After years of criticism, Google Plus has finally dropped its controversial, Facebook-alike "Real Names" policy. Read the rest
Just a few days after Turkey's scandal-rocked government banned Twitter by tweaking national DNS settings, the state has doubled down by ordering ISPs to block Twitter's IP addresses, in response to the widespread dissemination of alternative DNS servers, especially Google's 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 (these numbers were even graffitied on walls).
Following the ban, Turkey's Twitter usage grew by 138 percent. Now that Twitter's IP range is blocked, more Turkish Internet users are making use of Tor and VPNs, and they continue to use SMS for access to the service.
It's interesting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has singled out Twitter for his attacks ("Twitter, schmitter! We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says.") Why not Facebook or Google Plus? I'm not certain, but my hypothesis is that Facebook and Google's "real names" policy -- which make you liable to disconnection from the service if you're caught using an alias -- make them less useful for political dissidents operating in an environment in which they fear reprisals. Read the rest
JWZ proposed a two-step plan to help Google realize its stated goal of allowing pseudonyms on Google+:
1. Stop deleting peoples' accounts when you suspect that the name they are using is not their legal name. 2. There is no step 2.
Googlers voted up the question "can we do this?" for a response at this week's company meeting. According to JWZ's source, "To nobody's great surprise, [Larry Page's] answer was a very long-winded 'no'."