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The Google+ Name Game Continues

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the cmdrtaco-banned-for-impersonating-celebrity dept.

Google 171

theodp writes "'Sticks and stones will break my bones,' the old nursery rhyme goes, 'but names will never hurt me.' Unless, of course, you're on Google+. While touting what it calls a move toward a more inclusive naming policy for Google+, the search giant's Name Policy would still make Sister Aloysius Beauvier smile. Names like 'Doctor Stan Livingston,' 'Bill Smithwick DDS,' and 'Rev. Jim Copley, S. P.' are cited as examples of violations that could cost you your Google+ privileges. And since new Google account users are reportedly now forced to join Google+, one wonders if the Name Policy might even preclude one from establishing one of those adorable dear.sophie.lee or dear.hollie accounts."

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Google Inflating User Amount (1, Interesting)

Christopher B. Linn (2560089) | more than 2 years ago | (#38810993)

I think this news article is much larger news: New Google account users forced to join Google+ [msn.com]

So not only is Google inflating the number of users on their social network so they can boast millions of users, they are forcing everyone to make a profile that is public by default. How can you take Google's number of users seriously when you know they are only what they are because Google pulls tricks like this? And surely this is a seriously evil thing to do, too.

I hope your torches and pitchforks aren't nearby, because Google — the Company That Claims It Does No Evil — is doing something that might make you want to reach for 'em. Apparently the search engine giant is now forcing new Google account users to join Google+ and Gmail.

Until now, creating a Google account was quite simple. You could either use an existing email address or create a Gmail account.

The newly redesigned sign-up process for Google accounts now includes fields which ask for your name, gender (required, thanks to Google+) and mobile phone number (optional). Once you've got those fields filled out, you're led to a page which asks you to create your Google profile — better known as your Google+ account.

There is no option to skip this step and avoid the creation of a Google+ account (and a Gmail account), which is something you might want to do if you're interested in using only some other Google services.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811025)

Hi bonch. U mad?

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811971)

Yep, the real news is that Slashdot is inflating user numbers by allowing Bonch/Sharklaser/OverlyCriticalGuy/Dtech/FreeCoder etc to add Christopher B. Linn to his sockpuppet collection

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (5, Insightful)

snotclot (836055) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811127)

Alright, well who cares? If Google shoots itself in the butt by destroying / tying in social with its search, a new search contender will most likely step up and fill the 2nd place void. Maybe it'll be Bing.

Just let the market correct itself.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811389)

I welcome any competition that can beat google - google does themselves.

However, anyone but a propaganda based search engine, please.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811451)

The irony. I left the Hotmail account I had for many years for Gmail because Microsoft tried to shoehorn their social networking into Hotmail, by default instead of politely asking.

I'm not as activist as I used to be, though. If Google does force me to participate in Google+ using my real info, I'll migrate all my mail and data out and change my name Gaygle R. McFaggots, with a picture of Larry and Sergay as my profile pic.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811547)

I hated the integration of gchat into gmail. However I got used to it and it has forced me to socialize more, at the expense of productivity. However, I'm rather tempted to migrate out of gmail as well, because I don't like to be forced into things I don't want to be.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (3, Funny)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811593)

Oh, goodness, they must be terrified. You must have been some activist.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811919)

If Google does force me to participate in Google+ using my real info, I'll migrate all my mail and data out and change my name Gaygle R. McFaggots, with a picture of Larry and Sergay as my profile pic.

lol, you used your real name for your google/gmail account? silly rabbit. :)

No, I hear you. Even though nothing attached to my gmail or google account(s) actually bears my name or any true demographic data about me at all (I'm not a very trusting person), I'll be watching for something less invasive to hop onto in case this is retroactively enacted. Hotmail chased me away with similar shenanigans years ago, it's a shame that google's trying the same tricks on for size...

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (2)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811615)

Google does far more than search. Who is likely to replace YouTube any time soon?

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1, Interesting)

snotclot (836055) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811719)

Are you kidding? Youtube is a drain on money, and is unlikely to replace real entertainment anytime soon (although we can see where they are trying to head).

Google depends and dies on search. They gave Mozilla $300 million just to be not replaced by Bing, although they'd rather everyone use Chrome. And Mozilla just partnered with Twitter and FB on that stupid lame whine video about search results.

