NEWS FLASH: Google has no frigging idea what identity on the internet means.

“Circles is particularly well suited to the contact list you have in your phone, we have a somewhat different view of privacy. We tried to build a system that you could use for the relationships over time. The people who built the Internet did not get a stable version of identity; You need identity, in the sense that you are a person, this is who you are these are your friends and so on … The issue on the Internet is not the lack of Facebook, the issue on the Internet is the lack of identity. “
Speaking at a press event on Thursday at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, former Google CEO and now Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt gave a 70 minute talk to the relatively few repor...
John Hardy not a Turnbull fan's profile photodandellion Kimban's profile photoU-Ming Lee's profile photoVaggelis Kapartzianis's profile photo
Oh.. wow. OK, given that I've been spending my time all day looking at Twitter updates from people on the ground at a protest and getting tear gassed, I can really appreciate why some people might not want to "exert their identity" at times. That kind of thing can be dangerous.
Eric Scmidt != Google. That guy is always putting his foot in his mouth, especially when discussing privacy.
I do spend all my time on the ground getting tear gassed in Greece. All my Facebook updates are under my real name, protesting is my right. And that's a rare exception in any case, having trouble with your country's law and/or regime cannot define what identity on the internet means, just like it does not in real life.
I'm always thrilled when somebody tells me what I need. Even more if what I need is identity and if that is said by Eric Schmidt.
Vaggelis that's great and I understand your point but I believe it's also true that one rule does not suit all. In some countries repression would make that stance too dangerous. There are also many other reasons why a person may want to maintain their privacy while still interact publicly on the internet. A high percentage of Google Buzzers for example without this being a problem.
You can't have civility if everyone's going around wearing a hood using a pseudonym, mankind has already concluded on that subject. There's no "internet" anymore, that's just the real world, as it was always supposed to be.
You think that pseudonyms don't exist in the real world?

Anyway Civility is not at stake here, a persona, including mine right here is merely a construct that I have invested time in constructing. It has a reputation and people who can vouch for it but you have no idea if it is my "real name" or not. The only thing I know about you is how you have chosen to present yourself here and in Buzz.

Personas become more "real" the more you interact with them but they all start off as fabrications of one sort or another.
@vaggelis.... It seems that you don't distinct use of pseudonyms from anonymity. Pseudonymes are tied up to identity. Actually, there is quite a lot of people sharing the name that's printed on my ID card, but the name I use on the Internet is (I hope) very much unique.
But then... verification system would just increase the amount of data they already collect.

Though, I'm already verified with them. I can't remember which service required it, but we played that game of them sending me a snail-mail letter and then me typing the code inside it.
But, remembering how the verification game failed in Second Life, that doesn't seem like a good idea.
The last time I looked verification was only available for US citizens and I'm not sure what the current situation is. I don't have a problem with proving who I am to Google but I think they should in return recognise that many people operate under a nom de web and that this is a real identity.

Where this is coming from is a desire to stop spammers spawning fake persons and sock puppets etc and I am sympathetic to that concern. Google is not Linden Labs and I guess that I do have more confidence in them to do the right thing.

How did verification fail in Second Life?
The internet is not Second Life. Google+ is not the internet. You can get on the internet even if you don't use Google+. If you want to interact with real people, then you better have a face and a name. You can publish anonymously in real life. You can't go on living your life anonymously in real life. You can publish anonymously on the internet. You can't join + anonymously. You can assume a different persona in real life, but you can't live your life as that persona. Internet, Google+, same thing. How hard can it be to understand these things? You do not have the right to live like an anonymous hoodie. You do not have the right to pretend you are a different person each day if you want to live in any kind of society. How hard are these things to understand?
True that Google is not Linden Lab, for both good and the bad. I did Google verification in Serbia, so I guess it can work anywhere in the world.

I am sympathetic with spamming problem (who isn't?) but spamming is easily dealt with reporting on case by case basis... it works for Twitter, why shouldn't work here?
The internet is the real world, get used to it guys. I really don't know what more can I say.
Age and identity verification in SL failed miserably just as it was expected. It provoked a huge rage among the residents, then even more rage and serious problems when the company which was supposed to do the verification (Aristotle) turned out to be a major data-miner with dubious history. Then they switched to verification by credit cards and then ceased the idea completely. It was a lot of drama and pissing off own customers (paying customers) for nothing.
@Vaggelis, I repeat myself but comments are getting screwed....

