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Google Launches Identity Verification Badge Scheme

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the papers-please dept.

Google 241

theodp writes "CNET reports that rather than backing down after complaints about its insistence that Google+ user accounts be opened under a real name, Google has upped the ante and will pin 'verification badges' on users in an effort to assure people that 'the person you're adding to a circle is really who they claim to be.' In a Friday night post, Google employee Wen-Ai Yu explained that the Google+ team is initially 'focused on verifying public figures, celebrities, and people who have been added to a large number of Circles, but we're working on expanding this to more folks.'"

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241 comments

I hear they will also stick a chip in your ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161344)

I hear they will also stick a chip in your ass so their street view cars can identify you!

please stand up (0, Offtopic)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161348)

I am the real Mark Zuckerberg.

Re:please stand up (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161386)

I knew that!

Re:please stand up (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161614)

And I verified it!

Re:please stand up (1)

znrt (2424692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162084)

show us your badge!

But... (5, Interesting)

garatheus (993376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161352)

I'm getting to the point where I no longer like Google, nor it's products. Verify this, Google+ that, really now.

Custom hosting is on the cheap (for email), you can use something like DuckDuckGo for searches (not quite as good as some of the others I guess, but still not that bad), and Diaspora (if it ever really gets out) for your social networking goodness (goes with the custom hosting)...

Ultimately, the largest schlep is the migration from everything-gmail-oriented to everything @domain.name oriented (forums etc).

Privacy vs Transparency (4, Interesting)

h00manist (800926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161448)

I guess the only real alternative for the future is insist on complete transparency from all authorities. Because they are going to have increasing "transparency", or rather, espionage, on everything the entire population does, whether or not we like it, approve of it, or legalize it. We can't really control the authorities, they simply state they don't collect any data on our activities, only on crime, but it is just not believable. Technology simply makes it possible and ever easier to collect, sort, exchange, etc, vast amounts of data. And we know well that data tends to go free all over the place, with little control. Our only alternative is to increasingly see more of what they are doing, too.

Re:Privacy vs Transparency (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161520)

"whether or not we like it,"

That's just the thing. We DO like it. Well, I don't, maybe you don't either, but in the aggregate we the public LOVE giving up our privacy and anonymity. We do it voluntarily, in exchange for things we could have gotten without giving it up.

I've been on the internet a long time. Since the early 80's. I've watched people by the hundreds of millions chose the paths that allow for more monitoring, less privacy, and so forth, time after time after time.

We GAVE the authorities and the data mining private companies this control. I'm willing to PGP my mail to anyone. I don't use facebook, I block their "like" buttons, I block google's tracking crap, I encrypt my IM conversations with friends. But do other people? Generally no. The internet has turned into a place that allows a scale of monitoring and behavioral profiling that exceeds anything George Orwell could have imagined. It didn't have to be this way. It's this way because we don't care.

It's a fight I fought for many years, trying to convince people to value their privacy. I lost.

Re:Privacy vs Transparency (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162012)

Or maybe we do care and actually do like it. Data mining seems to be a derogatory term among slashdot users, but have you ever thought that by doing so companies are finding out about what we really want and delivering it to us? Insurance companies are able to asses more information about you and give lower rates to those who pose the least risk. Same with banks. Advertising companies can show us products we might actually be interested in, instead of a 20 year old female seeing adds for generic viagra.

I would say 95% of the information companies collect about us actually benefits us or society. The other 5% is what I worry about, and I think like the poster above you that if we forced companies to be as transparent about what they are doing as the users, it really wouldn't be a problem.

Currently companies hold all the power in collection of personal information and secrets, but a little legislation can fix that.

Re:Privacy vs Transparency (3, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162152)

You do realize that information is a double edged sword? Those same insurance companies that may cut you a break will also charge you a premium based on such info as well. If a bank knows you've been visiting loan sites to much, or checking bankruptcy sites, you credit worthiness could be damaged.

I would say 95% of the information companies collect about us actually benefits us or society.

If the information they collect is beneficial, it is still YOURS, and you should be the one in control of it's release. This should not be a tacit agreement, or a one answer gives full access situation, but rather you should have granular access over what is and is not released. Unfortunately every inch you give is almost impossible to claim back later on.

I would say you are misguided to think that data mining is in any way beneficial to you personally or to society in general. It gives corporations an unfair advantage in pricing (for instance they can leverage markets based on local wage values, forcing up the cost to what the local neighborhood will bare rather than a fair price), All data mining does is to put a dollar sign new to your personal info, but that value isn't valuable to you, but rather to those who sell it to the highest bidders.

Re:Privacy vs Transparency (1)

znrt (2424692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162304)

a good example of ... aggregate public :-)

i fail to see the real value for society of you having your favorite ad delivered just in time so that you don't forget to buy the crap you don't need.

but that's not the point. people doesn't spread their legs for ads, they do just for being connected. they LOVE it and don't mind the implications. and there is nothing wrong with this ... as long as transparency and fair use of that information are granted. the main implication is that this isn't the case.

what about this: we start tracking deals, contracts, relations, contacts and interactions of governments, banks, corporations and wealthy individuals worldwide, in full detail, and make it public to do some nice collective dataminng on that stuff. bet we do some interesting findings.

Re:Privacy vs Transparency (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162110)

You privacy advocates usually fail to make your case. You just tell us about all the ways in which our information can be exposed, but don't really explain why we should care. The idea of precision-targetted advertising doesn't scare us, and your Orwell references are just too far fetched.

Tell me, what are the plausible abuses of my private information that I should fear, and why?

