call yourself Teresa Green for all they care. So yes, there is now provision for those of us who need to protect our identity. However, if these are your concerns, you'd be much safer creating a new account with a pseudonym - if you change your name on the existing profile, your old posts will still show you as Katie Doyle (including any comments you've posted on other people's posts). To understand the changes, read +Yonatan Zunger's answers in the comments. The original post doesn't really explain it very well.
 
I have several names because of being married a few times & living in different places. Some people that may be looking for me don't know me but by the name I have now, they know me by the name I had depending on who I was married to at the time so I need to use all my names so different people in my different walks of life will be able to find me. There is no single last name that they all know me by & I feel it is not right that I can't use all my names so any one I know can find me. None of these names are illegal in any way.
 
My birth name, which has been flagged for reasons that are understandable, yet very frustrating. My given name on my birth certificate, drivers license, and every other legal document is John Classick. I can find no way to appeal this, and Google has given me five days to figure out how to prove who I am. What do I do???
 
Curiously, I tried to use my nickname APz (as Ari 'APz' Sovijärvi), which is way more commonly known in my circles than my real name. It got rejected, but I see nothing in the names policy that would warrant the rejection, plus doing a quick search on my name and nick reveals that the nickname's been in use for a long time. Longer than Google has existed, actually :)
 
Wonder if they'll add a feature to use your "Pen Name" Instead of your real name.
 
I am so frustrated right now! I am trying to make a Google+ Business Page but I can't seem to do it without creating a personal profile.

Bradley says this:

- About 20% of appeals are actually businesses (who are inadvertently trying to set up their business as a Profile, rather than using Google+ Pages which were intended for this purpose.)

But any attempt to set up a +Page redirects to Profile, or at least it still asks me for first and last name and gender. I want to manage my company's Google+ Page but not to be forever associated with it. What if I don't stay at this company?

I have looked up everything I can find and have found no solution. Please advise or I will give up on Google+
 
+Amy Stewart you can add managers to your Google+ Page for administration and even transfer ownership, you don't have to be forever associated with it.
 
I don't know why my real names can not pass google name policy. I tried to appeal and submitted online directory of my university as an evidence but my appeal was denied. It is very frustrated that I can't find a link to re-appeal. Please remember if someone's names looks weird in English that does not means the names are not real. Please respect other cultures when you make your policy. Otherwise you will lose millions of users from other countries.
 
My friend wasn't allowed to join my hangout because of her last name.  This policy is a failure...
 
Why was my friend's name flagged when he is using his real legal name?!  Why not wait for someone to complain before punishing people for NOTHING. He was a big supporter and talked a lot of us to get on Google+ in the beginning, and this is how you repay him? A little search shows this is not a unique problem. It should be presumed innocent until probable cause, not presumed guilty based on your stupid presumptions. His name isn't even that weird; it's just French, for crying out loud! Your name policy = FAIL! :-(
I'm blazing mad at this, and I will keep beating this drum until I get some answers. I was never too keen on this policy to begin with; now I'm really angry.
 
The fun thing about the entire situation is that people will start using true pseudonyms,exploiting false negatives - I take myself as an example there - and Google will remain blind.
 
+Patricia Dixon you rang?  Turns out that my case was more of a bug in an early iteration of the nym filter / verification process than a policy thing.  +Yonatan Zunger took a personal interest, rode shotgun on getting it resolved for me and getting the process fixed.  That's not to say others haven't had problems getting their real, wallet name accepted, but I'm satisfied that my case was an exception.

As for today's announcement, as +Bradley Horowitz said, it's a small step.  As others have noted, it does nothing to address true pseudonymity, which for many of us veterans of the #nymwars  is one of our main objectives.
 
