Tagged: Google Plus Privacy Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Copyleft, , , , , , , , , , , , , , GNU, GNU Project, , , Google Plus Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Proprietary Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Surveillance 

    Stallman: Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their usersFacebook does massive surveillance; http://eicker.at/Surveillance

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Stallman interview on RT (Russia Today) and video on YouTube: “Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their users… Facebook does massive surveillance. If there is a ‘like’ button in a page, Facebook knows who visited that page. And it can get IP address of the computer visiting the page even if the person is not a Facebook user. So you visit several pages that have ‘like’ button and Facebook knows that you visited all of those, even if it doesn’t really know who you are… Free software literally gives you freedom in the area of computing. It means that you can control your computing. It means that the users individually and collectively have control over their computing. And in particular it means they can protect themselves from the malicious features that are likely to be in proprietary software… This doesn’t automatically give you freedom in some other area of life. To get that you have to fight for it. But human rights support each other. In an age when a lot of what we do, we do with computers, if we don’t have freedom in our computing, that makes it harder for us to defend or fight for freedom in other areas. You loose one set of rights – and it’s harder for you to keep the others…

      VB: “Social networks are under constant scrutiny by their users but also privacy watchdogs as companies add more sharing tools to to connect millions of people from over the world. – Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg, hit the headlines over the past week after its co-founder admitted the company had made ‘a bunch of mistakes’, agreeing terms with the FTC to make its networks more transparent and allow users to control their own levels of privacy. – However, there are many that believe companies like Facebook and Google aren’t helping their users, insisting that they are mistreating them. Richard Stallman, creator of the GNU Project and founder of the Free Software Foundation, is one such person, believing that not only do Facebook and Google mistreat users on their social networks, they are putting some people in danger. … Circling back to social networking and the privacy implications involved, many still believe Facebook and Google are working hard to track users across the web, extracting their preferences and information for their own gain. Facebook has said moved to employ two dedicated members of staff to oversee its privacy practices on its website, also agreeing to have its practices audited by the FTC on regular intervals. – Stallman might not believe that Facebook is doing all it can to remain transparent but with the FTC on its back, it is a case of making sure it does to ensure it doesn’t land itself in more hot water. With upwards of 800 million people, Facebook’s growth shows no signs of slowing, suggesting many people simply don’t care about the information they share with third-parties.”

      Wikipedia: “Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often shortened to rms, is an American software freedom activist andcomputer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and he has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation. – Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of pieces of widely used software, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger, and various tools in the GNU coreutils. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.”

      Winer: “Why I stand up for Stallman – But I still see it going on for Stallman, and that makes me feel ill. I think a guy like Stallman should be heard and we should think about what he says. And if you disagree, have the self-respect to express it with dignity. And if people start getting personal about it, there should be moderators around to put a stop to it at least stand up to it. No one should stand alone when being subjected to personal attacks. … What Stallman does is what any good blogger would do. He says what he thinks. And if you really listen to what he says, you’ll learn something. Probably the biggest thing you’ll learn about is your own fear. Because there’s something about Stallman that scares a lot of people. They wouldn’t try to isolate him so much, if he didn’t evoke their fear.

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: +Creative Kit, , +Ripples, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Apps Administrators, Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, , , Google Plus Creative Kit, Google Plus Data, , , Google Plus Migration, Google Plus Notifications, Google Plus Privacy, Google Plus Ripples, , Google+ Creative Kit, Google+ Data, , , Google+ Migration, Google+ Notifications, , Google+ Ripples, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Playback, , , , , , Sharing History, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Apps 

    Google Plus is now available with Google Apps, adds sharing history with Google+ Ripples; http://eicker.at/GoogleAppsPlus

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    • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Google Apps fans, today we’re ready to add you to our circles. Google+ makes sharing on the web more like sharing in the real world, and now Google+ is available to people who use Google Apps at college, at work or at home. – Starting now you can manually turn on Google+ for your organization. Once Google+ is turned on, your users will just need to sign up at google.com/+ to get started. For customers who use Google Apps for Business or the free version of Google Apps and who have chosen to automatically enable new services, Google+ will automatically become available to all of your users over the next several days. … Hangouts with extras, which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs, lets you work together on projects even when your team can’t be in the same room. … Many students and teachers have sent us their ideas about how they can use Google+ to teach, learn, work, and play. These are a few Google Apps for Education universities from around the world that are bringing Google+ to their campuses today… For those of you who’ve already started using Google+ with a personal Google Account and would prefer to use your Google Apps account, we’re building a migration tool to help you move over. … It took more technical work than we expected to bring Google+ to Google Apps, and we thank you for your patience.”

