Google, I’m Leaving You. Somewhere over five years ago, I gratefully accepted an invite to Gmail and rejoiced: it was a wonderful new paradigm in web-based email, and a huge improvement over Yahoo Mail. It’s still one of the best email services online, and still miles ahead of the nearest competition by number of users. At the time, it was a straightforward social contract; Google would host and provide a great email service, and in exchange, non-human agents (robots!) would scan email in real-time for keywords, and provide ads in real time based on their inferences.
Dear all: I’d like to start something called a “Namecrime Exodus”; if by September 10th Google are still forcing people to use real names, I’m leaving Google+ and deleting my account. I strongly encourage you to post likewise and commit to leaving a defective service that doesn’t understand or want to understand the freedoms and cultures of the internet. Google is a company born of and dependent upon the internet and the people who use it.