Online Identities

Two of my favourite people, claiming their names:

My friend barefootwriter‘s Google+ profile has been suspended, for “violating Community Standards.” “No specific reason was given,” she writes, “but looking over the list, my hunch is that this action could only be part of the crackdown on the use of pseudonymous profiles on the service.” On her blog, she makes a persuasive case for made-up names in a post called “On Google+ and Pseudonymity.” It’s good reading. I highly recommend her delightful Twitter-feed as well.

In “Living a Lie,” my friend Sarah Jackson explains how she was forced to give up her professional and online identities because she was being stalked. “Police told me to abandon my email addresses and everything else connected with my prior life. I had already changed my phone number and my appearance. Now, they said, I’d need to start using a different name for everything published online. I created the name Elise Gray, and the Twitter handle @journoholic. I was sorry to leave my original username @sarahsodyssey behind — it had accumulated around 650 Twitter followers at the time. I disappeared.” After the stalker found her again, several weeks ago, Sarah took her name back, part of a “Plan B” the police helped her develop, she writes. Follow Sarah on Twitter here.

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