      RWW: “The day has finally come. Google Plus is now available for Google Apps customers. Apps administrators can now manually turn on Google Plus for their organizations. The welcome change will roll out in the ‘next several days.’ … Google Apps users have been crying out for Plus access since the beginning. These are the customers who actually pay Google to use its Web services for their organizations, and yet the Apps versions of Google’s tools routinely lag behind the free versions. … But ever since the public launch, Plus has had this killer feature with no clear user base: Google Docs in Hangouts. It’s an ideal way to collaborate on a project. But how often do casual friends collaborate on projects? Google Plus has had an obvious institutional use case for over a month. Now, at last, Google Apps users in college or the office can use these tools to get things done.

      VB: “While enabling Google+ for Google Apps customers is certainly a big move for the company, eventually Google plans to bring Google+ functionality to all of its various services (Gmail, search, shopping, etc.).”

      TNW: “Using Google+ for Google Apps? Your admin has access to all of your data – If you’re a user of Google+ with a corporate or education Google Apps account, your administrator can access and modify your Google+ account and its postings. This information is pointed out in a Google help center topic related to the new feature: ‘Because you’re signing up for Google+ with your corporate email address, your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time.’ … The fact that an administrator has access to your accounts under Google Apps is nothing new, but this is the first time that Google has had a social network among its Apps offerings, so the privacy implications are a bit more severe.”

      Google: “Whether it’s breaking news or beautiful photos, you just don’t want to miss anything. With this in mind, we’re launching ‘What’s Hot’ on Google+, a new place to visit for interesting and unexpected contentGoogle+ Ripples: watch how posts get shared – There’s something deeply satisfying about sharing on Google+, then watching the activity unfold. Comments pour in, notifications light up, friends share with friends [who share with their friends], and in no time at all there’s an entire community around your post. … Google+ Creative Kit: have more fun with your photos – Now you can add that vintage feel to your vacation photos. Or sharpen those snapshots from the family barbeque. Or add some text for added personality. With the Creative Kit, all you need is an idea…”

      TC: “Google+ Resurrects Playback Feature From Wave, Renames It ‘Ripples’ – Last August, Google asked us all to say good-bye to Google Wave. Some said Wave was ahead of its time, some said that the platform had enough features to sink the Titanic. … And one of these features launched today on Google+ seems a throwback to one now-defunct feature of Google Wave, called ‘Playback’. … Yes, today, Google launched its new Google+ Ripples, which will let users ‘re-live’ the conversations, comments, and sharing that’s taken place over the history of their use of Google+. … In other words, Ripples is a ‘visualization tool for public shares and comments‘, which users can access by simply selecting the ‘View Ripples’ option in the drop down window to the right of the public post.”

      TNW: “Google not only wants to show you what’s hot, but wants to show you how it got hot by showing you how a post was shared. The name also brings back memories of a previous Google product, ‘Wave’. … This is a pretty drastic upgrade for Google+, as until now, the only way to find posts that interested you was through its search function, or when your friends re-shared a post.”

      VB: “Perhaps more interesting for the visually oriented is Google+ Ripples, a new way to watch how posts travel across the company’s set of social features and through various user’s circles. You can view the ‘ripples’ for any public post; this feature will show you all of that post’s activity. You can zoom in on specific events, check out top contributors and more.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:57 on 11. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Civility, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Plus Privacy, , , , , , , , Government ID, ID, ID System, ID Systems, , , , Identity Delivery, Identity Delivery Business, , , , Information Delivery, Information Delivery Business, , , , , , , , NSTIC, , , , , , , , , , , Pseudonymity, , , Real ID, Real ID System, Real ID Systems, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , TOSS, , Trusted Identities, , , , ,   

    #NymWars 

    Google Plusidentity crises led to #PlusGate and escalated to a war for pseudonymity: #NymWars; http://eicker.at/NymWars

