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Eric Schmidt: If You Don't Want To Use Your Real Name, Don't Use Google+

 12:39 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Eric Schmidt: If You Donít Want To Use Your Real Name, Donít Use Google+

Google+ was meant to be an identity service, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said this weekend, shedding some light on Googleís reasoning behind Google+ís controversial real-name policy.




 2:23 pm on Sep 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

And again, anonymity is hugely important to most people.

Proof's in the pudding. Google's attempt at social will fail spectacularly for no other reason than this.


 2:25 pm on Sep 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just noticed that Google+ is requiring photo ID to prove identity.


What's next? A fingerprint or other biometric?


 2:41 pm on Sep 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bar code tattoos.

C'mon, you know it's coming.


 3:44 pm on Sep 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

frontpage wrote:
Noticed you ignored the Google and CIA/intelligence community relationship. Silence is thunder. :)

I'm assuming this was directed at me, so... If it seems as if I'm ignoring anything, it's because I actually have a job that I should be doing. I've already spent way too much of my company's time arguing this point here.

But, from your own link:

No one is accusing Google of directly collaborating with the CIA.

Well, except for some paranoiacs on the Internet, but they accuse people and companies of all sorts of things without proper regard for evidence, anyway, so we can just ignore them...

I'm not going to deny that various intelligence agencies the world over likely see value in the huge collection of data that Google has, but I'm also not going to put the cart before the horse, so to speak. I don't let paranoia dictate my world view and behavior.



 3:58 pm on Sep 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

If your daughter or son were to use an alias instead of their real names your local bullies wouldn't know who they are.

That isn't realistic because the whole point of a social media account is to interact with those you know online.

Even if your child uses an alias he will tell his friends that alias name so they can add him. Bullies often come in the form of former friends or friends of friends, or can even bully the account name from others, an alias does very little to protect you from bullying.

Parents have to be responsible for their children's online activity there is no doubt about that. There is no magic bullet that will change that.

Anonymity is a big thing to people and I advocate anonymity on the web but if there are websites that want to transcend that and create a place on the web where anonymity isn't allowed then I see no problem with that. You still have a choice to not use those sites.

There was and always will be a need for anonymity (ask Deepthroat) but you don't have to remain anon everywhere you go on the web, but if that is how you choose to do things then don't make a Google+ account and move on with your life.

Use your real or fake name and abuses will still happen, people will be affected negatively or otherwise by their decisions to be online.

Google+ requesting this isn't a sign of anonymity on the web being dead. It isn't a sign that our privacy is gone. It isn't a sign of the CIA spying on you. It isn't a reason to dig a shelter in your yard and fill it with enough water and canned soup to allow you to live there for the next 50 years. It is just a service which, in the name of system integrity, requires a real name from it's users.


 9:31 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)


My name is registered with Webmasterworld as is my email address and they have been from 2005. Any problems with what I post can be directly attributed to me as a real person, no problems. Ask the mods if you don't believe me.

My name also appears on my websites as does my address in most cases. So I am definitely not one of the many who prefer to publish and remain anonymous. I stand accountable by what I publish on the web even if it is sometimes proved incorrect.



I do believe that anonymity gives many people "permission" to write on the internet what they want without any comeback. And I do believe that if anonymity was removed then the web would be a better place.

Anonymity is essential in elections, but there are few other cases where it is justified. This Google initiative is worthy of more than just being mocked. And I am no Google fan!


 9:36 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Really. A for profit advertising company, leading the charge on slaying the horrors of anonymity on the web.

You know that old saw where the fox carries the scorpion across the stream on his back and the scorpion stung the fox anyway? Summary of the story: WTF did you think was going to happen?


 9:41 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here's a paragraph from Guy Kawasaki's recent book, Enchantment - explaining why he developed a social network page on Facebook for his new title, rather than building a dedicated website:

The identities of Facebook users are more reliable. For example, on a web page, anyone can post a comment using any identity. When people post a comment on Facebook, they are much more likely to be the real person.

I think the phenomenon Guy mentions here has a lot to do with why Google wants the use of Google+ to be linked to real identities.

And as for WebmasterWorld allowing anonymity, even at our scale that kind of elbow room takes a lot of work to keep things "clean". That much active moderation wouldn't scale to the size of a Google social network.


 9:52 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

It might help to separate the two issues.

Anonymity vs real names on the web in general is one thing,

trusting Google with real names or any too much other real world info is another.


 10:17 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)


My name is registered with Webmasterworld as is my email address and they have been from 2005. Any problems with what I post can be directly attributed to me as a real person, no problems. Ask the mods if you don't believe me.

all of our names are known to the admins..thus potential attribution etc of what we post here ..if it causes problems .. applies to all of us ..I already knew that ..

My point ..which you know full well ..is you posted against anonymity ..whilst using a "nick" on site which does not require a "real name".. ..many here use their real names ..you ( and I ) don't ..you "choose" ( as do I ) to remain anonymous to the rest of the "non admin" members..whereas you could have chosen to publicly use your full real name..as many here do ( I wouldn't use mine anywhere )..and you did choose not to..

