#nymwars I’ve had my FB account closed for using the name I am known by in real life.

Hello, my name is ...Even before the initial #nymwars debacle sparked off over at Google+, I’ve known Facebooks’s “real” names policy. I always found it amusing that people were getting so upset at G+, but saying nothing about FB whose policies were worse. I didn’t say much about it at the time because I wasn’t a prominent member of the protests/complaints.

Throughout #nymwars I refused to change from my nym, even if it meant not using G+ – a service I was at the time very excited about. Now it’s over, Google relented about 9 months later and allowed nyms, but I still don’t use it. It’s too late.

And now I’ve fallen victim to FB’s “real” names policy for a second time. Continue reading

Australian Vaccination Network at Woodford Folk Festival. #StopAVN

I’ve spoken about the Australian Vaccination Network before, but those have generally only been mentions and references, I’ve never really gone in to who and what they are.

EDIT: BREAKING NEWS! It appears StopAVN have done something fantastic and unexpected at Woodford Folk Festival!  Please scroll down to the next bolded “EDIT:” and ensure even if you don’t read most of this, you at least read that!!! :D

Who are the Australian Vaccination Network?
The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), despite all claims to the contrary, are an anti-vaccination group.  They are headed up by Meryl Dorey and claim they’re not, they claim they just support informed choice and provide a counter to the governments provides.  However, the information the AVN provide is wrong on almost all counts which means it’s not really an informed choice they’re providing but a misinformed one, and if the governments provides is pro-vaccine, then any stance counter to that surely must be anti?

Their preferred sources of information are not scientific studies, but rather conspiracy theorist sites such as whale.to (a site that collects any and all articles and claims no matter how crazy and unsubstantiated they are), conspiracy theorists such as David Icke (who promotes world leaders and the royal family being lizard people), and people with revoked medical licenses such as the disgraced Andrew Wakefield.

They’ve had their charity license revoked.  In the last two years, only two issues of their 6/year magazine “Living Wisdom” has been released (and despite being so far behind in issues owed, they’re still actively pushing subscriptions).  They regularly cry oppression, censorship and demand free speech, despite blocking/banning anyone who dares counter their supposed-not president Meryl Dorey with information that is nothing more than factual. They have also been caught filing numerous false DMCA requests to hide public and factual information they don’t like.  The Australian Vaccination Network about as hypocritical as one can get. Continue reading

Update #1 on my Google+ suspension. #nymwars

Last Wednesday (5 days ago, 3 business days) I was suspended from Google+ for violating the part of their names policy that states one must use the name they most commonly go by in real life, by using the name I most commonly go by in real life.  As I stated in that post when I blogged about it, I selected the button to edit my name, left it untouched, and this then submit my case for review.  They state that this review process takes an average of 4 days, and we will continue to be able to use our accounts as per normal while this takes place.

Today I went to +1 someone’s post, and got an error stating “There was a problem performing this action, please try again”.  Odd, but not the first time Google+ has acted up on me.  Closing the page and re-opening usually fixes it, or restarting my browser.  Not this time though, so I thought I’d run a test by posting something to my wall.  This time I got a different error.

“Your profile is currently suspended. View profile”.

As you can see from my profile, I last succesfully posted something to my stream yesterday.  I have still been getting people adding me to circles on G+ all throughout the day as well.  I have not received any emails or notifications to state any changes to my account either through Google+ or through email (spam folders checked as well).  My profile cannot be viewed by other accounts either.

Google have just decided out of the blue to change things so that those whose names are under review can no longer use the site as per normal.  At least I hope that’s the case as the only other option that comes to mind is that they decided to decline my review and not tell me or provide me with any feedback or options.

Suspended from G+ for name violation. This name, is “Bastard Sheep”. #nymwars

My Google Profile has just been flagged for not complying with the names policy.  I was just refreshing my Google+ page and the message shown to the left came up.  As you can see, it clearly states that the Google+ names policy is to “use the name that you are commonly referred to in real life”This name, is “Bastard Sheep”. Continue reading

Pseudonymity and social networks.

Those who follow me on Twitter, MyFace and Google+ will know that I have been linking a fair bit recently to news articles and blog posts about Google disabling peoples G+ profiles for doing nothing more than using a pseudonym.  There has been a large amount of discussion about it in the media too which I find surprising.  I wouldn’t have expected the media to care less about this story.  I’m also surprised so many people seem up in arms about it mostly because it’s been MyFace’s policy to only allow real names from the very start.  Nobody seemed to give two hoots back when MyFace started, nor do they give two hoots now.

I thought it was about time I threw my two cents in to the mix, as someone who exclusively uses a pseudonym online and actively uses that same pseudonym in real life.  There are already plenty of arguments about who is harmed by a “real name” policy, so I suggest you read those instead if that’s what you’re after.  Personally, I’ll be tackling some of the main questions and arguments I’ve seen in the last week in support of a “real name” policy, and why these arguments don’t hold water.

Suggested reading before you go on:

Who is harmed by a “Real Name” policy at Geek Feminism (Note: Read the Wiki link they have on this page too)

Infotrope.net – Skud, an ex-google employee’s blog on being kicked off Google+ (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Continue reading

Quit Facebook Day.

Today, the 31st of May 2010 is International Quit Facebook Day.  It all started after some changes to the Facebook privacy settings were made earlier this year, with peoples settings changed and the default being information shared openly.  They also have been working hard on a single-signon system which external websites can use, and link information about you and your friends.

Personally, I find this whole quit facebook day things to be hilarious.  To me it simply shows peoples ignorance. Continue reading

On trolling, hypocrisy and vandalism.

Thank-youIKEA1024Earlier this evening I was introduced to the Jesus: All About Life Facebook page.  A quick look through the page showed it was a legitimate page made by the people behind the campaign, but 16 hours earlier Atheists and non-christians had also discovered it and were trolling quite badly.

Earlier today while browsing through my usual sites I came across a post at Pharyngula about someone who was arrested for defacing a poster for an alpha.org advertising campaign.

I decided to also check out jesusallaboutlife.com – a parody site set up when it was discovered the JAAL people only registered the .com.au domain, not the .com one, and saw on the front page this particular article.

Seriously guys, trolling and vandalism is NEVER acceptable. Continue reading