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    • Gerrit Eicker 09:58 on 11. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Google Plus forces us to discuss identity – Google’s Real Name policy embodies a theory that states the way to maximise civility is to abolish anonymity. … Google Plus’s controversial identity policy requires all users to use their ‘real names’. … [P]roblems include the absurdity of Google’s demand for scans of government ID to accomplish this task and the fractal implausibility of Google being able to discern real from fake in all forms of government ID. … The first duty of social software is to improve its users’ social experience. Facebook’s longstanding demand that its users should only have one identity is either a toweringly arrogant willingness to harm people’s social experience in service to doctrine; or it is a miniature figleaf covering a huge, throbbing passion for making it easier to sell our identities to advertisers. – Google has adopted the Facebook doctrine… There could be no stupider moment for Google to subscribe to the gospel of Zuckerberg, and there is no better time for Google to show us an alternative.

      Gizmodo: “Google, Facebook and Twitter now all have similar products. But Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (somewhat inadvertently) made it clear yesterday that while all three have social networking features and make money from ads, they are in fundamentally different businesses. – At a very basic level, Google+ and Facebook are in the identity delivery business, and Twitter is in the information delivery business. That’s a powerful distinction. It reflects a fundamentally different conception of what’s more valuable: information or identity. It also gets at who is more valuable, advertisers or users. – Google and Facebook’s social products are committed to a real names policy. Both can serve someone up to a network of peers or advertisers with some degree of certainty about identity. – Twitter takes exactly the opposite route towards building a network. You can be anonymous, or use a pseudonym, or even impersonate someone else (as long as you indicate that it’s a parody). It will still connect you to others on its network, and allow you to both serve and receive data. And that’s working well, for everybody.”

      SEW: “There has been a lot of speculation about why the push for real names on Facebook and now Google, with Google taking a much harder line than even Facebook, not allowing for even the simplest derivation of ‘nyms’ (pseudonyms). … Why is a company like Google taking such a hard line on something as simple as a name – even though there is no verification process for the ‘real name,’ so ultimately this policing is currently meaningless. … Google’s ambitions for Google+ appear to go far beyond social signals, marketing, and their efforts to make a better product. Dig a little further and you’ll find something called the National Strategy For Trusted Identities In Cyberspace‘ (NSTIC). … A way to establish identity was never invented, so one needs to be. The difference is that companies will hold the real IDs, rather than the government – companies with ‘identity services,’ such as Google. … Maybe we have a new wrinkle in the reason behind the real ID movement, not the betterment of services for Google, but the government initiative into a real online ID system. … Real ID systems should be of concern to anyone who believes in the Bill of Rights and our freedom of speech and to not incriminate ourselves – to live a life that isn’t monitored by entities, ‘private’ or not. Is Google part of this? You have to be the judge.

      Boyle: “Thoughts on rel=author, #nymwars, ‘identity service’ – Over the past month or so, the ‘nymwars’ have become the thing Google+ is most known for among my circle of friends. This is a problem of Google’s own making: they are suspending profiles based on naive heuristics about ‘real names’ (actually typical two part western names), and demanding government ID to reinstate them. … This is not an effective defence against trolls as was initially claimed; they’re more concerned with ideas about G+ as an ‘identity service’ and a way to ‘improve our products’ than about the wishes of their users or the fact that they’re perpetuating the exclusion of minorities. … I recommend linking together your profile pages on other sites, rather than only linking everything to your Google profile. … [D]on’t just do what’s on the left here, because all those associations will be lost when your G+ profile is taken down. If you do something more like what’s on the right, other identity services / social networks and other search engines will have a better chance of presenting what you want them to present.”

      Gartner, Blakley: “Google+ Can Be A Social Network Or The Name Police – Not Both – Google is currently trying to enforce a ‘common name’ policy in Google+. The gist of the policy is that ‘your Google+ name must be ‘THE’ name by which you are commonly known’. – This policy is insane. I really mean insane; the policy is simply completely divorced from the reality of how names really work AND the reality of how humans really work, and it’s also completely at odds with what Google is trying to achieve with G+. … A name is not an attribute of a person; it is an identifier of a person, chosen arbitrarily and changeable at will. … Google+’s naming policy isn’t failing because it’s poorly implemented, or because Google’s enforcement team is stupid. It’s failing because what they’re trying to do is (1) impossible, and (2) antisocial. … Google’s intention in moving into social networking is to sell ads, Google+’s common names policy gives them a lock on the North American suburban middle-aged conservative white male demographic. w00t.”

