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

The Shorty Awards are HERE! Get nomnomnominating!

As per my previous post, the Shorty Awards are now OPEN for nominations!  Time to get voting!

What you need to do:
There’s a few things you need to keep in mind so I’d like to spell them out nice and early if I could.

  • Your twitter account MUST be an active one. Any accounts with zero tweets will not be counted, and if too many such accounts are seen voting for someone, that person could end up being disqualified so do NOT create dummy or bot accounts.
  • Your nomination/vote MUST have a reason included. Any nominations or votes without a reason will not be counted.
  1. Create a twitter account and post a few tweets on it.  If you’re not sure how to use twitter then following Lucas Randall’s #TAMOz list may be a good place to start.
  2. Get involved, reply to people, have a conversation.
  3. Post some nomination tweets in the format of “I nominate (person) for a Shorty Award in (#category) because (reason)” or a shorter version of “#shortyawards (person) #category (reason)”.
  4. And of course, spread the word on twitter, facebook, blogs, and any other method available to you (even real life!).

You can keep an eye on how things are going here.

Some of my suggestions are:

“I nominate @DrRachie for a Shorty Award in #health because she does such standup work against quacks.”
“I nominate @BastardSheep for a Shorty Award in #NoPants because #NoPants is life!”
“I nominate @BadAstronomer for a Shorty Award in #science because he always brings us such interesting and amazing info.”
“I nominate @GeorgeHrab for a Shorty Award in #entertainment because of his awesome podcast, music and comedy stylings.”
“I nominate @PZMyers for a Shorty Award in #Religion because of his push to use reason instead of it.”
“I nominate @jref for a Shorty Award in #Education because of their promotion of reason in schooling.”
“I nominate @RSPCA for a Shorty Award in #charity because of the awesome work they do for animals.”
“I nominate @nocompulsoryvac for a Shorty Award in #Quacks because of her tireless effort to spread lies about vaccines.”

Of course, you should feel free to nominate who ever you’d like, and remember you actually CAN nominate multiple people in one category.

Nominate @bastardsheep in the Shorty Awards!

The Shorty Awards are coming.

Those of you who were around 12 months ago may remember the fun and games that happened during the Shorty Awards.  Those of you who weren’t around or don’t remember, I’ll cover that below.

The Shorty’s are only a few weeks away from opening up for nominations, and I’d like to get a jump on that quacks this year so lets start spreading the message already.  If you’re interested in helping out Science and Skepticism defeat the quacks, willingly ignorant and blatantly deceptive then please create a Twitter account (if you don’t have one already), get at least a few tweets out there and watch this space ready for the nominations and voting to commence. Continue reading