I'm not biased towards any one company, although I would like to see the evil that is FB be replaced.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (4, Insightful)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812115)

You're entirely missing the point. New users of Google's services are know forced to sign up for Google+ -- and profitable or not, YouTube is one of their most popular services. The GP is trying to make the argument that by tying Google+ to other services (for some reason he used search, which is actually completely irrelevant since pretty much nobody gets a Google account in order to use their search service!) they'll drive customers to competing services. For Gmail, that's at least potentially possible. For YouTube its practically impossible, for the very reason you cited (it's not a money maker). Competitors are not going to magically spring up to rescue YouTube users from forced Google+ accounts.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (2)

snotclot (836055) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812327)

Gotcha. Point taken, thanks for clarifying.

But can you have it both ways? Google was oh-so-great when it was the underdog and was able to wreak havoc on M$ (kind of). Now that they are big enough to do product tie-ins here and there, people are to complain of their unfair practices (ie monopolistic advantages)?

Can the argument be made that using Youtube monopoly is akin to M$ using Win monopoly to unseat Netscape with IE ? You are in no way forced to use Youtube. An entire ecosystem of (web) apps does not revolve around Youtube - embedded videos can be replaced easily enough and any smart website designer would have made the website malleable enough to do so with some simple scripts / db changes.

Yes, point taken, so s/Youtube/other google products . Do they really have a monopoly on web services? You are always free to go to other web services.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812771)

Ok, I have a point of contention here. I did create a google account for the search settings and no other reason. I already had a youtube account and didn't need to have a gmail account but if I wanted to turn off that damn safe search I had to have a google account.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (5, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811815)

We all care; If Bing has to try to beat Google by getting better then there is hope of better things. If Google loses to Bing by getting worse then Microsoft won't feel any need to work to improve things.

Remember that Netscape, once they realised that Microsoft had found a way to destroy them with illegal market manipulation, panicked and started to rewrite their whole product which meant that, even if the US justice department had intervened earlier, there would have been little left to save.

I just went through the Google registration process. The whole article is a lie, of course; as you would expect from any Microsoft associated publication; your Google+ account is only activated later on by explicitly signing up. Unfortunately even I, who have done Google registration quite a few times, didn't realise that until after I had signed up for Google+ with my new account. I have verified that even if you make the same mistake as I did you can trivially delete your Google+ features from your Google account.

Summary: as usual recently the first post is someone who manages to get Microsoft sponsored lies into place. Unfortunately Google opened themselves up for this by having an unclear registration process.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (-1, Troll)

Christopher B. Linn (2560089) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812201)

I just went through the Google registration process. The whole article is a lie, of course; as you would expect from any Microsoft associated publication; your Google+ account is only activated later on by explicitly signing up. Unfortunately even I, who have done Google registration quite a few times, didn't realise that until after I had signed up for Google+ with my new account. I have verified that even if you make the same mistake as I did you can trivially delete your Google+ features from your Google account.

So in fact, it's not a lie.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38812385)

So in fact, it's not a lie.

Your whole raison d'etre is a lie, fuckface. What will tomorrow's new nic bring us?

asshole

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (4, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812387)

There is a difference between "New Google account users forced to join Google+" and "New users tricked into joining Google+ but they can leave immediately if they want to". It's not a big difference; in a sense it's a totally stupid thing to be arguing about and you could easily have spun it for your side (try "the delete account option is hidden behind one mouse click and might be confusing to my cat"). It ends up, though, giving away the game. This is not about some people coming to tell us the news that Google has gone evil. This is about desperate people who are trying to make it seem as if Google is as evil as they are.

The thing about this is, that any serious news organisation would have contacted Google and got someone there to explain this. There explanation would have been lax; even pathetic, but it would have meant that instead of publishing a lie, you could publish a misrepresentation which could never be proven as a lie. What is with the mad rush to be evil? Even Satan knows that by holding off a bit you can get more evil for your money.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812451)

s/There explanation/The explanation/ ;

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38813481)

"I just went through the Google registration process. The whole article is a lie, of course; as you would expect from any Microsoft associated publication; your Google+ account is only activated later on by explicitly signing up. "

Perhaps, but I would not be surprised if they did this. I used to have a youtube account. At a point, i was forced to get a google account as youtube was purchased by google. I dont consent to anything google does, but you need a google account to have access to ANY of their services. Even ones which had their own account previously. Also they seem to have specifically changed their forum so that you are easily tricked into signing up for a google account. That is exactly how they started with youtube accounts, asking people to associate it, before they determined that they were just going to roll them all into a google account several months later.