Re:Privacy vs Transparency (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162116)

This could be used for a good thing. There are cases you want to know 'yes this is really the person I think it is'. For example your bank. You want to know it is your bank. Or someone your applying for a job (and not some scheme to get 50 bucks out of you).

You are confusing identity with security. Unfortunatly our identities can be used to compromise security.

The very case of anonymous protections are being used by criminals to bilk people out of billions of dollars a year. They use our very freedoms against us.

People like to *feel* they are anonymous on the internet. They are not. For instance you are willing to use PGP. That *VERY* PGP signature ties it back to you. You are willing to stand up and say who you are just by the very fact you use that service. That was kind of the point of PGP. With a little bit of work you can usually figure out within a couple of houses were someone is just by using IP, and most web boards log where things came from.

I can see why they are doing it. Look at the pit that youtube discussions became. Look at how people act on Facebook. Which is better? A bunch of people throwing shit at each other. Or what really happens on facebook people getting along helping each other, sharing what they did today, and hanging out playing some mindless games?

The only reason I do not log into this discussion board with my real name is because I pissed someone off a few years ago and now he stalks me. Yet he wasnt bright enough to do it on other boards. I got tired of talking about nuke power all the time with this guy. It may be ok now I guess. Which is a problem with these real identity systems. Most of them do not have an effect way to deal with asshats.

I would almost make the case that being anonymous breeds conflict most of the time. I enjoy a good flame war as the next guy. But maybe Google doesnt want that? Now can they keep the two parts of their business separate? I seriously doubt it. As the whole point is to enhance ad words.

Sure people will say things they wouldnt normally say when they think they can get away with it. But in probably 99.999% of the cases I would say they could just as easily said it as themselves. But they are like what slashdot calls us 'Anonymous Cowards'. Ive seen the world where there are no consequences for peoples actions. I dont like it.

Re:Privacy vs Transparency (1)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162452)

"Fighting" with people to force your opinions on them never works. You clearly made a basic, foolish mistake that 10 minutes in any history class ever could have helped you avoid.

Re:Privacy vs Transparency (1)

leonem (700464) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161658)

This is bang on.

One of the big things George Orwell didn't include in 1984 was the chiasmus: the government watches everyone, everyone watches the government. All sorts of things, from mobile phone recordings of police malpractice to the MPs' expenses scandal [wikipedia.org] (I'm a Brit) show how technology cuts both ways in this regard.

We might also reach a stage where the ability to tailor things in both directions based on individuals makes government start to seem less like a monolith and more like what it really is: a very large group of people doing a whole bunch of things, some of whom are mostly up front and some of whom are mostly underhand.

In the NOT so distant future.... (3, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161512)

We will 'purchase' an identity from a low jurisdiction country, like the Cayman Islands for a small price. The privacy package will come with artificial DNA linked to a new persona, a physical identity realistically rendered with the latest human image algorithms, and a voice-box culled from a combination of our favorite movie stars. Using such an Alias will be most beneficial to individual privacy, but won't help Google's bottom line. Increasingly, those who care about the integrity of their identity will have to be social by proxy!

Re:In the NOT so distant future.... (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161926)

ME GUSTA

Re:But... (5, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161600)

I'm getting to the point where I no longer like Google, nor it's products. Verify this, Google+ that, really now.

Agreed, but isn't this better than what they were doing?

Before they would ban everyone they thought was fake. Now it appears they'll let you be fake, but you get a extra "This is a REAL Person!" badge if they verify you.

This is a GOOD thing. So now you can have your fake and anonymous profiles for those that are worried what they say on the internet will get back to their job [google.com] , and you can have your "real name" accounts for family and friends.

Really they should have been doing this since the beginning but better late than never, and this is the first feature they've added that has not been a direct copy from Facebook since Facebook still bans people that they think are fake even though they're real [cnn.com] .

Good job Google+, I might switch to you yet.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162002)

If they do as you say, great. I can have my real profile, and my anonymous profile.

I`m not sure this isn`t another, longer route, to just force everyone to identify themselves to use G+ though. Verify as many people as possible. When a large portion of the userbase is verified, lock out the unverified accounts, unless they want to verify themselves too. Much less outcry, since everyone is doing it.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162138)

You mean like a lot of us have been doing for the last decade or so? Our own domain name, where we control our emails and do social things on specific websites with their own topics and forums?

I don't care if it's Microsoft, Apple, Google, IBM, Sony, etc. Don't put all your eggs in the same basket.

I demand the right to determine... (3, Interesting)

John Allsup (987) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161356)

Consider someone saying "I demand the right to determine my own Real Name. It's mine after all and I reserve the right to change it. Not that I will, but I don't want some busybody in Google telling me I can't." How do you tell them that they don't determine their real name, and have no choice in the matter, save for deed poll.

Re:I demand the right to determine... (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161478)

I'm not exactly sure what Google is trying to achieve. I think that's part of the problem. It's not enough to say, "Oh, we're just trying to maintain and improve the user experience." That's the same kind of blathering idiocy that outfits like Comcast spew when they perform MITM attacks on their own customers and claim it was just "network management". What kind of community are you trying to build, and exactly what do you, Google, expect to receive in return for your largesse? Is it just that they want to force the use real identities so they can better their profiling, to improve the rate of return on targeted advertising? That's all fine and dandy, I suppose ... but maybe I don't want that. And maybe there's something else.

Hm.

Re:I demand the right to determine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161506)

Could it be that you real name Google+ profile also doubles as your Google and DoubleClick advertising profile? Hmm...

Re:I demand the right to determine... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161738)

I imagine it's for linking accounts. Google does have partners, as does Facebook. A real name means they can match up your profile with your store loyalty cards, credit card records, insurance records, and so on.

