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  • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Copyleft, , , , , , , , , , , , , , GNU, GNU Project, , , , , , , Identity, , , , , , , , , , , , 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 14:06 on 1. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Agent Rank, Agent Reputation, , Authorship Markup, , , , , , Google Agent Rank, , , , , Identity, , , , , , Microdata, , , , , , , , , , , , , Trusted Agents, , ,   

    Google Agent Rank 

    An algorithm based reputation system and digital signature: the Google Agent Rank; http://eicker.at/GoogleAgentRank

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:06 on 1. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      SEL: “Google’s Agent Rank Patent Application – The method of ranking based upon reputation scores is described in an analogy based upon PageRank. There’s also some discussion of an alternative possibility of using a seed group of trusted agents to endorse other content. Agents whose content receives consistently strong endorsements might gain reputation under that method. In either implementation, the agent’s reputation ultimately depends on the quality of the content which they sign. … The use of digital signatures enables the reputation system to link reputations with individual agents, and adjust the relative rankings based on all of the content each agent chooses to associate himself or herself with, no matter where the content may be located. That could even include content that isn’t on the internet. … This is a very different way of providing rankings for pages, based upon the reputations of agents who may have interacted with, and digitally signed content on those pages.

      SbtS: “Are You Trusted by Google? – Are you a robot? A spammer? A sock puppet? A trusted author and content developer? A trusted agent in the eyes of Google? … In a whitepaper from last year, Reputation Systems for Open Collaboration, Bo Adler of Fujitsu Labs of America, Ian Pyey of CloudFlare, Inc., and Luca de Alfaro and Ashutosh Kulshreshtha from Google describe two different collaborative reputation systems that they worked on. One of them is a WikiTrust reputation system for Wikipedia authors and content, and the other is the Crowdsensus reputation system for Google Maps editors. – Both systems are interesting, and as the authors note, both fulfill very different needs in very different ways. … I’ve written about Google’s Agent Rank here a few times recently, and Google published a new Agent Rank continuation patent application last week which expands upon one aspect of the patent filing within its claims section. … [T]he newest version of this patent is transformed to focus upon this aspect of Agent Rank. It introduces the concept of ‘trusted agents,’ who might endorse content items created by others. … Are reputation or user rank scores influencing rankings in search results at present? Chances are that they may be in the future, if they aren’t now. – How does one become a ‘trusted agent?’

      SEOmoz: “Building The Implicit Social Graph – Google Plus is Google’s latest attempt at building an explicit social graph that they control, but Google has been building out an implicit social graph for quite some time. This graph is still relatively naive compared to the maturity of the link graph, but search engines continue to develop this graph. Since it is already directly influencing rankings, and its value will increase, it’s important to understand how this type of social graph is being built. In this post, I’ll look at some of the methods for building the social graph, as well as looking at explicit vs. implicit social graphs. … One of the limitations of building an implicit social graph is that you don’t have the data to test against to confirm the predictions and relationships that graph discovers. It still has to depend on the data made public, but is limited by relationships that are held private [aka Facebook]. Google Plus, among other things, creates a massive set of explicit social graph data, which can be used for machine learning and accuracy checking. … Even with publicly available, and privately available, explicit social data, there is still a strong incentive to build out the implicit graph. The explicit graph can be used to make improvements upon this graph. The implicit graph is one area where Google has a significant advantage over Facebook. – It’s no secret that the social graph appears to be the next evolution with increasing uses of social factors, social elements in search, and mechanisms that will lead into AgentRank/AuthorRank, which will tie directly into the implicit social graph.

      ComLUV: “Google Agent Rank and its Impact on Blogging – For many users and businesses Google is the Internet. People don’t search for things anymore, they Google them. The silly sounding brand name has permeated almost every aspect of the Internet and is growing daily. One new twist Google may be adding to the mix is something they call Agent Rank. … Agent Rank has the potential to be an incredible boon to bloggers of any topic or vertical. Trusted writers will not only bring their great material with them to a new project, they will bring a built-in trust boost in Google to whatever site they are working for. … If an author can be confident that their Agent Rank could bring about better Google rankings then they can approach projects with a new value proposition. … When or if Agent Rank will be implemented is unknown. Google recently released an addendum to their Google Profiles they call Authorship. … It is unknown if this is an early attempt to roll out Agent Rank in some form, but it is clearly related to the patent and has some value even in its current state.”

