liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)
[personal profile] liv
I have thinky thoughts about Google+, but I don't want to post them there because I'm starting to get paranoid about Google deleting accounts where there is criticism of their service. And I don't want to post them here, because anyone who cares about the nitty-gritty of Google+ would be in their "field trial" by now. (If there's anyone left hunting for an invitation I have a few I can send; I need an email address, though, and preferably the one you actually intend to use for your profile. PM me if you don't feel comfortable putting your email address in a public post.)

But I do want to talk more generally about the Real Names issue. Google+ is insisting on what they define as real names, a policy they are enforcing in an entirely cack-handed way. Although they've corrected some of their earlier mistakes, I suspect this issue is going to kill Google+ in the way that assuming your email address book equals your social circle killed Buzz. But suppose they had a sensible definition of real names, such as allowing names that don't follow the standard US pattern, or professional pseudonyms, or use-names that don't happen to match what's written on a person's birth certificate (all of which are perfectly "real" according to both US and European law). And suppose they had a sensible appeals process if someone got deleted by mistake. In that case, would a "real-name social network" policy make sense?

[personal profile] skud is spearheading a campaign to highlight the real world harms of such a policy. It's almost certainly illegal under EU Data Protection law. It's an utterly awful policy from several angles (even if it were well implemented, which currently it is really not).

The counter-argument to this is that insisting on real names prevents spam, impersonation, and trolling, and generally promotes good quality interactions and conversation. It's running the whole site based on Penny Arcade's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, basically. The obvious flaw in this is that pseudonymity is not anonymity. What Google actually wants to achieve is to prevent people creating throwaway accounts which have no value to them, and using them to spam or harrass other users. Banning those accounts, either site-wide or on an individual level, does no good because the malicious person (or bot) can easily create more throwaway accounts. The Internet Fuckwad Theory pretty much defines everything that's wrong with YouTube comment sections and the don't read the comments principle of internet interactions. But what Google actually needs to prevent these issues is not names that fit a specific format. It needs stable reputation systems. It needs accounts that are valuable due to being attached to a personal history, personae that are valuable enough that people won't want to risk getting banned or deleted for the sake of trolling or getting into flamewars.

I'm preaching to the converted by posting this on Dreamwidth! After all I have 8 years of posts and a large network of friends under this pseudonymous identity, I'd be an idiot if I risked getting my account banned by spamming or trolling. Now, Dreamwidth does allow multiple accounts; invite codes mean a slightly raised barrier to entry, and hopefully prevents automated account creation. But maybe Google wants tighter controls than that. OK, so Google should insist on exactly one account per human being. That's not always easy to enforce; perhaps they could insist on a verified Real Name at account creation, but let you use any display name you chose. Perhaps, like DW, they would only let you set your name once with severely limited ability to change your name. There's no reason to assume that Livre d'Or is going to behave worse under these conditions than "Amy Morris" (oh look, a two-word phrase that looks like a standard English name, but has no connection to any stable identity). Admittedly verifying names is not a simple problem; the obvious way is to use credit cards, but that excludes lots of potential users. However, Google already has this problem now by insisting on the real name being the key under which you're listed in its directory and social graph. In addition to the problem of making Google+ distasteful to many potential users, and actively dangerous for various people in vulnerable situations.

So, is there any advantage to real-name social networking? [livejournal.com profile] siderea thinks that it's a stunningly bad idea to participate in G+ with your legal or professional name, for a whole host of reasons... socializing online under your professional or legal name is like drinking and swimming. [Aside: Siderea, I apologize for making off-topic comments on that post; you have a narrower definition of topicality than most of my online circles, and I misjudged what you would consider relevant to that discussion. I should have taken my thoughts to my own journal in the first place.] I would argue that there is some benefit, because otherwise why are so many of us maintaining accounts on Facebook, however reluctantly? FB kinda stopped enforcing its real names policy due to practical considerations, but it's still the case that most people there are using names that would be recognizable to their parents, their colleagues, their GP etc. Siderea holds that this is inherently awful, and it's certainly easy to think of examples where people have got into hot water by not realizing how public and how permanent FB is.

