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I'm sending this note to +Vic Gundotra (who runs Google+ and is responsible for the real names policy) tonight:

Dear Vic,

It is time to open the doors.

The real-name policy you've put in place isn't workable.

I agree with the policy overall and have defended your policy quite a bit all over the place here on Google+. I agree with you that "being real" is the best aesthetic, but they simply aren't being enforced fairly, or properly, and it's causing too much distraction.

Your team needs to freaking get to work fixing the many bugs and issues on Google+ and doesn't need to spend its time chasing around people who are trying to use fake names.

I now have a list of people who are using real names. It's very easy to pick those who are using fake names out and not follow them.

We need a different answer to the real name problem and we need it now.

Here's what I suggest:

1. Expand the "verified" user program. You (er, Google) just verified me tonight, well, you can verify people who are using real names as well and have a submission process, etc. I can help you think that through.

2. Make it so "verified" names appear at the top of lists, etc. This would help enforce the idea to the community that real names are prefered here.

3. Make block really work. I noticed it improved tonight, but I still am seeing items from people I blocked show up in my streams because other people shared them in. I can also still view profiles of people I've blocked. If I've blocked them I never ever ever want to see them again. Google Buzz used to work, but here block is leaky.

4. Copy Quora's "anonymous" capabilities. They let people post anonymously and mark posts as such.

5. Let us better control who can comment on our posts. For instance, copy Disqus. They have two tiers: people I've already approved to comment on my blog posts, and people who haven't been approved. People who haven't been, get held in a queue until I get around to approving them (or marking them as spam, or a bad actor). Look at how Quora solved this problem (they really are far ahead of you in many areas).

6. Give everyone here a Klout-style score. Go make a deal with Klout so we can see what everyone's score is, both inside Google+ and outside (the two scores SHOULD be different -- I'm seeing a lot of people who have high Klout scores because of their work on Twitter not posting here at all).

Anyway, while I share your enthusiasm for trying to differentiate from Twitter and other online forums and getting people to use their real names, there are other ways to do that than just kicking people off the system.

By the way, Violet Blue is her real name and it's what she uses on her business cards and in real life. The fact that you're going after her and people like Skud demonstrates that this policy is simply unworkable.

Thanks, Google+'s #1 fan, Robert Scoble
Violet Blue originally shared:
This is crazy after breaking the story about Google+ accounts being deleted for not complying with the "Real Names" policy, and my continuing coverage on CBSi's ZDNet about the "Real Names" Google+ debacle.

My account has been flagged for not complying to the Google+ "Real Names" policy.

My account will be banned in two days. I will lose services I use daily.

Hey +Vic Gundotra +Bradley Horowitz +Chris Messina +Joseph Smarr +Louis Gray +Amy Walgenbach

This is entirely ridiculous, especially from a user experience perspective.

It is my real name.

I AM complying with your policy.
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So, how many times exactly can one +1 a post???
I wonder if Google will truly listen. They have been very receptive about other areas of Google+
+Robert Scoble Definitely agree with points 1 through 3. 4 makes sense. 5 sounds reasonable (but they need to do other tweaks to the comment control system beforehand). Do not agree with 6 because Klout is fair from "mainstream" and seems to be stuck in the Valley only. Hardly a useful service if Google+ wants to go mainstream.
+Robert Scoble could you make this a post? unfortunately right now I canot share it because the share only relates to the original post shared by you, (another G+ flaw).
Side note: because this was a share, the entire post can not be collapsed, and it is very large and takes up a lot of screen space.
+Petra Hildebrandt Share it anyway, then Edit the post to add in the link to Robert's comments, and quote them if you want. That's what I did.
Honestly, I must be the only person that doesn't have a problem with this. I don't use a fake name, and I don't understand the people that do. Are you using G+ to advertise yourself, or stay socially connected? If it's the former, then you already have FB and Twitter to do that. If it's the latter, then why use a fake name? It's pretty simple to understand. Just because a product isn't able to be used the way you want doesn't mean it's broke.
Violet Blue IS her real name, but Google is going to ban her account because it doesn't "look" real. It IS a broken policy.
Applause to +Robert Scoble for some practical common sense. "Do the simplest thing that works" is my ethic, Robert's proposal is simple and will work. Google's is unnecessarily complex and clearly doesn't work.
You think allowing anonymity would help the community here?

had a talk with a friend about this who raised some very good points:

"It makes sense to require real identity in a social network because the primary purpose of a social network is to connect communities of real people, not alter egos.

Youtube is not about social networking, it is about publishing, and there are valid benefits to not always providing real identity in publishing.

I believe you can also publish completely anonymously on Blogspot, another Google property. So it's a case of selecting the right level of identity restriction for the medium. At one end of the spectrum you have blog publishing, where the case can be made that complete anonymity will sometimes be very important, and at the other end of the spectrum you have a social network, where real identity is almost a foundational necessity.

The personal safety thing is a straw man argument in the case of G+. Profiles can be locked down to the point where all that is visible is a name and a picture, and the picture doesn't need to be identifying in any way.

Sharing is with personally selected circles. No one sees anything you don't explicitly allow them to see. And resharing can be disabled per post. There really aren't any known privacy concerns. People are wailing at imaginary demons, and it's frankly become depressing to see so many shrill articles protesting about risks and problems that don't exist.

As to Violet Blue's "Acknowledge The Modern Internet and Allow Pseudonyms", I don't have high respect for that angle. I consider internet pseudonymity a long running failed experiment. It has been on balance negative to online community, not positive.

Violet Blue (and many others) should acknowledge progress, that pseudonymity is not beneficial to community, and we are moving towards having some online arenas where real identity is valued and required. This is an upgrade on the internet, and those who wish to hold onto every wild west aspect of the internet are trying to hold back a movement towards better communities.

As to people who use pseudonyms professionally, it's likely that Google's common names policy would allow them to use those names here.

Oh, and I'm amused to see she picks up Reddit as a thriving pseudonymous community. Thriving, yes, but a textbook example of the superficiality of pseudonymous community and of the inherent unhealthy interactions.

Pseudonymous communities can thrive, but they cannot have healthy foundations of respect, trust, and reciprocity.

I see the decision in terms of what makes a better product. It's in their commercial interests to build a better community, and it's a known that pseudonyms make for worse community. So opting for allowing disposable pseudonyms would a) appease a vocal minority, b) build a worse community for the majority, and c) not actually be necessary to achieve the privacy goals the vocal minority are complaining about."
+Douglas Grubbs oh please not again. see the original post Robert hotlinked, Some people can't post under /use their web names, which are their identity, which is just wrong. Some people need to use names different from their given names to protect them from whatever repression they may be facing, or from stalkers, and they should have the option to do so if they like, period.
+Douglas Grubbs i agree with you, i you came here to connect with others, use your real name, you would not walk up to others on the street in a mask saying your name is 'Dark Dragon' or some wierd thing, people would think you are just nutty, this social network is like life, you can't have a fake name.
+Robert Scoble what exactly do we need Klout for? It seems to me to be a sheep's tool, ie: telling all the other sheep "here's a sheep with a bell, guys". Does the fact that a whole lot of other people take notice of you inherently mean anything other than "a lot of other people follow you"? I mean, Hitler had a huge Klout, didn't he? I bet it's great to know someone's Klout if you're looking to hire a marketing/commercial/evangelizer, but otherwise?
+Max Hodges do you not realize "Violet Blue" IS her real name? So what, Google should make an exception for her and give her a Verified badge? And then what when this happens to someone who doesn't have 80k followers, too bad for them? nice.
econd that. I can´t follow the policy anyway as I get suggestions by the hundreds of people who don´t have a surname (90%) and quite a number of obvious made up names.
Google, you offer me thousands of these people which I refuse, but your algorithms endorse them to me. I don´t want people with ´relevance´ who didn´t even bother to fill in a profile, never posted, have no real name etc.

Start working on verifying, follow Roberts other suggestions, concentrate more in general to get the community itself in control as that´s what he actually suggest. Stop the algorithms but give users the tools to weed through the vast amount of G+ people.