      Google: “Today we’re beginning to support authorship markup – a way to connect authors with their content on the web. We’re experimenting with using this data to help people find content from great authors in our search results. – We now support markup that enables websites to publicly link within their site from content to author pages. … The markup uses existing standards such as HTML5 (rel=”author”) and XFN (rel=”me”) to enable search engines and other web services to identify works by the same author across the web. If you’re already doing structured data markup using microdata from schema.org, we’ll interpret that authorship information as well. … We know that great content comes from great authors, and we’re looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:22 on 29. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 1998, , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Local, , , , , , , , Identity, , , , , , , , , , , Methodology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Timeline, Universal Search, , ,   

    Google Search 

    Google: Another look under the hood of searchthe evolution of Google Search; http://eicker.at/GoogleSearch

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:23 on 29. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Over the past few years, we’ve released a series of blog posts to share the methodology and process behind our search ranking, evaluation and algorithmic changes. Just last month, Ben Gomes, Matt Cutts and I participated in a Churchill Club event where we discussed how search works and where we believe it’s headed in the future. – Beyond our talk and various blog posts, we wanted to give people an even deeper look inside search, so we put together a short video that gives you a sense of the work that goes into the changes and improvements we make to Google almost every day. While an improvement to the algorithm may start with a creative idea, it always goes through a process of rigorous scientific testing. Simply put: if the data from our experiments doesn’t show that we’re helping users, we won’t launch the change. … In the world of search, we’re always striving to deliver the answers you’re looking for. After all, we know you have a choice of a search engine every time you open a browser. As the Internet becomes bigger, richer and more interactive it means that we have to work that much harder to ensure we’re unearthing and displaying the best results for you.

      Google: “Following up on our video on how we make improvements to search, we wanted to share with you a short history of the evolution of search, highlighting some of the most important milestones from the past decade-and a taste of what’s coming next. – Our goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster and faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between your questions and the information you seek. For those of you looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved, this video highlights some important trends like universal results, quick answers and the future of search. – For more information, go to Google.com/insidesearch

      SEL: “Google released a short video today highlighting some of its key milestones in search over the past decade. It’s both a fun blast from the past and a worthwhile reminder of how much things have changed over the years. The video is also a nice follow-on to the look under the hood of search that Google released in August.”

      TC: “One anecdote centers on the attacks of September 11: in the wake of the attacks, many people were searching for ‘New York Twin Towers’ and related queries as they attempted to get the latest news – only to find that Google’s index didn’t have any relevant news stories because it was weeks old (Danny Sullivan has written more about this failure). Google’s quick-fix was to post links to relevant news articles on its homepage, and its stumble eventually led to the launch of Google News.

      ATD: “So, what would be a hard query that Google wants to answer in the future? Complex questions that take reasoning, says Google Fellow Amit Singhal. ‘In my ideal world, I would be able to walk up to a computer and say, ‘Hey, what is the best time for me to sow seeds in India, given that monsoon was early this year?’‘ Singhal says in the video.”

      RWW: “4 Big Trends in the Evolution of Google SearchUniveral Search – Google’s introduction of universal search in 2007 was the beginning of a trend away from separating Web search results by type and toward putting it all in one place. … Google Goes Mobile and Local – Before long, Google was deep into the business of local commerce. With the rise of Android, Google had an end-to-end business of finding location-based results for local businesses, restaurants and destinations. … Google Search and Time – Google has changed the impact of time on search, as well as place. It has tweaked the way timeliness of content appears in search multiple times, and its latest update calculates when a search is probably looking for recent results rather than historical ones. … Google+: Google’s New Identity – Identity is the final piece of the puzzle. Google has personalized results for a while using Web history and sharing data. But with the launch of Google+, Google has introduced a form of social SEO. Social activity is now a fundamental part of how search results appear for users logged into Google’s ubiquitous Web services.

