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

Sydney #NoPants Subway Ride #NPSR

Last weekend I attended the Sydney #NoPants Subway Ride (also on MyFace).  For those who don’t know what it is, it was started by the group Improv Everywhere who specialise in flashmobs and as they say on their website “causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places”.  You can probably guess what the nopants subway ride is by its name.

Basically, a group of people get together, jump on a subway or train, and remove their pants.  Underwear is left on, obviously.  To not do so would be illegal in just about every country.  Most western nations though, as long as you’re wearing underpants that cover your private areas then it’s no different to people wearing their swimwear and hence it’s perfectly legal. Continue reading

My take on #TwitterJokeTrial.

I woke up this morning to see numerous people I follow on twitter saddened by the verdict that the twitter joke trial would continue on as originally set.  This may come as a surprise and a sad thing to many people, but it not a surprise in the least to me.  But first, a little background for those who may be unaware of the situation.

Paul Chambers (I am unable to find his twitter name in the three seconds I spent searching for it) was planning on meeting up with a friend, but required a flight to get there.  There were delays however due to the weather and his flight was cancelled.  That night from a hotel while joking with his friend @crazycolours he sent her the tweet “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”.  The authorities noticed this tweet, tracked it down to Paul Chambers and pressed charges for making a terrorist threat.

Originally he was given a conviction and a rather minor (considering the charges) £1,000 fine, however he chose to appeal this.  That appeal happened today.  He lost and according to The Guardian has been told his fine has been increased a further £2,000 for the proceedings that have taken place.

From what I’ve gathered so far, his defence relied on convincing the courts that this was a private conversation between himself and @crazycolours.  The statements of his were not made publicly or directly to the airport.  Also, they were purely said in jest, they were a joke with no actual intention of even considering following through with them. Continue reading

Sexism works both ways.

Sad as it is, there’s still a lot of sexism in our society despite the decades of work to try and overturn it.  From women being objectified, the glass ceiling in business (which many people prefix with “proverbial”, personally I wouldn’t), the list goes on.  It’s quite sad to be honest that this discrimination still takes place.

It’s not always females who are being given the short end of the straw, though.  Men too can suffer from sexism.  I will say before I get any further that women do suffer the massive brunt of it.  The point of this article isn’t to cry persecution, “woe is me” or to trivialise sexism against women in any way shape or form.  It most definitely is a horrible thing that still requires a LOT of work to rectify in our society.  I simply aim to raise awareness that there is also sexism against men. Continue reading

Autism Hour.

I’m quite annoyed with myself right now.  I’ve been a bit distracted these last two weeks due to personal reasons and forgot all about today.  This means I’m only posting this blog well after the time of the event I wanted to pimp.

In a follow-up to this post, today is the final day of Autism Month and it hosts Autism Hour.  One hour, from 9am, to help raise awareness for Autism and send a message of support to people and their families that are dealing with it.

Please, take a moment to go to the autism hour homepage and show them your support, even if you’re late it will still be collected and appreciated.