      Botgirl: “Ejecting virtually identified people with active social networks shows that Google sees online relationships as illegitimate. When Google ejects you for using virtual identity it not only disrespects your privacy choice, but also the choices of everyone who circles you. Shunning the pseudonymous makes intolerance a community standard. – Today, most of the privacy we relinquish is volitional. But If we lose the Nymwars we all become permanent residents in a global Big Brother reality house. The expression of identity is multidimensional, aspects emerging and submerging in a fluid dance with the changing environment. … It’s ironic that those calling for authenticity want to make all the world a stage and cast us all as full-time unpaid actors.

      GigaOM: “Can gamification help solve the online anonymity problem? – There’s been a lot written recently about the issue of online anonymity, and in particular how Google believes that a ‘real names’ policy is necessary so that the Google+ network maintains a certain tone and level of trust. … It’s not so much that badges or other rewards – Slashdot, a pioneering geek community, has long used ‘karma points’ as a way of rewarding users and selecting moderators – cure bad behavior, or prevent trolls from coming to a site. What they do instead is make it easier to distinguish between what Slashdot calls ‘anonymous cowards’ and those who have gained the trust of the community. Over time, it becomes obvious (theoretically) who is worth listening to and who isn’t… Instead of simply trying to ban or exclude anyone who doesn’t want to use a real name, as Google is doing with Google+, why not try to design a system that rewards the type of behavior you want to see, and lets the users of that community decide who they wish to pay attention to?

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:34 on 8. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Plus Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    My Name Is Me 

    #MyNameIsMe: We want people to be able to identify themselves as they wish; http://eicker.at/MyNameIsMe #PlusGate

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 08:07 on 29. July 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Plus Privacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    #PlusGate 

    Google Plus likes to escape its homemade identity crisis, but #PlusGate keeps trending; http://eicker.at/PlusGate

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    • Gerrit Eicker 08:07 on 29. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Horowitz: “Last night, Robert Scoble shared some information based on his conversation with Vic Gundotra. That post went a long way toward clearing the air, and we want to thank many of you for your feedback and support. … We’ve noticed that many violations of the Google+ common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our process can be frustrating and disappointing. So we’re currently making a number of improvements to this process – specifically regarding how we notify these users that they’re not in compliance with Google+ policies and how we communicate the remedies available to them. … Second, we’re looking at ways to improve the signup process to reduce the likelihood that users get themselves into a state that will later result in review. … We’ll keep working to get better, and we appreciate the feedback – and the passion – that Google+ has generated.”

      Winer: “There’s a very simple business reason why Google cares if they have your real name. It means it’s possible to cross-relate your account with your buying behavior with their partners, who might be banks, retailers, supermarkets, hospitals, airlines. To connect with your use of cell phones that might be running their mobile operating system. To provide identity in a commerce-ready way. And to give them information about what you do on the Internet, without obfuscation of pseudonyms.

      Wired: “After a steady stream of angry blog posts and heated debate among its own users over the value of pseudonymity on the web, Google announced Monday that it was revising its ‘real name’ policy, at least for display, on Google+. … Google’s response aims to try to make social identification nearly as nuanced and granular as its approach to sharing content has been. Users can already add nicknames to their profile, as well as ‘other names’… Let’s be clear, though: All of these changes affect only the public display of identity to other users and the open web. Google itself still wants your full identity, or at least as much identity information as possible. Other users may only get partial glimpses at your multiple and overlapping identities, as well as the information you share. Google gets everything. … Under the banner of increased privacy and user control, it solicits information from you that, were it viewable by everyone in your networks, you would most likely keep to yourself. – Well, now we’ve given you almost everything, Google. Please don’t be evil.

      EFF: “A new debate around pseudonymity on online platforms has arisen as a result of the identification policy of Google+, which requires users to identify by ‘the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you’. This policy is similar to that of Facebook’s which requires users to ‘provide their real names and information.’ Google’s policy has in a few short weeks attracted significant attention both within the community and outside of it, sparking debate as to whether a social platform should place limits on identity. … It is well within the rights of any company – Google, Facebook, or otherwise – to create policies as they see fit for their services. But it is shortsighted for these companies to suggest that ‘real name’ policies create greater potential for civility, when they only do so at the expense of diversity and free expression. Indeed, a shift toward crafting policies requiring ‘real’ names will have a chilling effect on online free expression.