Give me selection tools like: minimum of 10 post in last twee weeks, having first and surname, has picture, has filled in profile, has a business in his profile, shares things about my interests not about making quilts or relationship counseling, show me my own comments and these of others I want to check out.

There is a long list to make circle management easier, better, more effective and more worthwhile for us, the actual users. If I don´t like Violet Blue I´ll kick her out myself. Id I don´t want to talk to people without surname let it be my choice etc.

In short let the users make their own choices BUT give them the tools to do. Put your energy there by providing us with information. That´s your core competency. Give it to us and let the screening be done by others. Just like the Google result it will be easy for you to see which profiles people don´t like and put them lower on suggestion lists.

Focus your energy on search tools instead of pre-filtering which is a battle you will always lose.
These are excellent suggestions, especially with regards to ranking users/comments and (optional) anonymity. Openness is important, but some people need the ability to say things without their real names attached to it. Rape victims, whistleblowers, people writing from small towns and countries where voicing your opinion might be dangerous. Also, there are many excellent bloggers out there known (only or mainly) by their pseudonyms. I want to find them and add their voices here, too.

I love G+, and I love how I can find people I know from real life. But this service has the potential to be so much more than Facebook, and I don’t mean this in terms of sheer numbers.

Google should give people choices. It’s a no-brainer.
Google is in a catch 22 here. If the cave, they look week and if they don't they are too autocratic. There's no win for them. Only way is to hold one big democratic vote/poll and go with that.
whatever Quora is, it's not open to the public yet. "Sorry, you must have an invitation to create an account on Quora."
Why can't we all be verified? Surly verification is for us all?
I agree. It's time for a verifiable electronic 'passport' that those of us who would like to get a legitimized online presence could use. It could be a combination of things, you could get a personalized bar code or something which would only be delivered if you could prove that you have other items that are verified by other external sources. E.g. my online electronic personality would only be delivered if I used a verified credit card, my cell phone number with a return code, my bank account, a scan of my passport, birth certificate, and other things that are verifiably your own. Make enough of them obligatory and it will get more difficult to fake a personality.
That being said, in some cases I'd like to be anonymous too, but in many cases I'd prefer to get a legitimized verification. it will become more and more prominent in future to get something like this. There are enough places where one can be anonymous.

(and a pet peve i have is that right now while using Chrome my screen jumps to comments that are being below the one that i'm typing and it's very irritating)
/just wanna see the slick animation when my notification count moves up :p
Verification is the way to go and is a slow process. Give it time and the process will go through.
+Nathaniel Kabal How many is this TRULY affecting? Let's talk real numbers here... 1000, maybe? Hell, maybe even 2000... but it is a problem that can be sorted out in time. Bitching and moaning day in and day out about a rule you didn't make on a site you don't pay for, it's just asinine. If you don't like the policy, you can leave until it changes. I'm sure all of the people that are being kicked and are using real names aren't throwing a temper tantrum, most of them are probably going about it in the correct way. Remember everyone, WE ARE STILL IN BETA!
Bravo for the letter! I had a similar issue with the name and it took days to fix it...
+Robert Scoble and I disagree with that... I think YOU (general you) should measure the value somebody's idea/post/etc. has on your own, and not trust outside judgement. I think somebody can have an absolutely genius idea one day, and be totally useless for weeks after, or be brilliant in one area, and zilch in others. Your Klout is probably much larger than mine, but I have more expertise than you in certain areas... should you be listened to more than me there? Or does your Klout change according to theme?
Full Ack! :-)
I hope that this post is really taken into account by the google+ engineers...
+Robert Scoble great proposals you've made except No. 6 Klout Score. A surprinsingly amount of G+ users, just like me, do not have a Twitter, LinkedIN, FB or Foursquare account, but are pretty active here on G+. So that would leave us - following your proposal - without a Klout Score. In my opinion not desireable...
+Max Hodges I refer to the following in your comment:

The personal safety thing is a straw man argument in the case of G+. Profiles can be locked down to the point where all that is visible is a name and a picture, and the picture doesn't need to be identifying in any way.

Would you trust Google+s "lockdown" features you speak so highly of, to work flalessly at keeping your posts only visible to the people whom you select when the personal safety of you, your family or your friends may be at risk it it fails one day and makes your information searchable to those you do not want to see it?

Probably not.
Uh... really? Isnt this just a sly form of discrimination towards net nuetrality and the right to anonymity? You have a choice not to follow people on this "social" network, why try to force your will on others? I'm about done with Googl+. This isnt my bank, or my school, or my taxes. And I have a hard time giving them my real name. Why dont you just ask me for my credit card number and SSN so you can check my credit score. Blood? Do you want my blood? We should probably make sure we have compatible DNA scores....
I would just like to point out that someone with this problem just gave us his timeline on recovery. +Dror Ben David says it took days to get it fixed. That's it, people. Days. So, can we calm this down and let Google sort this out?
+Vic Gundotra Please do not open the system up to allow pseudonyms. Google+ should stay the course and resolve issues like +Violet Blue 's on a case by case basis.
+Petra Hildebrandt +Robert Scoble +Paul N Considering Google Plus allows you to share your posts with only the people whom you select, and you can lock down your profile so that people can only see your name and a picture (and the picture doesn't need to be a photo of you). How is Google Plus anymore troublesome for people who have a stalker than having an email account?

I think the personal safety thing is a straw man argument. There really aren't any known privacy concerns.

Allowing anonymity for a vocal minority would results in a worse community for the majority of users.
I disagree strongly with the Google+ real names policy. People can have many good reasons not to convey their own name. They may be living in a police state, they may be chased by a violent spouse, etc etc. You should have the freedom to be here anonymously!
+Max Hodges In addition, it's interesting that every time this debate comes up people always resort to extremes when mentioning examples of people who need anonymity (and many of the extremes they mentioned would be better off not using a public social network).
Why do anyone really care abour if the person in the other end have real name or a good alternative. It's the opions and how the person express them that matters. Not whart name one use. Facebook and old meda, and TV in have clearly showmn that using a real name doesn't make anyone care about not lieing, or using false source to make trolling. Take a five minute look at any TV debatt and people with real names make as bad trolling and false accumaned as any of the fake trolls. The 0only think that matters is the accumilates reputate of the name.
What G+ don't realize is that it will not reduce people who use fake name, but simply making the same people who use fake names to use fake names that sound real.

This real name policy does not solve a thing (on people hiding behind a fake identity), but create many problems to those who have solid reasons to use nickname. The purpose of this policy is valid, but the execution based on using "real name" is stupid.
Technical thing: when you talk about the 'policy' (singular), you talk about it in plural... Is that a mistake or is 'policy' a plural word in the valley?
+Max Hodges Well tha current police make it really hard tp know how is who.., Darn RL names that are to common and well don't match anything.
+Nathaniel Kabal Let it be case by case and it will work its self out in the end. Is there a rush on this that I don't know about? Are there things that must be posted here that can't be said elsewhere? All I'm saying is that this problem is getting blown WAY out of proportion by people with big mouths and too much time.
Adding my two cents worth. Please don't listen to this. Anonymous posting leads to spam and hateful comments.

With regarding to limiting comments I couldn't disagree more. If you've posted something to the public then the public should be allowed to comment.

If you post something to a closed cirlce ( and disabled reshare ) then you won't get unwanted comments from the general public.
+Chong Chen Tong And if they abuse their fake identities then they get reported and kicked. The system will work, given time...
+Michael Coleman Take a look at the site After you do that may be you could contact each person on the site and explain to them why you are they should not be allowed to use their chosen pseudonym.
+Anders Arnholm indeed. Authors use fake names all the time, it is about the content of the material published. So why not allow anyone to use any name?
I agree +Robert Scoble. It's time for it to change, it's time for this distraction to end. I'm tired of addressing this to my audience and other musicians and performers who are too nervous to use G+ as a result.