Re:I demand the right to determine... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161844)

I'm not exactly sure what Google is trying to achieve.

That's easy. They're trying to monetize your participation in their "community". Now that Wall St. has built a $600 trillion derivatives market of fraudulent debt with which to financially engineer the lives of everyone on the planet, they need to account for the limited resource of "mindshare".

And mindshare is actually fairly valuable. Every minute that you spend playing some pointless game on a social networking site is a minute that you aren't spending consuming resources, or inventing the latest disruptive technology, or reverse-engineering some corporation's obsolete profit-center, or procreating, or engaging in some other activity that is destructive to the interests of the handful of people who own 90% of the planet's capital.

Because the one thing the banksters know, despite what their politician stooges tell you, is that it's a zero sum game.

Re:I demand the right to determine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161986)

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/computers/8409-after-bilderberg-meeting-facebook-official-says-end-internet-anonymity [thenewamerican.com]

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=google+at+bilderberg

Whatever the above links tell you, I think it is a part of the move away from anonymity.

The types that attend the bilderberg meetings are probably not fans of anonymous people, nor people of anonymous.

Ah, a "ME" generation kid (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161504)

Note how John Allsup turns someone saying something into a right without question or debate.

Google is not your personal slave John, they are a company that offers a service under certain terms. As long as those terms do not violate the laws of a country, they are free to have whatever terms they wish. What next, you are going to complain to Ubuntu for forcing you to use a password? Restricting your "identity" to a very narrow range of characters and character length? Do you think every website out there should allow the creation of an account with random squigles for the artist formerly known as prince?

----

Personally I think I can see where Google is trying to go with this. If you ever hosted a public forum you know just how bad a problem assholes are. Slashdot knows, remember the GNAA? There is a LOT of work going on behind the scenes to make sure that the posts you read are at least somewhat genuine, not just 100% pure trolls or advertising. That is reserved for certain editors posts.

If people were known by their real identity then suddenly one part of the greater internet fuckwad theory falls away. Suddenly everyone can see just what a pimple on the ass of humanity you really are when you troll a forum.

And it is nothing new. The best game servers are closed, only allowing access to people you really know. There are countless of closed websites where you have to have some kind of proof you really belong to that group before you can start taking part. The reason is simple, they want to know who you are so that you will behave.

That is all google wants I think. To create a social network that is not rampant with spam and scams. Where people can open a mail without having to a forensic analysis to determine if it isn't some nigerian in financial trouble.

Note that when email spam is being discussed plenty of people here suggest schemes to identify people who post in one way or another more accurately.

LinkedIn offers a social network where by its nature most people will use their real identity and gosh it is easy to spot spammers because they don't have an idenity. Guess Google wants more of that then Facebook and its deluge of crap.

And if you don't like it? Don't use it. So far I only seen people against it who want a company to produce a service they want custom made for them and damn the need for a business case. Go run your own social network without any need to identify at all. Happy spam cleaning.

I am interested to see where this goes. No, I don't use Google+ but then I don't use Facebook. Slashdot is good enough for me for all the in depth human interaction I need... it hasn't got any you say? Exactly how I like it. If you want google+ to be facebook, stay on facebook.

People who used to be F-wads (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161648)

Suddenly everyone can see just what a pimple on the ass of humanity you really are when you troll a forum.

And people searching forums can see what a pimple you were six years ago and confuse this with your present personality. People who pay attention to dates won't recognize people who have repented from their F-wad ways.

The best game servers are closed, only allowing access to people you really know.

Then what should one use before gaining access to such a server? Must people play only single-player for months or years until they happen to discover servers through contacts outside the game? Because that's how Nintendo has handled online multiplayer in Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: City Folk: as an extension of the LAN-party capability of the GBA and DS over the Internet.

Re:People who used to be F-wads (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161942)

And people searching forums can see what a pimple you were six years ago and confuse this with your present personality.

Around here, in Real Life (TM), we call realizing that fact "Growing up".

Re:Ah, a "ME" generation kid (3, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161868)

The reason is simple, they want to know who you are so that you will behave.
That is all google wants I think.

What they want is to have as much data linked to as many people as possible. If it is verifiable to a person then that data is easier to use and make money from.
If doing this (for now) for well known people then this will most likely increase the number of followers. This then creates more usable data that can be cross referenced. and soled again.

Re:Ah, a "ME" generation kid (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161970)

If people were known by their real identity then suddenly one part of the greater internet fuckwad theory falls away. Suddenly everyone can see just what a pimple on the ass of humanity you really are when you troll a forum.

Unfortunately, if online anonymity goes away, free speech will suffer. You may not agree with his views, but Ward Churchill had every right to publish those views -- and then lost his job when the article was dug up years later.

Unfortunately, a large number of people are relying on online services to communicate, which has undermined many of the anonymity technologies that were developed in the 90s. The network effects of systems like Facebook and Google+ should not be ignored -- people who want to stay off of those systems may be forced to use those systems just to stay in touch with their friends.

Re:Ah, a "ME" generation kid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161974)

This is modded Insightful? Ehm, google is an ad seller. Google/double click here wants your real name because google wants to know who you are. They don't care if you "behave", whatever that means.

Re:Ah, a "ME" generation kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162034)

"And if you don't like it? Don't use it."

Very true. I won't be. I'll take my business elsewhere to places that don't demand to know my real identity in order to make a contribution or to have fun. For example, occasionally I have something useful to say here, judging by a collection of +5 Insightful and +5 Funny posts and several accepted story submissions here over the years. I'm glad that slashdot allows anonymous posting. I'm sure Google+ and Facebook can do nicely without me.

