Google+ Account Name Requirements
Google+ is a new social networking concept developed by Google to attract those fleeing Facebook and MySpace. Currently it is in a limited beta trial period where it is invite only. I was invited within about 48 hours of the invites opening up, and I excitedly set up my account and over the next few weeks began to familiarize myself with this new social networking website.
Lately however I have been hearing a lot about people getting their whole Google accounts suspended because their name does not confirm to their real name in Google+. This bothers me greatly, and has made me think seriously about alternatives to Google. Several of my friends use 'avatars' like myself online, but also use them offline as well. My friends Avatar, Exkalibur, Unlisted, Grinthock, Boffo... We all refer to each other by our internet names. In my case, my internet name stems back to 1998, and originally started as my CB handle. My HAM Radio license refers to it, my website (obviously) refers to it, and people at work, and my extended family know of this name.
That being said, my account was never suspended. But I imagine it was close to being suspended. My Google+ profile was listed as "Road Wolf". Google would rather everyone use their REAL names on Google+. That is something I will not do. I tend to keep my online life separate from my real life. There are several risks involved with using ones real name on such a website.
For example, what if you meet someone online in a game somewhere, and you add each other to your circles. But then he turns out to be a terrorist, or some deranged psycho, who you just happened to piss off that day because you kicked his ass in a game of Team Fortress 2? Well if he just knows you by your online name, all he can do is flame you. If he knows your real name, and the town you live in, chances are he could hunt you down fairly easily in real life.
That being said, how about my two "stalkers"? Granted one of them hardly mentions me anymore which is nice. He (Lord Rick) seems to be settling down and having fun with Tammy instead of worrying about online bullshit. But Moonbat! Well hell, she has threatened to kill in cold blood several of my friends, and I am also on that list. Normally I laugh at internet threats, but she is in-fact psycho, and is likely deranged enough to carry out such an attack if she ever found me.
So why should I make it easier for her to find me? I do not see why I should have to be forced to use my given names anywhere online.
Granted, I do nod at Googles efforts to reduce spam, however, I also think a simple 'report spam' button like Facebook had would be more then sufficient. You do not have to go around pro-actively suspending accounts under this false guise. Face it, Google just wants your names so it can record that information and store it for later use. Googles whole company profile is designed around learning as much as it can, about everyone online. You'd think eventually they would want to stick your real name on that database of information about what porn sites you like to visit, what stores you shop at, and what forums you frequent.
Fuck that! I came to my senses and deleted my Google+ account. I also plan on boycotting Google+. How will I socialize you may ask? Well there is always email, forums, skype and chat.
Call me paranoid and overprotective. Sure. But if there is one thing I will fight for regarding the internet, its for the ability for everyone to be a mystery, unless they choose not to be.