While I'm not sure if I agree with the concept behind dropping those of us who use professional pseudonyms to the bottom if we're not "verified" I do think that something can be done. and it needs to be done soon.
+Michael Coleman I am using my real name, but I do understand those who don't want to. what happened to respect, understanding, walk a mile in their shoes, acceptance of different ideas? do we really have to enforce a one fits all policy?
I think the policy is not working, and you need to stay with facebook, twitter and much plurk becase the smart people can't use the same name hare and you have no idea how to find them.
+Stuart Olver Please provide evidence for your claim that anonymous posting always leads to hateful comments. Oh and "because I think so" is not evidence.
+Robert Scoble Well, posting anonymously is one thing but using an alias is another. It has advantages to be able to use an alias and I dont understand why G+ should not allow that.
+Steve Remington They should get their name legally changed, or in the case that they are afraid of physical violence, then they shouldn't be somewhere where the person they are scared of can find them. There is plenty of security here to be had, if you aren't as anonymous as you'd like, then you shouldn't be on a SOCIAL network in the first place...
Agree on all except 3 and 4. Nothing anonomously only with a nickname or pseudo. Don't want to see anonymous standing anywhere.

And the blocking doesn't need to go that far. If people share from one you blocked it becomes their stream. If they block that to that would mean it is blocking the blocked person and the one who shared. Thats not logical at all to me.
+Petra Hildebrandt Do you remember what the teacher would tell the student who brought candy to class? "Did you bring enough for everyone?" When you let a few people bend or break the rules, then you have to let everyone, which leads to branding and advertising spam.
1. Expand the "verified" user program. You (er, Google) just verified me tonight, well, you can verify people who are using real names as well and have a submission process, etc. I can help you think that through. <--- really??? i refuse to give google anymore information about my self then i already have to, and that is too much as it is! Now, the idea is to say hey have people go through this process where a person is going to have to give up more information possible license and/or other paper work to make sure you look cool and have "verified" next your name. O ya and if dont go through this program then your a second class citizen and your pushed down to the bottom.. I mean come on +Robert Scoble where you cheerleading the government when they tried to get bill about internet ID moved forward. I would rather be part of the insidious facebook then go through giving information to validate my identity since the information that validates my identity IRL is not something to be given away willy nilly. Maybe someone like you who has a lot of followers, know well in the public sphere, has chosen to be a public figure, and could have impostors wants that, but if that was mandated i can assure you me and other would jump ship.

5. Let us better control who can comment on our posts. For instance, copy Disqus. They have two tiers: people I've already approved to comment on my blog posts, and people who haven't been approved. People who haven't been, get held in a queue until I get around to approving them (or marking them as spam, or a bad actor). Look at how Quora solved this problem (they really are far ahead of you in many areas). <-- why are you posting public if wanna have control of what people are saying... A little bit of over sharing if your sharing public and dont like the response you might get.

number 6 i am just going to leave with no comment..

In all honest i get emotional about people wanting to make sure i have to give more information then i want to. I really like your post as they are interesting and insightful, but this is so wrong...

Also the people commenting about wanting to regulate comments only seems to be the people who have ridiculous amount of users.. and most y'all are using it a brand then as a personal account.
+Douglas Grubbs They should get their name changed Really!? They should have to change their name just because you have some problem with people using a pseudonym on a social netowrk.

Spoken like a guy who has never faced the sort of problems these people have faced.

Please explain to me why the world will apparently come to an end if people are allowed to post under a pseudonym?
+Douglas Grubbs You are aware that your name is breaking the policy, and mine for that matter, the police states that one can't used the name of any other and i know both your and my name isn't unique.
+Steve Remington Agree, well spoken! The Real Name policy of G+ is very unsympathetic and has changed my formerly very positive attitude towards Google.
+Nathaniel Kabal I like your reply.

That is exactly why I used the word "always" in my question.

If we designed system policies to deal with every loser, idiot and numb nut in the world we would never get anything done on any system.
I gotta agree with you +Robert Scoble its a sliding slippery slope you cant control. I mean my Birth name is Christian. Should G+ force me to use my legal name online? Why not my middle to as long as we're being_exact_. Once you let me slide why not others? By all technical means Chris isnt my Legal name but its the one I've always used. I see where Google+ is trying to separate stuff so they can have the business accounts but there must be a better way to deal with it. My mom technically gave me a fake name at birth anyway. In the womb I wanted the name Dude. I agree, I mean most people dont know your real name is Roberto? lol j/k
+Douglas Grubbs then let me put it another way. In my country at least 10 people have the same name as I, who are online. So who's a fake? One is a politician in a parliament. does that make me an impostor? Wouldn't using my blog name, which is well known over here, identify me a lot better than my passport-approved name? If I had a pen name (which I will have sooner or later for novel writing purposes) is that a fake name to you? Would I be allowed to post with my pen name if you got to choose? why does someone have a right to define what's right or wrong. if I post under a name (does anyone think Xeni Jardin is a given name? Not in my part of the world) - would you force Michael Keaton to post as Michael Douglas, the name he was christened with? Why force anyone? Ignore whom you dont' like and be done with it.
+Steve Remington You totally breezed past my point. If you are to the point where you are scared to post on the internet with your real name, it is either time to change it, or stop posting. There is security in place here that allows you to be almost completely invisible to anyone you want. If that isn't enough, then move along. Go post on 4chan. They can't track you down there.
+Petra Hildebrandt What are you here for? To advertise yourself, or to keep in contact with people you know and expand your social circle. If it is the latter then I doubt anyone will get you confused with a member of parliament...
+Petra Hildebrandt Ignore whom you dont' like and be done with it.

Well put. That is the best part of Google+ and other services such as Twitter. If you don't like what someone say or are for some reason uncomfortable about them possibly posting under pseudonym you simply don't have to follow them or if they become a bit annoying just block them.

It is for this reason I do not see why so many people are getting bent out of shape.

I wonder if the real reason some people have problem with this is that they think they are not strong / tough enough cope with one day discovering that someone who they communicted with online was not exactly who they said they were?
Hei... Are u sure this violet blue is not being paid by facebook to bad mouth Google +?
The saddest comments are those suggesting that people who have to be afraid of saying something in public shouldn’t use a public social network in the first place.

I’d like to call that the Burka model of free thought.
Everybody i add in facebook hav real names... and it would be the same here too... Spammers wont be a problem once google plus stops being a tech blog and actually become a social networkin site....
Has anyone bothered to think that maybe Google wants it this way for now, as part of the closed Beta, and then when it is opened to the public they will add in some branding badges and allow all of this as long as it is identified?
+Anders Arnholm If they are really friends then I think that they can identify here with or without a pen name. All of my friends know what my online handle is, as well as my real name, which I use on social networks.
Well it's clear that like it this way for now, and it's clear it makes big problems.
Thanks for bringing this up Robert. I knew something was awry in the system when I found out someone by the name of +Lorraine Murphy had been kicked off of Google+ for not using her real name. I had never heard of this person before. Except I then I heard that the person in question was who I have known for a very long time now as Raincoaster. I've always known her as this and wouldn't have batted an eyelid at calling her that in real life had I met her. That's her name to me, period. It may not be her name in the real world, but it's the name I have always known her as and will always know her as in the virtual world. Since Google+ is a virtual world it makes sense to to let people use the name they're known as in the virtual world. Many of these people clearly aren't doing it for nefarious purposes, it's just the way they do things on the internet. They often have perfectly valid reasons for not wanting to use their real name online too.
Also my opinion is that all these celebs shud hav special pages...
You know, I'm kinda getting sick of this - If you don't want to play by Googles rules, then just don't play. I don't care if ANY of these people use Google+ or not.
+Anders Arnholm And for those that don't like it, they can post their ramblings about breakfast elsewhere. As for me, it's bed time.
+Craig Rood Well i care, i think g+ is much better that facebook or twitter. But i don't like to loose friend just becase googles stupid policy regaring something i don't care about. If the name is connected to rl or not. I care about the ideas the posts what the people do. The name's connection to rl is just stupid, there are so many having the same rl name, i think pseodynumes helps to uniqly identify people, and i don't want o mess them up, now is have about 300 i have no clue about who they are, but I'm pretty sure i do know them with an other name.
Sorry, but beyond the debate as such, by reading the message received by Violet I see a new problem here - the ban on G+ extending harm to other Google services, in particular Picasa...
"2. Make it so "verified" names appear at the top of lists, etc. This would help enforce the idea to the community that real names are prefered here." <-- yet another step towards a default list :) and I completely disagree that Klout scores should be used - if anything let Google create their own score if you want something "internal" to google+.
+Athul Jayson The only way you can ensure what you said about your Facebook account it to sight the formal identity of everyone you add as a friend in Facebook. I assume you have done that otherwise you would not have made such a statement in your comment here.
+Robert Scoble if we are talking about suggestions, how about putting actual information into the emails about who someone is - just a name is meaningless when I don't know the person - at least job title, company, etc....
Ron Bee
Add the ‘verified’ seal to the popup card when I hover over your name in threads.
I agree with all of the above, except Klout.