      Hinckley: “This whole persona/pseudonym argument may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but the fact is, the forum for public discourse is no longer the town hall, or newspaper, or fliers on the street. It is here on the Internet, and it is happening in communities like this, hosted by private sector companies. Freedom of speech is not guaranteed in these places. As Lawrence Lessig once said, ‘the code is the law.’ The code that Google applies, the rules they set up now in the software, are going to influence our right to speak out now and in the future. It is imperative that we impress upon Google the importance of providing users with the same rights (and responsibilities) as exist in the society that nurtured Google and brought about its success. … Behind every pseudonym is a real person. Deny the pseudonym and you deny the person.

      WSJ: “Actually, compared with Google’s other recent forays into the world of social media, Google+ has done pretty well. It took Buzz and Wave just a few hours before they began to be overwhelmed with bad publicity. It has taken a month for the knives to come out for Google+.

      TC: “Google Minus – Each of the past three weeks, we’ve been seeing less and less traffic referred. And that’s with the overall network supposedly growing. – Part of that may be Google’s own fault. They really screwed up the brand situation. They even gutted one of our employees who just wanted to share content. – It would be hard to overstate just how important this second phase of Google+ is for Google. While they’re not a small startup limited by resources and money, they still only get one chance to make a first impression. In the first two weeks, that impression was very good. In the last two, not as good.

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 2. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NWW: “Google continues to suspend pseudonymous Profile accounts that are not real names, judging from today’s suspension of ‘Botgirl Questi‘, the avatar name of a well-known SL blogger. In real life, Botgirl is David Elfanbaum, co-founder of a high tech consultancy called Asynchrony Solutions. … ‘Out of 50,000 people who may be familiar with me, 95% know me as Botgirl Questi. So theoretically under their existing policy, it should be my real life account that got suspended.’ (Google’s rules state the profile name should be one ‘that you commonly go by in daily life.’) Also, Elfanbaum adds, ‘I’m in solidarity with the majority of those with avatar identities who have not linked with real life.‘”

      Botgirl Questi: “My new site aggregating #plusgate #nymwars posts and articles. Please /cc me on new links that I should add.

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:58 on 4. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Google+ pseudonym wars escalate – is it the new being ‘banned from the ranch’? – The list of blocked users is what is now being referred to as the NymWars extends to some fairly influential users. Most embarrassingly for Google, the latest is Blake Ross, co-founder of Firefox, who was inexplicably blocked from the service on Wednesday night. He trumps even William Shatner. … It’s risky for Google to take what feels like a hardline approach, for two reasons. Firstly, many of the users it is now penalising for using online monikers are valuable, influential early adopters – and Google really needs them to be on side. Secondly, given the battle for this space, and how Google+ needs to prove itself by getting to a critical mass of people as quickly as possible, it can’t afford to lose momentum.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 11:17 on 6. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The Atlantic: “The kind of naming policy that Facebook and Google Plus have is actually a radical departure from the way identity and speech interact in the real world. They attach identity more strongly to every act of online speech than almost any real world situation does. … [I]n real life, we expect very few statements to be public, persistent, and attached to your real identity. Basically, only people talking on television or to the media can expect such treatment. And even then, the vast majority of their statements don’t become part of the searchable Internet. … [P]seudonyms allow statements to be public and persistent, but not attached to one’s real identity. – I can understand why Google and Facebook don’t want this to happen. It’s bad for their marketing teams. … They are creating tighter links between people’s behavior and their identities than has previously existed in the modern world.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:06 on 13. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      BB: “+Soulja Boy, +T-Pain, and other pop celebrities won’t have a problem using Google+ with their stage names, but internet-eccentrics who’ve been known in the world by non-normal names for years can’t get a break – in some cases, even when those ‘weird’ names are in fact their legal names. Tim Carmody of Wired has the latest on Google+ nymwars. Yes, it’s still in beta, but boy oh boy do they seem determined to screw this pooch.

      Gizmodo: “Google’s Real Names Policy is Evil – Google’s horrible new policy on using real names in Google+ effectively means that the service is now a danger to real people. You have to ask yourself why a company that pledged to not be evil would do this. … Forget social networking, the big goldmine of the future is online identity verification. This could be Google prioritizing getting ahead in that race over its users’ preferences and safety. – In other words, it’s Google putting money and greed over humanity. It’s Google being evil. … The easy answer, of course, is simply to not use Google+. And I’m quite sure some people will posit that as a solution. But there are two reasons that’s not the answer. – First, Google is too big and too important. … Second, and this is related to the first, is that Google+ is a community. And we as a society we have a duty to work to make our communities free and open.”