Re:Ah, a "ME" generation kid (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162048)

Note how John Allsup turns someone saying something into a right without question or debate.
Google is not your personal slave John, they are a company that offers a service under certain terms. As long as those terms do not violate the laws of a country, they are free to have whatever terms they wish.

Google's right to set the terms under which it provides its services is not in dispute, but the fact that Google has the right to do what it's doing doesn't mean its actions are therefore beyond legitimate criticism. In a world increasingly dominated by corporate interests, having corporations behave in a manner consistent with the ideals of a free society is far better than the alternative.

Re:Ah, a "ME" generation kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162102)

The reason is simple, they want to know who you are so that you will behave.

That is all google wants I think.

You think that because you either don't know or understand what Google's business is.

They sell targeted advertising. The more accurately they can mine data about people, the better they can target advertising, and the more money they can make as a result.

It's really that simple, and it isn't like a hidden fact. I don't understand why people speculate and wonder about an already answered question.

Re:Ah, a "ME" generation kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162278)

> So far I only seen people against it who want a company to produce
> a service they want custom made for them

You don't know many non-out gay guys, do you?

Re: Baaaaa (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162464)

Do I remember the GNAA? Sure I do. I read slashdot at -1 at all times, simply because the moderation here is unbelievably wrongheaded. So I see every troll post. And they don't bother me one bit -- I would much rather see what an Anonymous Coward has to say than subject myself to Slashdot's rather pitiful offering of preemptively devaluing the anonymous remarks. Quite often, the anonymous remarks contain more valuable content than the "highly rated" remarks. Part of that is that moderation here is so badly broken, but part of it stems directly from the fact that as an anonymous speaker, people do indeed have wider latitude in what they can say. I'm not only interested in the things we're allowed, or supposed, to say. I want to hear what people think as they actually choose to express it in the most unfettered manner possible. GNAA? That stuff is utterly pitiful, and takes just about zero effort to recognize and skip over. An anonymous post containing material unsanctioned at the source from someone in Washington, from within congress (yeah, we have posts like that here), or Iraq, or Google, for that matter... now *that's* something I'm interested in reading. And those posts would not exist in the same form if they were signed by Real Name.

The thing about slashdot is that although the corporate culture leans strongly towards the muzzling of the anonymous, it does NOT enforce this -- it leaves that up to the individual user. So I see everyone. Others choose, that is CHOOSE, to stick with the results of moderation and the default low ranking of anonymous posts.

Google's corporate culture path here is, apparently, not going to allow the users any choice about how they manage their circles. It would be as simple as Slashdot's "browse at -1" option; "only let people into my particular circle(s) if they have the "real name" thing in their profile, and then allow individual lockouts on top of that. Control it at circle granularity, and it's workable. I could have circles that were unrepressed, and others could bask in the knowledge that so-and-so is using their "Real Name."

But Google, as you point out, isn't in this for the users. That whole "do no evil" thing? Utter nonsense. As these policies show, when it comes to a choice between money and not doing people harm, money wins. And that *is* a choice they can make. And we can just look at "do no evil" as just another marketing slogan. Which I guess is exactly what it is.

The one thing consumers -- which is what we are with relation to Google -- have as our little bit of leverage is that we can vote with our value to the company; That's why you won't find me on Google+ (or Facebook.) I've never opted into either one. I always found Facebook's TOS to be odious (yeah, I actually read site TOS declarations) and Google's whole "we must know who everyone is" simply makes me want to be somewhere else where I can interact with the people they leave out.

When you opt into this real name thing, you're leaving behind those who have been stalked, those who are political rebels or pariahs,
those who the state (or the feds) have declared outcasts, those on "lists", justifiably or not, people in countries where free speech is a free ticket to a machete party... me, I have no interest in this sanitized "we know who you are" world. That's a very bad, even immoral, choice for me. But I won't say you're bad because you want to go there. I'll just view it as a place containing the people I *don't* need to be listening to. The sheep. The ones who all say the same thing, think the same thing, and are happy to have the ostracized folks living under bridges -- and would just as soon forget they exist.

I lean strongly libertarian; I think Google should be able to do what they want. But when they do things I consider odious, then *I* get to do what I want, too, and that is to not engage the company in what I consider to be less than good practices. Google+ is odious, as I presently understand it. As long as that is the case, "teh social" is "teh worthless."

no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161358)

...

Dear Google... (0, Flamebait)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161368)

Fuck you.

And your pluses.

Re:Dear Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161564)

Fuck you.

And your pluses.

I like this idea - I'm a member of the DIYbio Google Group and the top issues to arise while trying to use an internet group to actually *do* something like learn a material or make friends with a similar interests are internet trolls and spammers/scammers selling fake stuff. While it might not be a good thing for the "underground" internet - if you want that stick to IRC - I still use it, but new systems aren't SUPPOSE to be like the old ones, thats part of what allows them to be better.

Re:Dear Google... (0)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161836)

moderation fail

Maybe this _is_ them backing down (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161404)

If, at the same time, they limit or stop disabling accounts that don't use a real name. Having a verification badge as "proof of real name" while allowing the use of unverified, pseudonymous identities (without the badge) is a perfectly fine idea.

Of course, if they're going to keep up the nonsense of entirely forbidding pseudonymous accounts, this means nothing.

Re:Maybe this _is_ them backing down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161560)

You could be right. Or, this is Google admitting that it can't practically verify most of its users in an acceptable timeframe. So now they tag users as legitimate, illegitimate users get banned, and unknown users are left alone.

Google won't ever allow Internet-styled nicknames because it detracts from the quality of service, according to their opinion. Public opinion seems to agree with them.

