Three months now and Google insists I’m not me. The troubles with “real” identities and the latest ‘nymwars’

Interesting article in today’s San Jose Mercury News: Who has the right to decide how you’re known on the Internet — you, or the online service you’re using?

‘Nymwars’ debate over online identity

Who has the right to decide how you’re known on the Internet
— you, or the online service you’re using? That simmering question, which
erupted with the launch of the new Google (GOOG)+ social network
this summer, rolled into a boil this week with two high-profile developments.

First, Facebook decided to enforce its “real names only” policy against internationally
known author Salman Rushdie, changing his page — without his consent — to the name
on his passport, Ahmed. Next, the Justice Department told Congress that it needs the ability to prosecute people who provide false information to websites with the intent to harm others, stirring fears across cyberspace that people might be busted for lying about their weight and age on

It’s been three months: as noted in a prior post, Google doesn’t believe I’m me. This started in mid August when I found the following note from Google on my profile…

“After reviewing your profile, we determined that the name provided violates the Google+ Names Policy.”


This from Google’s policy…

“Your common name is the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, any of these would be acceptable.”

Maybe Google should Bing it. Similar results on Google’s search site, too.

At least Facebook has a customer service group of sorts to resolve these types of issues (although it took some time as I noted here).
Friends have still managed to find me on their network.
And an interesting side note: Given Vic Gundotra’s first name is Vivek, I wonder if his profile would’ve been denied? Or perhaps he’s leading the way on the use of ‘nyms, as they’re called. 😉

Tags: Social, Google

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