If you want to get/flaunt a high score, then go play one of the many games now available on Google+. Or, dust off that Nintendo Wii.
Why would we want anon posts?

Tiers of users sounds like a nightmare to me, why do you need to limit the people who can comment? Isnt that what sharing to a particular circle is for?

What would thee purpose of a user score be, let alone a score which is different inside and outside of g+?

You come across as if these are imperatives, but they would just complicate the whole service

I'm finding it hard enough to get non techies to understand how to use g+, these are the people it needs but tiers and scores are not what they need! 
+Steve Remington I can't provide evidence. I can just draw from my personal experience of using websites with pseudonymous and anonymous posting.

I guess I can't say "always", I haven't used every site and forum out there. There is a lot of media coverage in the press at the moment where sites are receiving criticism over cyber, online bullying on sites allowing anonymous posting and commenting. I think a real-name policy reduces this and also helps cut down on spam.
+Robert Scoble This is still a golf club solution. You propose grudgingly letting all these undesirables in under sufferance but then making sure they feel decently uncomfortable and excluded if they actually dare show their 'uncommon' faces in your club.
It's sad and frustrating, seeing the devout and ravenous rule mongers descend on the most free place on the planet, the Internet. This includes this whole real name situation, although I extend it also to those who want to dictate purpose and usage of G+.

Conformity does not breed innovation or creativity. In fact it's the exact opposite. The reason why we are interesting to one another is not our commonalities but what makes each of us unique. I personally think we should embrace those differences, even if they are in contrast to our own tenancies or preferences towards conformity.

If you want your Utopian G+ with only verified people in circles and QRC coded emails, webcam retina scanners, and all of that, you're welcome to it. Build chrome extensions that will discover if someone in a circle has posted pictures of food and automatically block them and on and on. You should be free to use services like these as you see fit, and I should be able enjoy that same freedom.

Let it be, grow and evolve into whatever it will. I don't need to convince anyone of this however, it's going to anyway. :)

Having said all of that, I am a nobody and most of the people commenting here, I'm sure, are much smarter than I. Carry on. ;)
I'm actually backing off of my support of this policy because I see that it just isn't right the way they are implementing it.
+Robert Scoble when a policy is not being properly implemented, we improve the implementation before deciding that the problem is the policy..
+Robert Scoble I think you're on thin ice personally if you believe some people are more valuable than others but what I really take exception to is that you still seem to believe that a person's contribution to a community can be predicted in advance solely from the name they use
Reading between the lines, I suspect that what people supporting real names really want is an accurate profile of a person's background so they can pre-judge them on that basis.
+Robert Scoble Animal Farm? Some are more equal than others? In a social network, surely everybody IS the same and provide the same value, because a social network is supposed to reflect our real life community but without distance barriers? A social network is NOT a job interview for a marketing director position, nor even NGO director. If you want a TED conference, that's what a TED conference is for. Much as I like chicken, I shouldn't aspire to making fish taste like chicken too.
I agree with most of your points. The real name policy is great, I think it adds a lot a accountability that Twitter does not seem to have. Because of that I really do not want to see anonymous posting at all.

What should probably happen is just let the community flag people for names in violation. I am guessing they are using some algorithm right now to automatically flag things for review. I can not imagine they have humans going through all of them. So just be a little mor lenient with the ban hammer, like in the case of Violet (who I can not even link to, I guess because of the ban) just leave her alone unless she gets reported several times then review.

+Robert Scoble the problem I see with everything else you suggested is that it becomes too hard for any normal user. Unless Google can find ways to hide all the complexity from the users people coming from Facebook will quickly become overwhelmed. Even though Facebook is a mess, the few people I have convinced to move to G+ have not been active and been scared off by the different interface.

Pile on top of all the new stuff comment moderation, approval lists, klout scores and it just becomes that much more complex.
+Stuart Olver For every incident of cyber-bullying that is reported in the media how many polite, civil interactions occur on the web? You are never going to see the news story with the headline: "Millions of people on the web communicated in a polite civil manner today". Because of this we perceive the incidence of negative web behaviour to be much higher than it actually is. Moreover we respond to these situations by implementing prodcedures that at best achieve nothing and at worst unnecessarily unconvenience a significant number of people.

I like to call this "the whole class is put on detention after school because little Johnny was naughty" approach to solving problems.

What do you think is the ratio of unpleasant interactions to pleasant interactions for you on the web?

Also I have winessed just as many unpleasant online interactions on places that do have a real name policy (e.g. Facebook) and I can tell that jerks exist in that envionment.
As I suggested in Robert’s other post regarding this topic: Why can’t +Vic Gundotra and his venerable team of rocket scientists let everyone provide and filter whatever kind of identity they want?

When you sign up, provide or don’t provide First / Middle / Last Name (+ Brand or Company once we get that), one or more pseudonyms. Link and verify these, or don’t. Add more data when you feel more confident.

Let users set up filters that only show whatever defines their personal model of the perfect social platform: Only (cough) “proper” Western names, verified VIPs, whatever.

Bonus: I can search for interesting people whom I only know by their long-established pseudonyms/Twitter/blog names.

Those who only want interaction with “real life” people can have it; they wouldn’t even have to see/interact with those that don’t fit into their world (Burka Mode).

I think G+ has enough room for both models (_and_ the smart people to implement it – if you can filter NSFW content from my searches, you can filter out *nyms :).
+Robert Scoble You may want to this blog post from a relatively well known and respected Australian technology journalist in Australia after he was struck off Google+ for using legal, real, single name:

Stilgherrian · Right, Google, you stupid $%^#@, this is simply not on!

Warning: This post does contain a liberal smattering of choice swear words.

The comments although lengthy are worth reading.
+Robert Scoble I believe this happened in "Animal Farm" as well. Some laid eggs, some don't, some gave fur and some kept on eating.
But still they fought for some very basic rights and equality. No?
You miss the point entirely, +Robert Scoble, because this IS life, or supposed to be a reflection of it, a human life is equal to any other, and therefore so should your G+ account. My mother might not bring better photos, writing or videos, but she is still more valuable to me, personally, than you, or any photographers out there, who is G+ to tell me who I should want in my life or network? She is also a great English teacher, and very valuable to all her students. There being, nowadays specially, such a HUGE variety of fields to be "better than others" in, it is impossible to really give Brownie points meaningfully. On the other hand, one is only "better than others" when there are "other" to be compared to, beauty only exists (to our eyes) because we have "non-beauty" to compare it to.
And I think we musn't forget the huge advantage that internet has given to "non-entities" to be known, precisely because they don't have to fight against a filtering system (publishing houses, etc.) to get to their audience, who judge for themselves the merit of what they bring. +Christina Trapolino might not have arrived very far if people had to judge her Klout before reading her. And then again, somebody who is not really "valuable to society" (I HATE that expression, btw) might provide huge insights into, say, the current situation in Egypt by virtue of living there, which you simply can't give.
Edit: also the fact that I would probably value more a photographer who is local, because he will be doing great photos of the landscapes that I know and love, which would be meaningless to you, or somebody talking about local laws and/or situations, totally meaningless to you on the other side of the ocean, absolutely valuable to me.
I think it's time to go on strike.. I for one won't be posting here anymore until this is resolved.
its good plolicy - put some real world name or better stay at FB. FB is good for them.
Google already has my real name...Google checkout...I'm pretty sure debit and credit cards don't let you use fake names...why not verify via Google checkout if available?
I kind of like the real name policy. It sorts all the mess out and allows for (mostly) honest discussion and interaction. People tend to make a lot of noise and digital pollution when they're anonymous.
+Patrick Lambert "do you not realize "Violet Blue" IS her real name?"