Re:Maybe this _is_ them backing down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161996)

But they aren't completely forbidding them.

If you're special you get to use one.

It's yet more elitism.

Re:Maybe this _is_ them backing down (1)

Stepnsteph (1326437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162300)

This. Exactly this. Every word of it.

Verified celebrities (2)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161408)

I'm pretty sure that most of those verified big artists don't even use their facebook/g+ account, but let their marketing team manage it.

Re:Verified celebrities (2)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161438)

I'm pretty sure that most of those verified big artists don't even use their facebook/g+ account, but let their marketing team manage it.

No doubt you're right. On the other hand, very little else about modern media personalities is real either.

Re:Verified celebrities (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162242)

On the other hand, very little else about modern media personalities is real either.

Especially the boobies.

Re:Verified celebrities (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161570)

Its still 'owned' by the celebrity in a way. So that's fine.

Contrast it to me creating my own account, naming myself after a celebrity and making claims to ruin the person's rep.

I can already work out how this sort of 'attack' would be done. You create a fake profile, get a large amount of people to add you to your circles and appear above the real celebrity in the results. Someone with enough bots/followers might pull it off. I wonder why anon hasn't tried something like that yet.

Same as Twitter, then? (4, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161424)

This sounds basically the same as the "Verified Account" badge on Twitter that's used to identify high-profile celebrities as not being impostors.

Re:Same as Twitter, then? (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161610)

Yes, it just puts a checkmark after the name, which if you mouseover says "Verified".

Right now the announcement said it's only available for celebrity and hugely followed accounts--so just like Twitter.

PS: And just for entertainment, many of those accounts are using their common names, not their real names, nor legal names.

Re:Same as Twitter, then? (1)

ryanmcdonough (2430374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161952)

This sounds basically the same as the "Verified Account" badge on Twitter that's used to identify high-profile celebrities as not being impostors.

Exactly, they also said they'll be rolling it out to normal people when they could, 18 months on and still no sign of expanding past the small minority of celebrities that make up their user base.

who do they think they are? (4, Insightful)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161456)

I know some thing for sure, I won't be signing up for google plus. You know damn well they aren't concerned with your privacy or protecting you, they just want to use the info you put on google plus to market to you. The more info, the better the marketing. never ever ever.

Re:who do they think they are? (1)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161640)

Correct. Same as every "free" service you use on the internet. Social networks just make it easier than trying to track you with cookies, etc because you actually have a identifying login.

There's no such thing as free. You're paying with your behaviors and demographics.

I fully support someone choosing not to use a service because they don't care for this bargain, but people who don't seem to understand that businesses aren't in business to give them stuff for free kinda annoy me.

Re:who do they think they are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161788)

You mean joining a social network can expose your personal data?
Who knew!!!

Re:who do they think they are? (0)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161954)

You know, if you take off your tin foil hat for a moment, you might realize that no one at all gives a flying fuck about your little life - except as a ppm-contribution to some statistics. They are not really after you....

Re:who do they think they are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162314)

you don't know who he is so you don't know that

What about companies, bands, and trade names? (3, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161462)

Where does Google draw the line? Do they allow "vanity" pages like is common for bands, non-profit organizations, and small businesses? What about celebrities who don't use their own name. Ex: Can Miley Cyrus create a "Hannah Montana" page? How about "Hulk Hogan" or various rappers?

This will help you feel safe... (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161464)

No, no it doesn't help me feel 'safe'. In fact, it does very much the opposite. It makes me feel like my friends are being forcibly outed. It makes me feel like they're being attacked for having unusual names. It makes me feel like they're being attacked for using the name I knew them by because that name is kind of unusual and doesn't show up on their driver's license.

I'm tempted to just drop anybody who signs up for this scheme in protest.

Re:This will help you feel safe... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161508)

It makes me feel like my friends are being forcibly outed. It makes me feel like they're being attacked for having unusual names. It makes me feel like they're being attacked for using the name I knew them by because that name is kind of unusual and doesn't show up on their driver's license.

Do you think maybe you're taking it a little personally? I mean really, whatever the pluses or minuses or this, it may be a ridiculous bureaucracy or a bit of a hassle or just no fun but Google really aren't 'attacking' your friends for having unusual names.

Re:This will help you feel safe... (1)

Ralph Yarro (704772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162232)

It makes me feel like my friends are being forcibly outed. It makes me feel like they're being attacked for having unusual names. It makes me feel like they're being attacked for using the name I knew them by because that name is kind of unusual and doesn't show up on their driver's license.

Do you think maybe you're taking it a little personally? I mean really, whatever the pluses or minuses or this, it may be a ridiculous bureaucracy or a bit of a hassle or just no fun but Google really aren't 'attacking' your friends for having unusual names.

Can we get some insight into why the above was modded down? Does anyone disagree that Omnifarious' feeling that his friends are being attacked is completely ridiculous?

Re:This will help you feel safe... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161566)

I'm tempted to just drop anybody who signs up for this scheme in protest.

I'm inclined to agree. Google always seemed to have a better handle on the importance of trust than many others in the online world. I never bothered with Facebook for that reason, and if Google puts me in the position where I don't trust who I have to thank for their services, no matter how useful they are ... well, it's not like social networking is an essential. Some will claim that it is, but that's only because they need psychiatric care. Obviously Google is hoping that enough people will find G+ sufficiently valuable in spite of this issue. And they're probably right: given how little thought millions of people give to their privacy online, those of us who are complaining about this are the merest blip on the radar. That's too bad though: from a technical and usability perspective, Google+ is pretty nice.

Mmm Yummy FUD (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161490)

Currently there is nothing to stop me from making an account called "Larry Page", putting up a few images of him and then making outrageous claims about how Google plans to sacrifice puppies to Cthulhu.

