Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Google and the nymwars

As Google prepares to integrate Reader and other products into G+, it has signaled a retreat on its poorly-thought-out, poorly-enforced, nasty "real name" policy. Conditional rapture! Unresolved questions: (1) the Reader implementation timeline is a week or so, while pseudonyms/autonyms/whatever Google ultimately accepts are supposed to arrive in the coming months. Is my primary Google profile going to get suspended during the gap because it's not my government name, and do I therefore need to abandon Reader anyway? This would be pretty boneheaded and I'd expect enforcement discretion during the gap, but I no longer have full confidence in Google. (2) Google's been pretty vague on what will count as an alternate form of identity. Will you need some sort of internet credit history to claim a non-government name? I'm breathless with anticipation. Maybe I'll even get to re-enable multiple logins on Google and therefore be able to use Blogger in the same browser as I use for everything else.


Anonymous said...

I'm quite upset about the integration of Reader into Plus: I can access Reader during the work day, but Plus is blocked by our webfiltering as a social media site (even if I had a Plus account, which I don't). Which means I've basically lost access to all the feeds I've been following through Reader.

This sucks.

Rebecca Tushnet said...

Ugh, sorry to hear it! I think you will automatically have a Plus account, should you care to use it, but that doesn't solve your problem.