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:20 on 11. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Identity, , , , , , Metaphors, , , , Phenomenons, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Sociopath, Sociopaths, , ,   

    No Social Graph 

    Ceglowski on social networks: The social graph is neither a graph, nor is it social; http://eicker.at/NoSocialGraph

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:21 on 11. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ceglowski, Pinboard: “The Social Graph is Neither – Last week Forbes even went to the extent of calling the social graph an exploitable resource comprarable to crude oil, with riches to those who figure out how to mine it and refine it. I think this is a fascinating metaphor. If the social graph is crude oil, doesn’t that make our friends and colleagues the little animals that get crushed and buried underground? But right now I would like to take issue with the underlying concept, which I think has two flaws: I. It’s not a graph – This obsession with modeling has led us into a social version of the Uncanny Valley, that weird phenomenon from computer graphics where the more faithfully you try to represent something human, the creepier it becomes. As the model becomes more expressive, we really start to notice the places where it fails. Personally, I think finding an adequate data model for the totality of interpersonal connections is an AI-hard problem. But even if you disagree, it’s clear that a plain old graph is not going to cut it. – II. It’s Not SocialWe have a name for the kind of person who collects a detailed, permanent dossier on everyone they interact with, with the intent of using it to manipulate others for personal advantage – we call that person a sociopath. And both Google and Facebook have gone deep into stalker territory with their attempts to track our every action. Even if you have faith in their good intentions, you feel misgivings about stepping into the elaborate shrine they’ve built to document your entire online life. … My hope is that whatever replaces Facebook and Google+ will look equally inevitable, and that our kids will think we were complete rubes for ever having thrown a sheep or clicked a +1 button. It’s just a matter of waiting things out, and leaving ourselves enough freedom to find some interesting, organic, and human ways to bring our social lives online.”

      GigaOM: “If you’ve ever gotten a little creeped out by the way social networks have invaded our lives, then you aren’t alone. There are a lot of people who enjoy using the social web, but struggle with it too. … The real problem with the social graph, he argues, is that it’s based around a series of troubling assumptions – including the idea that we can and should model human relationships, and for profit. As he says, ‘Imagine the U.S. Census as conducted by direct marketers – that’s the social graph.‘ – This is partly because the social web has really been spun off from the idea of the semantic web, and ways of describing connections between data that require all kinds of sleight-of-hand to work. How do you interpret messy relationships into things computers can understand, or translate meanings that are complex and constantly moving? … But he’s certainly right that mapping this stuff is very difficult, and perhaps impossible. … The real difference, however, is that while sociologists try to come up with ways to define interaction, technologists end up building systems that define the interactions that can happen. That means the processes behind today’s biggest social networks actually place themselves as a layer over human activity, as much as they help that activity exist. … This conflict is, I think, why Facebook is constantly struggling with privacy issues, or why the real names controversy on Google+ exploded. The social graph, to them, is an attempt to codify what people do rather than act as midwife to their ideas.

      Marks: “People choose to model different relationships on different sites and applications, but being able to avoid re-entering them anew each time by importing some or all from another source makes this easier. The Social Graph API may return results that are a little frayed or out of date, but humans can cope with that and smart social sites will let them edit the lists and selectively connect the new account to the web. Having a common data representation doesn’t mean that all data is revealed to all who ask; we have OAuth to reveal different subsets to different apps, if need be. – The real value comes from combining these imperfect, scrappy computerized representations of relationships with the rich, nuanced understandings we have stored away in our cerebella. With the face of your friend, acquaintance or crush next to what they are saying, your brain is instantly engaged and can decide whether they are joking, flirting or just being a grumpy poet again, and choose whether to signal that you have seen it or not.”