This verfication thing is for celebrities and famous people- so if you find your favourite celebrity's page, you can be sure its really that celeb and not an 'unofficial fan page' or someone faking the name or whatever. Its a useful feature. Enough of the FUD.

Re:Mmm Yummy FUD (1)

Ralph Yarro (704772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162322)

Currently there is nothing to stop me from making an account called "Larry Page", putting up a few images of him and then making outrageous claims about how Google plans to sacrifice puppies to Cthulhu.

Yes there is, you'd be sued for breaking your NDA. Those plans are available only to a very select group.

Violent Stalkers (1)

ethicalcannibal (1632871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161492)

This really bothers me. I am on G+, with my name, but only because I recently legally changed it. I couldn't have used it before because I have abusive family that were stalking me. They are terrible with "the internets" so a legal name change solved the basic google searches they were capable of, for finding me. However, if my legal name hadn't been changed, I couldn't use G+ and feel safe. I can't be the only one that has issues with putting their legal name out there.

Re:Violent Stalkers (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161530)

I'm pretty sure that unless you're a celebrity of some sort (who needs is real name to identify him), using a believable name is enough to get around Google I think.

Then again its a social network. Also if you have stalkers, then simply use the privacy tools properly. You can show your stalking family members very little information about you, and show posts to the right people in the right circles.

Re:Violent Stalkers (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161850)

I'm pretty sure that unless you're a celebrity of some sort (who needs is real name to identify him), using a believable name is enough to get around Google I think.

I suspect using a name that doesn't match common non-name words in the most commonly-used languages on the Internet is probably more than enough. I'm currently waiting to see if they can see a common non-name word and a common place name through rot13. (And if they do, it will mean they're working hard enough to ferret out pseudonymous users that they're almost certainly mining them for back-end profit from advertisers, at which point I can choose to no longer be a product.)

Then again its a social network. Also if you have stalkers, then simply use the privacy tools properly. You can show your stalking family members very little information about you, and show posts to the right people in the right circles.

If you trust the privacy tools, which I tend not to. Some of them leak in unexpected ways, and while I don't know of any examples of G+ doing this, I can recall more instances than I can count of Facebook promising privacy and then (oops!) turning on a new feature that defaults to the most wide-open setting there is, requiring users to monitor their privacy settings constantly and turn off new promiscuous features as they're added. We know Facebook is like the "BFF" in junior high school who swears to keep your secrets, and then scatters them far and wide on the gossip circuit at the first opportunity -- because, after all, what was their initial target demographic? -- and it's only natural in that light to anticipate that G+ is just better at covering their tracks in that regard, so in that light, do you really trust them with your full legal name, knowing that your employer or your harassing conservative-minded relatives are only one covert disclosure away from pallet-loads of ammunition to use against you? Are you sure?

Re:Violent Stalkers (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161920)

I trust Google+ with my privacy more than FB for a simple reason.

FB outsources advertising.
Google is an advertising company.

What I basically mean is, that Google already has all the info it needs, and uses it itself. It doesn't need to 'leak' the information by changing polcies so advertisers get more data. FB on the other hand has to.

Now Google saw that FB privacy was a problem, and built it privacy-up - with its permissions circles and all that. So right, while there could be a technical glitch, I don't see Google doing it accidentally on purpose.

I for one welcome our new Social Media Overlords!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161516)

seriously, if you want to know who is really is who is, verified accounts are a great plan, if you want to create a fake account, I don't see anyone stopping you. Open information has it's benefits as well as it's risks. I really like what youtube has done for being able to find obscure media that I'd never have access to under the old model of broadcast radio or TV, and in a way if advertisers weren't able to collect user data for marketing purposes, sites like youtube likely couldn't secure the financing to stream all that data for free. I much prefer the open flow of information to the old way of being limited to the the crappy middle of the road mass market media that is forced on us in the old broadcast models of advertising.

Google Hypocrisy (2, Informative)

TrueSatan (1709878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161518)

I wouldn't touch G+ with an infinitely long bargepole anyway but on top of that it shows their utter hypocrisy as regards real names...consider their rejection of South Korea's demand for use of real names (Real Name Verification Law)...the following link discusses this issue in more detail if you are interested: http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2011/08/google_refuses.php [siliconvalleywatcher.com]

Our way or the highway (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161546)

Sounds like they have grown too large and really don't care what their 'customers' think ( yes, i know their *true* customers are the companies who advertise, but you get my point ). Time to find another "service" provider.

Re:Our way or the highway (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161590)

Sounds like they have grown too large and really don't care what their 'customers' think ( yes, i know their *true* customers are the companies who advertise, but you get my point ). Time to find another "service" provider.

That's a good idea. I hear there's this thing called "Facebook" ...

Re:Our way or the highway (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161632)

I meant that in a general sense, not specific so this would also include gmail, gdocs, market, etc. Too bad you cant easily uncouple android from those services.

Time for an open distributed search engine too. ( tho that might already exist.. )

Re:Our way or the highway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161914)

Fucking idiot. And no I dont mean the GP, I mean you.

You knew what the gp meant, but you have to come in and tout facebook, like its some beacon of privacy rights.

You sir, are a Fucking idiot.

All the celebrities (2)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161562)

All the celebrities get a hefty monetary reward for giving up their privacy and now they expect us normal people to give it up for nothing (our only reward will be harassment).
Screw them...