"as usual recently the first post is someone who manages to get Microsoft sponsored lies into place"

Don't you know? Google is the new microsoft round here. Microsoft is an angel compared to the shit google pulls these days.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (5, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812787)

Just let the market correct itself.

No.

No.

No.

I'm sick of hearing this idiotic philosophy. The market does not correct itself. If 1% of your faith in 'the market' were of any merit, then people would have been leaving Facebook in droves due to all the privacy gaffes they've had. Let's face it - people are stupid, nobody cares about their own privacy, and living by some stupid appeal to the majority will only make that the de facto standard.

Why is this a problem? Because if everyone uses Facebook/G+/whatever, then everybody else has to start abiding by their idiotic terms, because eventually, all the employers/social groups/universities/etc. start using these abusive services too and make it so that you have no choice. Some groups choose to conduct all their business on Facebook - to me, they might as well not exist as nothing will ever make me sign up for that piece of shit. So don't talk about letting the market correct itself - the market is pretty much always wrong, and it has terrible consequences.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38813333)

Apparently "the market", and more importantly the people who make it up, don't give a rat's ass about privacy. If they did, they would have left. the market didn't fail, it succeeded.

I'm not even a Free Market Uber Alles libertardian, and even I don't blame this shit on it.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811137)

There is a way to avoid creating a google+ account when signing up. Just go to https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (5, Informative)

Christopher B. Linn (2560089) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811211)

That's the old new account url that will be discontinued soon. They're replaced it with the new one in almost every service already, they started with gmail yesterday. I'm sure the change will be done soon.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811845)

Use a Google Apps for Domains account. You need your own domain name, but most people on Slashdot probably already have one. Once you have your apps account set up and working with your domain, go to the Google Apps Dashboard, Organization and Users, click the services link then scroll down and turn off Google+. Problem solved.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38813193)

And for those that don't have their own domain, now if they want to create a simple account at Youtube they're forced to get a new email and social network service account too.

It's unnecessary.

And you know that the only numbers that Google uses when they count the number of Google+ users are those that initially sign up, even if they never use it.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (4, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811147)

I think we're jumping the gun here if we assume Google is going to count all users as active users, especially since they haven't actually done this yet. If they do do this that's another story, but they could just as easily use a more fair criteria for counting users, such as perhaps only counting users who have visited Google+ specifically N times over the past month or have shared content over Google+, etc.

Other than that issue anyway there really is no big deal about forcing Gmail and Google+ account creations. If the new user never uses them they won't even know they exist (though the public profile bit does trouble me some), so it seems to me Google is just trying to streamline the account creation process.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811469)

They already have counted all users as active users, because they derive their "active users" stat from users who have used ANY google service, rather than google+. They won't break out those numbers because they look very very bad.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812211)

especially since they haven't actually done this yet.

OK. That is a relief. The best way of action is always to wait till things happen. Right?
And Opt-in is always good as long as I don't have any other choice?

Just streamlining the account creation process? Are you working for the Google Marketing Department?

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

Christopher B. Linn (2560089) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812241)

I think we're jumping the gun here if we assume Google is going to count all users as active users, especially since they haven't actually done this yet.

In fact they have, several times. They also count active users vaguely as any user that has used any Google's services, even the search engine, as long as he or she has a Google+ account. Misleading as hell.

