Wow, Google+. Just wow.

2012-03-22 18:52

A friend-of-a-friend, who does not use Google+, just got a threatening letter from The Goog telling her that she has four days to change her profile name to something compliant with the Google+ name policy or lose access to their other services.

Yeah, Google. You tell them disabled people that they aren’t good enough.

Note that there is no mechanism provided for responding, for appealing, or for saying “I would like to keep using Picasa but not use Google+”.

The G+ names policy remains evil. It punishes people for not having Western-style dual names. It punishes people for using a name which is what they are actually called, rather than what’s on their ID. It punishes people, in short, for being in any of a number of minorities, and does so in a particularly dissociated and hostile way, denying any chance for communication about what your identity is or why that is the right identity for people to use. It is a great tool for cisgendered males with reasonably normal names. It is a dangerously awful tool for trans people, people with weird names, people with mononyms… In short, a bunch of people no one cares about.

Peter Seebach

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Comment

  1. At least they have other with male, female for a choice. And if you are been fussy about been authentic, why are you not insisting birthdates must be in an international standard of the Georgian calendar. I’m sure some may want it in other calendars – say Chinese, year of the dragon, etc.

    Why not rebel like the Dutch (Danish?) did when they were required to have last names so that taxing people with the same names was to be made easier. Large numbers of people in rebellion named themselves Anderson. Now that story may not be true but the idea is good. Why not apply such a solution? For example let all last names be GOOGLE+. Google+ is an excellent choice because it informs others if privacy was to be compromised by data mining they will know who to blame.

    I come from a multiethnic background- two of my great-grand parents were married couples of obvious ethnically different backgrounds. I do know the hassles involved in adapting to different cultures. Some react like you in been determined at all cost to maintain their cultural identity and obviously love a life of badly mangled, missprounced and misspelled names. A deliberate rudeness and lack of consideration in my opinion if they demand proper pronunciation. Not all people are excellent mimics able to be flawless in pronouncing- for example with tonal languages, those tone deaf and tone deaf to their own voice are not a high priority to medical researchers.
    Others unlike you and your complaint delight in the fact that they can finally chose their own names. Finally a chance to chose a name they like rather then been stuck with the name of their families choice. What a Joy. One of the true delights of learning a foreign language.

    — pat · 2012-03-24 08:24 · #

  2. This is exactly why I use facebook and not google+. My gmail account is my hub account — all password resets point to it. If I were to lose my gmail account, I would be unable to reset the passwords on any of over a hundred other accounts.

    If I break some unknown rule on google+, I might have my gmail account confiscated without warning or recourse. Well, there’s a simple solution to that. I won’t use google+. And they wonder why google+ is not catching on.

    — John · 2012-03-24 10:20 · #

  3. Some corrections on previous posts.

    You said “A friend-of-a-friend, who does not use Google+, just got a threatening letter from The Goog telling her that she has four days to change her profile name to something compliant with the Google+ name policy or lose access to their other services.” So what happened there? I do not use Google except for news and searches and the odd address search. I refuse their stuff like homepages, etc. I got no notices. I almost always use Pat as a name (I like the gender neutrality even if it makes for a lot of male oriented junk mail.) Do you have to register somewhere within Google’s services in order to be hassled about Google+?

    I went to look at Google+. They are the first ones I have seen with a choice of male, female and other. Is it OK to say other if you feel one should not be judged by ones sex? I feel it is only relevant when it comes to toilets facilities (for dealing with menstruation, simplifying male urination,etc ) and medical intervention. Why not find out about the other sex’s needs in Ads -otherwise lack of knowlege can make one unhelpful. (LOL-it could have benifits. I had a very unplesent older brother – we might have had a better relationship if my parents teached what was an excellent target in a highly obnoxiuus male.) I used to opt for Ms rather than Mrs because I feel if I do not support that choice I would be strenghtening prejudice when it come to marital status. What if you NEVER found a man you were happy to be married to? Do you have to display that misfortune/fortune for the world to see? Also as a child I was very embarrassed for not been able to remember which teacher was a Miss which Mrs- it is not exactly obvious to a child that miss was for unmarried women but it was clear mispronouncing a name was rude. LOL I mumbled Miss and Mrs into a MS as I felt that pretending mispronouncing ( English was not my mother tongue) was a acceptable way of not been so rude to my teachers.

    If you are been fussy about been multicultural, why no fuss about birthdates being in an international standard of the Georgian calendar. I’m sure some may want it in other calendars – say Chinese, year of the dragon, etc.

    As to last names been required why not start a movement. Why not rebel like the Dutch (Danish?) did when they were required to have last names so that taxing people with the same names was to be made easier. Large numbers of people in rebellion named themselves Anderson. Now do not know for sure if that story is true but the idea is good. Why not apply such a solution? For example let all last names be GOOGLE+. Google+ is an excellent choice because it informs others if privacy was to be compromised by data mining they will know who to blame.

