(Shareable version.)

This happened to me -- I said "NO" every time Google tried to connect my G+ name/profile (thankfully, I don't use my VERY identifiable and unusual legal name), and then I "liked" a comment on a video and responded to it, and it flashed through a quick screen (I did not click on anything) that said something like "Connecting to G+ profile" (without any type of "You cannot leave a comment without connecting" or even "By leaving a comment, you are agreeing to connect" opt-out), and the "like"/comment was suddenly connected to my photo and G+ username.

Google, there is a REASON that I didn't want to connect my G+ profile, or any identifiable profile, to my fucking YouTube account -- THE COMMENTERS ON YOUTUBE.  I don't want them following me to other social media platforms, trolling, harassing, and abusing me.  I don't want to have to be blocking sexist, racist, homophobic, sophomoric, monosyllabic jerks every time I log in.

And I did NOT WANT TO CONNECT MY PICTURE to freaking YouTube -- the name is bad enough, but unless I want to change my G+ icon to something other than this photo of me (which I happen to be quite fond of), I'm now going to have to deal with crude sexual passes whenever I want to leave a comment on YT (which, btw, I'm quite disinclined to do at this point.)

Why do they not understand that shit like this makes (especially female) users feel UNSAFE??!?  If your name is "Bob Smith," you're a face in the crowd.  If your name is "Eleanora Rashid-Feldman" (to pull a random name out of a hat), you've just been identified as female, as someone who may be a member of one or more minority groups, as someone who may be interracial or in an interracial marriage, and YOU'RE SUDDENLY REALLY, REALLY EASY TO FIND.

If your name only has one or two shared namesakes in the world (or, as in my daughter's case, none -- I apparently have one, but he's a man in Eastern Europe), someone can very easily find out where you live, your phone number if it's listed, your address with a little effort.

If your name is "Jennifer Smith," you're less vulnerable, because your name is more common -- but, frankly, is Google's point that it's okay to treat people with less-common names differently, by sharing their legal-name data whether they like it or not, since they don't have the ability to get lost in a sea of people with similar/identical names?

Whatever the case, if you're a battered spouse or a trans woman or an ex-Mormon or an out queer teen who hasn't had The Talk with all of their family members yet, or ANY NUMBER OF OTHER REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO BE TRACKED DOWN BY SOMEONE, having your name linked in this fashion, without asking permission or giving the ability to rescind permission, creates an unsafe and frankly appalling environment of privacy infringement.

My daughter already has to worry about potential employers being able to Google her with ease due to her unusual name (Google didn't exist when she was born), so she has asked me not to be my usual outspoken self under my legal name, because it's too easy to connect us.  And she's very careful to never use her legal name online, other than in activities directly connected to her university, because she doesn't want to deal with political, sexual, or religious discrimination from someone who might otherwise hire her.

So, thanks, Google -- I guess "Don't be evil" went out the window a while ago.  Your "real names" policy, and particularly the way you went about linking YouTube with G+ profiles even for users who had specifically declined to link them, multiple times, is evil.

The worst part is that I can't even delete my damn YouTube profile now, even if I wanted to, without deleting my entire G+ account and profile (and probably the Gmail account associated it, which I've used for about a decade.

Uncool, Google.  Uncool.
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