They already have (2)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38813169)

In Google's earning call 5 days ago they claimed that 60% of Google+ members "engaged" daily and 80% weekly. After being pressed on the issue they confirmed [arstechnica.com] that they were counting Google+ members who accessed any of their services at least daily/weekly, not just ones who visited Google+ daily/weekly.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (5, Interesting)

dward90 (1813520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811193)

Going to invalidate my mod points (I already modded you informative) just to give a clarification:

I tested this out myself, and it's true that it takes you to a page to create your google plus account, and does not give you the option to skip. This is terrible design.
However, if you just leave the bloody page, you have a google account without g+.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811395)

You can also delete the G+ profile. Took me about 30 seconds to figure out how, and about 5 to actually do so.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811679)

Replying to undo bad mod. Mod parent "informative", please.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812209)

Why "informative?" It's "Hearsay." Now, "Informative" would be giving in detail all the steps to actually delete the account. Don't look at me, I don't have a G+ account.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812437)

Account settings -> Delete profile and remove associated Google+ features, select "Delete your entire Google profile", check box labeled "I understand that deleting this service can't be undone and the data I delete can't be restored", press "Remove Selected Services", done. Five steps in total.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812485)

That's more like it. Mod parent informative!

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812573)

See? Informative.

Poorly formatted, but nonetheless informative.

I hope you're modded into the heavens.

Still (and I'm not necessarily addressing you, just commenting in passing), it's disingenuous to say "It's ok, because you can delete your G+ stuff after it's automatically and unavoidably created for you", but also say "those dirty rat-bastards in [evil company du jour] making us opt out of their privacy-invading services."

As far as I can tell, the only difference between those positions is that one is Google, and one is not.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38812931)

True, but would my mom, dad, or even sister be able to figure out how to do this? Or even think to?

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (2)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811455)

I think this is a move towards making Google+ their main service and not gmail. To laterally integrate their services everything tying to the G+ profile would make it simpler to use. Look at facebook. Messaging in fb takes a back seat as just a part of your account. G+ needs this to compete. facebook is just easier to use than G+ to the average user.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38813367)

Most likely. How many young people today use email as we know it. Now it's texting and wall posts to communicate with each other. It makes sense for a corporation to herd their users in the direction the majority are moving. Yes, some will get upset and jump ship, but it's more cost effective to focus efforts than to try and please everyone.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811687)

You invalidated your mod points? *wipes back a single tear* And they said all the heroes were dead!

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811245)

Well, this is just a recent thing remember. This was before most of the numbers were released.

Still pretty damn shady at best.

Still going to use Steve Bob.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811305)

Oh hai, DCTech. Nice to see you again. I'll just ignore your patent flamebaiting, and focus on the real issue here: Google is desperate to turn G+ into something as common and ingrained into our culture as Google Search. As a matter of fact, it is so desperate that it completely screws the pooch on the question of anonymity.

Dear Google, I like you. Your search is better than anything I've found so far, your GMail set the standard for free webmail, and your maps did as well. Your G+ effort though is a complete clusterfuck. You have a nice idea with circles, but that's an easily copied feature. Your key differentiator will be how you treat the data that people enter into your social network (and let's not kid ourselves, it is yours, not ours). And that's where you're screwing up. Most people do not want G+ to be an identity service. Some people do, but that's because they're getting money out of their G+ presence - either through marketing returns, or publicity, or tracking of customer interactions. But the rest of us? We LIKE being able to put Hung W. Low into our name, or Pumpernickel, or Rapunzel, or anything else that tickles our fancy. And until we get the impression that we won't be punished for having some weird-ass name (Sylverster's kid is absolutely screwed here), we will stay away from G+ in droves.

Look, in some distant future, it might be possible that G+ turns into an actual identity service. But you aren't there yet. As a matter of fact, the desperate attempts by your executives that are so heavily incentivized to make G+ succeed are actually counter-productive. You're like a hunter who builds a fancy bear-trap, but fills it with gold, because that's what he wants the bear to turn into later. The bear wants meat, or bread, or nuts, or carrion, or whatever suits its fancy of the moment. The smart hunter fulfills that want first, then worries about turning the bear into gold.

Google, stop worrying about what G+ will be down the road. Worry about providing a service to your users first that your users want - then you can turn the screws on. We might even be happy about the subsequent turning of the screws. In the meantime, you're on course to become search-engine provider being squeezed on all sides by companies building walled gardens that people willingly flock to.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (2, Insightful)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811683)

I don't believe in your psychic powers to know what user account is a puppet of another user.

Fuck, even if it is a shill, it could be a different shill. It's not just you, lately I have seen lots of these post claiming to know the original account of another account, mostly (defending Google products incidentally, but I'm not about accusing them of astroturfing).