    I come from a very multi-ethnic background- two of my great-grand parents were married couples of obvious ethnically different backgrounds. All their descendents leading to me (and my own marriage) had marriages of equally clearly seen different racial/ethnic/religious backgrounds. I do know the hassles involved in adapting to different cultures. Some react like you in regarding not been able to demand a different cultural identity as a punishment. To me that means such people obviously love a life of badly mangled, mispronounced and misspelled names. A possible deliberate rudeness and lack of consideration in my opinion if they demand proper pronunciation of their name. Not all people are excellent mimics able to be flawless in pronouncing. For example it is especially so with tonal languages. Those tone deaf and tone deaf to their own voice are not a high priority to medical researchers. Even if they wished unlike glasses to correct sight, few have the ability, time, money or choice to train their voices. ( My Aunt, a teacher, told me in those cultures with a tonal language the tone deaf have to be endlessly corrected starting from childhood. I suppose it is somewhat like learning in the manner of Helen Keller). Political correctness only goes so far and in your championing of name choices you may be getting to the an impractical extreme. It may never be much point anyway since decent people will go out of the way to not offend. I was always refered to as Pat, because no one wanted to be rude by mispronucing my last name. It was a good thing I never worked in a profession that calling me by my first name was to slight me. Others, unlike you and your complaint, delight in the fact that they can finally chose their own names. Finally a chance to chose a name they like rather then been stuck with the name of their families choice. What a Joy – One of the true delights of learning a foreign language. To some it is a compliment the fact that you love their language enought to use a language appropriate name. You can easily see such mentality with some religions. With Christianity there is to me a subtle undercurrent in picking out a christening name – the rejoiceing in John the Baptist’s knowlege of the coming of the Christ. With Muslim converts it seem to me changing a name is a show of rejection (possibly hate? disgust?) of their non Islamic past since as far as I know as there is no requirement by Mohamad that names have to be changed. Yes names are important but looking at the Google+ site it looks like you can lie about age or sex. That sure can messes up identity if age and sex was generally displayed with a name

    — pat · 2012-03-24 11:11 · #

  4. From behavior like this (which goes WAY beyond all the Google+ insanity I’ve heard of before) to dropping + as a search modifier (it meant the word was required) to the less reliable but consistent reports from the inside (e.g. see the “Why I Left Google” posting by James Whittaker), it’s clear that having Eric Schmidt booted upstairs to Chairman and having the company run by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin was a terrible mistake.

    This for me is the last straw, I’m pulling all my Google Docs which were the only persistent service of their’s I’ve really been using. It’s just too dangerous to trust them while they’ve obsessed with Facebook in such unconstructive and punitive ways (which are also ensuring Google+ will remain a failure).

    — Harold · 2012-03-24 11:30 · #

  5. It’s not mostly the multicultural thing, although I wouldn’t at all object to them letting people specify birth dates in other formats.

    It’s just that…

    Frankly, your birth date isn’t usually a big part of your personal identity. Your name is.

    Google+ is telling people that they are wrong about who they are, and that is really, really, stupid.

    seebs · 2012-03-24 12:17 · #

  6. A note for visitors from Instapundit: When someone mentioned that “Reynolds” had linked to this, I had no idea who or what that was. The problem is that I needed a reference that used the actual name. Which is “Instapundit”. :)

    seebs · 2012-03-24 14:24 · #

  7. Errr, John, the point of this report is that even if you don’t use Google+ your account for your other “sticky” services like Gmail can be terminated with extreme prejudice if you don’t follow Google+ rules, in this case having a proper profile name.

    I don’t envy your email hub predicament; I’ve solved that problem by getting my own domain and having its email record point to an company that specializes in just email (although they were recently bought by another company, but not one that tries to do everything). Because I set this up before Gmail, my domain’s emergency email address is my Hotmail account … and it’s a sad thing that I now trust Microsoft more than Google for this sort of thing….

    — Harold · 2012-03-24 17:33 · #

  8. “A note for visitors from Instapundit: When someone mentioned that “Reynolds” had linked to this, I had no idea who or what that was. The problem is that I needed a reference that used the actual name. Which is “Instapundit”. :)”

    ******

    Ahem. [summoning up great loads of indignation and outrage]

    How dare you sir? How dare you?

    Instapundit is his handle, but he also uses Glenn Reynolds online as well.

    Quite frankly, you have no right to dictate how Glenn or others refer to him. Who do you think you are? Google+?

    Your own names policy remains evil. It punishes people for not having Western-style dual names, but rather, a glorious multicultural mix of names, nic-names, and internet handles. It punishes people for using a name which is what they are actually called, rather than what’s in your preconceptions. It punishes people, in short, for being in any of a number of non anonymous bloggers who also use their real name….

    — ed · 2012-03-24 21:19 · #

  9. As Steve Jobs said, all of Google’s products are s—t, aside from search. Their Chrome web browser is a quality design but their obsessive tracking makes it off limits (for me anyway).

    — RS72 · 2012-03-25 04:38 · #

  10. ed: The difference is, I’m not enforcing the policy, just being bad at remembering more than one handle per person. I’m not stating that he must use the name I consider canonical, merely observing that the canonical name for a person is not necessarily the one on the driver’s license.

    But well played!

    seebs · 2012-03-25 12:07 · #

 
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