Google+ pseudonym support is coming soon

Google+ pseudonym support is coming soon

Summary: We don't know exactly how or when, but the Google+ social network will be getting support for pseudonyms and "other forms of identity."


Google Senior VP of Social Vic Gundotra has confirmed that the Google+ social network will "soon" be getting support for pseudonyms and "other forms of identity," Mashable is reporting.

Gundotra was cagey about how this may be implemented, but confirmed that pen names and "other forms of identity" will be "coming soon." No other specifics were offered on how this may work.

The news, which came up in conversation on stage at this week's Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, is a complete turnaround from Google's previous policies: From its inception through the present, Google+ required users to sign up with a real name and a real photo, on penalty of account deletion. In fact, Google has been so vigilant on that front that it has an automatic search bot, suspending users it suspects of violating real name policy often without explanation.

That policy hasn't won Google any fans. Privacy buffs value the ability for social networkers to use pseudonyms, especially in situations where using a real name could result in job loss or, in extreme cases and for users in countries like Iran, a loss of life. And while Google has responded by making some minor changes, the company's executive leadership has largely taken the position of "Don't like it? Don't use it."

Now, Gundotra says that while Google+ was designed to be a community that fostered trust by using real names, he says that the team is recognizing the very valid situations in which another identity may be called for.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Google

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  • RE: Google+ pseudonym support is coming soon

    R.I.P G+
    • Eric Schmidt recently said that G+ is not social network, it is identity ..

      @vivianvein: ... service.<br><br>And now all of sudden pseudonyms are coming. What is with these guys? Are they confused what to do with G+?
      • Light Bulk: On

        Sounds like someone at Google maybe hired a Social Engineer to tell them why they keep failing in the social arena maybe?
  • What's the hold up?

    So it's coming "eventually"? Why "eventually"? It's a bad policy. It's always been a bad policy. It can be changed with a MEMO. So why hasn't it already been changed??<br><br>Remember April 2009, when Google refused to require YouTube users to register their government-sanctioned names at the demand of South Korea, because Google said (correctly) that it was an unacceptable a priori restriction on freedom of expression? I do. A pity that Google seems to have forgotten it.<br><br>"We have a bias in favor of people's right to free expression in everything we do. We are driven by a belief that more information generally means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual. We believe that it is important for free expression that people have the right to remain anonymous if they choose." -- Rachel Whetstone, Google Vice President of Global Communications & Public Affairs, April 2009
  • RE: Google+ pseudonym support is coming soon

    too late and too slow. They are still sleeping and Facebook on the other hand have made tons of changes and are continuing to do so.
  • RE: Google+ pseudonym support is coming soon
  • This is a bad idea

    and won't add anything to the service.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Google+ pseudonym support is coming soon

    My biggest question is: How will it be implemented? Will it really resolve our concerns? What will it do differently than the old private profile system?<br><br>And honestly, they shouldn't have pulled private profiles until AFTER they have this system in place. I think it was a real disservice to pull the private profile plug so early.<br><br>"Gundotra says that while Google+ was designed to be a community that fostered trust by using real names"<br><br>"Real names" accomplish nothing of the sort. Trust is made and broken on the actions of people, not on their names.
  • This is what I think...

    And another thing - it is naive at best to go around thinking that the internet is ready for people to communicate using their "real names" or anything identifying. It is fine for the company behind it to know who we really are - but not everyone "out there". There are criminals, hackers, miscreants, pedophiles, rapists, con-men, spammers, scammers and every other kind of deviant who live and breath on knowing all about their next victim, while at the same time getting around anyone knowing their real identity. We need to have the ability to be shielded - something that Facebook has fallen down in even conceiving to be of any importance. If Google would hurry up and implement it, it's faster then we will be able to get away from Facebook. We should be able to choose when, where and to whom we want to show our "real" face - if I am playing Cityville... why do I need to tell you my real name? that is ludicrous, and definitely not safe.<br><br>I will take this one step further - in order to get people wholly on Google's side, kill off the one trick pony Facebook, and gain a massive audience - Google+ must allow people to have vanity pages. not just a pseudonym based on some tight restriction, but let people be whomever they choose to be. Allow us more than one "identity", and don't get all anal about it. People didn't flock to Facebook because of their mantra - generally people hate it - they went there because there was no place else to go! So give us somewhere else to go, support our fantasies of being who we want to be, and for gamers - support games. And we will watch Facebook die a quick, painful - but well deserved death. Maybe they will degenerate into what they started as and can't seem to evolve from, a cheesy "dating site" for adults only.