Bullshit I don't believe in the supernatural.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811797)

Then your pattern recognition sucks. It's entirely possible to recognize who made a post after reading a few lines without actually looking at the name. In this case, it's made a bit more difficult because the person keeps signing up for a new accounts, but because the posting style is so unique, it's actually only a minimal hurdle.

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (3, Informative)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811843)

Well, check all those accounts supernatural psychic ability to know without subsciption when the article gets published, which allows them supernatural first post with same timestamp as article.

That's sure a lot of a) freshly registered, b) subscribers, c) all clicking "No karma bonus" so their subscriber status doesn't show in postings, d) all hating Google and loving MS, e) sharing similar writing style. Or just a single puppeteer with a new sockpuppet every day. You decide!

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811335)

I just created yet another google account. For gender, you can choose other. I used a fake name, a fake birthdate, a fake country, and a fake gender.

I could use all this info to set up yet another slashdot account, however 1 account is fine for me. How about you?

So, can someone explain to me how this is bad?

cheers,

Re:Google Inflating User Amount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811589)

LOL, DCTech, are you trying to force /.'s UID counter to overflow?

I mean, you went through 2 accounts only [slashdot.org] yesterday [slashdot.org] , just to get shot down [slashdot.org] , and even tried to submit this bullshit [slashdot.org] already.

But yeah, I can't get enough of this [slashdot.org] :

With Microsoft you hold that data all the time, so it's the less evil and locking down of them all.

MS, the Facilitator of Open Standards, Compatibility and Interoperability! (as long as they're open, compatible and interoperable only to other MS products)

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811055)

Just more reasons for me to not even bother with Google+ in the first place.

How strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811091)

I find it very odd that Google doesn't know better, trying to impose these strange policies on the internet.. Have they just discovered the internet? These people are crazy.

They are no longer "good guys", they have become just as much of an evil mega-corporation with no ties to their roots as the next evil mega-corp.

Re:How strange (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811325)

Again. You are not Google's customer. You are what they sell to their customers.

Re:How strange (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811505)

Sigh, I wish this meme would die. They don't sell people, they sell ad space. I realize that all the cool kids are into accusing Google of slavery, but let's at least try to maintain one tiny iota of accuracy.

Re:How strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811655)

Accuracy like that "accusing Google of slavery" strawman that you just tossed out?

Re:How strange (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811863)

No, it's not a strawman. The claim that the GGP made was that Google was selling people. Reductio ad Absurdem is hardly a logical fallacy in this case. Slavery is a binary operation either one is a slave or one isn't a slave and if Google is selling people and slaves are defined as people who are owned by other people then the logical conclusion is that the GGP is claiming that Google is engaging in slavery.

Now, if you take a more reasonable position than people being Google's product then it doesn't apply at all.

Don't whine to me because the original description is horribly inept and poorly considered.

Re:How strange (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38812683)

You're deliberately and intentionally taking a literal interpretation of a statement that you know is not meant to be taken at literal face value, and you are presenting that interpretation as the real position, even though you know it isn't.

Therefore, you are willfully misrepresenting your opponent's position as one that is easier to debunk than the one he actually put forth.

That is absolutely a strawman.

Re:How strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38812757)

Google doesn't sell ad space. Ad space as such isn't worth anything. I can reserve banner space on my personal home page, but nobody's going to pay me a penny for that. What Google is selling is the attention of its users. They give the users something in return, like bee keepers feed the bees sugar water, but the product is something that the users do, not something that Google does. It is therefore only a slight, rhetorical exaggeration to say "you are the product".

In the context of deciding if Google works to please the people who use their services, it is important to understand that Google only needs to do enough to make sure that people keep visiting Google's web sites. The people whom Google needs to please are those who give Google money, i.e. stock holders and AdWords customers.

Re:How strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38812041)

You are what they sell to their customers.

Which means they need us, or they won't have a product.
I find it silly that they're trying so hard to coax people into joining, and yet they actively keep people away like this.
I signed up on Facebook with my real name, back when I was slightly younger and stupider. I hold that to be a mistake, and I don't intend to commit it twice.
Really, we ought to be teaching our children from an early age to avoid handing out their real name on the internet.

Android phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811115)

Buy an Android phone and you have to make an account. AFAIK, you don't need a .me account to use an iPhone. At least, you didn't when I had one. So, you create a Google account just for the phone, separate from the main one. PITA.