      ORR: “It’s hardly surprising that the founder of a ‘bookmarking site for introverts’ would have something to say about the ‘social graph.’ But what Pinboard’s Maciej Ceglowski has penned in a blog post titled ‘The Social Graph Is Neither’ is arguably the must-read article of the week. – The social graph is neither a graph, nor is it social, Ceglowski posits. … But if today’s social networks are troublesome, they’re also doomed, Ceglowski contends, much as the CompuServes and the Prodigys of an earlier era were undone. It’s not so much a question of their being out-innovated, but rather they were out-democratized. As the global network spread, the mass marketing has given way to grassroots efforts.

  • Gerrit Eicker 21:15 on 15. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , GWT, Identity, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , RESTful HTTP, Rich Sharing, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus API 

    The Google Plus API starts with public data only: This is the start. Experiment with it; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusAPI

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 21:15 on 15. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “[W]e want every one of you who builds applications to be able to include rich sharing, identity, and conversations in your app. Today, we’re taking the next step on that journey by launching the first of the Google+ APIs. … This initial API release is focused on public data only – it lets you read information that people have shared publicly on Google+. … We love the way the programmable web has evolved, so we’re using existing standards and best practices wherever we can: Our API methods are RESTful HTTP requests which return JSON responses. Our payload formats use standard syntax (e.g. PoCo for people info, ActivityStrea.ms for activities). We use OAuth 2 for secure trusted access to user data. – In addition, since most of us no longer write raw HTTP requests these days, we provide libraries for your favorite language: Java, GWT, Python, Ruby, PHP, and .NET. These libraries are all open source, so we’d love to have your feedback and help with them. … For all of you developers who have been asking for a Google+ API, this is the start. Experiment with it. Build apps on it. Give us your feedback and ideas. This is just the beginning; the Google+ platform will grow and we value your input as we move Google+ forward.”

      Google Developers: “The Google+ API is the programming interface to Google+. You can use the API to integrate your app or website with Google+. This enables users to connect with each other for maximum engagement using Google+ features from within your application. … Applications are limited to a courtesy usage quota. This should provide enough access for you to preview the API and to start thinking about how you want to build your application. … Many API calls require that the user of your application grant permission to access their data. Google uses the OAuth 2.0 protocol to allow authorized applications to access user data.

      RWW: “Since the social network launched in June and put out a call for developers, this API has been hotly anticipated. Our ReadWriteHack poll found that a commanding majority of our developer readers were interested in playing with it. This summer, we laid out some ground rules about what Google would have to do to win developers’ hearts with this API, and it looks good so far, though devs only have access to public data at this point.”

      TC: “A week ago, we noted the talk amongst developers that a Google+ API could be months away. The next day, we learned that Google was reaching out to ‘trusted’ developers – among them, Google Ventures-backed startups – to try out their early stab at the API. Google was not happy we found this out (and went on a witch hunt to find the leaker) – so it shouldn’t be too surprising that today they’re announcing some initial APIs for everyone to use. … [T]he main focus of Google+ is clearly on the Circles sharing concept. The API for that is probably one that everyone is really waiting for. And that one could be a ways off since it involves complex connections and tricky privacy implications. Even more important will be the write API. But again, with the Circles element, it’s complicated.”

      Winer: “Google doesn’t get it – I usually don’t say this about people or companies, aware that I am that it’s often the other way around. The one saying they don’t get it is the one that don’t. In this case I am absolutely sure that Google is the one. … They should just support RSS, and forget APIs to read publicly available content. All that’s going to happen now is people are going to write apps that produce feeds from their API so they can hook into the reading tools that were written a hundred years ago, like the one Google itself has.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 22:36 on 4. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Google+ APIs: Now With Search and More! – Last month we launched search in Google+, and now it’s available in the API. … Our first API release let you retrieve public posts. We’ve now added ways for you to see how people are publicly engaging with those posts – you can find out who reshared a post or who +1‘d a post, and you can read the comments on a post.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:57 on 11. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Civility, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Government ID, ID, ID System, ID Systems, , Identity, , 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

    (More …)

     
    • 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?

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