Thing is, though, that Facebook's real-name based social network allows me to stay in touch with people from my past. Schoolfriends, former colleagues, friends from my old communities, people I just happen to have met in the course of my life. None of these people have the ability to find my DW blog by searching for my real name, and that's as it should be because I don't want employers or anyone who has a grudge to be able to find my DW by searching for my real name. But further, many of these people are not particularly versed in internet / geek culture. They can't imagine why anyone would want to use a pseudonym. I can try giving them the title and URL of my blog, but they just don't get it. They don't understand all the hoops you have to jump through to follow what I write here, creating a profile, uploading icons, establishing a presence on the site. They certainly don't understand how to use tools to import my blog posts in a more convenient format, things like RSS readers or smartphone apps, (not that there are any very usable apps for DW).

There are plenty of people who have no desire at all to socialize with anyone who isn't a confirmed geek, and don't want to be in touch with anyone from their class at school or their university or their previous jobs. That's absolutely fine, but if you do find these people a positive presence in your life, you kinda need to socialize under your real name. Or of course you could keep in regular email or phone contact, but I personally like having a level of interaction below actual full-blown long-distance friends. I like having 250 or so people who let me know, via FB, when major events happen in their life like getting married or emigrating, even though I would never be able to keep up a regular correspondence with them. The other thing FB is very useful for is organizing in-person social events; if I'm meeting up with people to go to the cinema, or inviting people to my house for drinks, I don't want to have to remember pseudonyms, I want to be able to do this using the names we regularly use for eachother. And FB's events thing really is a killer app for that.

Of course the problem is that FB sucks. Its UI is awful and they keep making unnecessary and confusing changes. It is full of spam and annoying blinky shit and sexist adverts. It's in cahoots with Zynga, a truly evil company, and makes most of its money from annoying Farmville-style "social" games. It has an atrocious record on privacy, partly through incompetence and partly because it's in FB's interests to leak (or even broadcast) personal information as much as they can get away with. What I'm really hoping for from Google+ is that they'll make a viable FB-replacement. Yes, it will have ads, but subtle, text-only, reasonably well targeted ads such as we've got used to on Gmail. Right now they're not doing very well on the "appealing to and usable by non-geeks" part of the exercise, and the real names fiasco is really not helping with that, despite Google's apparent expectations to the contrary.

What Google+ won't be is a replacement for DW. Yes, it has "circles", and yes, the UI for sorting your social network into trust categories is quite a bit better than what we have here. But there's no way I'm going to start posting personal stuff there, precisely because there's no way I want any opinions or any views about work or any details of my movements linked to my birth certificate name. Which, by the way, is pretty unusual, unique in the UK and shared by only half a dozen or so people worldwide. Honestly I'm not in very great danger; there's nobody out there who has any interest in tracking me down with harmful intent, and I work in academia so I can expect to have understanding employers who won't Dooce me for having opinions that disagree with the party line. Even so, it's totally not worth it.

The fact I have a pretty cushy life in this respect is what allows me to take part in real-name social networks at all. And when I go there I meet other people who can afford to be pretty transparent in their online activities. At the same time, between my job as a lecturer and my voluntary commitment to Jewish community leadership, there's plenty of stuff I would rather not connect to my real name. It's not because I have anything to hide, but because my students and congregants don't need to know about my love life, my politics, who my other friends are that I know through other situations than the ones where I interact with them, etc etc. For me, it's worth having a presence on Facebook, and now on Google+, because it gives me somewhat better control over what information is out there about me. If I don't participate, people could deduce quite a lot about me from the shape of the holes, and I can't do anything about data-careless friends revealing lots of info that I don't want out there. By having a profile, I can control what floats to the top when someone searches for me, and sometimes ask for damaging info to be removed if necessary. Most importantly I know what an investigator might find out about me by poking around on the net! But I don't socialize there. I lurk, I make bland posts that show I'm a real person and I'm at least semi-active, I make occasional updates about major life events that are effectively my public biography anyway.

