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Google Plus now allows fake names
Have you avoided signing up to Google Plus because you’d have to use your real name? Maybe you don’t like the idea of the whole world knowing exactly how many unboxing videos you watch on YouTube?
Well good news my mysterious masked friend, because yesterday Google dropped the Facebook style requirement for real names only.
This has been Google policy for years, and they’ve been pretty stubborn at keeping it in place, but there’s no doubt some people didn’t like it – sometimes for good reasons (“I fear my dictatorship government’s actions”), sometimes not (“I dislike Justin Bieber and I want the world to know in no uncertain terms, but I’m a bit of a coward”), but Google has finally loosened its grip. In an official post on the platform itself, the company stated “There are no more restrictions on what name you can choose. We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while.”
Part of the reason for this is Google’s ownership of YouTube, and making people comment under videos with their real names was universally unpopular.
Not everyone was pleased with the news though. Some commenters believe this change will encourage jerks to be jerks without repercussions. Google+’s head architect Yonatan Zunger states this shouldn’t be the case: “One of the reasons this is safe to launch is that our troll-smashing department has gotten very good at their jobs.” Google being Google, we wouldn’t be surprised if this was a real department with a real office.
There will be a limit on how often you can change your name, but it’s now once every 90 days, rather than three times ever two years, so should you want a name for every season you can now make that dream a reality.
I’m personally pleased, because it means I get to have another go at this, which was cruelly rejected last year:
Neptune, God of the Sea, will rise again. And he’ll be +1ing articles when he does.