Re:Android phone (1)

dward90 (1813520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811229)

My android phone uses my main account, so I'm not sure what you're talking about there (unless you're just saying that you wanted an account on your phone not tied to you). And my girlfriend just got an iphone, and you absolutely do have to have an apple account to use it (at least we couldn't find a way around it).

Re:Android phone (1)

MichaelJ (140077) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811367)

You have to have an Apple ID, yes. That, however, does not have any public reflection. It's just an account, used for things like the iPhone app store. You can make several ID's and use different ones for different purposes. You do not need to have a me.com email address, a Ping account, or turn on iCloud.

Re:Android phone (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811561)

You do not need a gmail account to use an Android Phone.

Re:Android phone (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812689)

There are a couple places in Android where if I put in my ordinary Google account, I get an error "[my email address] does not use Gmail".

Re:Android phone (2, Informative)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811443)

You need a Google account (can be tied to any email address) to use the android store. You need an iTunes account (can be tied to any email address) to use the apple app store. I'm not sure where you perceive the difference.

Re:Android phone (3, Informative)

vjl (40603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811953)

A google account is not private, whereas an AppleID is. If you have to create a google account for an android phone, that means you have to have an account with some of your information made public [eg: your name]. An AppleID is private - it is used solely for billing purposes though you can expand it to include iCloud [a private-that-can-be-public service], and it can also be used for GameCenter, a public service. But by default an AppleID is private and no online profile of you is made, unlike what happens when you create a google account.

Problem? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811117)

I'm a little unclear on the failure mode here. If I am forced to create a G+ page using my real name that I won't use, then, um... well, uh...

Bah (0, Offtopic)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811131)

I'll join Google+ the same day I join Facebook.
i.e. never

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811415)

We're all very impressed by that bit of trivia.

still fine (0)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811149)

I'm still 100% perfectly fine with google+ name policy.

Your name almost certainly isn't "Doctor" (well, unless your parents had really really high expectations from you at birth). Stop being pretentious. You paid a lot of money for school, good for you, your name is still Bill or Steve or the like.

If people know you by some name other than your given name... Hey, that's what that "nickname" field is for under account settings.

Re:still fine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811221)

some people would rather not use their real names for things... i am sure skarecrow77 is not your real name.

Re:still fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811363)

and that's fine, but there's a difference in the level of discourse on a Facebook-style social network and a Slashdot comments page. For example, I'm anonymous here, but I would never in a squillion years allow for anonymous replies to a random Googlebook+ post of mine.

Re:still fine (4, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811459)

no, it isn't. although I've been using Skarecrow/skarecrow77 for so long, about 18 years now, that it is essentially an extra name so associated with me that you can identify things I wrote on the web ages ago using it. it's me.

That aside, in insecure settings where you can't control who sees things you post, and you risk running afoul of juvenile (or juvenile-minded) internet delinquents who want nothing more than to fuck up your day, there is a need for some middle-layer of semi-anonymity. With Google+, on the other hand, so far as I know you have the ability to decide -exactly- who can see anything you post, so presumably you can limit your exposure to the internet delinquents to virtually nil.

There are any number of internet forums where fake people can talk to fake people. Google+ appears to be a place where real people talk to real people. I kind of like having at least one or two outlets like that. People are much more civilized. I can (and do) visit the less restrained corners of the internet when I want to witness the John Gabrial greater internet fuckwad theory at work, but the entire internet doesn't necessarily have to be like that.

The thing I don't understand is, if Google has set the ground rules saying "this is what Google+ is going to be like", why are the people who dislike what google+ is about so eager to join with their fake names?

It's like going to an NRA meeting when you hate guns, and being upset that people there are packing. Why did you want to go in the first place? And if you're really that set on going for some reason, you should at least realize you have to play by their ground rules while at their party.

Re:still fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811253)

If you're going to use D.D.S. or Doctor in your name, you should be creating a page for your business anyway.

Re:still fine (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811425)

Who says I have a business? I spent 3 weeks getting my doctorates online, and I'm damn well going to use them. At every opportunity.

---Dr. A. Coward PhD DDS MD DIM

Re:still fine (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811321)

Yet odds are it is the most searched name among the daleks and cybermen.

