Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al
2011-07-29 01:31 pm (UTC)
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:
, whose full legal name is "MegaZone".
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