Yes, I did read that. So she should be fine, I hope, if she's given an opportunity to verify that to be true. Maybe she can post a scan of her passport and drivers license (with the personal bits redacted) so there is no dispute about it.

>So what, Google should make an exception for her and give her a Verified badge? And then what when this happens to someone who doesn't have 80k followers, too bad for them? nice.

I totally agree with you that Google needs some mechanism so people can demonstrate their identity for account verification purposes. No dispute about that.

I just don't think Google Plus should be a place where people can post anonymously.
We aren't in disagreement +Robert Scoble as it's concerned with rules and laws, just maybe how we view them. I'm not suggesting we all start editing the same word document and scrap this whole ID tied to individual posts thing or any such nonsense. :) That'd end up being as useful as Google Wave. haha Too soon? ;D

Human nature is adaptive, and certainly with time we've found cooperation to be much more beneficial to any alternative.

Surely we are not without rules here. I can't post text any place I'd like on the screen, nor pick horrible fonts to assault your eyes with, or post pornographic images (nor am I suggesting anyone should be able to). I'm already conforming to standards simply by being here in the first place, and certainly Google is doing it's darnedest to set itself apart in features and style. That is apparent and appreciated!

To me this is an issue about freedom of expression and freedom to determine ones own level of comfort with concerns to privacy. I personally don't believe anyone should have the right to force their own personal choices in that matter, on some other person. Regardless of it's presumed benefit.

Granted you're free to say "If you don't like, you can just leave!" But isn't that to the detriment of your own community and opportunities to be exposed to new ideas? Let's suppose that your neighbors take a vote and proclaim me as the new owner of your home. Being the nice guy that I am, I assure you that you can stay and live comfortably as you were. However, I'm going to charge you $24,000 a month. Obviously this would not be ok with you. If you don't like that, well you can just leave! Is this truly the type of community people want to foster here? Seriously?

With all due respect; the argument of "the overall good" is a bit of a fallacy.

Instead I purpose the following as I believe you're a human being with good intentions: The speed limit is not what keeps you from going 150 mph. You choose not to do it because you are mortal. You do not want to injure yourself. You do not want to injure others (mothers, friends, children). You do not want to damage your car, or someone else's car. You certainly don't want pay higher insurance premiums should you have an accident! Those things have little to do with the speed limit. Besides I'm sure everyone on this thread that drove a car today at some point was speeding on purpose or on accident. Including me.

Let's suppose the laws surrounding the speed limit were lifted today and the speed limit remained only to serve as a suggested speed. Do you then believe that everyone would then be driving 300 mph the next day?

Using the same logic, this would suggest that if we made suicide legal in the US we'd have morgues overflowing with bodies the next day. While I can not predict the future, I find it highly unlikely.

If you're interested at all in these sort of topics I'd encourage you to look into Polycentric Law, and Praxeology (study of human action).

While we might disagree, I will say that I do enjoy your commentary and your dutiful curation. :)

Thank you for the discussion and the opportunity to share my ideas as well.
+Steve Remington Good point about the risks of Google failing to protect posts intended for a limited audience from falling into other people's hands. That kind of thing could happen with email communications too - a hacker could infiltrate the Hotmail database system. Or someone could simply again access to one of your friend's facebook accounts and read your posts that way too. Or someone could simply leave their iPhone or notebook in a taxi and have it fall into the wrong hands.

If you really want to be anonymous, you need to think of the end-to-end layers of security and data access protections which might be thwarted. Posting things on a social network is probably not the best forum when you need to ensure protected speech. Even if you can use a fake name, there are still IP logs.
Most sounds good except having to moderate posts of unknown users. That makes sense for people in 10,000 people's circles, but not people who are interested in meeting new people -- it makes it impossible to maintain a flow of conversation in the comments. Have it be an optional setting in ones profile or the post itself.
+Max Hodges there are applications out there like TOR which make IP tracing extremely difficult if not impossible. Setting up a gmail account or any other services behind a proxy like that is trivial, if you use fake names there's no way to prove otherwise. I can fax you a fake ID (as proof), post with a fake name, and a fake gmail account, using a fake picture and accessing the 'net via public wifi and unsecured private wifi ... so even if you do find my IP address it's a Starbucks or Jeff 12 blocks away, not me. If you wanted to take it that far you could do that without much trouble honestly.
Great post Robert. I hope Google will accept your offer of dialog. I'm not saying I agree with all your suggestions, but you do bring some great user insights to the table. Google needs to be a bit more open minded and intelligently flexible here. 
+Max Hodges You are correct, in the extreme, dissident and totalitarian government type scenario that a lot more technical care than a pseudonym is required.

In the more common cases (e.g. female wanting to stay anonymous because of previous stalking or simply the not yet of the closet homosexual who want to discuss issues about their sexuality online without risking things in their "real life") a pseaudonym would be sufficient and to put it simply Google is pig-headly, without a well-articulated reason stopping these people from participating in a social network that I thought Google would be very keen to grow.
Some very good ideas. There is an irony here that Google needs to pay attention to; G+ is reshaping the social space this policy indicates that they do not understand the ethos of it. This policy and their odd enforcement of it could be more damaging than it appears they know. Google, be what you aspire to; listen, evolve
Speaking of "real names", this policy could easily be seen as unfair as many people are more widely known by other names.
Take Alicia Christian Foster... aka "Jodie" Foster. A very well known person, and I am sure Google would not expect a "real name" from her. And, using the worst argument ever, the slippery slope; if a celebrity can use a different name, and an author can use a different name, then where precisely is the line? If Google was able to very precisely define this line in some way, I would still very much support the real name policy.

I think that each user profile should consist of a real name and maybe 2 or 3 pseudonyms. All posts would default to the real name unless the pseudonym is designated for a post. This would allow for the "Publius", "Cato", "Brutus", etc. of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. The extra click or two to use a pseudonym would be a "click tax" which would still promote real name use. Just one of many possible solutions, I'm sure.
I amazed that they spend their time "policing" peoples names. I wonder if Dweezil Zappa could use G+ either. It certainly isn't that I don't think in principle it is a good idea, but is it practical and will it give G+ the Klout they seek? I have thoroughly enjoyed being here I'd hate for it to become "sour grapes" because of this they are doing so much right.
I use my real name here, but on Twitter and all around the Web I use Moon and on YouTube I'm, Eagle, so is +Vic Gundotra going to let me change?
Not a bad letter. I love the Klout sugegstion. I love the real name verified account suggestion.

Not for nothing how about allowing cross-posting to Twitter? Or making a public API even if it is restricted, for now. The Klout sugesstion is also good.
+Robert Scoble People need to be allowed to use fake names, not just check a box to "be anonymous". The "real names" policy is sinister. There are many evil things that can be done with real names tied to all of Google's other data. (E.g., facial recognition in public areas based on G+ tagging, merging G+ data with other online and offline databases, etc.)
The Klout score is also being noticed by agencies and brands. They are beginning to take notice and connecting with bloggers & influencers because of their Klout score.

So you can say it's a useless or meaningless number. But businesses are using that number to engage others for possible business opportunities. 
I want a place where real names are used. I want a place where identities can be verified. I want Google+ to be that place.

If I wanted to deal with jokers screwing around, pretending to be someone else, well, that's what the other 99.999999995% of the internet is for.