Re:still fine (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812867)

Sounds like your jealous of a degree someone got. You can't just throw some money at one. You still have to work to earn one. And I don't see a reason why that shouldn't be a source of pride for someone.

All I know is... (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811217)

I signed up under a pseudonym and haven't been back in since.

I wonder how it will greet my next visit.

Wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811259)

I just signed up for a new google account and wasn't forced to join google+.

Did I miss something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811263)

So you create a GMail (mail) account and you have also a Google+ (social network) forced-account...

And what's different from creating a Hotmail (mail) account and also having a Messenger (social network) forced-one? 'Cause I remember not being able to untie them...

Huh... Devil walks amonst us!!

Nothing to see, move along...

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811579)

So you create a GMail (mail) account and you have also a Google+ (social network) forced-account...

And what's different from creating a Hotmail (mail) account and also having a Messenger (social network) forced-one? 'Cause I remember not being able to untie them...

Huh... Devil walks amonst us!!

Nothing to see, move along...

Fortunately I was in on the ground floor with both (actually I haven't been back in my Hotmail account for about 10 years... but I bet it still there.

I signed up for G+ from an existing gmail account and it didn't bother me about reality identification .. then they wanted it .. now they don't .. next week on The Hokey Pokey ...

The worst thing so far was giving out an email address to Facebook, who just can't shut up.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#38813373)

Messenger is not a social network, its an instant messaging service. And also, last I checked, they dont require real names when you sign up.

"Sticks and stones" (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811281)

'Sticks and stones will break my bones,' the old nursery rhyme goes, 'but names will never hurt me.'

Well, that went out with political correctness thirty years ago. We no longer have the right to offend anyone, unless that person is a non-rich white male.

Re:"Sticks and stones" (2)

Toby Tucker (2550988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811339)

No, you can march around in the street chanting offensive things about rich white males now too.

Re:"Sticks and stones" (0)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811715)

No, you can march around in the street chanting offensive things about rich white males now too.

Technically you can, but only if you don't care about getting taken by the cops.

No different from, say, chanting offensive things about Stalin during his time (ok, ok, in the US you'll be eventually released... yet).

Mandatory G+ signup clarification (2)

rapidreload (2476516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811299)

And since new Google account users are reportedly now forced to join Google+

Not quite. There are ways to create a Google account without Google+ being tacked on.

For example, if you go to http://mail.google.com/mail/signup [google.com] and create a Gmail account, it will automatically make a Google account as part of the process (of course). However using the above link does NOT automatically create a Google+ account. I know this because I did so yesterday, as I specifically wanted to make a new Google account without G+.

Of course, you need to know this either through research or someone telling you beforehand. All other ways of creating a Google account seem to force G+ unfortunately. Google sucks sometimes.

Re:Mandatory G+ signup clarification (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38811841)

For example, if you go to http://mail.google.com/mail/signup [google.com] [google.com] and create a Gmail account, it will automatically make a Google account as part of the process (of course). However using the above link does NOT automatically create a Google+ account. I know this because I did so yesterday, as I specifically wanted to make a new Google account without G+.

All of which is moot - I just tried the same thing, and in order to create the gmail account, it wanted a real-world phone number.

As a practical matter, that means that all gmail accounts you create are still tied to your real-world identity (or that of one of your friends or cow orkers, and it should be pretty easy to figure out who you are by seeing where your social graph intersects with the social graphs of others who signed up with that phone number.)

Get over it... (1)

hugh nicks (754727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811599)

Even if you are forced to create a g+ account, just delete the damn thing after its created. Google actually makes it easy... http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1044503&rd=1 [google.com]

Re:Get over it... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812363)

In that case, they could make it even easier by not forcing you to make a Googlebook account, couldn't they?

Google really has gone downhill in the last couple of years.

You just went full Google (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811811)

I know people are going to be beating the 'is google evil?' dead horse once again, but let me point out the more obvious reason for Google's name idiocy - they're a full blown beuracracorp now, so they have no need for quaint notions like 'flexibility' or 'individuality'.

There's no reason for Google to take into account the complexities and strangeness of life, when they can just make people fit their views, like the immigration officers at Ellis Island who would substitute 'normal' American names for strange foreign ones.

Names are actually just the original bureaucratic way of designating and cataloging people, before they thought of ID numbers and databases. It's not surprising that Google wants to impose its own rules on them.