      RWW: “Google’s Joseph Smarr refers us to this video interview (at 9:30) he did with Alex Howard, where among other things he offers the following explanation. (Thanks to Carolyn Martin for the transcription.) – ‘It’s not just enough to offer the ability to post under a pseudonymous identifier. If you’re going to make the commitment that we’re not going to out your real identity, that actually takes a lot of work, right? Especially if you’re using your real account to log in, and then posting under a pseudonym. And so we feel a real responsibility that if we’re gonna make the claim to people, ‘it’s safe, you’re not gonna get outed’, that we really think through the architecture end to end and make sure that there aren’t any loopholes or gotchas where all of a sudden you get outed. And that’s actually a hard thing to do in software. And so, I think that’s [ ] an angle people often miss … we don’t want to do it wrong so we’d rather wait until we get it right.’ – Does that sound like Google might change this policy in the future? I’ve followed up with Smarr to ask for more details.

  • Gerrit Eicker 16:43 on 8. July 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Plus Privacy, , Google Services, , , , , , , , , Pen Name, , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus Identities 

    Google and the freedom to be who you want to be, at least if it is not on Google Plus; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusIdentities @oobscure

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    • Gerrit Eicker 16:44 on 8. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “When it comes to Google services, we support three types of use: unidentified, pseudonymous and identified. And each mode has its own particular user benefits. – Unidentified. Sometimes you want to use the web without having your online activity tied to your identity, or even a pseudonym… – Pseudonymous. Using a pseudonym has been one of the great benefits of the Internet, because it has enabled people to express themselves freely… – Identified. There are many times you want to share information with people and have them know who you really are. … Equally as important as giving users the freedom to be who they want to be is ensuring they know exactly what mode they’re in when using Google’s services. So recently we updated the top navigation bar on many of our Google services to make this even clearer. … We’re also looking at other ways to make this more transparent for users. While some of our products will be better suited to just one or two of those modes, depending on what they’re designed to do, we believe all three modes have a home at Google.”

      Google Community Standards: “Impersonation – Your profile should represent you. We don’t allow impersonation of others or other behavior that is misleading or intended to be misleading. … Display Name – To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of these would be acceptable.”

      Thinq_: “Google may still be throttling sign-ups to its social networking service Google+, but it’s also thinning out the ranks of its current members as it struggles to meet demand. – Businesses were the first to go, and they’ve now been joined by those who value their privacy or have other reasons to use a pseudonym. – Various tech publications have found their corporate accounts unceremoniously booted, with Google claiming that it’s trying to keep the service for individuals at present. While this has been met with stoic understanding by the people involved, the company’s next step in the cull might cause a bigger stir: the advertising giant is focusing on those who prefer to be known by an avatar. – Opensource Obscure, a Second Life user who prefers to be identified by his/her avatar rather than by his/her real-world identity, is one of the first to be have been selected for removal from the service. While the account is still present on Google+, it is listed as ‘suspended’.”

      TN: “Officially as of 24 February, Google’s public policy position (‘The freedom to be who you want to be’) was that pseudonymous use of a number of Google products was fine. Even to go so far as implicitly encouraging it. – Someone at Google clearly didn’t get that memo, or maybe it’s just that Google+ (or anything tied to a Google Profile) is exempt from that policy. – Google profiles are becoming somewhat pervasive, increasingly interconnecting the various Google products, and the pseudonymity that Google supports in some products is inherently undermined if it starts whacking connected profiles based on a suspicion that a name isn’t what people ‘usually call you’. – Pseudonymous usage is apparently just fine, until Google decides it wants you to pony up a photo ID. This isn’t about Opensource Obscure specifically, but his suspension devalues Google+ for me just a little bit.

      Update from Opensource Obscure: “Confirmation from Google Profiles Support Team: ‘Opensource Obscure’ name violates Community Standards.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 21:51 on 13. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NWW: “For the last couple years, it’s been a mantra in Silicon Valley that ‘Google doesn’t get social.’ The introduction of Google Profiles and its truly impressive Circles feature strongly suggested that the company had made a massive shift in corporate culture to compete with Facebook and other social networking systems. However, the fact that Google hasn’t crafted a coherent Profiles policy that’s more in line with how people actually use their identity in the digital age… well, to me that shows they are still abundantly full of Not Getting Social.