The other thing is that the bizarre mixture of extreme permanence and ephemerality makes me completely freeze up when I try to say anything. I might have a stray thought that would fit there, but then I second-guess myself and think, but what if that doesn't perfectly represent what I believe forever and ever? Maybe it's better not to post after all! I'm finding myself reluctant even to "+1" other content or post links, because I keep thinking, is this really the thing, out of all the internet, that I want to associate with my real name and declare my allegiance to anytime someone looks me up online? At the same time I'm not going to post any carefully thought out stuff, because it all slides off the front page in a few hours anyway, and there's no sensible way to archive it or go back to refer to it, as you can with old blog posts.

So I'm going to carry on socializing in a pseudonym environment, most probably DW for the forseeable future. And I'm going to maintain a bland presence on FB, and on Google+ for the time being, but I'm rather expecting it to implode or just tail off into oblivion once the initial excitement dies out. You can call it image management, I suppose.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-29 12:42 pm (UTC)
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pne
Now, Dreamwidth does allow multiple accounts; invite codes mean a slightly raised barrier to entry, and hopefully prevents automated account creation. But maybe Google wants tighter controls than that. OK, so Google should insist on exactly one account per human being.

Something I hadn't thought of, but saw a comment about: where does that leave multiples? Perhaps "one account per person" might be more fair there, but even more difficult to enforce.

That's assuming that people might not want to separate, say, their dating life from their professional life in the first place - which some do now by using separate sites (what people put on OkCupid is probably different than what they put on LinkedIn).

Admittedly verifying names is not a simple problem; the obvious way is to use credit cards, but that excludes lots of potential users.

And isn't even foolproof; at least one person I know has a credit card in the name of her online identity (which started out as a Second Life persona but which she now also uses for things such as ordering books from Amazon or participating in Google+ with).

if I'm meeting up with people to go to the cinema, or inviting people to my house for drinks, I don't want to have to remember pseudonyms, I want to be able to do this using the names we regularly use for eachother.

That's assuming that the name you regularly use for someone else is not a pseudonym. You could call it a nickname, too.

Some people go on to turn their nicknames into their legal names simply because that *is* what everyone calls them (Chisel Wright is an example that springs to mind).

Others have some people who call them one thing and other people who call them another: if there were a DW meetup, I can imagine people calling you Liv, for example, if that's what they know you as, regardless of the fact that other people know you as something else. Or someone could be Charles to his family but Chuck to his friends - or he could be Tiger to his friends.

What Google+ won't be is a replacement for DW. Yes, it has "circles", and yes, the UI for sorting your social network into trust categories is quite a bit better than what we have here.

I was going to say that it has the "trust" bit of WTF circles but not the "watch" bit, but you probably can use your circles as reading filters as well.

What it lacks, though, is LJ-DW communities or FB groups: something where you can meet people interested in a given topic. Right now, you can follow people who tend to talk about that topic, but then you have to wade through posts about their recent trip to Corfu which you might not be interested in at all, you just want to hear about 12th-century Welsh manuscripts. (Or knitting. Or compilers. Or race cars. Or whatever.)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-29 01:24 pm (UTC)
ptc24: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ptc24
I experimented with some open pseudonymity (fsvo "pseudo") a while back; I found that the problem I had was that I was constantly worrying about how much information I was giving away that might uniquely identify me.

I think there's a size issue; if a small company wanted to make a cosy little online space that had a real-names policy (fsvo "real names"), then, well, whatever - you can't please everyone. Someone as large as Google... well, I get nervous about the prospect of any online space becoming de-facto compulsory.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-29 01:31 pm (UTC)
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pne
I'm generally not a huge fan of the "one person, one account" approach, I just think it's a better solution to the problem of spam and trolling than insisting on names that match a particular pattern.

I'll definitely give you that.

The separation of identities is supposed to be handled by the circles thing, but I agree circles are really not adequate for that, especially if there's any kind of serious safety issue involved.

