Sunday, August 28, 2011

Getting to the Bottom of Google+'s Real Name Policy

In this last week or so I've been questioning the real intent behind the real names policy of Google+.

They've stated it's to remove trolls. But then, when a profile has been reported for trolling, and said profile is still there several days later.... You do have to wonder.

And then, look at who has had to verify themselves. Every person I've heard of who has had to verify themselves has had in the multitudes of thousands followers. It's never the ones who just have a few hundred.

Trolls aren't really likely to have that many followers...

Andy Carvin, who is the senior strategist for National Public Radio (America), stated that Google CEO Eric Schmidt claimed that Google+ was built primarily as an "identity service". How very big brother'ish of them!

Okay so it's an identity service. That doesn't explain why reported profiles aren't blocked at all, and why people with thousands of followers have to verify themselves.

Remember, Google oddly made that tagline of "Don't do evil" disappear though we all still remember it...

What's really interesting is that I don't have to speculate. The conclusions are bad enough. Google aren't acting in our best interests - don't kid yourselves. It's not about trolls. It's not about our cyber-safety. It's an identity service. For who? Are we talking about single sign on? Then why not sell it as such rather than a social networking pretence?

This is all a touch upsetting. A protest where I'm happy to leave is kind of less of a protest. Ah well.

It'd be interesting what would happen if you tried to do this in real life. Have people run around collecting details and letting you get into places so long as you've connected up with that service... If a person with a clipboard stood there taking your details and tell you about how easy this would make life, would you do it? Why are we so happy to do it online?

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