Online Identity, Clouds and Google

I was totally into the whole Google Plus thing. I really was! I thought, hey, here’s a place for adults. Where we could, you know, have Adult conversations and content. Unlike Facebook, who deletes you without warning for random reasons.

The concept of Circles was awesome (even though they clearly stole it from my Avatar story)! I could have other writers in my Circles. I could have fans in some Circles. I could follow people in yet more Circles. It was going to ROCK.

Then… Reality set in.

Now, I’ll admit that, at the time of this writing, Google plus is in beta. But fuck, Gmail was in beta FOR YEARS, so I’m not putting too much stock into when G+ will be OUT of beta.

So, about that Reality thing. It appears, that G+ was designed for families and children only. Adult content is not welcome. And, if you post it, they could, and did, bounce your ass. Said bounce could suspend your G+ account — and every-fucking-other account you had with Google! Your email, calendars and whatever else they felt like taking away from you.

Worse, G+ DEMANDS in the TOS that you use your real name. Oh, artists are allowed to use an alias, but I’m pretty sure it’s still supposed to be linked to your real name.

That is total bullshit.

Since there were TONS of discussions dealing with this topic, and several articles written on it, I’m not going to go into great depth here, other than to say that these two … problems … make G+ even less suitable for my needs than Facebook.

And here’s where the inline identity thing comes in. Dark Pen is my online identity — or one of them, anyway. But it’s the name I write under, the name that writing is known by and I had damned good reasons for not writing under my real name. I’m not going to tie the Dark Pen name to my real name because Google doesn’t understand people’s reasons for privacy.

Since Dark Pen is an alias, I’m going to remove myself from G+ before they come along and discover I’ve broken their terms of ‘service’ and delete all my stuff. Or lock it out and force me to reveal to them who I really am to get it back. 

Yes, I know they could pretty easily track me down. But currently, they have no reason to, and I’d like to keep it that way.

I was trying to get a following on Blogger (which was failing miserably), but then I realized that THAT was a Google product. So. I’ll leave that blog alone. I’ll put in something saying that I’ve moved to WordPress (although I’m still maintaining my LJ account — where people actually comment and respond to me) and plan to continue here. I will set up pop to download my Gmail, and I’ve already pulled all my Gmail contacts into Hotmail.

I don’t plan to boycott Google — something that would be almost impossible anyway. And, if they get their shit together and acknowledge the rights of adults, I’ll return to G+. But for now? I think it’s better not to trust the ‘Cloud’ with my data (not that I ever did, really) and not to keep all my online eggs in one basket.

Links to Violet Blue’s excellent articles on the current state of Google +:;content


About Dark Pen

I am Dark Pen. I write BDSM stories, almost always with plot and consider myself a Soldier in the battle against America's war on sex.
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4 Responses to Online Identity, Clouds and Google

  1. shava says:

    I’m sorry.

    There are some of us trying to fix this, for a lot of reasons. I believe that pseudonymity is a vital part of modern culture for *so* many reasons, and if Google wants to be a dominant player in social networks, they are going to shape culture (there is no such thing as just “online culture” anymore, that’s like saying “telephone culture” or “movie culture”) they need to listen to the people who are coming up through the culture for how they use the culture and want tools shaped.

    If you’d like us to create a dance effigy for you, to dance with you as a delete friend, contact me. Even better, if you’d like to help organize a dance near where you live, we’d love the help. Or just spread the word.

    Please check out

    You can still read my stuff on g+ even if you can’t/don’t post — I’m shava23 there

    • Dark Pen says:

      Crap. I realized that I didn’t reply to your comment.
      Thanks for the thought of making a Dark Pen Avatar (effigy sounds like I’m dead and Avatar is a bit more punny in this case) is amusing, but it’s probably better that you didn’t.
      From what I’m reading, Google still doesn’t get it. They are still going on about pseudonyms and the like, but I think they’re inferring that those should be linked to your real identity. I, and many others, prefer to keep aliases completely separate for any number of reasons.
      I wouldn’t be a dance organizer because well… I have other battles to fight. And while I’m pissed that this G+ thing has happened, I don’t have the time to fight yet one more battle against yet another attack on personal privacy. Because that’s how I view this.

  2. Lonepanther says:

    Only peeps with no real friends flock to herd sanctuaries like fb or g plus. my buds text me, im me, call me or come over to my crib we have our “circle” there and dont need a corporate behemoth to negotiate that.

    only fools social network.

    • Dark Pen says:

      How very… ignorant of you.
      People use social networks for a number of things — some, no most, of which you clearly wouldn’t understand.
      As I writer, I would use (note I’m not saying I do, because of Google’s complete lack of understanding of why people would use an alias), one to communicate with fans of my work. For the most part, those people couldn’t care less about my ‘real’ life — they’re only interested in interacting with my because they want to comment on my writing, or discuss something I have written or add comments about what I’ve written.
      Some people use social networks because they have friends that are spread all over the country — that happens as you get older — and it’s a convenient way to keep in touch.
      I’m guessing that these things never occurred to you.

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