Skud wrote a marvelous “alternate universe” version of Google’s announcement of the end to their odious “real names” policy. It’s hard to find an ideal quote to pull from it because it’s all good, but let’s go with this one:
We apologise unreservedly to those people, who through our actions were marginalised, denied access to services, and whose identities we treated as lesser. We especially apologise to those who were already marginalised, discriminated against, or unsafe, such as queer youth or victims of domestic violence, whose already difficult situations were worsened through our actions. We also apologise specifically to those whose accounts were banned, not only for refusing them access to our services, but for the poor treatment they received from our staff when they sought support.
Really, they’re all good and I urge you to read the whole thing. I do feel, however, that Skud missed a couple of points. I’d add something along the lines of:
“We also wish to apologise for the misleading, confusing, and frequently self-contradictory rationales we published to justify our real-names policy. There is no evidence that requiring real names encourages the kind of community we wish to foster, and our encouragement to use pseudonyms that “looked real” was misguided and, frankly, irresponsible. Those excuses were insulting to our users and fostered justifiable distrust towards Google and Google products. Going forward, we will deal honestly with our community, even if the truth is awkward or unpleasant.”
I think that about covers it. Maybe, maybe if Google were to publish something along those lines, I might reconsider having an outpost on G+. I am not holding my breath.
(for a little bit on my experience with Google+, start here)