      RWW: “As political activists and dissidents have increasingly turned to social networks in order to build their communities and spread their messages, many have balked at Facebook’s policy that requires people use their real names in their profiles, arguing that doing so puts them and their families at risk. It isn’t just activists, however, who argue that pseudonymity may be necessary. There are lots of reasons why people may opt to utilize other names online: you’re changing your real world name and identity, using your real world name puts you at risk at work or at home, or simply that people know you by your pseudonym, not by your real name. – Some have been surprised and disappointed then to see that Google’s new social network, Google Plus, much like its rival Facebook, will also require real names.Allowing pseudonyms could be a way that Google Plus could distinguish itself from Facebook, particularly since Google contends that Google Plus emphasizes personal control over information and sharing. But as it stands, that control is limited to those who choose to go by real names.”

      NWW: “Google is squandering a vast opportunity that Facebook has ignored: The desire of people whose daily activity centers around online community to easily connect in that context as well.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:39 on 16. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NYT: “Allowing pseudonyms could be a way that Google Plus could distinguish itself from Facebook, particularly since Google contends that Google Plus emphasizes personal control over information and sharing. But as it stands, that control is limited to those who choose to go by real names.

      Weinstein: “It is clearly the case that users need to fully understand what names are or are not acceptable for their use. When other than ‘legal’ names are permitted, users need to know that a logical and fair process is in place to determine which other names will be permitted, how these users can demonstrate that their usage of those names are legitimate, and that when names are rejected, be assured that users are fully informed as to why rejections took place. Additionally, there should be a formal appeals procedure that users may invoke if they feel that a name was unreasonably rejected.

      Vierling: “Google, you’re seriously messing it up. Your own experience with LGBT political causes should be enough to make you know better, but this obvious attack on pseudonymity will result in you shooting yourself in the foot even before Google+ is standing on its own. Here you have an opportunity to stand out, but you’re just doing exactly what “the other guy” is doing.”

      Greene: “Fact is, Google’s ‘no-privacy’ approach to social networking runs the risk of alienating a lot of potential users. And as I’ve said before, you’d be stupid not to think Facebook isn’t going to capitalize on that fact.”

      SEW, Korman: “Facebook’s TOS claims that you are required to use your wallet name in order to use their service.Google+ was, in theory a little different. Their rules state that you should sign up using ‘the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you.’ … It seems that Google has a very narrow definition of identity. … I’ve been hearing a lot about how ‘this is how the world is now’, and that ‘if you don’t join up you’ll be forgotten.’, where it comes to Facebook and Google+. I think both statements are patently nonsense, primarily because unless multiplicity of identity is embraced as time goes on, more and more people will reject the single identity model for any number of reasons. All that will remain are, ironically, companies and brand names, selling things to each other, where people who actually want to truly interact will be wherever they are allowed to be their real selves – whatever that might entail.”

      ST: “SL Avatars, Time to Fight for Your Rights at Google+ – A Google engineer named Andrew Bunner (I don’t think he’s with the Ozimal people!) has started an outright witch-hunt, using the power of his office and his visibility on this new, rapidly growing social media platform to call on people to abuse-report fake names. … Google engineers should stick to software production and leave governance to a separate department and not be inciting witch-hunts. It’s unethical. It’s like a police state. … Second Life avatars should be admitted for registration on the principle that it is ‘the name by which people know you’.

    • Gerrit Eicker 10:47 on 25. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Scoble: “I talked with Google VP Vic Gundotra tonight (disclaimer, he used to be my boss at Microsoft). He is reading everything we have written about names, and such. Both pro and con. … He says it isn’t about real names. He says he isn’t using his legal name here. He says, instead, it is about having common names and removing people who spell their names in weird ways, like using upside-down characters, or who are using obviously fake names, like ‘god’ or worse. – He says they have made some mistakes while doing the first pass at this and they are learning. He also says the team will change how they communicate with people. IE, let them know what they are doing wrong, etc. … He also says they are working on ways to handle pseudonyms, but that will be a while before the team can turn on those features (everyone is working hard on a raft of different things and can’t just react overnight to community needs).”

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