Can I See Your ID

On Diaspora, You’re Free to Be Your True Pseudonymous Self

diaspora logo

Remember when Google+ stole Diaspora’s thunder? Well there’s still something the indie social network’s got that Google ain’t. Diaspora recently broke its silence is sending out alpha invitations through October and has been sending alpha users long, high-minded emails about privacy on the web and freedom of data that often contain sly or outright references to Facebook. Last night’s email linked to an article on called “Facebook is the most hated social media company.” Read More

New Frontiers

Impersonated On OKCupid! Blogger Awakens to Find 8-Hour-Old Account Under His Email, Messaging People About Rape


It’s possible to set up and use an account on OKCupid using someone else’s email address, as comedian and blogger Adam Heath Avitable discovered last week when he woke up to emails from the dating site addressed to “gayasssfuck,” thanking him for creating a profile. And what a profile! “Someone put my real address, with my photo, in a dating profile on OkCupid, using my real email address, and invited people to come rape me. Oh, and they actually sent out messages to 24 different men as well,” Mr. Avitable writes. Read More


Eric Schmidt: Some People Are Just Evil and We Should Be Able to ID Them and Rank Them Downward

Erik Schmidt in search of his "I care" face (Photo: Flickr)

Eric Schmidt, no longer CEO of Google, has still got it–“it” being the ability to say things that scare the crap out of people. NPR’s Andy Carvin caught up with the former executive at the Edinburgh International TV Festival and paraphrased the executive chairman’s thoughts on pseudonymity on Google+ in where else, a G+ post, which we discovered by way of Boing Boing. Read More

Can I See Some ID

The Pseudonymous Police Vs. Larry Flynt


You can probably guess how the star of a documentary called The Right To Be Left Alone feels about the arguments over using pseudonyms online, especially since many of his customers may prefer some measure of privacy when receiving their monthly shipment. But that doesn’t make Larry Flynt’s terse foray into the online identity debate, which appeared today on the Huffington Post, any less amusing: Read More

Can I See Some ID

Google+ Will Not Allow Pseudonyms, But Will Wait Four Days Before It Yanks Your Profile

Mr. Cent.

After much internal deliberation, Google+ responded to the pseudonymous discontents, many of whom are in New York, last night. It wasn’t quite the answer they wanted. “One of the things we strive for on Google+ is to make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world,” product manager Saurabh Sharma said in a G+ post. “So as part of this effort, we’ve asked that those signing up for the service use the name they commonly go by in the real world.” Read More

What's In A Name?

Danah Boyd–‘Zephoria’–Latest Luminary to Stand Up for Pseudonyms

danah boyd

Microsoft researcher and blogger Danah Boyd, who prefers to be referred to as danah boyd, or ‘zephoria,’ the name that got her into a tiff with Tumblr, has stepped, as we knew she would, into the pseudonymity debate. “‘Real Names’ Policies Are an Abuse of Power,” she writes today, and have disastrous effects on vulnerable people. “Personally, I’m ecstatic to see this much outrage” over Google’s harsh real-name policy on Google+, she writes. Read More

Can I See Some ID

Meeting of the Pseduonyms

doctor popular

Look out, Brad Horowitz–the masses are organizing. Self-styled Doctor Popular, a game designer and blogger in San Francisco, was banned on Google+ two weeks ago for registering under his pseudonym. Trouble is, Google+ is now so integrated that its interrupted his use of other services: “I can’t access G+, or back it up using their “Data Liberation” thing. Also can’t use Reader anymore, which sucks because that’s my favorite social site, but Gmail still works for the time being.” That was two weeks ago. Tonight Mr. Popular is organizing a meetup in the Mission for fellow Google+ rejects.

Can I See Your ID

Pseudonymity Debate Comes Down to Silicon Valley Machine Versus the New York State of Mind

Mr. Karp.

Is New York’s start-up community more inclined to appreciate pseudoanonymity on the web than Silicon Valley? Besides Anil Dash and Caterina Fake, Scott Beale of Laughing Squid and Fred Wilson, New York is home to two prominent champions of the pseudonymous social web: David Karp of Tumblr and Chris Poole of 4chan, who has been fashioned by his media advisors into the philosophical foil for Mark Zuckerberg (and apparently, his sister Randi Zuckerberg) who recently said anonymous posting show “a lack of integrity.”

“Zuckerberg’s totally wrong on anonymity being total cowardice. Anonymity is authenticity. It allows you to share in a completely unvarnished, raw way,” Mr. Poole said during his SXSW keynote. Read More