One thing yuo refuse to understand is that there is a huge difference between pseudonymity and anonymity.

One can publish a book iRL by pen-name, and one can go live under pseudonym in real life. As the matter of fact, may people does. And don't see why do you have such a problem with it.
No, you don't go on living under a pseudonym the way you mean. Unless everyone knows your real name too, and your grandmother will never call you Lady Gaga in any case :p
Hate to disappoint you but nobody except the police municipality clerks ever used my ID name. Not my family, neighbours, not even doctors. And even if you find me an extreme example, I don't see why should I use the name I'm not accustomed to on the Internet.
And even more... why should I cease to use the name, identity and reputation that I build for more than a decade just because Google and Facebook need to sell something and some users of G+ have their own strange opinions on identity.
OΚ, your mother started calling you dandellion Kimban the minute you were born, I can buy that.
No, but my mom had a nickname for me couple of months before I was born and before she had an "real" name for me. She, and the rest of the family and friends, used that nick since I was 17 and made my own spin on it. It's still in the use by family and friends that I meet personally. It is also listed on my G+ profile. I started using dandellion on he internet somewhere around 1997.
People use aliases all the time in the real world. You know someone by a name and only find out years later than they legal name is something completely different. These names have a legal standing through use and you can do all kinds of things with them. Being so pedantic here is unnecessary just as it is in many real world cases.
Wow, +Vaggelis Kapartzianis. Was it necessary to use a loaded term like "anonymous hoodies"?

Guys, for the billions of us who do not have the fortune to live in a part of the world where we feel free to use our state-recognised names to discuss issues that the state might not agree with, pseudonyms are almost a necessity and not a luxury! Calling us "anonymous hoodies" smacks too much of the official propaganda that says we are "foreign sponsored elements trying to foment rebellion".

For example, consider if a group of women in Saudi Arabia wanted to use Google Plus to keep in touch and perhaps feel like they wanted to complain about the perceived injustices in their society. Are we really suggesting that they should log in as "Muna al-Rashid" (random name), their real name and post their opinions? In some places, that would be tantamount to committing suicide!

On my part, seeing that I do use my real name on Google Plus, I do practise self-censorship. There are certain opinions I hold that I do not feel comfortable expressing out in an open forum due to.. well, let's just say cultural norms. I haven't done it but it has crossed my mind to open up a completely new account with a false name just to vent.

This real name practice really seems to me to be skewed towards a particular demographic - mostly those living in a modern Western democracy with "Western values".

No one's forcing Google to do anything but they really must make a firm decision on whether this is what they want. Enforcing a real names only policy means that you will lose a substantial number of potential members who will mostly represent the voices of the subaltern.

Yes, there are issues with allowing too many pseudonyms, I do realise that. But there must be a better solution than banning them all out of hand.
People can discuss anything in private on +. If you want to publish your opinions and accounts anonymously, then this is not the place.
And what if someone was going to post pictures of police shooting at protesters in, say, Libya? They have to post under their real name if they want to post it publicly or keep it within a restricted group in their circle? I suspect the public interest would be better served if it was posted publicly - and there's no way someone would want to do that if they had to use their real name.
Google+ is not the internet, I believe you have a hard time understanding that. You can publish a photo anywhere on the internet, you can build a following anywhere on the internet, you can discuss anonymously anywhere on the internet. Plus wants to know your real identity. You should respect that, it's a right too, you know, I do have the right to know who is addressing me :p
May I ask for your motives on supporting "real names" policy?
And 'non-human entity' profiles, will be available here, anyone can pretend to be anything not just anyone on them, too :p
Non-human entities are organizations, companies, causes and similar (though non-human is a bad choice of terms for those as well, those are usually not run by robots, animals or AI's).
Respectfully, I don't think any of us can say what Google+ is right now. We are, after all, still in a "field trial" stage and it's with discussions like these that we hope to shape the form of the "final" Google+.
Well, we are discussing Eric Schmidt's stated intention to make my Google+ profile my identity on the internet, I believe.
I'll have to give Google one thing though, the fact that so many people are expressing their opinion on threads like these shows that Google clearly has a bunch of users who are engaged. :)
Mark Zuckerberg has a Facebook page for his dog. Soon everyone will be able to have sth similar here.
I'm sorry for replying out of order, I have too many windows open atm :p
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