And I don't think it's possible to show different profiles (or aspect of your profile) to different circles - so it's hard to let everyone recognise that that's the person they know, because they know different facets of someone (say, fanfic, employer, hobby - or whatever).

In both the UK and the US, and from what I've picked up from skimming internet discussions, across the EU as well, it's perfectly legal to have a common law name different from what's on your birth certificate. You can use it in court, you can use it for financial transactions, whatever. You don't need to go through any formal name-change process; people choose to do that for convenience, but they aren't obliged to.

As I understand it, though, common law only lets you have one real name.

So if your birth certificate says Charles but everyone calls you Tiger, then Tiger can be your real name for all intents and purposes. But then you can't use Charles as your name any more.

I could be wrong about the details, but I note that the Free Deed Poll Generator includes language to the effect that "I renounce and relinquish and abandon the use of my former name X Y and assume, adopt and determine to use from the date hereof the name of A B in substitution for my former name of X Y". So you could only have one "real name" at a time - not both Charles and Tiger, depending on whether you're talking to family or friends.

Personally, if I ruled Google+, I would allow whatever pseudonyms people wanted to choose, possibly excluding strings that were obviously obscene or offensive. (You'd have to be careful how to implement the exclusions, as there are lots of people in the world called things like Porn or Wang.)

*nod* The "obvious" bit is probably the hardest - Google probably thinks they are catching only "obviously" fake names, when the matter is that naming is more complex than more people think.

(A favourite example is the English names that some people in East Asia adopt - they don't always sound like Europeans think names "ought" to sound, with things such as "Rambo" or "God" or "Gooland" or whatever being used.)

But I do think there's a distinction between a pseudonym or net handle, and a real name that happens not to be identical to what's in official documentation.

There can be. It depends on the person.

I think what started as a handle or pseudonym can evolve into an additional name, or sometimes even into the exclusive name, of a person. So it's hard to draw barriers. Case in point: [livejournal.com profile] zonereyrie, whose full legal name is "MegaZone".

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-29 02:21 pm (UTC)
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
From: [personal profile] jenett
Thanks for an excellent post. I've been frustrated by it too.

(I use a persistent pseudonym - Jenett or Jenett Silver - for personal, religious, and health related conversations online, and I have paid published work under that name. I use my legal name for professional conversations, and for people who've either known me since my teen years (or before) or through professional networking.)

I actually have a longer online history (in terms of meaningful content, and a lack of desire to lose it via being considered a troll) as Jenett.

I'd really like a system that would let me continue to use both. (And, these days, I'm even okay with linking them, as long as I have clear and precise control over that link not being casually available in public: it's easy to find out from locked posts in my DW account, for example, what my legal name is, because I cross-post my professional blog (which includes my resume, etc.) to DW under a lock.

But the bit I don't want is someone casually searching on my legal name and hitting the pseudonym, since a) I want to talk about my religion (a variety of Pagan) with people I work with first, rather than have them stumble on information out of context and b) I talk about some health related stuff that I do not want prejudicing employment, etc. (Even though, these days, it's all under pretty good control.)

(I was even more firm about point a when I was working in a high school setting - there are things students just don't need to know about me. As I move into a college setting, I'm a little less concerned about that, but who knows, I might want to go back to a high school setting some day.)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-29 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ewt
For me, it's worth having a presence on Facebook, and now on Google+, because it gives me somewhat better control over what information is out there about me. If I don't participate, people could deduce quite a lot about me from the shape of the holes, and I can't do anything about data-careless friends revealing lots of info that I don't want out there. By having a profile, I can control what floats to the top when someone searches for me, and sometimes ask for damaging info to be removed if necessary.