On the (small) plus side... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161628)

While I deeply dislike the increasing trend(among Google, facebook, et. al.) to try to pin real IDs to users for fun and profit, I do think that there is one upside:

Historically, people have vastly overestimated the degree of anonymity they enjoy on the internet. IPs are pretty readily geolocated(and ISPs certainly don't have any trouble correlating them with CC details...), correlation of snippets of social networking information can be quite powerful, persistent tracking cookies and similar trickery do their job, and so forth.

In a way, then, the more visible, public, deployments of real-name requirements, automated facial recognition, etc. are really a public debut of what the pros have already had on virtually everybody who isn't a cypherpunk or a hermit for some time now. Hopefully public squeamishness will prove useful...

Re:On the (small) plus side... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161742)

Well, you are quite anonymous towards most other people. Not law enforcement, but the average Joe out there cannot really determine where you're coming from, and even if he gets your IP address, it doesn't readily give him a real address or a name to it. For pretty much everything that doesn't allow the other side to call the ISP or law enforcement into the game, de facto anonymity exists. Of course you are not, and have never been, completely anonymous, untrackable for anyone, but that's not even required for most things.

Take /. Here, all I know about you is that you're going by the handle of fuzzyfuzzyfungus. And all you know about me is that I'm using the handle Opportunist. That doesn't tell anyone anything about either of us. Neither age, nor sex, nor location. Of course, /. and every ISP involved can easily find our IP addresses and, if there is a good reason, it would also be possible for them to find our real IDs that go with them. You, me, and everyone else reading here can't really find out who either of us are.

And that's generally a pretty good thing. Given the peer pressure and society's norms, it's not really easy for people to discuss topics that are embarrassing or are viewed as "immoral" in some circles they may belong to, without anonymity. Note that we're not dealing with illegal topics here, just things people wouldn't want everyone to know. I am pretty sure a lot of gay teens find that the internet is a godsend.

This said, the public isn't squeamish. Most people hand over their personal information without thinking twice. Personally, as someone who knows unfortunately far too well what can be done with this information, it's hard to understand how careless one can be.

Bye bye google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161646)

Google+ isn't vital to me at all, so I can simply back away from their logged-in services, merely using alts for YouTube accounts, etc.
I'm glad I found out how evil they have become before committing to their social/marketing network. they really did me a favour on this one. Thanks Google. Thanks and goodbye.

Real Real Names (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161664)

So, does everyone get a badge? They claim they have a real name policy, yet only those with real real names get badges.

So... this is the "better Facebook"? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161680)

Let's see... as a general plan, when you're trying to move in on someone else's turf, usually you have to offer something the other one doesn't, or you have to do it better, or more convenient. Why? Because everyone is already on the other thing that you try to oust, and you have to give them a good reason to come over to you. Twice so if the main reason for being there is that everyone else is.

Where exactly is Google+ better than Facebook? It's the same crap from a different company. That it happens to be Google doesn't make it better.

Re:So... this is the "better Facebook"? (1)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162412)

Clearly you haven't tried Google+ or you'd know how it was better than Facebook. But hey, go ahead and jerk your knees and waive your arms and say G+ is crappy all because you heard something on the Internet.

Right to be anonymous (1)

Jazari (2006634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161686)

People have the right to be anonymous, but organizations have the right to set up clubs where members have to identify themselves by name. If you don't like having to wear a name tag to use this golf course/club/video rental place/service, then don't use them. If you want the right to use any name you want, just use MySpace, or set up AnonymousFaceBook.com.

I'm part of the 50% of people who don't use Facebook. My life is just fine without it.

Re:Right to be anonymous (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162186)

yes a private entity has that right.. but we also have the right to bitch and moan about it.

who cares? (1)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161704)

Does anyone actually use Google+? I signed up and then immediately stopped using it. Let them drop my account if they can't verify my identity. Google+ just isn't something I'm interested in, and if they want to enforce rules that I don't want to obey, I just won't use it. If they do that with my email, then I will just move to another service.

Google+ Verification Badge (1)

cknicker (1798154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161716)

Where would I find online a good summary of the privacy vs. transparency issue? I know I'm for both. And I believe that complex issues contain contradictions; which our nature is to try to simplify into good or evil, or right and wrong.

Google.com is anonymous - should it be revoked? (4, Funny)

theodp (442580) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161736)

From whois.net:
Registrant:
                Dns Admin
                Google Inc.
                Please contact contact-admin@google.com 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
                  Mountain View CA 94043
                US
                dns-admin@google.com +1.6502530000 Fax: +1.6506188571

Save the outrage for something that deserves it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161740)

I hate the 'real names' policy as much as anyone, but you can't find fault with this. This is just a way for a celebrity to prove that they're the real owner of an account, not an impostor. So you know that you're e-stalking the real Britney Spears, not just some guy in his mom's basement pretending to be her.

pffft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161746)

real name - fictitious name . i don't really care -- if i think you're a buthead or a doofus.. I'm gonna post it either way... If someone doesn't like that - they can drop me from the group/friend/circle --- whatever.

Honesty is always the best policy.

It doesn't sound like doubling down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161760)

It sounds like this is an alternative to enforcement and now there can be accounts without the badge. Works for me.

Violet Blue booted from G+ using her real name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37161762)

Prominent blogger Violet Blue was kicked out because her real name is too fake sounding apparently. Adding insult to injury she was being harassed on G+ by people using their real names, who are still there. https://twitter.com/#!/violetblue/status/104827767031480320 [twitter.com]

Closing the trap (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161802)

Google has spent the past several years (a) getting millions of people dependent on their services first anonymously, then (b) with pseudonymous accounts that tie people's activities all together. People and companies use Google for searching (Log in to "personalize" your results; having Google keep your "search history" is great convenience, right?), emailing, storing sensitive documents, uploading photos, planning their movements, marking maps with locations both public and private, and probably a bunch of other things I don't even know about. And now Google has (c) created a competitor to Facebook and signed up millions of people in the first few weeks, which, once you attempt to use, they expect you to divulge a "legal" name --- and if they suspect the name you put in isn't, they want to see a government ID in order to allow you to continue using their services.

