From Bradley Horowitz:
We’ve noticed that many violations of the Google common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our process can be frustrating and disappointing. So we’re currently making a number of improvements to this process - specifically regarding how we notify these users that they’re not in compliance with Google policies and how we communicate the remedies available to them.
- Giving these users a warning and a chance to correct their name in advance of any suspension. (Of course whenever we review a profile, if we determine that the account is violating other policies like spam or abuse we’ll suspend the account immediately.)
- At time of this notice, a clear indication of how the user can edit their name to conform to our community standards (http://www.google.com/support/ /bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1228271)
- Better expectation setting as to next steps and timeframes for users that are engaged in this process.
Second, we’re looking at ways to improve the signup process to reduce the likelihood that users get themselves into a state that will later result in review.
Third, we’ve noticed that some people are using their profile name to show-off nicknames, maiden names and personal descriptions. While the profile name doesn’t accommodate this, we want to support your friends finding you by these alternate names and give you a prominent way of displaying this info in Google . Here are two features in particular that facilitate this kind of self-expression:
- If you add nicknames, maiden names, etc. to the “Other names” portion of your G profile, those with permission to view those fields can search for you using that term. For example: some of my colleagues call me “elatable,” a pseudonym I’ve used on many services, so I’ve added it to my list of other names.
- The “Employment,” “Occupation” and “Education” fields in your profile can appear in your hovercard all across Google — to those with permission to view them. This also helps other users find and identify you.
A good start, but not far enough yet.
Another example of the Zuckerberg Fallacy: that we should have a single, unitary persona online, and that all right-minded people would agree with that. It’s naive, dangerous, and ideological.