Google+ users now have four days to stop using pseudonyms on the social network, at which point Google will start suspending user profiles. Google+ product manager Saurabh Sharma announced via Google+ that the company is “hoping that most affected users will be able to quickly fix their profile name while continuing to enjoy all that Google+ has to offer.” What Google+ has to offer is an excessive policy for identities. Google’s grace period of four days still fails to acknowledge the necessity of pseudonymity for users in sensitive situations.
Google has lightened up on their policy slightly, as Sharma says “we’ve asked that those signing up for the service use the name they commonly go by in the real world.” But how does Google judge what name someone “commonly” uses, and why doesn’t a commonly-acknowledged internet identity count? More importantly, why is Google still sticking to this policy when it has received a resounding cry of outrage from the users? If they’re trying to save face by sticking to their guns, it’s not working. Responses to Sharma’s post range from “Still don’t get it, do you?” to threats to leave the social network if the policy isn’t rectified.