Notoriety and fame != caste
After reading some more comments there's a second piece to this that is missing ... popularity is not equal to value, nor is popularity equal to best. Popularity is just what it says, it's the most popular, there are no other values associated.

Unfortunately that's how a lot of these systems function. It ends up being quantity (more people, posts, shares, retweets) not quality (subjective value). I want to see the best content from all available sources, not the most popular content from the most popular sources. Those two things are not the same.

I would assume (please correct me if I'm wrong) that is what +Robert Scoble prides himself in as a curator ... the service he's providing is finding the best content.

Robert you have said in a previous interview (I'm paraphrasing) that your personal connections to these people are what allow you more quickly and accurately deduce the value of content, as those of us without those connections can not perhaps as readily identify that value as we have no or little foundation to do so (we don't know what we don't know).

Real names that are verified, klout scores, sophisticated filters, will never replace the intimate knowledge that comes from personally knowing someone and those person's values. Additionally I assume that personally knowing these people is a cornerstone of your service and value in your own content (it is certainly the very reason I started following your posts). Therefore, relying on electronic anything to validate or filter those whom you would receive content from would only serve to erode the foundation that made your own content valuable in first place.

That'd be a shame. :\ But I'm also making a lot of assumptions here and might very well be way off.
I love the idea of having 2 kinds of verified users: Verified celebrities / famous people, and verification for those who are using their real names. This would provide a great way to separate those who are here for serious networking from those who are here just for the LULz. Personally, I'd much rather network with real people rather than avatars hiding behind aliases.

Regarding Klout: I'm not a fan. It borrows too much from the high school popularity contest mentality. Some of the most talented people I know aren't well known simply because they're socially awkward. And some of the most useless people I know of are practically worshiped. Justin Beiber, for example, has a Klout score of 100.
(psst.. eff'd up algorithm..) Didn't I read somewhere that algorithms are all that Google is about? Perhaps an eff'd up algorithm is the root cause of this real name debacle?
It should come down to choice. Google really should focus on what they do best and that's being innovative. So far, yes they're onto something good here with Google+ and this whole naming policy is very stern but this is beta still and those things can change. It's sort of easy to see who isn't using a real name for most part. If you suspect someone isn't using their name, just don't add them to your circle and move on. That is your choice.

I really want to see Google succeed over Facebook. Why? Because they grown too much and in the opposite way of networking and being social.I've written a long stream on this topic. Not going to rewrite it here again from my phone.

Yes the naming policy is a bit, hard. But it is overall a service, free that Google is letting us use. Fine, with me because I've got nothing to hide but I can understand it for people that do need to hide. So there's got to be a middle ground for everyone.

I know a lot of my friends from Facebook won't come here because of this policy. That's okay, they can keep reposting the same status updates where they're at. I enjoy Google+ because it feels real right now. I've been strangely fortunate to always find an interesting stream to read that then leads me to find interesting people to circle. And maybe that's what Google is trying to test. Is how do people connect when they're themselves? Who knows.

My concern right now especially just over this Google games thing they launched is they're not really being innovative with it, they just copied the Facebook formula when they can do so much better and take it in different directions.

I'm very sleepy so perhaps not as sharp as I'd like to be with all these good point on both sides however I wanted to put my two cents in. Thank you.
+John Smith, not necessarily. Both kinds of verified users, celebrities and real-name users, could be listed together at the top as Scoble suggested. Or, if people search is ever implemented, there could be filters to show only verified or unverified users.
Great suggestions. Google+ is still at the ground floor. A great time to incorporate some best practices of other SM and be well positioned when this is pushed out of beta, and when they are ready (if ever) to allow business. accounts.
Great note/list! I love it!! I hope Google gets why you are right.
+Tony Sharp Fair enough - I imagined some kind of three tier ranking system with celebrities at the top. I have no problem with verifying someone is a person. I just don't see any need to verify their name. (BTW: Sorry, I didn't realize you'd replied to me when I deleted my post - I re-read it and removed it when I realized it was offensive)
That's very nice put +Robert Scoble . I would like 2 more options put in before it opens up.
#Hastag (Need this desparately..With Cloud, this would be awesome.
#Search within Google+ rather than the one ridiculous way that only Geek can achieve.

If Google hadn't made a big deal about Real Names...I believe, this issue would never have existed. I believe 70% of the people will continue using their real name and that is good enough (In my opinion)
it is pretty bad when the name policy is suspending peoples profiles that are using their "real name" just because their "real name" is considered some how to not be normal. I fully agree google needs to do more bug fixing before anything else.
+Robert Scoble this is exactly the core of the problem. You know that Violet Blue is her real name, but Google's algorithm doesn't and a griefer can get her tossed. I said the same thing about Skud when she was suspected - I met Skud in person at a hackathon or conference or party or something, and she introduced herself as Skud. But you didn't know Skud, and made fun of her name a bit (until you realized that it's her real name). An algorithm can't guess. That is why the policy is unenforceable. Glad to see that you're seeing this.
Please get them to use nicknames, that is by far and away the best solution I have seen. Then you can let different people see different names. It's a win for everyone because people are more likely to post their real name because they know everyone who is going to see it so Google get that info and users win because they can stick to using pseudonyms if they want to.
+Robert Scoble I mostly agree with the points except for the Klout score. G+ is supposed to be primarily a social network. You want to hear from your cousin even though she isn't famous. Also one of the things that Klout does is bias toward recency. That means that if you have a baby, or are sick, or have a startup, and stop posting frequently for a while then you are disappeared from the system. That doesn't happen with your cousin. When your cousin gets out of the hospital and is back up and around, and gives you a call, the phone still rings. (Reputation would be helpful, but G+ needs a thoughtful solution not geared toward maintaining celebrity, much as that would be good for celebrities)
I like that your turn around from your original position. Some of these ideas are interesting. A Klout score is easier to remember, filter, and manage than a name often times. Klout has become a social FICO score.
+Robert Scoble You are right on in every way - except for the Klout score. I agree with +Adina Levin on the Klout score, and I would add that for the reasons Adina gives, to overlay the necessity of a Klout score would be a big branding and product strategy mistake.

The 'real'-names controversy has already damaged not only Google+ but the Google brand at large. To add a factor that seems to exclude people who are not The Stars would not only turn people off further but would also exclude people who may be a next wave of stars and those who are turned off by the fad of vanity metrics scoring.

In terms of the social network science, making Google+ a place where everyone is scored will drastically prune the existing network, reduce the number of high-end thinkers, scientists, new innovators and creatives that Google+ can capture and foster to be the next wave of Stars, and will stunt the network's growth globally.

It would be almost as big a mistake as the 'real'names policy. Keep in mind many top people in their fields including those who are notable people and valuable in the community do not like and do not participate in vanity scoring. It would be bad product strategy to turn Google+ into a vertical for those who love or will put up with vanity metrics. In a sense it would be garish - a lot of very serious high end talent find it silly.

Thank you so much for your piece and for interceding on this important issue!
Scott S
Sorry +Robert Scoble but you keep missing the key solution: allow pseudonyms! How does someone commenting as "sunshine" hurt anyone? On the other hand, it may help that user considerably and may allow for online friends to find her.

I fail to see the value in a fake name like "Joe Smith" vs. any non-foul pseudonym. Should I block all posts/comments by "Scobleizer" that I see elsewhere on the net - simply because it's a pseudonym? The entire circles concept is opt-in, what issue are you/Google trying to solve?

As you noted, this policy is hurting G+ and has started to hurt other services (reader, picasa, etc.). Similarly, you are hurting your brand by supporting this awful policy. We should judge people by their actions/comments, not their name.
Scott S
+Robert Scoble: "Everyone is NOT equal in a social network. Some bring better photos than others. Some bring better writing. Some bring better videos than others."

Agreed. However, I notice you didn't say some are better because they have a "common name."
+Ian Wall awesome comment, it seems like people dont really understand value and values.
The problem with the "real name" policy is that it's completely unenforceable unless you require ID when you sign up. As it is, it's not a "real name" policy, it's a "no unusual names" policy. If you use a weird name, you get blocked, if you use a common name, all is fine.

