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
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.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/google-plus-deleting-accounts-en-masse-no-clear-answers/567

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/four-things-google-plus-could-do-to-fix-google-plus/576

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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