This is Google slowly building up, and now closing, a trap --- in order to snare what probably amounts to exabytes of personal information on real human individuals. We know it's the CIA funding Facebook [ixquick.com] . I wonder which intelligence/surveillance agency is funding Facebook's new "competitor."

Re:Closing the trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162132)

We have the illusion of choice in our voting system, why not also in our choice of social network? More than one puppet can be controlled by the puppet master.

I avoided Facebook for years, only to finally succumb to its allure. And now I feel like a monkey whose arm is trapped in a cage because it won't let go of the banana in its hand. In my case, the banana is the connections to people I can keep in touch with effortlessly.

Privacy and Anonymity Left The Building... (1)

blahblahwoofwoof (2287010) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161882)

...years ago. Scott McNealy of Sun was the first person I can recall saying as much in public, and at the time I was angry at him for saying it.

But he was right. And he is even more right today.

Slashdot, Facebook, Google+, all of them will roll over if you post something that draws the attention of LEOs. You think your IP address can't be traced? Don't be naive. Everything you've ever done online can be cross-matched and correlated.

No, I don't like it either, but it isn't going to change. Ever.

Twitter said the same thing... (1)

ryanmcdonough (2430374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161918)

a year on and I still haven't got my verified profile as a general member of the public.

Google still not verifying businesses (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37161932)

As I point out occasionally, many, if not most, of the problems with web spam, phishing, etc. on the web are because Google doesn't verify the identity of the business behind a web site.

Businesses don't have any right to anonymity. Even in Europe. In the European Union, businesses come under the European Directive on Electronic Commerce. [europa.eu] : "Member States shall ensure that the service provider (defined as "any natural or legal person providing an information society service" i.e. a web site) shall render easily, directly and permanently accessible to the recipients of the service and competent authorities, at least the following information: (a) the name of the service provider; (b) the geographic address at which the service provider is established ... (c) his electronic mail address...". The European Privacy Directive is only for individuals. If the search end of Google took a hard line on that, search would be much less spammy. Currently, they can't even keep totally fake business locations [blumenthals.com] out of Google Places. Yes, "Illusory Laptop Repair [google.com] is still in Google Places, right in the middle of the railroad crossing. So are so many phony business locations that it's been covered at length in the New York Times. [nytimes.com] Legitimate local businesses are screaming about this; customers try to find them and end up calling some outsourced lead-generation service, thinking it's a local company.

Google wants to use Google+ for "crowdsourcing" recommendations. They used to use Citysearch and Yelp for that, but those became too polluted with fake recommendations. The trouble with "crowdsourcing" is that crowds can be sourced. You can buy "likes", "recommendations", and "+1"s in bulk on any of the black hat SEO forums.

Recommendation systems only work in three situations - when the number of reviewers is huge compared to the number of items being reviewed, as with movies, when the reviewer is known to have bought the product, as with eBay and Amazon, and when the reviewer's identity is verified and their reputation is known. Google seems to be trying for #3. To make that work, they have to tighten the screws on "Google+" users. Tightening the screws on businesses would be more productive.

Badges? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162000)

We don't need no stinkin' badges!

Re:Badges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162436)

Mod points were create explicitly to give +5 to your excellent Mel Brooks remark.

Planning their own obsolescence ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162094)

Given that there is growing awareness and concern present in even the average person over Google and user information..
I think this may well represent the beginning of the end for Google. Of course in order to actually happen (the demise of Google) there needs to be another company stepping up.

NOTHING about this appears to be mandatory (1)

MattskEE (925706) | more than 2 years ago | (#37162128)

If you actually read the announcement from Google and watch the short video you will see that this is not even available for the typical non-celebrity/-public figure users. Google is apparently working on making it available to all users, but nothing in the announcement suggests that this is more than a voluntary feature you can use if you want people adding you know that it's the real you and not somebody else. It seems like this would be a very useful feature indeed for public figure types.

There's no point in freaking out about this unless Google does make it mandatory. Even if it is made mandatory I'm not sure I'd freak out over it. I use my real name on Facebook and on Google Plus already, so my anonymity on these sites is not an issue. I prefer Google Plus over Facebook because (so far) I have much better control over my privacy, and this doesn't appear to be a privacy issue.

Let's just think about it for a second now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37162196)

... in real life (yes, I'll spare you the "big blue room" sarcasm), how do you identify someone? With your senses. Your eyes. By looking at him. Your ears. By recognising his voice. Your hands, by touching him (lucky you if its a her and you're a him!). Your nose, even if that's probably not a good thing in certain circumstances. And let's not talk about your sense of taste, this could get ugly fast..!

Now I probably don't need to preach at lenght as to how and why those things do not apply on the internet but one thing is for sure, I don't know about you but I probably could not befriend someone very closely in real life if he was blocking all my senses with a mask (though I kind of like the Guido face), full plate armor, deer piss all over his body (for scent) and voice-changing device of any sort.

So what do you want to use a social network for if you don't want to be identified and can't identify anyone else?

If you want to remain anonymous on the internet, fine. There are plenty of tools to achieve this without even wearing a funny tinfoil hat and there are plenty of website that don't require you to identify yourself to browse their content and use their services.

But if you want to add the layer of functionality the internet provides to your real life social network by joining a net-based social network, I belive that identification would be useful if not totally necessary.

Denis, posting anonymously

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