So basically, if your legal name happens to be unusual, Google+ actually encourages you to use a fake name, completely to the contrary of their stated policy. But if you say your name is John smith, they have no way of telling whether that's really true or not. Unless they require ID. And they need to be able to distinguish real ID from photoshopped ID. It's still going to be an unenforceable nightmare.

It'd be much more sensible if they just let everybody use the name by which they want to be known.
+Robert Scoble: kudos, this was NOT what I was expecting to read this morning. If you can change your mind, there's hope. This was very much a "holy f*ck!" moment for me

Of your suggestions:

1: "Verified" works for some, but +Xeni Jardin was apparently verified against her will, by mocking the concept of verification. Verification should be electable by users. The current process has also been shown to be at best weak:
2: You've got an interest in seeing verified users first. I don't. I've gone out of my way to track down pseudonymous accounts, and have found more than a few interesting characters among same. I prefer blue highways to Interstates as well, at least for pleasure travel.
3: Block should mean block: agree. It should also be far easier to block/mute users and posts.
4: I need to look at Quora's model, I'm not familiar with it.
5: User-oriented control is much of what this argument is about. You want a more sanitized interaction, I prefer one that's more uncensored. There's no reason we can't both have what we want within our own circles and accounts.
6: Klout or other reputation scores are something that could have value, though that's a multi-edged sword. One of my criticisms of Klout is that it's explicitly used by vendor CRMs to triage support. I'd rather have companies be kept guessing as to whether or not I'm "somebody", and provide consistently excellent (or at least uniform) service, despite the name on the credit card / purchase request. As +Ian Wall notes, "quality" is a famously slippery and multi-dimensional attribute that's long defied easy measure (itself another large part of what the #nymwars argument is about).

The biggest impact of the G+ #nymwars on myself: my trust in Google as a company, and as an entity that hews to "don't be evil" has been shattered. I've started and continued to take steps to pull my true data out of Google's systems.

+Martin Post: you're expressing yourself better than I could without a ton of effort, very well said and thanks.
+Lyndon Bredenkamp: a technologist who refuses to correct an obvious error is no technologist. I "cave" a hundred times a day.
+Ernie Hartley, +Susanna Söderström: repudiation and non-repudiation are key components of systems, each with a significant role and value, in the right place. Some may want non-repudiation (strong verification), some may prefer repudiation. Mandetory identification is, as has been pointed out many times in the #nymwars debate, a control issue. I'd like to be able to establish known but repudiable identities in specific cases. Why should I, for example, provide unlimited access to my financial accounts when what I really want is a one-time or limited time-and-scope financial allowance?
+Ian Wall: TOR is good, but by no means perfect. There are a very limited number of TOR exit points (slightly more than 200 in the US, low single digits in many countries), throughput is low, and configuration non-trivial for ordinary users. If your threat model includes well-resourced, technically capable entities, TOR is hardly sufficient.
+Douglas Grubbs: you've formed your use-case and model for this system, but who are you to dictate how all others should interact with it?
+Vic Gundotra +Natalie Villalobos +Larry Page +Sergey Brin +Marissa Mayer: get on the ball already.
The way I see it if they are verifying folk they should verify all +Edward Morbius great comment fabulous points
+Edward Morbius I'm not dictating anything, I am interpreting what I see Google's actions as meaning. Remember, we are in beta, and we have yet to pay a dime for this service. If anyone fees led astray, lied to, or cheated by Google then they are free to leave and go back to MySpace.
+Edward Morbius to say that I "was verified against my will' is a bit much. I made a silly G+ post about 'verified' accounts, just joking around, and soon learned my account here had been verified. the whole thing is funny and odd to me, but i don't actually care if my account here or anywhere else is verified or not. if there were impostors, i would care.
+Douglas Grubbs Ok, so now everyone in the world lives in free countries, an noone is worried by government incarceration, torture or even death because of public opinion. You know G+ is not only a US social network, don't you?
+Viktor Bautista i Roca When did G+ become open mic for revolutionaries? Again, if it seems that G+ doesn't fit your needs, maybe your needs are better met with something else. If Google specializes G+ to suit everyones needs, soon it will not suit anyone's.
+Douglas Grubbs (you didn't quote my name the right way, i've just seen your answer by luck)
Ok, so you want G+ to be dangerous for those living, let's say, in China or Iran. Isn't it? Well, I'd rather like it to be safe for everyone. Is this "suitting everyone needs"? I really don't think sow. I think it's just allowing everyone the minimum rights.
+Viktor Bautista i Roca Sorry, I am using the mobile app, it won't let me tag people. What rights are you referring to? Is it the internet declaration of independance? The one that Al Gore signed when he invented it? There are no "rights" here. You get what Google gives. That's it. Why does everyone feel so entitled? What am I missing?
+Xeni Jardin: my thinking with verification was that it would be something you could specifically request. You made a point of being unverified and then ... found yourself verified. I'd say your indicated preference was not being verified. From what I understand, you never requested verification, correct?
Viktor, human rights don't apply to products and services that aren't necessities. Do you tell dog food makers that they need to make their product taste better because you think that it doesn't taste good as it is sold right now? No. Because that isn't what dog food is for. Its for dogs. Just like g+ isn't for all of these people who are complaining...
reward, don't just punish me thinks
+Douglas Grubbs: G+ is a social communications medium. Revolutionaries and dissidents (hardly the only use case for pseudonymity) rely heavily on being able to use mass (and private) communications for their activities. We know that other Google assets have been specifically targeted, with a specific interest in dissidents:
And there remains the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We've even heard of it where I'm at:
+Ed, can I call you Ed? I still don't see where everyone gets off telling someone how to make what they are selling. My dog food argument still stands. Purina isn't going to make better tasting dog chow for humans, they have a market, and that is who they are making a product for.
The thing that galls me, is that (at least in the U.S.A.), I believe it is legal for an adult to call themselves ANYTHING they want, as long as there is no intent to defraud. Yet Google+ has the nerve to tell me what I am and am not allowed to call myself.
+Edward Morbius you are correct that I never requested verification, but I did not mean to "make a point," just a joke. Seriously, I don't care either way and I am not upset at having been "verified."
No fake name or anonymous users on G+. Period. End of debate. Thanks.
The best is to let people with a single name verify their accounts, and let the rest of us do what we want with our online names

But is all up to the big google blob that now is eating stuff in the physical life too

ps: if I got a warning will just delete my profile and look for another place to see the big empire to fall
+Douglas Grubbs Your argument doesn't stand. It doesn't even hobble perilously on one leg. The entire premise is flawed. Yes, it is the responsibility of consumers to provide feedback if they want to see changes in products they use.

Moreover, this being a beta in which Google asks for our feedback... the fact that there is a button in the bottom right corner of our screens that actually says SEND FEEDBACK? I feel like maybe they want our feedback.
can't find a way to share this great post requesting a better approach to real names on G+...
+Parker Evans I know that they want feedback, however, this post is not feedback. This was a direct message to +Vic Gundotra. If +Robert Scoble hadn't caused a fuss and posted this bit of drama, and just used the feedback button like he was supposed to then this entire thread would be moot. An open discussion of things that can be changed is one thing, this, however, is an abortion. It's just a bunch of people who should know better bitching about something that they have no right to bitch about. And, I'm sorry, but my argument does stand, because my argument states that Google is doing what Google does. I never said that they were opposed to feedback, I said that they were doing exactly what they have the right to do. It's their party, they can toss around the ban hammer if they so choose.
And you see, I just reported that profile, and I'm sure it will soon be deleted. Consider this a proof of concept...
+Frank Castle I didn't report you because I didn't like what you said. I reported you because you have a fake profile, Mr. Castle, or Upbot, or whatever you are going by... And as far as me and the 9 other people that will be left after 6 months, as long as one of them is +Robert Scoble and another is +Vic Gundotra, then at least I will be entertained.
+Frank Castle I'm done feeding the troll. Post whatever you want, you don't have to worry about me ruining your fun.
Well, +Frank Castle, I guess I lied. One more freebie for you to feed on. I was just thinking that you should tell everyone your real name, Tony Santini, it's a good name. A strong name. And while you are at it, tell everyone where you live at, out off 364 Sutton Way in Grass Valley, California in the Olympia Garden Apartments. Or perhaps your phone number, so that if they wish to call about all of your awesome artworks they can reach you. It's (213) 261-5814, just in case you forgot. You see, your anonymity can only go so far. And I would like to point out that this is on the very surface of public information, and none of it was acquired illegally, or through means that would require it to be private or privileged information.
+Edward Morbius >_Revolutionaries and dissidents...rely heavily on being able to use mass (and private) communications for their activities._

+michiel perdeck > People can have many good reasons not to convey their own name. They may be living in a police state, they may be chased by a violent spouse, etc etc. You should have the freedom to be here anonymously!

