Monday, August 08, 2011

Google+ again (That's not my name)

Google+ now says it doesn't want even names primarily composed of initials. But it won't even say whether "first name last initial," a standard case, counts.

More to the point, it makes a demonstrably untrue statement: "If you use your full name, you'll be able to connect with people you know and help them find you." Given Google's definition of full name, hundreds of people who know me fannishly won't be able to find me, and I won't be able to find them.

But, as Catharine MacKinnon has said in a not entirely unrelated context, that's what power is: the ability to make true whatever you say is true, because the way you see the world defines what the world is, regardless of what other people experience.

Buzz seemed like an honest mistake. This nonsense, however, is obviously deliberate and has burned off 95% of my Google goodwill, which used to be substantial.

Relevant video: That's Not My Name.


Anonymous said...

Yep, no one has ever been able to find "Sarah T." online. I'm a stealth ninja passing through the crowds, unperceived!

(I would sign this using the name you interact with me under, but Google says that you wouldn't be able to connect the name to my identity, so what good would it do?)

Rebecca Tushnet said...

There are silly policies and then there are silly policies that disrespect and hurt people. Unfortunately G+ has stumbled its way into the latter.

And does anyone really know anyone?