This is exactly why I have a FB account.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-29 04:45 pm (UTC)
iddewes: (animal)
From: [personal profile] iddewes
Facebook does seem to have tightened up on what they require for ID, now - when I signed up for it they definitely did not require a mobile phone number, and I certainly have never given them mine. My friend Jacquie wanted to open a new account there recently, and was put off because not only did they DEMAND a mobile phone number but if she did not provide one she had to explain why and post scans of her ID! Needless to say she did not open a new account. I think that's somewhat over the top.
Not being a geek at all I did not even know about Zynga, I have now googled and Wiki'd them and I see what you mean. What gets my goat is that on their website they go on about how they have a lot of work to do to get EVERYONE to have social gaming as a daily habit, that's how they put it, and I've never been interested in gaming at all and get rather grumpy at the idea that I should be expected to take it up.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-29 10:44 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
Good points. My "about" over on Google+ is basically "I'm the $my_name in New York, not the one in Florida. If that isn't sufficient disambiguation, send me a note." Because she and I have a quite unusual though not completely unique name.

There's no way I'm going to talk about much work-related stuff on Google+, for example: maybe if I changed jobs or got a promotion, but that's about it. And that's the stuff that I expect people to know about. And I'm certainly not checking any of the "relationship" status choices there (and not just because "in an open relationship with," while in some sense true, gives a misleading picture of my actual relationships).

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 03:46 am (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
As I understand it, though, common law only lets you have one real name.

So if your birth certificate says Charles but everyone calls you Tiger, then Tiger can be your real name for all intents and purposes. But then you can't use Charles as your name any more.


Depends how you do it: yes, there is the "renounce and relinquish" language, but I changed my name by deedpoll recently. I went from X Y [mother's surname] [father's surname] to X Y Z [mother's surname].

In terms of everyday usage I'm Z [mother's surname], where previously I was X [father's surname]. But I still have the right to use the names X and Y...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ewt
On the other hand, I have a less common name (though my public, name-linked blog and Twitter account come up on the first page of a google search for it).

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ewt
More common. Not less common. Less unusual.

Can't brain today.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 12:32 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
It's true that I probably wouldn't describe my relationships there even if there were a label/category that fit better. But DW and LJ don't have that as a check box; there's free text where a person can say as much or little as they want. (My notes on my profile here and at LJ aren't detailed, but they don't slot things into "I have a partner and some outside stuff," which is how a lot of people read "in an open relationship with $name," and which is valid but not really descriptive of how I'm living.)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 01:23 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Activism)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
One of the people suspended is called Ping.

Their real name is Ka Ping. I don't think entering that would have helped them much...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 01:26 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Kaffeeklatsch)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
Me, too. I have a professional identity in my own name, and I wanted an easily findable landing point.

My online interactions are - after a nasty experience with an ex-client who harassed my friends - pseudonymous.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 02:07 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Kaffeeklatsch)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
There are a lot of conflicting accounts coming out of Google right now. So far, my account - Green Knight - is active, and I am hoping it will continue that way. (It's attached to a throwaway Gmail under which I've commented on blogs for years, so losing it won't be a problem for me.)

I also think that people having two accounts - one as 'Jane Doe, HR Manager' (or publicist, or writer of erotica) and one as 'Janey D' (personal) isn't evil as such.

What is evil is that the decision appears to be made by a machine, and - see 'Ping' - automated processes don't take notice of non-European names. (I know several people aren't allowed on Facebook because their - real, legal, Native American Names - sound 'too fake' for FBs automated system.

I hope I'll be able to continue to use G+; I will not rejoin under my real name.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 02:42 pm (UTC)
syllopsium: Carwash, from Willo the Wisp (Default)
From: [personal profile] syllopsium
personally I tend to think that charging people for their identity works - it certainly does with communities of thousands. The problem arises when the community size reaches millions and the same functionality is being offered for free.

My viewpoint is based on cix which offered a large uk based discussion forum pre widespread internet (its still going too). The fact people generally had to pay to access it kept the number of fake trolls very low and people who tried to pay for a second account quickly got identified by their writing style. There were and are annoying people on there but thats their online persona.

There are many changes now - the number of online users and the move to person centred discussion over subject centred. Things will not return to the way they were, but i do believe verified identities would help in some communities.

