I posted this just a bit ago on +Kee Hinckley 's thread: https://plus.google.com/117903011098040166012/posts/2bmeTvoQ52i
+Robert Scoble - you said "Everyone has consequences for what they say. Anyone who says they don't is a damn fool." \
So earlier in this thread, you remarked that anyone with privacy concerns shouldn't be using this service. Now you seem to be saying above that everyone has potential privacy concerns. Which I would agree with. You have been strongly asserting that even you, who has a pretty fair degree of privilege from what I can tell, could fall prey to the consequences of having their privacy violated in some way.
So, given your statement that I quoted, can you see a value for being able to manage our own naming conventions in order to try to actively mitigate potential consequences for the kinds of speech we choose to participate in? I have lived the problem with contemporary privacy: I was fired when someone stalked me online and crossed the streams of my work and my personal life, despite measures I'd taken to keep them separate.
I currently work in two fields (mental health and education) where clients/students increasingly Google their therapists/professors, with a variety of positive and negative results (see Dr. Keely Kolmes' research on client/therapist interactions on the Internet). I would like to be able to connect with friends and colleagues, choose Circles, make public and Circled posts, and comment on the posts of others without everything I say becoming immediately searchable by a client or a student with a single click.
If everything I say has to be connected to my full name, my only option is non-participation. In my profession, one of the touchstone moments was when "Dr. Anonymous" appeared at the 1972 American Psychiatric Association convention in a full mask and wig to say, from the podium "I am a psychiatrist. I am a homosexual." The year before, an APA member had called for police to come and shoot members protesting a workshop on using aversion therapy to "treat" homosexuality - that's how hostile the atmosphere in the APA was. But Dr. Anonymous' masked speech, along with the work of other psychiatrists (many of whom met in secret because of the fear of being "outed" as supporting homosexuals), set the stage for the removal of homosexuality from its classification as a mental disorder in the DSM in 1973. Without the ability to manage his public face, John E. Fryer could not have made that statement at the APA, could not have participated in a public conversation that was critical to both his public profession and his private life, and could not have helped change the course of history. [See below -- Ed.]
If the APA could tolerate a man in a Nixon mask addressing their professional convention, because it was important that he be able to control his public presentation while participating in discourse, why can't G+ tolerate people choosing what name they are known by so we can participate in conversations that matter to us? I would gladly accept an option where I could choose multiple naming options - a name for public/searchable interactions, a name for my colleagues who know me in the professional world, a name for my friends who have known me under a handle I first established on a dial-up BBS in 1990 and continue to use today (most of whom do not know my first/last name and never have), a name for people who know me through my hobby. This would allow different groups of people who know me under different (but established) names to connect and converse (because I answer to different names in different circles!), but would also allow me to know that a student or client is not going to form impressions of me based on a G+ comment I made on someone else's post that popped up in their search for my professional designation.
I am no fool. I am as keenly aware of the consequences of speech as anyone on this thread - I lived one of the more harsh ones. So, is your position really "well don't speak then"? Instead, why not let me make rational decisions about how to thoughtfully manage my own privacy, my own public face, my own brand, while also letting me "connect and have conversations" which is what you want me to be doing?
This American Life -- 81 Words
|Barbara Gittings, Franklin Kameny and John E. Fryer as "Dr. H. Anonymous"|
It is time to open the doors.
The real-name policy you've put in place aren't workable.
I agree with them and have defended your policy quite a bit all over the place here on Google+. I agree with you that "being real" is the best aesthetic, but they simply aren't being enforced fairly, or properly, and it's causing too much distraction.
Your team needs to freaking get to work fixing the many bugs and issues on Google+ and doesn't need to spend its time chasing around people who are trying to use fake names.
I now have a list of people who are using real names. It's very easy to pick those who are using fake names out and not follow them.
We need a different answer to the real name problem and we need it now. ... (I just sent it to him via email as well) ,