Just don't use Google+ (4, Insightful)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38811887)

Till they stop acting like Schmidt-heads. Really, this grudging half-assed crap is hardly better than the Real Name Policy, it just makes it easier policy-wise for them to make exceptions for celebrities.

Allow it both ways (3, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812073)

They SHOULD allow titles. But it would make sense to appropriately tag the title apart from the name. There should be a place to enter a prefix title and a suffix title. Then in places where it is appropriate to display a name without title, it can be omitted, and where it is appropriate to display a name with title, it can be included. Searches can be matched both with and without (I know Google knows how to do that).

Re:Allow it both ways (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812841)

They SHOULD allow titles.

They SHOULDN'T allow titles. There, I just won my argument by using all caps.

Re:Allow it both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38813397)

They SHOULD allow titles. But it would make sense to appropriately tag the title apart from the name. There should be a place to enter a prefix title and a suffix title. Then in places where it is appropriate to display a name without title, it can be omitted, and where it is appropriate to display a name with title, it can be included.

OK:
1. I'm not sure that "prefix title" and "suffix title" adequately covers the options. Take as an example the composer Andrew Lloyd Weber, who holds a life peerage. He is titled Lord Lloyd-Weber (note the added hyphen). To refer to him as either Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber or Lord Andrew Lloyd-Weber would be incorrect (that would be a style used by someone called Andrew Lloyd-Weber who was the son of a hereditary peer).
2. One might also consider Spanish-speaking people who use matronymics in the most formal situations, but not otherwise
3. "Places where it is appropriate to display a name without title" depends on a lot of personal context. I know that the lady living next door is called Ethel, but I wouldn't dream of referring to her or addressing her as anything other than "Mrs. Jones". I don't think Google understands the nuances.
4. HRH The Prince of Wales is properly referred to as HRH The Duke of Rothesay in Scotland.

Why not? (1)

joh (27088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812855)

Google should just turn that into a feature by gifting a S/MIME certificate to every user with an authenticated real name and of course support this with Gmail. This way you could finally have encrypted and/or signed email for free and would have a social network account you can use for everything you want to have published provable by you.

I will never understand what's wrong with having a social network that insists in real names. There are more than enough offers for services and networks that just allow everyone to pretend to be someone else. If you want to be anonymous or pseudonymous, use something else then. But having *one* option to have an account that is *provable* yours and a way to mail and write things that are *provable* written by you: What is so bad about having this option? Come on, what is bad about this? You don't have to use it. But if you want it or need it, it's there. Why should every social network work the same way? Why would we need more than one if all worked the same way?

Nothing against using an assumed name (as you see I'm not using my real name here), but some people are *insisting* in *nobody* ever using their real name in a way that is nearly manic. There are sometimes reasons to be identifiable and to be able to sign things you write and to have a way of being able to prove your identity. Really. Having one network to support and even enforce that is good. It's just one option. Having no way to do it is not more freedom, it is less freedom.

Re:Why not? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38812941)

There are more than enough offers for services and networks that just allow everyone to pretend to be someone else. If you want to be anonymous or pseudonymous, use something else then.

What a coincidence. Over on my social network, they ask that I use my real name. They say that if I want to pretend to be someone else, use Google+ for that.

Users need to stop being idiots, then. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38812945)

Look, either your service uses legitimate names or it doesn't. Google+ has decided that they do want to. So if you want to use the service, use your name. Your NAME is not "Doctor" anyone. Your NAME is not "Reverend" anyone. Those are your TITLES. So sign up and use YOUR NAME for YOUR NAME and then put your title/job/whatever in the proper areas of your profile. This isn't rocket science and I'm all for privacy and I'm all for raising a stink over evil corporate this and that, but for fuck's sake..

What are they after? (2)

Dave Emami (237460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38813179)

What exactly is Google trying to accomplish with their "real name" policy, anyway? I don't see what they hope to gain that's even worth the trouble of enforcing it, not even considering the ill will they're piling up.

Another day, another Google smear (0)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38813189)

I don't somebody at google could scratch their nose without slashdot posting a story about google being evil.

Just don't use google. Use microsoft instead, problem solved.

Unlike microsoft, google has no way to vendor-lock anybody.

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