I find the "irony" ..amusing..;-)


 11:28 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

leading the charge on slaying the horrors of anonymity on the web.

No that is wrong, they want to remove anonymity on 1 specific website, not the whole Internet and they never call anonymity on the web a horror, those are your words not theirs but you continue to put that kind of language in their mouth. No wonder you are so worked up about this. You have turned it into something it isn't.

I bet if Google had a pet fish and it died you would claim they are looking to stop marine life as we know it. Sometimes a rose is just a rose

Mr Bo Jangles

 10:27 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Settle down children.
The reason that my friends at Google need to be so serious about this identity issue is that a MAJOR forthcoming facility of Google+ is BANKING! Yes, you heard it here first. Google's global banking facility is going to knock PayPal off its perch.

thank you


 1:06 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Mr. Bo Jangles, getting into banking isn't that easy. yes, Paypal did have a free run for a long time. But countries like India have clamped severe restrictions on their operations recently. Paypal is almost dead there. I am sure more countries will follow suit and it isn't going to be easy for google if they have any plans on that.


 1:17 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Agreed ..Google do not have the money ( by a long way inspite of their tens of billions ) to comply with the new banking regulations in force in many countries as regards to the sums which must be actually in reserve.

Unless of course they get a "free pass" and a "we'll all look the other way and let them act like a bank without being subject to the rules and safeguards that protect customers and international financial transactions" ..

But then they'd have to call themselves Paypal...and as Indyank points out ..some countries are cracking down on the online tat bazaar's money laundering service.

btw ..heard it mooted elsewhere months ago when NF hit android phones...


 8:24 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Leosghost, No irony, my name is Dave Marks, published on all my major websites. Never had a problem with declaring that. Not quite sure what you are getting at, but you can stop being "amused" from now on!

If you sticky me then I'll send you the url of one of my websites which also has my address and phone number. Can't post it here because of the site rules.

I stand by what I post here and, even more importantly, on my websites, no hiding behind anonymity for me. And you, Leosghost, what exactly are you afraid of?

Wheel, Google is no angel, agreed, but take a step back and look a bit more objectively at what they doing, don't let your own prejudices cloud everything they do. Some is not good but some is good. Maybe this is good.



 8:52 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm one of those who makes their living by making artwork , images , photos, sculptures etc ..the web stuff is a ( lucrative ) side line..like many who make images..we may offend some peoples imagined sky fairies..and so as to avoid a potentially fatal knock on the door ..or attack on our families ..anonymity is our defence ..

And if you read the recent fox news thread regarding the proposed paid for by the US govt "Cross memorial" at "ground zero" before the thread was pulled .. you'd know that those who think that atheists should be killed and or tortured or raped..don't all live outside of the USA..apparently at least 2000 of them live inside.

Those of us who might write or draw something that some crazy is prepared to attack us or our families over value our anonymity ..it keeps us alive.

The irony ? ..you signed up as nomis5 ..and you could have signed up as your real name ( many do )and posted a site in your profile ( many do )..but you didn't ..and for 6 years you've chosen to be anonymous..

Using real names doesn't protect your kids on either 4chan or bebo ( lookup bebo's history in Northern Ireland )..the sectarian bullying that went on for years there on that site was done by the kids classmates ..everyone knew everyone else ..

Most of the bullying of kids on 4chan is done by the kids own classmates..and using webcams..no anonymity there.

Most aren't don't know that their kids are bullied ..nor if their kids are doing the bullying ..

And most of the parents of the perpetrators think that it is their kids who need protecting from the others..because they allow their kids online without supervision..the net is a scary place for kids ..they need a friend or parent looking out for them when they are online..not someone who thinks that as long as everyone knows everyones name then every thing is bunnies and bambies..

Just like most child abuse, the victim normally knows the perpetrator , certainly knows their name ..and they are usually members of the same family or close social group..

No difference on line..

Google already know who I am ..I have accounts with them ..in both my real name an my companies names..

I do not need to have the rabid world and it's rabid dog knowing any of that ..and certainly not my address ( I have PO boxes ) or phone numbers ( all mine are unlisted )..and if at any time they were to insist on joining Google+ in order to keep my other Google accounts ..adsense included ..? would close all my accounts with them immediately..

re the PM .why ? No offense..But ..I don't care who anyone here is..knowing your name and or sites makes no difference to how I read your posts.


 11:41 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

So the bottom line then is that Google+ is not for you. That should be a simple thing.


 5:00 pm on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

ken_b wrote:
It might help to separate the two issues.

Anonymity vs real names on the web in general is one thing,

trusting Google with real names or any too much other real world info is another.

Demaestro wrote:
[...] they want to remove anonymity on 1 specific website [...]

These are good points and are responses to comments that make my observation of excessive paranoia all the more valid.

Google is not the Internet. That your real name is a requirement for use of one of their services is entirely within their rights and is far from an indication that the government is on the verge of requiring that you be personally identifiable across the Internet.



 7:49 pm on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

didn't microsoft try and do something like this once? Im sure there was some kind of thing you could sign up to that acted as a kind of passport all across the web.
What happened to that? Is it still going?