Well, funnily enough, today I finally convinced a friend of mine by the name of Tim Toast (yes, his real name) to sign up to Google+.  And surprise surprise, his name has been flagged as "not real enough", and his new account is suspended till the verification goes through.  +Yonatan Zunger may wish to twiddle with that filter a little more.  This isn't exactly the kind of welcoming, more inclusive policy I think +Bradley Horowitz had in mind.  "Toast??  You must be pulling our plonker, nobody is called Toast!  Prove it" ;)
 
Apparently a legitimate name a beautiful Irish name called NIAMH causes ny daughters account to remain suspended. With no way of correcting this, no appeal, no way of contacting anyone, it is an insult actually. For the record my daughter is Niamh Rock it is a legitimate name, imagine having to post here Google your a disgrace
 
Google+ does not ALLOW any appeal at all, you cannot contact this faceless company they do not want to know. A few of my friends with Irish language names are getting their Google+ names suspended because it seems to upset Google's spam scripts and this company bases its HQ in Ireland!!! LOL Niamh is an Irish name over 2,000 years old and this company has an issue with it.
Mark E
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You say; "With Google+, we aspire to make online sharing more like sharing in the real world".

Well in the real world I don't walk down the street with a name badge on. And god forbid, the idea of children walking down the street with a name badge on fills me with horror.
 
This name policy is totally wrong. Ok, you shouldn't allow names like xi873 or something with special characters but only allow real names to the entire Internet?! How about privacy? I thought Google+ was different from Facebook... I was wrong! You almost "force" people with Gmail to create a G+ profile and now you are forcing people to say their real name to everybody? This is not a social network, it's more like a social privacy invasion. You should allow nicknames and / or real names. And people would choose to use what they prefer in their private circles and publicly.
 
+Bradley Horowitz please show us your passport or identifying document, work permit and some document that proves that you work on Google.
 
Sorry, I don't really use google+
I have a lot of google services, so I have to have a google+ account. 
I don't use it though as I disagree with google policy of publishing my full name against everything I do on-line.
It's a privacy leak and we simply should have right to privacy!
You already have my name and all possible private data, which is fine, but then let me fully control what you show about me to others!
I won't use Google+ until I have control over who sees my real name. 
 
+Piotr B couldn't agree more. They have all our private info, what's the point of being forced to show our full names publicly? Want our real picture too?
 
This is all a very poor show from Google. It reduces the user's freedom and means Google is acting like Big Brother. I work in several different fields and have no desire for my hobbies, interests and Google Play reviews to be associated pubicly with my serious work. I didn't mind Google knowing who I am as I have nothing to hide. But the imposed lack of privacy is like a public strip search. Google have fallen down badly over this in my estimation.
 
Chris Docker - I agree. I was shocked to find this morning that first off, my previous apartment complex that had harassed me for months on end to take down my online reviews of their racket had successfully tricked Google into marking my review as "against the terms of use" (so it was taken down). Furthermore, I realized the apartment complex had my full first and last name associated with the review... I don't keep an eye on my Google Plus... and I became pretty uneasy with the fact that all my of online content that's made through google has my real first and last name posted with it. I went to make a change so my Google Plus would have an alias instead, and I was greeted with Google's threatening demand of providing a real name or have my account closed.

This is Big Brother... Google is slipping right in.
 
It's a simple privacy issue. Sometimes I want to be identified in my professional capacity and at other times it would be inappropriate. 
Mark E
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Mr Horowitz, Do you wear clothes?  You do? Then you have embraced the concept of privacy. Everything else is a discussion about how much.  

In the "real world", you would not wear board shorts to a black tie event.  Please allow us to keep our business and private lives separate.  

Just last week I received an invite on linkedin for my business, from a person with a very professional profile whom I didn't know.  She was plausibly a very good contact to make for business purposes.  I googled her name and found her twitter account which to me was inane and facile.  The result was, for good or bad reasons, I was strongly influenced not to connect with her on linkedin and hit the decline button.  

Maybe it's the brave new world of social media and we all just have to accept that we all need to be completely cognisant of the facets of every person.  Be more accepting of the letting-hair-down aspects. 

You might as well ask everyone to be naked.  
Nm Pl
 
Its working for me. Thanks.
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