More will follow when i have time to post

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 06:42 pm (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
Liv, I appreciate the apology, and that was certainly one issue.

However, another issue with the comment of yours that I screened is that you did in it what you do here: you make assumptions about what I think, and didn't even bother to check them with me. "Siderea holds that this is inherently awful." I didn't say that, did I? Likewise, your assumption about why your comment was screened was wrong. But you never bothered to ask, you just assumed.

When I wrote I say I hate Facebook, and I've heard more times than I can recall, "Oh, I know what you mean", but not once has anyone actually asked me why I hate Facebook. you were precisely one of the people I had in mind.

Your behavior in my journal consistently has demonstrated you're more interested in telling me what you think than actually finding out what I think. You demonstrate an sense of entitlement, both that I'm supposed to not say anything unless I spell out everything, and that if I don't you may attribute to me anything you feel like that I don't specify.

You exhaust me. You are one of the commenters that make writing publicly such an incredible drag, that basically I don't do it any more, and why I don't have you on any of the filters where I do write.

One of the unfortunate misfeatures of LJ is that there is no way to put a person on pre-moderation, save by unfriending them and setting posts to screen non-friend comments. It is for this reason alone I have unfriended you.

Had I the tools to permit you in with moderated comments, I would trust your discretion with my locked posts. I generally like how you interact with me in your own space. I still want to follow you, and there's many things I like about you. I would like to like you even more. But I do not like how you treat me. I do not care for the casual disrespect you show me in my space. I do not appreciate the aversive quality of your comments and the reluctance it engenders in me to post at all. I do not appreciate the feeling that you are making work for me, when I already have such limited time to post.

So I hope you'll change in your approach towards commenting in my space. If you do, I'll see it in your comments, which, pre-screened, I will still be getting.

In regards to your post here: you make my point for me. Using real-name services -- I use LinkedIn, have used Classmates.com -- to make yourself findable is perfectly dandy if that's what you want to do. So is making a nice vanity website which can be googled by people looking for you. But, as you, yourself, describe here very accurately, people with a sense of how the internet works realize that any comment they make under their real name is possibly going to follow them forever, and that's inhibitory of self-disclosure, even of the most trivial kind.

The problem is that lots of people -- most of them -- don't have that sense of how the internet works. They never had a chance to get it. Nobody taught it to them and they've only been around a little time.

Presenting such people with a social network tool under their real names is like leaving a 2yo unattended by a swimming pool. They don't know any better, and they will attempt use it as for its intended purpose -- winding up in deeper water than they can handle.

No, as you well know yourself, the way to use such real name tools is to identify trusted people, and having established contact privately give them your pseudonym so they can find your social space. In this way, one's pseudonym is a password, a social password. You grant it to favored people, so they can come to one's virtual speakeasy.

They can't imagine why anyone would want to use a pseudonym.

Maybe you should tell them. Before they drown.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-30 11:11 pm (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
And, see, this is why I think you're awesome, and worth fighting it out with. This is what makes me say, "But dammit, I want to make this work, because this is a woman worth knowing."

Honestly, I think this arrangement works best for me: while you don't get to read the filtered stuff on LJ, you do get to comment over there, it's just I get to see it first before anyone else does. This actually solves the problem for me of feeling pressured. If I want to reply with a correction, I don't feel I have to do it before other people see it. I can get back to it, if at all, in my own time.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-05 03:10 am (UTC)
khalinche: (Default)
From: [personal profile] khalinche
"the move to person centred discussion over subject centred"

Yes, this is a very useful way to think about online socialising - and t's interesting that LJ/DW sort of sit at the hinge of these two modes, or at least did for me. I started off adding people to my friends list who had interests in common, but overwhelmingly for the last few years I've been adding and interacting with people based on existing social connections.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-18 10:06 pm (UTC)
leora: a statue of a golden snake swallowing its own tail. (ouroboros)
From: [personal profile] leora
That seems problematic if the US works that way. I've been going by a name other than my birth certificate name since I was 15. However, I have to use the name on my paperwork in numerous instances, because while I have the right to use the name of my choosing, the system has several problems with letting me. I'd be happy to just use the name of my choosing, but my bank will only let me have an account under a name I can show a picture ID for if I want to be able to get the money back out again. This is a bit of an issue. I can't get a legal photo ID in my state in the name of my choosing (I hear you can do that easily in some states, but not in others). I'd need to go through the formal name-change process, which is expensive and time-consuming. So, I have one name socially and another name for legal use.