We are all arguing about privacy on here, but I dont think the public care about that so much. to them, its much more about security. I dont think they really mind if google sells their anonymised data. After all, loads of places do that already -- when we sign up to those supermarket points cards everyone knows that they are using data on our shopping habits. but we dont care.

But if we hand data over to google and they lose it, or get hacked, like Sony did recently, then this whole thing will go pearshaped overnight. All it takes is a bit of bad publicity like that and google +1 will be dead. but at the moment people trust that google is secure, so they will sign up.


 8:08 pm on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Microsoft started of Wallop, a Flash based social networking site and sold it off to a private business. It was at that stage that I was invited to become a modder with them making Flash animations and selling them to members for a few cents each. I do not think people liked parting with their money to get these little perks and although it started off well soon faded into obscurity. Google+ is totally different and a lot of people are looking for invites as it is still in the trial stage. I like it a lot and can see it as a big competitor to Facebook. It could possibly have a few perks for the webmaster as well.


 8:19 pm on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

The problem with g+, is that it is NOT a social network - it is a veiled attempt at being such.

g+ is their attempt to glean more information from people - that is all.

They (google) have no heartfelt interest in "people" - they have a heartfelt interest in "money" and getting it from "people".

They are not interested in the social network service they are shoving out - only what they can get out of it.

Whilst this is probably the case with facebook aswell - the difference really is in that the facebook goal was to create a social network where people came first - money came later.

Google+ is about information and cash first - and imaginary quote
Google - "what else can we copy and shove up onto the net to get some cash and information ?"

Facebook - "lets build a massive social network - who knows..... if it works and people like it...... we may make lots of money"

theres a huge difference - and if im right about the above hypothetical quotes - g+ should fail miserably.


 9:14 pm on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

At the risk of being called a Google fanboy, which I'm not, I want to add some balancing points:

1. You need to give very little information to Google to set up a Google Profile and Google+ account.

2. You can restrict or enlarge the information and external social sites involved to your specific needs and taste.

3. With Circles, group video Hangouts and Sparks, I'd say there is already lots of innovation - Google+ is not just a copy of anything. In fact, the way it's designed it could be used as a social media master account that helps organize information for anyone overwhelmed by a too diverse social presence.

So Google intends it to be only for real names? In a world already filled with "Like Farms" and "Followers for Sale", that makes plenty of sense to me.

I'm not using Google+ right now (too many things to do already) but I am watching it and I might use it if I see the value growing.

Anything new from Google attracts reflex flaming today, and that is not all that useful to me. In fact, that automatic flaming tends to bury any potential value in a flood of way-too-predicatble predictable noise. As a web worker who is always looking for new and useful avenues online, that gets very frustrating.


 9:54 pm on Sep 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

From what I'm seeing, the only people using this are in some way related to the SEO/Webmaster community.

Normal people have no clue what it is and those on Facebook don't care.

In my opinion, this will have limited appeal.

Until I start seeing commercials on TV and ads that have the Google + logo like you see the Facebook and Twitter logo on everything now, I'm not even going to bother looking at it.


 7:35 am on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Iím not a fan of Google and realise that Google+ has been established to make money but will gather very little useful information unless people are careless enough to give all their personal details. It will be interesting to see how Google authorship develops within this project. Anything that indicates your website has the original content cannot be bad.
Iím sure that Adsense will raise its ugly head in the equation somewhere.
Google is already making a small fortune from the thousands of Bloggers that have the ads but will never reach the payment threshold. They also seem to turn a blind eye to the countless MFA sites that are bringing in revenue but in my opinion they have a winner with Google+. It is easy to use, unlike Facebook which is quite complicated and Google already have many celebrities who have accounts. The only personal information you need give is your name and if you own a website that is easily traceable. To top it all a look around Google+ will show that many accounts have names which are obviously not real. My predication is that it will become very successful. This point can be argued but only time will tell


 6:16 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

frontpage wrote:
I just noticed that Google+ is requiring photo ID to prove identity.

I just found out that Facebook requires a photo ID for account reactivation [facebook.com], too.



 6:33 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tedster - you are a google fanboy.

(Only kidding)


 4:53 pm on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

In other news....

I don't know where to post this, so I'm posting it here because it seems somewhat related to the "identity on the net" and "what you say on the net might matter" issues.

In Mexico, harsh charges over Twitter [articles.latimes.com]


 2:23 pm on Sep 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I actually sent out a couple of emails with the anonymous name I chose for my Google+ account. I didn't notice the name for Google+ is also used for other services.

I canceled my Google+ account. I want to stay in control of the information that is published about me and it has gotten out of hand already.


 2:42 pm on Sep 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have no problem about being forced to create an account in my own name and to prove my identity - as long as I can still publish under an alias.

I have heard of problems with Facebook accounts being created by far right organisations in the name of known anti-fascist activists to try and discredit them. If G can run social networking without letting in these scumbags good luck to them although more likely they will let them in and give the forgeries more credibility by their "real name" policy.

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