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Good news for Google+ users who have been forced to abandon their nicknames. Google has announced an update to its pseudonym policy, which will roll out over the next few days. The major change you will notice is the ability to add a nickname or a maiden name, and have it appear alongside your real name (e.g., John “Spider” Smith).

Google’s pseudonym issue, known also as Nymwars, first started when Google+ went live. Numerous people who tried to use nicknames or pseudonyms, had their accounts suspended because they did not meet Google’s name policy. According to Google, this policy was enforced to reduce spam and fake accounts, and following user feedback, they will now be a bit more lenient when enforcing the issue.

So how do you add a nickname to your Google+ account? Go to your profile, and click on “Edit Profile”. Click on your name, and then choose “More options”. You will now see a new Nickname field, which you can fill out and then choose how you want your new name to display. This will also work with names in different scripts. As you can see, there are not many options to choose from, but it’s still somewhat better than having no nickname at all.

google -nickname

Note that when you change your name here, it will affect all the Google products you use, not just Google+. If you want to use only a pseudonym, or something else Google flags as suspicious, you will need to submit the name for review by Google. To help the review along, you can submit:

– References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc.
– Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license
– Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following

You can read more on the Google+ Name Policy page.

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Will this make a difference for most users, or is Google+’s name policy still too limiting? Will you try to change your name on Google+ following this new policy?

Source: +Bradley Horowitz

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