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Okay, so here’s the short version: You use your real name for your profile name – that is the one you can prove, or you can take a hike.

Yes, Google’s happy for you to use a pseudonym, nickname, maiden name, or inoffensive anatomical quirk as an “other name” (in the field provided) so long as you’re not using it as your profile name.

The implication is that that means “real names” only – or, more to the point, a continuation of the policy currently in place: A mix of requiring proof for some while making exceptions for some others, with those using their wallet-names apparently getting most of the collateral damage from the process.

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Jul 23 2011

Any sufficiently large social network based solely on real-names becomes unusable.

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Jul 13 2011

Lauren Weinstein has an excellent piece up on Google’s identity controversy which you should read, if identity and its issues are of interest to you. It’s smart and focused and balanced and well-spoken. It’s thoughtful and not overly long.

I’m really going to mess that last one up with my response. Buckle up, girls and boys.

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Last week, there was an apparent contradiction in Google’s recently published policy in the use of pseudonyms for Google products versus its actual practice. After obtaining additional clarification, that contradiction has gotten far more pronounced.

That is, you must use the name in your wallet as opposed to any other for Google Profiles and Google Plus … except where Google decides for some reason that you don’t have to.

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