On a side note, I put my social name into Facebook, and some people who knew me from before my name switchover did find me anyway. But it probably helps that I keep my full legal first and middle name as middle names when giving my full chosen name. I do value the ability to be found. I have often put my names out there specifically so people I've lost touch with could find me. But I do that in places where I am okay with what they would find, so I use such places differently.

Also, G+ recently added games, including some Zynga ones.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-18 10:09 pm (UTC)
leora: a statue of a golden snake swallowing its own tail. (ouroboros)
From: [personal profile] leora
His name is Ka-Ping Yee. But apparently he didn't put his last name in, which I hadn't been previously aware of, so I'm not sure if it was actually the lack of a last name that was the infringement, rather than using the nickname version of his first name. He pointed out that everyone calls him Ping, simply Ping. Which is true. And it's also true that Ka-Ping would have been especially odd, since his own family has used Ping rather than Ka-Ping for him his entire life (the way some people give a child a full name, but always use the nickname version, which my parents did with one of my brothers). But it's hard to say what would have happened if he had put in Ping Yee.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-18 10:17 pm (UTC)
leora: a statue of a golden snake swallowing its own tail. (ouroboros)
From: [personal profile] leora
Oh yes, I think I remember having issues with that too, except with absolutely no obvious way around it at all - no option for providing an ID. It was an issue for me, because I didn't have a mobile phone. But I had a friend willing to let me use his number, and he already had an account. And Google keeps regularly asking me to put in a mobile phone number so it can text me my password in case anything happens. I now do have a mobile phone, but not the ability to be texted. And there is no way to tell it to stop asking me. So it keeps regularly pestering me. I would really like an option for no, really, I am not textable. No, I do not intend to become textable. No, really, the screen is small, and I can't easily read it, and I don't want people sending me information that way, and so I cannot be texted; it is disabled on my account. Stop bugging me. Sadly, this is not an option they provide.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-18 10:24 pm (UTC)
leora: a statue of a golden snake swallowing its own tail. (ouroboros)
From: [personal profile] leora
I only wanted a relationship choice for parallelism. So I could be marked as It's complicated for every preference they'd give me a place to put it in. I had my political preference as "It's complicated" and my relationship status as "It's complicated" and I liked the whole list of them. But then I accidentally accepted the fact that I was in a relationship with a particular person when he set his relationship with me, and I didn't know acknowledging that he was setting his accurately would change my status. That really upset me. Then I got marked as "It's complicated with..." and the only way to go back to "It's complicated." was to Facebook break up with him. And it meant we couldn't both have our preferred settings at the same time. So, I had to change my preferences on other things so now my political preference is "It's complicated with Democrats". They don't consider the desires of people like me.

Although I do think it is true that what one partner wants to display may not be what the other partner wants to display, and it bothers me that I can either hide the information entirely or show who I am involved with. But I cannot hide who I am involved with without also making that decision for him. I agree that he shouldn't be able to list being involved with me without my consent, but my consent to him listing it shouldn't mean my consent to my listing it.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-19 05:43 am (UTC)
iddewes: (animal)
From: [personal profile] iddewes
I didn't have a mobile phone for a long time, so I know how you feel and I hate that it seems one is EXPECTED to have one for so many things. I haven't had google ask me for that. I get facebook sometimes telling me my account is not as 'secure' as it could be because my mobile number is not on there (like I said I was lucky because I signed up to it before they made it obligatory to give a number). I don't really know why it would make it more secure to have my mobile on there...!!!
(reply from suspended user)

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