Law of unintended consequences

2012-01-27 13:05

The community over on tumblr (note: my tumblr blog is even more NSFW than this one) is interesting. See. Jesse and I are, quite obviously and visibly, Very Much In Love. And our mutual friend, Luka, has adopted the role of Jesse’s kismesis, which results in hilarity as Jesse and Luka insult each other loudly and obviously.

And this leads to additional hilarity, as a natural outflow of this is that there are occasions on which the funniest thing I could do or say involves calling Jesse a fag. And pretty much every time I unleash random homophobic slurs on my spouse, I acquire new “followers” on tumblr.

Cast your mind back to the posts of yesterday, where I observed that Google+ does not consider “seebs” to be an established identity. Consider that follower relationships on a social networking site almost certainly count towards the establishment of an identity.

Conclusion: There exists a horrific steam of homophobic slurs which, if I emitted it consistently for long enough, would result in Google+ conceding that “seebs” is an established identity.

On a side note: I’ve asked around, and I know a large number of people on tumblr, in Rift (the MMO I play most), and other places, all of whom were thinking about using Google+ for social networking, but stopped because they or someone they care about found the name policy unacceptable.

I think Google+ has been killed. I know multiple people who used it briefly and then left over the name policy. I know more people who used it and then left because the people they would have talked to left over the name policy. And the big public announcement that they were going to allow pseudonyms, which turned out to be an insultingly badly implemented publicity stunt which I cannot believe was a sincere effort to solve the problem, is probably the last nail in the coffin. I might well, if it became possible, create a Google+ account under my real name (note: that’s “seebs”). I wouldn’t use it, though; it’d just be a placeholder with links to the social media I actually use, taken only to preserve the name and keep my identity consistent.

The fact is, no one who got this that horrifyingly wrong and stuck with it for this many months has enough clue to run a social networking site. People who feel entitled to demand that trans people use a name that they would rather kill themselves than go by are not competent to make decisions about social interactions. People who do not see immediately that telling people they are wrong about their personal sense of identity is stupid… well, I can’t trust them, now can I? If they’re dumb enough to do that, they’re dumb enough to do other things.

It’s a shame, because I think if they hadn’t fucked up this one thing, they’d have been in a great position to compete effectively with Facebook. As is, all the initial interest evaporated almost immediately.

Peter Seebach

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Comment

  1. I wrote Google+ off due to the Google Buzz fiasco. My privacy is important to me and being public by default instead of as an option was scary.
    I haven’t deactivated Google+ … but I don’t use it for anything either.
    I just don’t trust Google any more than I trust Facebook – which is not at all.

    Lissa · 2012-01-27 13:49 · #

 
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