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16 November 2011 @ 05:44 am
True Names and True Selves  
In a response to my post about the Doctrine of "Real" Names, araquan provided the following insight from a Charlie Rose interview with Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg:

Facebook COO Sandberg talked about the power of relationship-based networks, contrasting "the wisdom of crowds to the wisdom of friends."

"So that's Google versus Facebook right there," Rose replied.

Sandberg didn't agree. She thinks the entire first phase of the Web's development -- which led to "a lot of wonderful things" -- was largely based on "anonymity and links between crowds."

The next stage of development, the one Facebook has spearheaded, is built around identity. "The social Web can't exist until you are your real self online," Sandberg said. "I have to be me, you have to be Charlie Rose."

The logical fallacy, of course, is the conflation of "real self" with "legal name". You can't be your "real self" if you're always wondering, "what would my family think of this? What if my boss Googles me?"

I am my "real self" online, and my "social Web" is woven among those who know me as "Athelind" and "Your Obedient Serpent".

That other name?

That's not my "real self", Ms. Sandberg.

That's my banking information, and I know why you want it.

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A random lazy cat: Eat Babies.twentythoughts on November 16th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
If the social web can't exist without everybody knowing everybody's name in every situation, I wonder what Sandberg thinks about going out to a shady, fetishy nightclub and proceeding to give everyone there plus everyone on the way there her full name and address, as well as a recording of everything she did that night. And then allow her mom and boss to access that footage.
Your Obedient Serpent: outrageathelind on November 16th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
I tend to think of it in terms of "Twittering your bowel movements", but the principle is not dissimilar.
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Paka: pied crowpaka on November 16th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Going for the most vanilla aspects of self possible - my "real self" would rather eventually be a full time artist, likes model trains and Occupy Wall Street, and doesn't give a crap about football. If I had to have an identity for REAL NAME which could freely be searched by anyone who wants to hire me, or anyone who beat the fuck out of me in high school, you can bet money it would not be a fair representation of who I really am. Their argument is completely fallacious as always, which is I guess to be expected over people who are basically trying to make an excuse to reduce my online presence to a conveniently tracked marketing demographic.
Araquan Skytracer: Computer stupidityaraquan on November 16th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the two are only the same for folks who either A) have no qualms whatsoever about posting the most embarrassing details of their activities for all to see, or B) don't feel they have any embarrassing details/activities worth concealing. There may of course be overlap between the two. But everyone else (the vast majority) will self-censor to at least some degree, so even what you see under their real name will be, at best, a particular subset of the real "them".

Of course, provided what's there is accurate (which may or may not be true) that's still useful for marketing purposes, if it's associated with some kind of real-world point of reference.
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The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit: Elevator Angelsporsupah on November 16th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
The part I find most insidious, however, is Google's stated intent to link all your postings and all your identities together - thereby rendering any alter egos or pseudonyms effectively worthless, other than as a secondary tag.
one in a billionsiege on November 18th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
Stated and practiced. They did this with YouTube a while back, as part of "integrating" it with their other services. Not that they needed to, frankly; but they did it anyway, arguing data simplification and storage issues, which makes sense... but not enough sense for me.

Google doesn't have fucking storage issues. They have these rail cars which are deployable data centers ready to drop in the middle of nowhere and plug into existing fiber connections, and they ignore dead drives in the racks for months or years, while still continuously boosting Gmail storage for everyone. While the searchable Web grows exponentially and they index and re-index powers of ten of it every day.

One might have wondered what the real excuse was, but now they've gone and spilled those beans.
velvetpage on November 16th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
I have two completely different versions of myself online. One is under my real name, and if an employer googles it, I won't care. Ditto my extended family. The other is under this name. There's plenty of crossover, because I'm not good at that kind of compartmentalizing, but to say one is my real self and the other is not is ridiculous. That's like saying your boss has to know what brand of underwear you prefer in order to judge your work competence.
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