There should be places for anonymous speech online, and there are places. So there is no reason to lose any sleep over this. There are venues for anonymous speech online. They do exist. So it's just unnecessary to demand that every online community shall be required to guarantee anonymous speech.

Google has decided they want to adopt this model based on common names. I think it's a good idea. Maybe it will fail, but that's a risk they've decided to take, and so far it hasn't discouraged 25+ million people from joining.

How could anyone's personal safety depend on posting anonymously on this social network system - which didn't even exist two months ago? Do you see my point? If Google previously allowed screen names, and then one day they decided to publish everyone's real name - then THAT would be cause for moral outrage. But this is a new social network system and the policies have been laid out from the start. If you demand anonymity, this is not the place for you. No one has an entitlement to use a fake name here.

Regarding the difference between anonymity and pseudonyms, we should all be clear that these terms aren't mutually exclusive. Pseudonym literally means "false name", and while some pseudonyms are pen names and stage names of known celebrities, others are simply screen names, handles and aliases of some random Joe (or worse, some hacker or fraudulent enterprise), often because they want to avoid any consequences for being a total fuckwad:

So while I think it's fine for people like Lady Gaga and Violet Blue to participate, I personally think Google's common name policy is for the greater good of the community. THE WELL, the mother of all online communities, and is also based on the idea of Real Names, and it works wonderfully. This policy, famously called "You Own Your Own Words," leads to real conversations and relationships. Launched in 1985, the WELL was distinguished by the quality of its non-anonymous participants and it's been described as "the world's most influential online community" in a Wired Magazine cover story:

+Mirosław Baran >BTW, +Max Hodges, have you ever read Kafka's The Trial?

Now Google's approach to suspending accounts and their hamfisted verification process (which you liken to the Austro-Hungarian bureaucracy of Kafka's day) is another matter entirely, and I agree they should work to do a better job there.
Good ideas, Robert. I appreciate the constructive approach. I agree strongly that making it easy for people to get verified real-name IDs will be a badge of "citizenship" that will encourage others to act similarly, especially when they have privileges of full citizenship associated with having taken that step. Certainly someone who has gone through the trouble of having done that should be weighed more seriously for ranking of search results, etc., based on that and other criteria.

On anonymous posting, perhaps we can have people making posts who have Verified IDs allowing Anonymous IDs, so that there's a chain of accountability of sorts. More thoughts on this and other related persona management issues at:
+Robert Scoble Klout is not a reliable tool to explain true detailed influence. According to Klout, Justin Bieber has some of the most influence in Social Media. Does he influence us? No, but his score is damn high. Google+ should get into bed with someone like SocMetrics who analyze the influence down to particular niches. Sure, it's brand and pr based now and not consumer, but in comparison, Klout is a party trick that amounts to nothing more than some people saying they are more popular than others based upon a system of limited data over limited platforms. In my opinion Klout belongs on the games thread here at Google+
Norv N.
There are (potentially many) real-sounding names on G+, since there is no verification, and accounts with real-sounding name (regardless if it's their name or not), are usually NOT flagged. So please don't count on the so-called policy or the thing that you might be using your "real name", to think that "mostly" G+ users are. Unless verified, and not very poorly verified by the way, a name you see is only a real-sounding name.
Norv N.
For who thinks that the current procedure "assures" that people are verified or using "real names", please see:

THIS is how it works. That is, usually "real sounding names" are not even reviewed. And when reported (for impersonation, is the example in the experiment), the "verification" Google is doing is utterly failing, sorry. In case you may have thought the policy and procedure is helping you to "know who you are talking to", you might want to reconsider. Unless you actually know the person (online or offline), and are able to recognize the profile (the entirety of the profile, their posts, the way they speak, where they work, what game they play etc, whatever you recognize them from), all the rest are unverified or poorly verified "real sounding" names, not names that would help you count on knowing better who you are talking to. It's the internet.
+Robert Scoble
+Max Hodges: Same response to you as I made to +Douglas Grubbs: you've determined your use case, who are you to determine mine?

G+ is, as you've noted, among the largest social networks yet in its brief life, with participation strongly favoring intelligent and influential people. Like it or not (and I'd prefer an open, non-siloed alternative), Google Plus is going to be a significant marketplace of ideas and communications. A priori arbitrary restrictions on who can participate and how (and worse, exceptionally ham-handedly implemented restrictions) are not a good thing

I can assure you that many among those 25 million have since decided either not to participate under their commonly known names. Or at all.
Hi +Edward Morbius If you want a more scientifically rigorous perspective, here's a partial examination of the harms of pseudonyms:
The Social Cost of Cheap Pseudonyms (2000)

PDF link:

Also this is interesting c/o +Xeni Jardin

"Learned some interesting things this week about steps the Google+ team is taking to design around "bad behavior" that can never be eliminated from any online social system. I'm told some design/architectural/algorithmic smarts are in the works to help with stalker/harassment issues, to make the commenting experience more conducive to positive interaction, and to make the G+ experience a safe and cool thing for female users..."

So maybe we should bear with Google's name policy a bit longer, since they seem to be working on some solutions to address the issues which don't yet exist in this Field Trial.
+Max Hodges: that fails to address the value of expensive pseudonyms, and is generally contradicted by numerous other instances citing the value of pseudonymous / anonymous interaction. In the physical world, the vast majority of our interactions are anonymous or at best pseudonymous (you're "that guy at that place" for most other people "at that place", even if you're a regular). Physical instantiation is one form of expensive pseudonymity (you can't cheaply obtain another body with radically different characteristics). Maintaining a long-lived pseudonymous identity is similarly possible, it's even possible to create a strongly verified identity for same via technical methods.

I've had my own quarter-century's experience in numerous online communities, most of which had some measure of anonymity / pseudonymity allowed. My own invite to G+ came from someone I first met through a shared "cypherpunks" account (the user/pass combination was at one time commonly used when registration-required websites first emerged). We've since come to be very good friends both online and in real life. What makes for a healthy community isn't policing of names or even participants, but policing of behaviors: effective, strong, and fair moderation and remediation tools. G+'s "Real Names" policy is entirely orthogonal to this.

Otherwise, there's not much to this discussion which hasn't already been said very well: (+Jillian York), (+Danah Boyd),, Alexis Madrigal, "Why Facebook and Google's Concept of 'Real Names' is Revolutionary", "Anonymity vs. Pseudonymity".

And finally, there's an excellent 1956 film I'd suggest you view.
+Robert Scoble said, "I can also still view profiles of people I've blocked. If I've blocked them I never ever ever want to see them again." I've been puzzling over this request for two days. If you block someone, that should control whether you see them at your place -- that is, it should prevent them from appearing in your stream or making comments on your post. And it does.

However, blocking should not blot them out of the world. If you don't want to see their profile, don't look at it. Why are you clicking over to the profiles of the people you've blocked? Some of us want to see the profiles of the people we blocked in order to reinstate them. Sometimes, we block people because they've gotten a bit too noisy and we need a break.
+Rose Wilson - Female - Muslime - she Post about Arabian Spring - and yesterday she was forced by Google to use her real name. Its a shame +Vic Gundotra !
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